Summertime just begs for a refreshing beverage! If you’re trying to stay on the healthy side of things, this smoothie is a great option for you. It’s packed with fruits and greens, plus a sprig of mint.
Since I’m a Kentucky girl, the mention of mint automatically conjures images of mint juleps. But — aside from that tasty alcoholic beverage — mint actually has some nice health benefits that make it appealing to use in green smoothies. It has a unique ability to soothe indigestion and even ease headaches. Since it’s a natural stimulant, it can also help combat fatigue. And if you’re like me and planted a small herb garden this year, chances are that you have an overabundance of mint! This is a great way to use some of it.
This Mango & Mint Green Smoothie is a perfect summertime choice because it’s hydrating, thanks in large part to the cucumber and Romaine lettuce. Cucumbers are 95 percent water and can help rehydrate the body. They’re also a good source of B vitamins and are sometimes used as hangover cures. So if you’ve had one too many mint juleps, eat a few slices of cucumber before going to bed!
Like cucumbers, Romaine lettuce also has a high water content, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks nutritional value. Romaine lettuce contains protein, calcium and is rich in B vitamins. It’s also a good source of minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium and, as a side benefit, it’s low in calories. Romaine lettuce also has a mild flavor, so if you’re new to green smoothies it’s a good choice for you.
And now a word about mangoes: mangoes are often called a superfood or the “king of fruits,” because they’re nutritionally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also taste great and work well in smoothies because of their texture. I sometimes buy fresh mangoes when they’re on sale, and I just as often regret buying fresh mangoes because I have a terrible time getting to the fruit. I’ve read posts about the best way to peel a mango and cut out the fruit, but I always end up aggravated by the process. I’m pretty sure it’s user error. But it’s a whole lot easier for me to buy a bag of organic frozen mango chunks and they’re readily available in almost any grocery store. Fresh or frozen works equally well.
There’s no need to peel the apple for this smoothie, just wash it and core it, then cut it into chunks. As always, I recommend buying organic apples if you can because the peel contains most of the fiber and antioxidants.
Here’s what you’ll need for this Mint & Mango Green Smoothie:
1 mango, fresh or frozen, peeled and cut into chunks
2 inches of cucumber, unpeeled
1 apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 banana, fresh or frozen, peeled and cut into chunks
1 sprig of mint with the stem or 10-12 mint leaves
2-3 leaves of Romaine lettuce
1-2 cups water
Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender, starting with the water and fresh ingredients and ending with any frozen fruit and ice. Blend for 30 seconds or until you reach the consistency you desire.