Happy spring! Happy Easter! Happy sunshine, happy blooming flowers, happy chirping birds, happy sprouting seeds. It’s a happy time of year, a time for breathing in that fresh air, stretching those legs, planting that garden, and celebrating life.
Springtime always evokes in me a desire to eat cleanly and cleanse my body from all the heavy comfort foods of winter. I get excited for all the vegetables and fruits to grow and ripen in the next several months, and vow to take full advantage. In the midst of this inspired mood, though, is Easter and all its sweet temptations.
This year we decided to have a low-key brunch with our “neighborhood family.” Lots of yummy indulgent food was planned, prepared, shared and eaten. And although we try to avoid the highly processed Easter candy, it somehow sneaks its way into our house and we are left to fall to its seductions. Needless to say I (and probably everyone but I’ll speak for myself ;) indulged too much over the course of the day and went to bed feeling like a stuffed roly-poly.
It was the most fun Easter I’ve had since I was a wee little egg hunter at Grandma’s house though, and I do not regret a single moment or bite of chocolate cake. The day started with licking my chocolate torte batter from the bowl and ended by plopping into bed, exhausted like a child who played outside all day long. In between there was lots of cooking, brunch enjoying, hiding easter eggs in the woods, a walk on the farm which ended in an long dog chase, and yard games and honey wine up on “the hill.” Most importantly, it was all in wonderful company.
Yesterday’s sunshine and sugar high left my sister and I feeling the strong need for a more cleansing diet this morning when we woke up (keep bringing on the sunshine, though!). My mind went straight to the vibrant smoothie I’ve been enjoying lately: orange – mango – spinach – yogurt. There’s nothing secret to this smoothie and I’m sure it’s been done before. I was simply inspired by all the yummy mango smoothies I had in southeast Asia (just about daily), particularly on an island off Cambodia called Koh Rong. On this very little developed and electricity-scarce island, there was a woman who set up shop on the beach/road (the beach was the road–there were no cars) armed with a blender, sweet milk, and every tropical fruit you can imagine. Tell her what combination of fruits you want and she will slice them up, blend them with ice & sweet milk, and sell them to you for $1. How anyone can peel and slice up and entire mango in 7 seconds is beyond me. But anyway, one day I was feeling frisky and decided to vary from my regular mango smoothie with the addition of orange. I was hooked. Mango can sometimes be too sweet on its own, but the orange gives a little citrusy sour bite to contrast while keeping with the smoothie’s bright and sunny taste. I wanted to ask the Cambodian woman if she had any spinach to throw in, but I’m pretty sure she would have called me crazy.
And that’s where this smoothie was born. Besides tasting like a cup of sunshine, it’s filling and super energizing. Creamy, sweet and tangy. Perfect for a spring diet cleanse, perfect for that Easter candy hangover…..
- 1/2 orange (preferably blood or cara cara), peeled + chopped into a couple chunks
- 1/2 mango, peeled + chopped into a few chunks
- few chunks frozen banana (about 1/3 of a banana) *optional
- large handful spinach (I use a blend of baby spinach, kale + chard)
- 3-4 T plain yogurt
- splash of almond milk
- 2-3 ice cubes
Blend and enjoy. A NutriBullet works great for this :)
Happy spring everyone. Go outside and soak it up!!
*This post is shared on gluten free fridays!