The last few days, or even weeks, have at times made me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation. The air just holds that feeling of warmth and humidity with a slight breeze. I can almost see a palm tree in front of me, with its palms gently blowing in the wind. Almost.
Can you tell I’ve been wanting a vacation? It must be the increased sunshine, fans, tank tops, flip flops and smoothies that are all making me think of places far more tropical and exciting than Illinois. However, you work with what you’ve got, right? Well, what I’ve got is a fridge full of delicious, mouth-watering fruit.
Strawberries burst back into season at this time of year, which means I’ve had at least one container of them at all times. Asparagus is also back in season, along with grapefruit, blackberries and fresh green beans. These are all local produce that naturally grow at this time of year, meaning our bodies are meant to indulge in them. I find that my body has actually been craving berries and citrus! These foods detox the body, which is vital when helping it convert from heavy winter foods to light summer foods.
Around here though, it’s hard to remember whether it’s spring or summer. There are some pools even opening this weekend because of this hot spell we’re in right now! SPools! Swimming! Summer! So I’ve sort of worked ahead with my fruits, finding mangoes and papayas on sale at Whole Foods. Even Aldi was selling papaya! These are more summer fruits, but they help cool the body off, and that’s what I needed on near-90-degree days without air conditioning. I refuse to turn that on already.
When I vacationed in Costa Rica many years ago, I fell in love with mango and papaya. I found them so juicy, so sweet, so tropical. Whenever I indulge in them now, it takes me right back to that incredible vacation surrounded by rainforest. It’s not quite the same, but it’s something.
Now I know that they’re also packed with nutrients! Mango is known for its super high vitamin C content, along with a high amount of vitamin A, and tons of other vitamins and minerals. Papaya has even more vitamin C and vitamin A, and high amounts of potassium and folate. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which is mostly why I buy it whenever it’s on sale!
If you can find them at your grocery store, this combination is magical.
What food takes you back to a vacation or other fond memory?
Mango Papaya Green Smoothie
1/2 cup mango, chopped
1/2 cup papaya, cubed
1 full stem of kale, chopped
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup coconut water
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon aloe vera juice
1 teaspoon honey
Place all of your ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary. Sip through a straw and enjoy!
~This blog is in honor of a friend of mine who passed away this week. While I drink staycation smoothies, he traveled the world, never giving in for anything but his dreams. You were an inspiration, Adil.~