The year was 2002 and I had just turned 18. (If you can handle simple maths, I just about divulged my age). Yep, the clock turned 30 +1 somewhere.. I realize I’ve never felt more comfortable and happier with who I am than I do now. Part of it is because I feel healthy. I am no longer on meds or in chronic pain, and when you physically feel well or regain your health after having lost it for a while… you’re on a “natural high”. The truth is so many of us take our health for granted. I will never be one of those people again. So let’s turn back the clock to way back then (not that long ago, really) & talk about food obsessions that inspired this recipe.
Moving to Toronto meant being introduced to “international cuisine galore”. I had never experienced this degree of multiculturalism; Toronto is truly a slice of the world. I had also never tried Indian food and the first time I did; it was one of the best days, ever…. It’s so rich & packed with fragrant spices (that literally make you inhale deeply & come to an abrupt stop and enter the shop) plus they have some of the best vegetarian dishes in the world- in my humble opinion. My university had more than enough places to pick where to eat, in fact- it reminded me of a “mall-type environment”. There was even a student mall called “York Lanes”, and the lanes were packed with, you guessed it, mostly food. One such place was called “Indian Flavours” yes, in Canada we insert a “u” in Flavors. And in a bunch of other words, too.
I think it’s pretty safe to say I ate in “Indian Flavours” every other day. One of my favorite menu items was their mango lassi. Sweet, dense & incredibly refreshing. Just perfect. I loved it after every meal, because I just need to end my meals on a sweet note- and I still do to this day. When I visited my family last month, I came across some of the best mangoes in the world. So I naturally had to get my mom’s blender out & test some smoothies. I tested this one on my sister & she loved taking it to work. I can only describe it as “drinking fruit turned dessert”. But wait- sans the spoonfuls of white refined sugar usually hidden in this drink or any other yucky additives. Just beautifully ripe mangoes, coconut yogurt, a frozen banana, & some flaxseed oil. It’s literally that easy. And THAT good.
Can’t find dairy free coconut yogurt? Let’s talk greek yogurt… I had to share this piece of info with you. The more I read and talk to lactose intolerant people, I am surprised to hear about how most of them can tolerate yogurt. How’s it possible? Well, the bacterial cultures in yogurt help break down the lactose & make it far easier for you to digest than your average glass of milk. I tolerate it very well, but always remember; we’re all different and my experiences are not universal.
- 1.5 cups of fresh mango chunks
- 1 ripe frozen banana (sliced)
- 1 cup of coconut yogurt or plain greek yogurt (for a sweeter tinge, try vanilla coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup of almond milk *carrageenan free
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil
- 1 tbsp of raw honey (for a sweeter drink, completely optional)
Throw them all into a blender & blend on high for at least 15-20 seconds. For a thicker smoothie, add a little ice. Enjoy with your eyes closed & pretend you’re somewhere else…
Pssst… ingredient ratios are tested multiple times. I get asked this often and I usually try different ratios (in this case mango to yogurt) at least 2 times before deciding on what tastes best. You should also know every single recipe gets tested on someone, too. True story. And then it gets published and shared with you all. 🙂