Friday, February 03, 2006

Feelin' Fruity: Part IV Mango Tango Smoothie

*Just Braise has moved. Please visit me at!*

Just when I mention the winter ocean picking up the slack for the things we crave, I desire the joys of summer. With one mango to my name and a handful of blackberries, what else is there, but a delicious smoothie?

I am not talking about that slick electronic “BlackBerry,” I happily do not own and is the joy (and misery) of lawyers across the nation. The blackberry I speak of is plucked from the bush. They turn your clean hands a royal purple and are a sweet and pleasant fruit.

Native to many parts of the world, the blackberries we consume today have been used for over 2,000 years in medicinal and culinary purposes. Their thorny branches are also a tasty way to keep intruders away, though your delicious bush may be plucked clean, the thief will easily be caught purple-handed. The berry was once crushed and used as ink (forget the dog, I might eat my own homework). Today, amidst other disease research, blackberry tannins are being studied for their role in fighting cancer.

While in Latvia, my cousins mixed blackberry juice (as well as current juice, orange juice and vodka—or combination of all) with Balsam—their claim to a quick fix of whatever ails a person: from upset stomach; to hangover; to liver damage. I will say this combination was rather revolting, but alone, blackberry juice was thick and delicious. I have yet to find it in the United States, but maybe my search has not reached far enough.

Though I would not add balsam to this smoothie, a little banana never hurt the texture or flavor…

Makes 2 smoothies. Prep time= 8 minutes. Use a hand-held or stationary blender.
* 15-20 blackberries
* 1 ripe mango (for peeling suggestions go here)
* 1 ripe banana
* ¼ cup plain yogurt (vanilla, low-fat, no-fat, regular or soy options work too)
* ½ cup orange juice

1) Place all ingredients in blender. Blend and serve.

Other smoothie options:
Berry Merry Smoothie
Apricot-Mango Smoothie
Berry-Banana Smoothie

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