Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brazilian Impressions - 3 Delicious Smoothies Inspired by Rio de Janeiro

My recent short vacation in Brazil came as a blessing in the middle of the ice-cold winter. The five days I spent in Copa Cabana (Rio de Janeiro) helped me restore my immune system. I oscillated between the beach and diverse juice corner stores and came back healthy and ready for my next assignment in Germany. And believe me, it is cold here!

My trip to Rio de Janeiro not only left me happier and healthier, it inspired me to create new, healthy  smoothies for my blog readers. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other important phytonutrients. Since these fruit is in season in South America and Asia, you will have no problem finding it in the produce aisle in the North as well. And if you are concerned about the carbon footprint, think about the farmers and the farmer co-ops south of the Equator that you are supporting when you buy the fruits of their work... But make sure you are buying a "fair trade" product. It may be a bit more expensive, but it will help the people in the South sustain themselves. 

I tried all three smoothies in Brazil, but changed the recipes just a bit. The ideas came while I was waiting for my drinks and watching the men prepare them. The ingredients were never measured or weighted, just like they are never measured and weighted in my own kitchen, but what emerged from the creative chaos was made with passion. That's more important than a measuring spoon.

~ Papaya, Strawberry, Guava Smoothie with Açai ~
  • 1 ripe papaya
  • 2 ripe guavas
  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp açai (frozen or powdered)
  • 1 cup Brazil nut milk (recipe below) 
  • 2-3 ice cubes if you are using fresh ingredients (optional) 

  • Wash papaya, cut lengthwise in half. Remove the kernels and scoop the ripe flesh with a spoon. 
  • Make guava pulp if you do not want kernels in you smoothie.
  • Toss papaya, guavas and strawberries into a blender, add Brazil nut milk and blend for 30-40 seconds. 
  • Add açai, blend again until all ingredients produce a nice, creamy smoothie. Adjust the amount of nut milk if necessary. Enjoy in good company!

~ Banana, Mango, Orange Smoothie ~
  • 3-4 large, ripe oranges
  • 1 banana
  • 1 ripe mango 
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp virgin flax oil
  • handful of ice cubes (optional)

  • Squeeze juice out of the oranges.
  • Chop banana and mango into manageable chunks and toss into a blender.
  • Add orange juice and blend for a minute.
  • Add honey and flax oil and blend for another 30-40 seconds
  • Add ice and blend again. 
  • Enjoy in good company!

~ Pineapple, Banana, Mango Smoothie ~
  • 1/2 ripe pineapple
  • 2 ripe banana
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 cup coconut water 
  • 1/4 tsp chili oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch pink Himalaya salt
  • 2-3 ice cubes (optional) 

  • Peel the fruit and chop into chunks.
  • Place the fruit in a blender, add coconut water and salt.
  • Blend until smooth. 
  • Add chili oil and honey. Blend again.
  • Enjoy in good company!

~ Brazil Nut Milk Recipe ~

  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 3 cups of purified water
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • Soak Brazil nuts over night in purified water. Rinse. Peel if necessary before making the milk.
  • Place nuts and purified water in a blender and blend until nuts are completely crushed and you receive a smooth milky mass.
  • Strain the milk through a clean cheese cloth.
  • Add honey. 
I like my nut milk fresh and prefer not to store it it in the fridge for longer than a day. Also, remember to soak the nuts over night. All nuts contain phytic acid. Brazil nuts even more of it than other nuts. Phytic acid may inhibit absorption of calcium and other minerals from the nuts. Soaking nuts in water helps remove the phytic acid and makes the nuts more digestible.

Wishing everyone happy experimentation with exotic ingredients - in radiant health, passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013

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