Recently, on a trip to Whole Foods, I tried an amazing smoothie. I had it after a morning run and it was refreshing, a little spicy, and (supposedly) good for my health. This delicious beverage had mango, pineapple, coconut water, and cayenne pepper and I was intrigued by the benefits of the ingredients.
The health benefits of coconut water after exercise may be a bit exaggerated, according to many sources, but it is undeniable that it does contain some beneficial nutrients, such as potassium, which is great for muscle recovery. Ever get cramps in your legs or feet? I’ve fallen victim to them since my days of swimming and I know to eat bananas and potatoes for potassium. But now I can add coconut water to that list!
But there’s one major problem: coconut water tastes like feet. I bought some a while back and popped open the can, excited to try it. It was disgusting. I poured the rest in a jar and stuck it in my fridge, unsure when I’d ever use it again. But after trying the smoothie at Whole Foods, I knew that I could mask the foot taste and still get the health benefits.
Another cool ingredient in the smoothie I had was the cayenne pepper. I love spice and cayenne pepper has some pretty good health benefits as well. It aids in digestion, helps boost your metabolism, and has a good amount of vitamin A. Cayenne pepper is also beneficial to your heart health, cholesterol, and blood triglyceride levels. Many sources, including one of my favorites, recommend sprinkling a little cayenne pepper on your food every day to get the benefits. The recommended 2 tsp is a LOT of spice and I don’t get nearly that much, but I figure something is better than nothing!
So, using the ingredients in my freezer and fridge, I concocted my own version of the Whole Foods smoothie and it was the perfect beverage to enjoy after a lovely 3 mile run this morning… cold, a little spicy, and packed with good-for-me stuff!
My Tropical Spice Smoothie (serves 1)
1 cup young coconut water
1/2 medium mango, frozen
1 banana, frozen
1/8 tsp cayenne (add more for more spice)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Make sure the fruits are thoroughly frozen (at least frozen overnight) because this will make your smoothie incredibly creamy even though there’s no yogurt! Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!