No, that’s not a typo. If you had asked me about making a smoothie with cilantro a few weeks ago, I might have patted you gently on the head and suggested you get a bit more sleep. Cilantro in a smoothie? I mean, I love the stuff in salsas and burritos and so on, but the woodsy little green leaves seemed too strong to feature in a smoothie.
Then a few things happened: it got hot. The cilantro on my deck exploded. I attended an open house for a natural nutrition school in the city. They made this very smoothie. I loved the smoothie and wanted seconds. I thought about the smoothie all day. I noticed I had coconut milk in my pantry. I looked outside and remembered that the cilantro on my deck had exploded. The stars aligned.
And so here we are!
But what I bet you are all wondering is: it’s all fine and well to call this a coconut pineapple lime smoothie with a dash of cilantro, but doesn’t this taste like, well, pureed cilantro in a glass? The answer is yes and no. There is this faint cilantro taste, and yet somehow it is transformed by the other ingredients, which combine to form this magically tangy, fruity, herby, creamy thing. If you hate cilantro with the fire of a thousand suns, this still might not work for you. Or maybe you’ll become a convert!
Now, I admit, this is an usual combination of ingredients to have available in your pantry, and coconut milk does not last a long time. But, if you make this smoothie two or three times in a week, you can use the leftover coconut milk in a delicious green bean curry (green beans are in season right now!), in muffins (chocolate coconut zucchini, anyone?), or as a whippy topping for fruit crisp (just chill, slightly sweeten with maple syrup, and use as a lovely ‘fresh’ cream).
Or you could just add more of it to this smoothie.
And one other FYI: it is super easy to grow cilantro in a container, on your deck or anywhere you get some sun. And then, whenever your smoothie mood strikes, the cilantro is reading and waiting.
- cilantro: antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including calcium; also, some studies have shown cilantro to have potential for detoxing your body of heavy metals, like mercury, aluminum, and lead;
- banana: potassium, fibre, some protein;
- coconut milk: a source of good saturated fats (medium-chain fatty acids);
- lime juice: lots of Vitamin C and alkalizing in the body (anti-inflammatory);
- pineapple: Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, and a source of bromelain (an enzyme) that supports digestion and reportedly reduces inflammation and swelling
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, washed well
- the juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/2 – 1 cup fresh pineapple
- 1/2 of a banana
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
- dash of good quality sea-salt
- optional: a handful of baby kale or spinach leaves, and/or vegan protein powder like hemp protein powder
- Whiz all ingredients together in a blender until nice and smooth.
- Add more of anything to balance the flavours as you see fit. If the drink isn’t cold enough, try adding some ice cubes and crushing them in the blender as well.
- Drink and enjoy.
© 2014 Backyard Owl