Having just moved back to L.A, I'm basking in the extraordinary variety of fresh local produce on offer at the various farmer’s markets in town. I'd forgotten how exquisite the fruits and vegetables are here. And, it is so lovely to be back in the loving embrace of my sacred circle of friends out here.
When I lived in L.A while I was a college student at UCLA I scoffed more than my fair share of fresh fruit as I was touring the various markets. I am determined to deliver an encore performance during my return season!
The markets out here are feasts for the senses, and provide endless inspiration for story-telling in the kitchen. I picked up some gorgeous plump ripe mangoes and was compelled to recreate the mango coconut smoothie I devoured at my favorite smoothie bar in Kauai about 8 years ago.
I've fortified this green smoothie with radish greens. The tops of red radishes are surprisingly mild in flavor and the tops of one bunch of radishes (about 1 cup) goes into most smoothies containing sweet fruits undetected.
Radish greens are not sold separately, so rage on with the roots in salads and throw the greens into your shakes. The leaves are usually covered in soil, so wash them thoroughly to avoid a gritty mouthfeel or a glass full of dirt. Radish greens are chock-full of vitamins A, C, and K, protein, and minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium to purify the blood; boost bone, kidney, and heart health; and keep our skin, hair, and nails looking gorgeous.
But, the magic flavorful ingredient in this blend is the cardamom which adds an exquisite flavor to smoothies. This sweet camphor-like crusader does like to be the star and she can easily overwhelm other ingredients even when used in tiny amounts. I start with a pinch and find that 1/8 or a 1/4 of a teaspoon usually strikes a nice balance. Cardamom is exquisite paired with rose water, yogurt, milk, and banana; and is mindblowing with peach, apricot, berries, pear, coconut, and mango. It's also spectacular as part of a chai-spice blend with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
Enjoy this blend while I head off to experiment with the other 55 fruits on offer at the market today. Look out California fresh produce....my blender carriage is a’comin!
Find more delicious smoothie recipes in The Blender Girl Smoothies app.
*Probiotic Powder - I add 1/2 teaspoon of probiotic powder to all smoothies to replenish stores of healthy bacteria for immunity, digestion, detox, and to balance the acidic effects of high-sugar fruits and other sweeteners. The really potent probiotics require refrigeration. If you have capsules, break the shell and release the powder. Unsweetened probiotic-rich liquids like kefirs (water, coconut water, milk varieties) or kombucha make wonderful health-promoting additions to shakes, too.
*Celtic Sea Salt - I add a pinch (or more) of this alkalizing, mineral-rich salt to all smoothies to boost the natural flavor of fruits and veggies; temper the acidity of sweet fruits and sweeteners; stimulate the lymphatic system; replenish electrolytes; aid digestion; and help the body access energy. I do not recommend adding common table salt which is generally heated to extreme temperatures, iodized, bleached, processed, and refined. This salt does not have the same benefits. If you have a health condition that requires you to limit your sodium intake consult your doctor before adding salt to your smoothies.