Smoothie-making is a ritual in the Yoga Girl® kitchen. They’re usually sweet, but today I made one with a little kick!
I just love smoothies. They're easy, nutritious, filling, and there are about a gazillion ways to create them. What's not to love??
I usually make huge batches in the mornings so that there is enough for everyone who passes by. Most mornings, our kitchen is full of hungry friends and family.
If I have a morning yoga class to teach, a busy day of meetings (or just keeping up with my toddler!), I make my smoothie to go by pouring it into a Mason jar and putting a lid on top. There are dozens of brands that make Mason jar lids, if you’re interested in buying some for your own mornings on the run! Mine are from Cuppow.
I believe there are two types of smoothie-drinkers in the world: those who research and save recipes, buying the exact ingredients for those recipes and measuring carefully...and those who look around their kitchen and wing it.
I’m of the latter breed. I’m not really a planner and prefer spontaneity - it’s much more exciting! So instead of pre-planned recipes, I scan my kitchen and then throw together variations of fruits, greens, vegetables, liquids, nuts and superfoods that I feel might work well together.
I have learned that there is a key to winging it with smoothies, though: always have a good base. Some base options are banana, avocado or mango. I keep sliced bananas in the freezer at all times since frozen bananas make for a creamier, sweeter smoothie, and you won’t need to use much ice if you want your smoothie to stay cold.
Time-saver tip: peel the bananas before you freeze them!
With banana as my base, I usually decide which direction I’m going: green, chocolate, tropical, berry… Then I grab the ingredients that match the theme the best. A tropical smoothie does NOT go well with cacao, for instance!
I love to experiment with different ingredients, but I try to stay within the realm of my selected theme. Sometimes the result is a little crazy (ask Dennis about my leftover salad smoothies…) but most of the time they turn out deliciously, and I end up with a brand new recipe to share with you!
This one, my Spicy Raspberry Smoothie, is the result of one such experiment.
I was going about my usual morning: wake up, take a look around the kitchen, and go from there - when I noticed an entire papaya in the fridge. My husband absolutely can’t stand the taste of papaya (I don’t get it – it’s so delicious!), so I decided to use what I could: the papaya seeds.
Have you ever had papaya seeds? Or do you usually throw them out? Well, don’t! They’re super good for you! Papaya seeds are:
high in enzymes and are used in some countries (like Costa Rica, where I used to live) to fight parasites and amoebas
high in protein and calcium
You can throw a few seeds into a smoothie or toast them for a crunchy salad topper. You can even grind them up and use them like pepper, or eat them just as they are.
For this specific smoothie, I used a couple of tablespoons of the seeds. Be sure to taste as you go so you don’t use more than necessary. I love how the seeds provided just enough of a kick to make this recipe interesting, and the taste worked super well with the cooling tartness of the raspberries.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
The Yoga Girl® Kitchen - Spicy Raspberry Smoothie
2 ripe, speckled bananas (fresh, or peeled and frozen overnight)
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup papaya (sneak it in without the papaya-haters knowing!)
Coconut water, enough to get the blender going
3 tbsp papaya seeds
Ice, if needed
Throw it all into your blender.
Taste test for spiciness and thickness, adding more coconut water and/or papaya seeds as needed.
If you’re not a fan of raspberries, you can substitute them with any kind of frozen berry you like - just make sure they’re organic and unsweetened!
And if you also get hungry friends showing up in your kitchen in the mornings, you can easily double this recipe.
__Let me know how you like those spicy papaya seeds! Comment below! __
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