Mango fruit smoothie

A visit to a Gauguin exhibit on a chilly day inspired a tropical fruit smoothie.

The Rowdy Chowgirl
A fruit smoothie with mango, banana, orange, and coconut milk.

We met at the Seattle Art Museum on a Saturday morning last month, my friend Cindy and I, to see the Gauguin exhibition. It may have been only a few days short of spring, but you wouldn’t have known it. Just as I was parking, huge, fat flakes of snow started falling. As I rushed toward the museum, I pulled my hood forward over my face and the wet, sleety snow plastered the front of my coat and pants.

Once safe and dry inside, we marveled at the swirling snow outside the tall windows. Museum staff broke into Christmas carols and chattered hopefully about maybe, just maybe, getting to go home early if the snow kept up.

Inside the warm, windowless galleries of the exhibition, the only weather was created by Gauguin’s glowing paintings of Tahiti. The tropical scenes of beaches, fruit, and bathing women exuded warmth and light. The deep, saturated colors were in sharp contrast with the grey and white world just outside.

By the time we left the museum, the snow had disappeared, leaving an ordinary, cold, windy March day. I’d have been happy to leave this dreary weather behind for a few weeks in Tahiti.  But I had to console myself with a tropical fruit smoothie that tastes of sunshine.

So throw some fruit in the blender, and imagine yourself lying in a lounge chair, one foot dangling off the side, toes digging into the soft sand. A warm, salty breeze wafts over you, and the sound of the surf lulls you into dropping your book and closing your heavy eyelids for just a moment.

The easiest way to make this smoothie is with pre-cut, frozen bags of fruit. Take what you need, and leave the rest in the freezer for next time the urge for a taste of summer hits. It is refreshing, nutritious, and the perfect fuel for tropical dreams. You can substitute grapefruit for the orange, add a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt if you’re feeling frisky, or even a handful of finely chopped kale if you’re feeling particularly virtuous.

Tahitian Smoothie
Serves 2 

1 banana, sliced
1 cup mango chunks
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon ground flax seed

Combine all ingredients in blender, or use immersion blender to blend until smooth.  

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