Sometimes you love a drink just because you love the taste of it. Other times because it brings back some great memories. It’s even better when it can combine the two.
When it comes to this smoothie, A Little Taste of Heaven, I fell in love with it because it has the two of my favorite flavors mixed together, and it evokes the memory of waking up, gazing out over the Hollywood Hills. To me, it tastes like sunshine, heaven and the Hollywood Hills.
Fruit smoothies – the basics
The base of a fruit smoothie is usually something that makes it creamy and sweet, such as banana or mango. Some people who don’t like the flavor of banana or mango pop some avocado in there instead, to make it smooth and creamy (you only need a little bit and if you use the right amount it won’t taste like avocado).
Some prefer ice cream or sorbet, if it’s a treat, or plain ice, which when crushed, becomes smooth, if not very creamy. You can also use the meat from fresh coconuts.
Then there’s the liquid you add to make it fluid. This can be yoghurt, sour milk (for you Swedes out there!), nut milk, juice, coconut water, water, dairy milk, or cream.
Coconut milk (the kind you buy in a can, not the one you find in the milk department) and dairy cream will make it creamy, whereas almond milk, or regular milk less so.
We’ve come to the fruit flavoring – this can be any kind of frozen fruit or berries that tickle your fancy. You can add some fresh fruit and berries as well, but that will make it more liquid.
Protein is often added to smoothies in the form of nut butters or protein powder. If you want a good protein powder then try Sunnwarrior’s. It’s raw and has received some great reviews.
I don’t think I will ever like protein powders because when using them, the smoothies taste like, well, powder. Sunwarrior’s is the best I have found though, and for health and energy reasons, I sometimes add it. It makes it a more complete meal and reduces the risk of a sugar kick followed by lethargy.
Various powders are often added for health benefits – spirulina, green powders, maca, etc. They may alter the taste, so it’s up to you if you want to use them.
Now, this might sound weird, but a lot of people tend to add some coconut oil, because it fills you up and it has numerous health benefits. Lately, researchers have started looking into if it can prevent and/or, to some extent, cure Alzheimer’s disease. You can find more about the study here.
A friend of mine, who started feeding relatives suffering from the disease with coconut cream and/or coconut oil, spoke to two of his friends about it, and he saw a significant difference in those people. Of course, I’m not making any medical claims though, just sharing some of the things I’ve heard.
Sweeteners can be used if the fruit and berries you are using aren’t sweet enough for your taste. Popular sweeteners include honey (raw, sometimes Manuka), maple syrup, raw agave syrup and stevia. Stevia is a good choice because it doesn’t give you a sugar rush, nor does it add calories, but it does have a slightly strange taste.
Dates are also used as sweeteners, especially if you have a good blender that can blend them down completely. You can also add some banana to make it sweeter, but you do end up with the banana flavor in that case, whether you like it or not.
As for the blender, there are regular smoothie blenders, Ninjas, food processors and Vitamixes. I prefer the Vitamix as it leaves no lumps, no unprocessed bits. The smoothie becomes super smooth in other words (the only thing I found the Vitamix doesn’t work for is making mashed potatoes. I believe this is because it processes the potatoes so much that all the starch comes out and you end up with glue…but I think it should be OK if you are just adding a sweet potato to your smoothie, which is an excellent cooked addition to smoothies).
However, a Vitamix costs a fortune and I don’t currently have one, so I normally use my little Ninjas. For the smoothie today I used a food processor though as I’m visiting my dad over in Sweden and my set of Ninjas is in Cape Town.
A Little Taste of Heaven – tips
Now, when I used to make this, my favorite of all smoothies, in Los Angeles, I had a Vitamix. I also used almond milk as my milk of choice, not coconut milk. The result it had when I did it the other day here in Sweden using a food processor was widely different.
The smoothie in LA tasted a lot like mango and it was not half as thick as the one I ended up with in Sweden, which tasted a lot more like coconut and raspberries. In fact, it turned out almost like a creamy pudding, which was nice, but a far cry from my LA version. If you add a spoonful of chia seeds and sweeten it a bit more, you will definitively end up with a very creamy delicious pudding.
If you want it to be less creamy, use 3/4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of coconut milk instead. Or use the kind of coconut milk you buy in a carton rather than in a can, but in that case, start off with a bit less fluid than the recipe calls for to make sure it doesn’t end up too thin.
If you want to obtain my LA version, cut down on the amount of raspberries used (by at least half) and substitute almond milk for coconut milk. Start with using only 3/4 cups of almond milk and no water and see how it goes. You can always add more. You can also add a teaspoon of coconut oil if you want to, as it will keep you full longer, and it has many health benefits.
I used almond flour for this smoothie, but you can substitute that for almond butter, which will be creamier. You can also substitute it for protein powder.
Ingredients: Raspberry smoothie recipe
- 1c Coconut Milk (I used the creamy one you find in a can, not the one you buy in the milk department of most stores)
- 1/4c Water
- 1 1/2c Frozen Mango
- 1c Raspberries
- 2 tbsp Almond Flour
- 1 tsp Honey
Put all the ingredients in a blender, and blend. If you think the consistency is too thick, just add more water. You can add more sweeteners as well, if you like it a bit sweeter, which will also help bring out the other flavors in a nice way.
Of course, you can always use more mango and less raspberries should you decide to have a more predominant taste of mango.
There you have it! You now have the recipe to a healthy, sweet and tasty smoothie, that can make your day.