Today’s breakfast was a refreshing flavor treat of creamy, luscious papaya. I added tangerine, coconut milk, and strawberries for a WOW! Intensely luscious smoothie! Look for the healthy organic or non-GMO papaya with real seeds, as many papayas are genetically modified. This papaya milkshake tastes like the papaya “batido” beverages I used to buy on the street in Mexico, except those are usually made with (uh oh!) sweetened evaporated milk and sugar! I love the tantalizing tropical taste of papaya, as it has a relatively low sugar content. Yay! You’ll notice this recipe uses non-dairy milk and low sugar fruits. Papaya offers many health benefits, including the digestive enzyme, papain, that supports the intestines, stomach, and pancreas. A rich source of antioxidants such as carotenes, vitamin C, and flavonoids, papaya is also high in B vitamins, folate, and pantothenic acid. Together, these nutrients promote cardiovascular health and protect against colon cancer. Oh, but this smoothie is all about the flavor!
Here are 8 tips for making the best smoothies!
- Drink smoothies anytime, breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. I have one every day.
- Use low sugar fruits and veggies for stable blood sugar. Tart fruits like blueberries, raspberries, grapefruit, kiwi, Granny Smith apples, and bit of lemon or lime, qualify as low-sugar fruits. Skip the sweet fruits such as pineapples, mangos, bananas, and grapes. They’ll give you a brief blood sugar ride followed by a crash, and set up a metabolic cycle that has to be fed with – you guessed it – more sugar. This pattern invites diabetes, obesity, and aging.
- Look for organic, non-GMO papayas. (Did you know that most papayas are genetically modified?)
- Drink smoothies at room temperature or warmer, so they’re digested well. The stomach can’t digest cold food. Your body has to warm it to 98.6° F. in order to break it down into molecular nutrient bits. So I don’t recommend ice in smoothies. I prefer to make them with lukewarm filtered water. Try it!
- Drink slowly, savor every sip. “Chew” your drink to mix it with digestive juices in the mouth. Gulping it down blocks digestion, and you’ll miss the enjoyment of the flavor.
- Drink smoothies immediately for maximum nutrient benefit and optimum life force. Drink it now, rather than saving it for later. Smoothies oxidize and lose nutrient value quickly.
- Vary your smoothie ingredients every day, so your body and digestion always get a surprise to wake up! Eating the same thing day after day invites food intolerances.
- Be inventive, make changes, add optional ingredients like cucumber, parsley, almond butter, protein powder, Vitamin C crystals, or berries. Try this basic recipe, and experiment with your own additions! Serves 2.
- 1/2 papaya
- Zest of one tangerine (orange is yummy too!)
- 2 tangerines, peeled and seeded (or orange)
- 1 cup thick, full-fat coconut milk (I used Native Forest Organic Coconut Cream Premium), or the entire contents of 1 young coconut including pulp and water.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped
- A few tablespoons filtered water, if it's too thick to pour
- Handful strawberries
- 1/4 cup protein powder
- Dash vanilla
- 1 tablespoon Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1/2 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2 teaspoons raw honey, or your favorite sweetener. (I don't think you'll need sweetener.)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Add a bit if water if needed to pour. Drink.