With temperatures dipping well below zero in Wisconsin, along with record breaking snowfalls, I decided to take a tropical vacation. Not a ‘real’ tropical vacation but the tropical ‘smoothie’ kind of tropical vacation. Fresh fruit-mango, banana, and pineapple team up with coconut milk in this creamy smoothie. This tropical smoothie will make you feel like you should be relaxing on a South Florida beach.
How to Cube a Mango
This will walk you through the few steps it takes to cube a mango. Begin with the peel on. Stand the mango up to that the stem end points toward you. With a sharp knife, cut straight down about an inch to one side of the stem, just grazing the side of the pit. Repeat on the other side of the fruit. Peel and trim the fruit left around the pit. Then, carefully score the cut side of the mango in a crisscross pattern through the flesh just down to the peel.
Bend the peel back and turn the scored mango inside out, and cubes of fruit should pop forward. Cur across the bottom, next to the peel, to remove the cubes. The mango is now ready to enjoy as is, add to smoothies or add to fruit salads. You can now purchase cubed mango and pineapple chunks in the produce department of most grocery stores, making smoothie ‘making’ easier than ever.
I like to add a handful of cubed sweet potatoes to my smoothies as well as fruit. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C and are available year round. Over the years I have become very fond of sweet potatoes, preferring them over a russet potato. I like to serve baked sweet potatoes instead of baked potatoes with meals. I love baked potatoes but by the time you get done putting on the butter, sour cream, bacon and chopped chives, they aren’t so lo-cal anymore. That’s why I make baked sweet potatoes, a little butter goes a long way.
For most smoothies, one cup of cubed, par-boiled sweet potatoes is all that is really needed. This equals out to about half of a large sweet potato. You can certainly add more or less sweet potatoes if you wish. To add sweet potatoes to smoothies, I first peel the sweet potato, then cube and rinse under cold running water. Parboil the sweet potato cubes in boiling water until fork tender. Drain and rinse again under cold running water. Sweet potatoes can be used in smoothies or placed in a plastic bag and frozen until needed.
Parboil or Blanch?
Parboil means to partially cook food by boiling it briefly in water. This time-saving technique is used in particular for dense foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes etc. If parboiled, they can be added at the last minute with quick-cooking foods or added to smoothies for easy blending. Blanch means to plunge fruits or vegetables into boiling water briefly, then into cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanching is used to firm the flesh, to loosen the skins (peaches, tomatoes) and to heighten and set color and flavor, (as with vegetables before freezing).
This recipe uses a packaged, pre-made fruit and vegetable blend. Fruit Veggie Smoothie.
- 2 ripe bananas, cut in thirds
- 2 medium mango, cubed
- 2 cups cubed, fresh pineapple
- 1 or 2 cups parboiled, cubed sweet potato
- 1 or 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk, chilled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey, optional
- Arrange bananas, mango, pineapple and sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Place in freezer for 30 minutes* or until frozen solid.
- *This step can be done ahead of time. Combine all ingredients after frozen in a large freezer baggie. Continue with processing direcctions*
- Process frozen fruit, sweet potatoes, pineapple juice, coconut milk, lime juice and honey if using, in a blender until thick and smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Serve immediately.
For this recipe we used Thai Kitchen light coconut milk.