Hello everyone! This is Rita here. As some of you may already know, we live in the coastal region of Algarve in the south of Portugal. It's mostly sunny all year long and to say we have anything even close to winter here may in fact be offensive to the people up north who endure actual cold and harsh seasons (sorry, Scandinavian folks!). We live in an open space home with wide areas, very few walls and stone floors. All of these features combined turn our house into a freezing cold refrigerator and it is always colder inside, even when the sun is shining bright and the weather outside feels more like Spring. Which means it actually feels like we're in the dead of winter and we end up spending our days as if our survival depended solely on the amount of blankets we can wrap ourselves with (at least we're cozy!).
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like this time of the year. We love sleeping beneath 30kgs of sheets, duvets, blankets and cats (sometimes I fall asleep with my polar robe on...) and there is nothing more warming and comforting than the crackling sound of the fireplace burning in the background. It is also during the winter that the sunny Algarve provides the majority of its famous one of a kind oranges and we get a few kilos every week from my grandparents' yard. We've been gladly stuffing our tummies with loads of whole oranges, orange juice and basically all things orange (cahem; like these Carrot & Orange Muffins) so it totally makes sense that we'd start sharing some more orange-y goodness, right about now. We're also working on an ORANGE CURRY (omfg)! Yes, that will happen. Eventually.
When Mercearia Bio asked us to create a recipe using ingredients available at their lovely organic grocery store (also in the Algarve), we knew we had to create something along these citrusy lines. And so this energizing smoothie was born, packed with wintery oranges and summery strawberries. And since no smoothie is complete without a superfood addition, we've thrown in a couple of tablespoons of re-hydrated goji berries for good measure. Goji berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals and they are alleged to boost our immune systems and protect us from a number of deadly diseases. These shrivelled little red berries may not be your favourite thing to nibble on at first (to me they tasted like perfume when I first tried them) but they do add another yummy layer of flavour to this delicious smoothie. In sum, this smoothie is the perfect way of saying: Winter, we love you. But please go away. We need summer. We need sweet strawberries, long days and warm sunshine.
Strawberry, Orange & Goji Smoothie
5 minutes | serves 1
1 ripe banana
1 heaping cup | 150 gr. strawberries
1 cup | 250 ml. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp dried goji berries
a couple of ice cubes (optional)
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- Soak the goji berries in lukewarm water for 5 to 10 minutes, until they become tender and plump.
- Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend for a minute or two (depending on how powerful your blender is!) until the smoothie is nice and creamy.