New Ingredients Power Up Smoothies

Smoothies are a weekend staple in my home. Suitable as a fresh foil to January’s endless roasts and soups, they also make a perfect interlude on a warm summer afternoon. Quick to prepare, refreshing and satisfying, smoothies are like soup – you can toss in the kitchen sink and culinary odds and ends find new life. My kids loved the sweeter smoothies (Pitaya Power, Almond Butter Cookie, Sweet Potato Pie) while the adults preferred the more savory versions (Iron Giant and A Taste of the Tropics).   And that handful of leftover spinach or chunk of tofu or wedge of potato, ended up eaten, instead of tossed. Bonus!

For this go-round, I worked with a few new ingredients: Pitaya (also known as dragonfruit), Älsa, a premiuim energy drink mix, and Moringa, a leafy green vegetable more nutritious than kale. Here are the results.


Directions: add to the blender in the order listed, then whirl until smooth. Serves two adults.


Pitaya Power

Dragonfruit is high in magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. Piataya Plus sells smoothie-sized 4-packs (3.5 ounces each) that are the perfect size for small-batch blending. Älsa, a delicately flavored drink mix, reimagines the energy drink concept; add to water for instant hydration and energy. In this smoothie, Älsa adds depth to this fruit-centric pick-me-up.

Pitaya Plus Smoothie

Pitaya Plus Smoothie









1 – 3.5 ounce Pitaya Pack

1 banana

4 ounces tofu

½ cup mango

1 dragonfruit flavored Älsa mixed with 16 ounces unsweetened almond milk

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)

Fresh mango slice garnish


Iron Giant

Both Moringa and spinach are packed with iron. If the taste of this smoothie is too strong, or your body needs a bit less iron, leave out the spinach. This not too sweet smoothie can be made the night before and enjoyed at breakfast. It will keep you full all morning.

Moringa Smoothie

Love the green smoothie!








2 bananas

8 ounces tofu

1 ½ cups pomegranate juice

¼-½ tsp. ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 4-ounce package moringa

Large handful of fresh spinach leaves

Lemon wheel garnish


Almond Butter Cookie

This sweet, thick shake is a gluten-free riff on the classic peanut butter cookie: salty, sweet and chewy.

Oat flour smoothie

Thick as a shake smoothie









1/3 cup almond butter

1/3 cup oat flour

1/3 cup (4 ounces) tofu

¼ tsp. salt

1 banana

1/3 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 dates, pitted


A Taste of the Tropics

Leftover coconut manna from a cake project I worked on this autumn found its way into this dessert-inspired, very refreshing drink.

Pitaya Smoothie 2

Dragonfruit smoothie








1 – 3.5 ounce Pitaya Pack

2 bananas

½ cup coconut manna or unsweetened coconut meat

1 cup coconut water

¼ cup macadamia nuts



Sweet Potato Pie

As in sweet potato pie, leftover sweet potato – with skin! – adds beautiful creaminess to smoothies.

½ cooked sweet potato with skin (about 1 cup)

¼ cup coconut manna

1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground clove



For more information on these ingredients: