Look at the sunny color of this Sour Mango Smoothie: it’s pretty much impossible to be in a bad mood looking at this sucker, even if it is a million degrees in my kitchen lately.
Admittedly, that’s a sliiiight exaggeration, but given that I live in arguably one of the sunniest places on the continent and I don’t have any a/c in my kitchen… it feels somewhat accurate. Now, I’m pretty sure this is the first smoothie to ever make its way onto the site, because honestly, it took me a long time to come around to this whole drinkable-food thing.
The first reason for that was just my own personal dislike of thick juices and drinks in general. Honestly, 99% of the beverages I consume are water, tea and wine. Not necessarily in that order. I was that weirdo kid that didn’t like juice drinks because they felt like they coated my teeth and that skeeved me out. So it took me a while to get past the texture issues there.
The second reason is that when I first came across the juice-and-pureed-drinks craze, it was in the context of using them to substitute for meals. And that odd diet / cleanse mentality never sat right with me, as someone who used to compulsively cut calories and over exercise in a former life.
So it took me some years to find a head space where a smoothie made sense to me, from both experiential and personal-sanity perspectives.
These days I give zero fucks about calories, macros or self flagellation, but I still wasn’t so sure about this whole smoothie thing. Until it hit well over 100 F in my kitchen and all of a sudden, something cold, refreshing and fruity suddenly sounded like it would hit the freaking spot. Bonus points for not requiring me to turn on a single heat source, either. (A quick note: I still don’t believe that smoothies should take the place of meals and if you’re looking for a guide to smarter smoothies that won’t tank your blood sugar, I highly recommend this guide from Beth at Tasty Yummies.)
As we make our way further into summer and its apparent desire to fry me alive in my own home, I’ve been craving lighter, less carby kinds of meals and the bounty of seasonal fruits hitting the markets lately. (Which I find amusing, since I used to be a self avowed avoider of fruit). So I’ve been over purchasing fruit like you wouldn’t believe, because it all looks so freaking good right now.
My latest impulse buy was a few too many ataulfo / champagne mangoes, which I promptly took home and then let them hang out on my counter until I figured out what to do with them.
At first I thought I’d freeze them and make them into my three ingredient Mango Sorbet with Mint, but I was in the mood for something a little different. Then I got myself thinking about the sour, spiced & salted seasoning blend I used the other day on my Summer Fruit Salad. The key ingredient in that — the one that gave it the satisfying sour element — was amchur.
If you haven’t heard of it before, amchur is the ground powder of green (unripe) mangoes. I’m mostly familiar with it through its use as a souring ingredient in savory Indian dishes such as curries and chutneys. You can find it inexpensively in international or Indian markets. If you don’t have access to those, you can also find it online. If you’re looking for a quick guide to using amchur, Food52 has you covered here.
But after successfully using it as a seasoning for that fruit salad, I knew how the tanginess of amchur can really elevate the natural sweetness of fruits. So I got thinking: how about bringing that sour mango flavor to fresh mango? It sounds counter intuitive to pair mango-based seasoning with ripe mangoes, but it really works: the sweetness of the fresh fruit gets a puckery kick in the proverbial when laced with its sour-faced cousin.
So, this Sour Mango Smoothie started off with the idea of a fresh mango base, spiked with the sourness of green mango powder. Now, mango is pretty high in natural sugars, which I don’t care about from a calorie counting perspective, but I wanted to balance out so that the smoothie wasn’t a blood sugar altering bomb. So I brought in some healthy fat by adding full fat coconut milk, which helps to slow digestion and avoid a crash. None of that watered down stuff here! The combination of mango and coconut milk (and a little lime juice for tang) reminded me a little of traditional fruit lassis, the summertime drinks made from thinned yogurt in traditional Indian cuisines.
Taking my cue from those beverages, I thinned the mango and coconut milk base down with some ice to make a smooth, drinkable consistency. Inspired by this savory lassi recipe, I added a smidge of pink Himalayan salt and some ground turmeric to the mix, too. That hint of savory goodness really brings out the sweet and sour flavors of the smoothie base and the minerals in the salt aren’t a bad idea if you’re out sweating in the sun in the summer!
For a boost of protein that helps further balance out blood sugar and makes the Sour Mango Smoothie more satiating, I also added a couple of scoops of Collagen Peptides, although you can totally leave that out if you wish!
For a pretty presentation, I like to rim the glasses with extra salt, margarita-style. Just rub a cut wedge of lime along the edges of the glasses, then roll them in a little coarsely crushed salt. Pour your Sour Mango Smoothie into your rimmed glass, garnish with a lime wedge and a sprinkle of extra amchur if you want a little extra kick!
This recipe was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.
- 1¼ cup / 210 g fresh or frozen mango (I used champagne / ataulfo)
- ½ cup / 120 ml full fat coconut milk
- 2 scoops / 20 g collagen peptides, optional
- 1 cup / 8 oz ice or very cold water
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lime juice
- 1½ tsp / 3 g ground amchur powder (see notes)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ⅛ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- BLEND: Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and process until smooth.
- SERVE: Divide the smoothie mixture between two glasses and garnish with a lime slice. For a pretty presentation, salt rim the glasses first: rub the rim of the glasses with a cut lime wedge, then invert the glasses and press the rims into some crushed pink Himalayan salt. Sprinkle with a little extra amchur, if you like an extra sour kick!
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