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Beet, berry, banana & camu camu smoothie

Beet, berry, banana & camu camu smoothie

One of my favorite parts of my recent trip to Peru was experiencing all the exotic (well at least to this American) fruits and vegetables the country has to offer.  Markets are just teeming with brightly colored fruits and vegetables that I have never seen or tasted before inspiring me to create this recipe for a camu camu smoothie.

I’m sure that I looked crazy taking pictures and raving over all the flavors and variety available because to the locals they see them all the time.  As a result, I discovered two favorites: camu camu and lucuma.  Both of these ingredients also happen to have amazing health benefits as well.  Most commonly these fruits are found in juices or desserts rather than eaten straight – such as you would eat a banana or apple.

NOTE:  This post includes affiliate links which means that if you click through and purchase, I do receive some small financial benefit which helps me to continue to provide you with free content.    

Camu camu

This fruit is found in the Amazon rainforest and is small, larger than a cherry but smaller than a plum.  In my opinion, it looks like a miniature red plum or if it’s a bit green it can look like a miniature apple.  The flavor tastes bright, tart and sour and most commonly an ingredient used in jams, jellies, juices and sweets.

Camu camu nutrition

For such a small piece of fruit it has tremendous nutritional power.  Camu camu is the strongest source of natural vitamin C in the world, up to 30-50 times more vitamin C than an orange.  All this vitamin C makes camu camu an excellent anti-inflammatory food.  In addition, other nutrients found in camu camu include: protein, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, and phosphorous.

The fruit is also used in South America in a variety of holistic ways for healing and to provide other benefits but as of today, there is little to no scientific studies to back up these claims.

I’ve known about camu camu for over a year now and primarily use it in blended drinks such as this camu camu smoothie for its tart flavor and as a nutrient and vitamin boost. 

The camu camu smoothie recipe

Camu camu smoothie on pink background surrounded by blackberries

Beet Berry Banana and Camu Camu Smoothie

Earthy beets and sweet berries get a vitamin C boost from camu camu powder in this quick and easy to make smoothie.
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Servings: 1 person
Author: Lyn Croyle

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ banana frozen
  • ½ cup frozen berries strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or mixed berries
  • ½ cup cooked beets frozen
  • 1 tsp chia
  • 2 tsp camu camu powder

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add more ice if desired.

Notes

Hint: I prefer using frozen fruit so I don’t have to add ice. For me I believe it blends more smoothly but if you prefer you can certainly use fresh fruit and just add ice.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 653mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 28g

Did you like this recipe for a camu camu smoothie? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? Tell me in the comments! Tag @cookeatlivelove in your photos so I can see your creations! If you like it, please be sure to give this recipe a 5-star rating in the recipe card!!

Lucuma

Lucma, another fruit found in Peru and primarily used to make juices and sweets.  Most noteworthy, this fruit is known as the “Gold of the Incas” and is considered to be so precious that it is not allowed to be exported.

In Peru, it dominates many of their desserts and adds a delicate flavor and natural sweetness.  Lucuma is the #1 ice cream flavor in Peru, out ranking vanilla and chocolate. One of my favorite food experiences during my recent trip was a lucuma artisanal helado (ice cream) which I found in a small town market located in the mountains outside of Lima.  I was traveling with a group of locals who told me that the area is famous for its ice cream.  The vendors make it fresh in their homes for market days.  So, delicious and fresh!!!

Lucuma’s greatest claim to fame is that it provides sweetness, but it has a very low glycemic index, which makes it a safe and healthy alternative sweetener for diabetics.   Basically meaning that eating lucuma doesn’t cause the blood sugar to spike in the same way that sugar does.

My favorite recipe with lucuma

Lucuma pairs very well with the flavors of chocolate as you will discover eating this Lucuma Chia Pudding with Cacao Cream. The recipe uses lucuma powder, commonly found in organic markets or online in the United States. You can also use it to add to smoothies so it won’t go to waste!

NOTE:  This post includes affiliate links which means that if you click through and purchase, I do receive some small financial benefit which helps me to continue to provide you with free content.    

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Of course, here in the United States, both of these amazing fruits are impossible to find fresh.  However, they are available in dried powders in your local organic market or you can purchase them through Amazon as well.

TIP: When using the powders, it is best to use them in things that are heated or blended so that the powder is incorporated so it doesn’t have a grainy texture.  Enjoy!!

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Sources:
http://www.naturalnews.com/027096_lucuma_fruit_healthy.html
http://www.naturalnewsblogs.com/camu-camu-vitamin-c-food-source-earth/
http://www.naturalnews.com/037937_camu_superfood_health_benefits.html
Villacorta, M., MS, RD. (2013). Peruvian power foods. Deerfield Beach, FL: HCI books.



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