Monday, November 3, 2014

Tropical Smoothie

Nothing is as easy or pleasing as a smoothie poured right out of your blender! Any combination of fruits, juices, nondairy milks, sweeteners, and flavorings, not to mentions greens, chia seed, or flax seed somehow magically combine to yield delicious drinks that can be part of a meal, an entire meal, or a healthy snack. The "Tropical Smoothie" (page 529) reminded me of a PiƱa Colada (minus the rum), combining the flavors of mango, pineapple, and coconut (a cherry on top would have been a great finishing touch!). The mango was fresh, sliced right off the core and into the blender; the pineapple came from a combination of fresh chunks and canned juice; and the recipe called for one cup coconut milk, but I avoid this product due to the high fat, and high saturated fat content, so instead I used an equal amount of soymilk with ½ teaspoon coconut extract added for flavor. Even lowfat coconut milk, which this recipe calls for, contains 16 grams of fat (12 grams of which are saturated fat) and 180 calories, versus soymilk which contains only 4 grams of fat (0.5 saturated) and 81 calories. This made a full blender of drink, enough to serve 2-4, per the recipe, and my husband and I managed to drink it all in one sitting!

Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:

  • Technically, no changes are necessary to keep this McDougall Friendly, but coconut milk contains a huge amount of saturated fat, so I opted to use soymilk with ½ teaspoon of coconut extract for flavor. This worked exceptionally well! By the way - were you to use full fat coconut milk, you would have been adding 57 grams of fat (51 grams of which are saturated fat), and 552 calories!


  1. WOW that's a lot of fat! It looks great and it must have been especially yummy with the fresh fruit. I love the coconut taste, but I avoid coconut oil/milk now. Your substitute of coconut extract and soymilk is something I've tried in Indian curries. It sounds like it would be perfect in a smoothie, but I haven't been happy with it in curries. Have you tried it that way? Lately I've been just sticking with curries with a tomato-based sauce.

    1. It is truly amazing how much fat there is in coconut milk, even in the lite variety, but especially in the full-fat. Scary! I have used soymilk flavored with coconut extract for some curry type dishes (see: Chickpea Vegetable Curry , Curried Pumpkin Soup, and Mulligatawny Soup ) and also some non-curry dishes (see: Springtime Rice Noodles with Coconut Creme, Jamaican Red Bean Stew and Chilled Carrot Soup). This works out better in some dishes than others, I think it's just personal preference. The curry dishes do seem to ask for the thicker, creamier consistency of actual coconut milk, but smoothies are a perfect place for this substitution, the flavors all blend so harmoniously and smoothies are already thick (or can be if you make them that way).

      I tried to make the references to the recipes above into links, but I guess that doesn't work in the comments section. But, you can do a search on these on the blog if you are interested in checking them out.