If it isn’t clear yet, I am desperately clinging on to the last few days of summer by making whatever summery foods I can. Today was no exception.
Here in Mandeville, it was a rather hot day and I needed to cool down with something refreshing. I decided to go with my watermelon smoothie recipe which I make from time to time, but never the same way; i always add something new or substitute an ingredient, it all depends on my mood. Today was was feeling spicy!
Natural juices have a special place in my heart, they are the only beverages I drink besides teas, the occasional cup or coffee, milk (of any kind) and of course water. I think its because the discovery of making my own natural juices marked the end of me consuming sugary drinks like sodas and juice from concentrate and subsequently led me to a healthier lifestyle… It was the first step I made into ‘healthville’ I suppose.
When I’m making juices, I choose the best ingredients I can find, often these are organic and farm fresh. They have got to be super ripe in the case of fruits like bananas and super fresh in the case of vegetables like kale. Ripe fruits add that sweetness and fresh veges ensure that the flavours are clean and come through effortlessly. A natural juice is not like a cooked meal, there isn’t much tweaking you can do to enhance flavour so quality ingredients are very important.
My watermelon supply is almost always from some family member or the other in St. Elizabeth who sends a couple melons or more at a time to us (we are so grateful, we love watermelon).
Soon enough we will be able to pick watermelons from our vine in the back yard, but right now the plant is still too young to even think about blossoming.
So you may be wondering what’s the kick in this recipe, well wonder no more. I give you, bird pepper:
I don’t know the correct name for this pepper, it may or may not be a chili of sorts but here in Jamaica we call this little firecracker, bird pepper. Probably because birdies are keen to come nibbling on them. I use them in marinades for meats, I dry them and use them in Mexican inspired dishes and now here they are in my watermelon smoothie! If you can’t access bird peppers, chilis, de-seeded will work just fine in this recipe.
This recipe also calls for banana (frozen), to add sweetness, strawberries (frozen) which is optional (I don’t always add these), yogurt or almond milk, ginger and fresh mint. The almond milk or yogurt acts as a cooling element to combat the firey ginger and pepper and the mint brightens it all up. It really is the perfect summer drink.
Check out the recipe below!
The perfect summer drink; refreshing, spicy and healthy! INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups fresh, sweet watermelon, cubed and de-seeded 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, optional 1/2 frozen over-riped banana 1/2 cup cold almond milk or 3 tablespoons yogurt + 1/4 cup water 1 small knob of ginger, chopped 1/2 a bird pepper or 1 chili, de-seeded and chopped 5 mint leaves, plus more for garnish Ice cubes, as needed INSTRUCTIONS I hope you shine today!
Watermelon Smoothie, With a Kick!
The perfect summer drink; refreshing, spicy and healthy!
1 1/2 cups fresh, sweet watermelon, cubed and de-seeded
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, optional
1/2 frozen over-riped banana
1/2 cup cold almond milk or 3 tablespoons yogurt + 1/4 cup water
1 small knob of ginger, chopped
1/2 a bird pepper or 1 chili, de-seeded and chopped
5 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
Ice cubes, as needed
I hope you shine today!