Looking for a light smoothie that’s perfect for an afternoon snack or brunch?
Why not try a yummy combo that may be a little different from your typical smoothie? That’s right, let’s add a little excitement to your repetitive smoothie routine with a coconut lychee smoothie.
A good source of vitamin C and phosphorus, fresh, ripe lychees are among the best tasting and most prized tropical fruit in the world.
What is a Lychee?
A good source of vitamin C and phosphorus, fresh, ripe #lychees are among the best tasting and most prized tropical fruit in the world so shake things up with a #Coconut Lychee #Smoothie!Click To Tweet
Lychee is a tropical tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, where cultivation is documented from 1059 AD. China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India, other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and South Africa.
A tall evergreen tree, the lychee bears small fleshy fruits. The outside of the fruit is pink-red, roughly textured and inedible, covering sweet flesh eaten in many different dessert dishes. Since the perfume-like flavour is lost in the process of canning, the fruit is usually eaten fresh. The fruit can be dried with the rind intact, at which point the flesh shrinks and darkens. Dried lychees are often called lychee nuts, though they are not a real nut.
Lychees are extensively grown in China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and the rest of tropical Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and more recently in South Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia and the United States.
Fresh whole lychee contains a total 72 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, an amount representing 86% of the Daily Value (DV). On average, consuming nine peeled lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement.
Lychees have moderate amounts of polyphenols, shown in one French study to be higher than several other fruits analyzed, such as grapes and apples. For phenolic composition, flavan-3-ol monomers and dimers were the major compounds representing about 87% of total polyphenols that declined in content during storage or browning. In traditional Chinese medicine, lychee is known as a fruit with “hot” properties.
Where to Buy Lychees
Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Asian markets, and in recent years, also widely in supermarkets worldwide. The red rind turns dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. The fruit can be dried with the rind intact, at which point the flesh shrinks and darkens. Dried lychees are often called lychee nuts, though they are not a real nut.
If you are not able to find fresh lychees in your neighborhood, two sources for fresh lychees available on Amazon.com include Melissa’s Fresh Lychees and Tropical Importers.
Coconut Lychee Smoothie
5-7 pieces ripe, fresh or frozen lychees, pitted (Note: You may use frozen lychee, simple rinse out the syrup it’s usually packed with and then freeze before use.)
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup silken tofu (or use plain coconut or almond yogurt)
1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seed
Shredded coconut for garnish (optional)
Remove the lychees from the freezer as you are preparing the other ingredients. It helps if the other ingredients are cold as well for a thicker smoothie that you’ll surely enjoy!
Add the silken tofu or yogurt, lychees, coconut water, and flax seed in your blender.
Blend ingredients until all of the ingredients are smooth and incorporated.
Pour your smoothie into a glass or mason jar.
This low-carb high-fiber coconut lychee smoothie is packed with protein, amazing fruit flavor, and electrolytes that’s good for you! The flavonoids and vitamins in the lychee fruit also strengthen your immune system and protect against disease. Best part? The recipe can also be used to make popsicles!
Enjoy this healthy drink as a pre-workout smoothie or add half to a full scoop of extra protein powder for a post work-out snack.
A few helpful notes:
*Feel free to double the recipe to use the recipe as a meal replacement.
*Adding some protein powder would be great if you want to gain weight or bulk up.
*The protein in the silken tofu will help you keep full.
*Coconut water is better for you than most sports drinks.
*A word of caution: The seeds of the unripe lychee nut have been found to contain methylenecyclopropylglycine which can cause hypoglycemia, while outbreaks of encephalopathy in Indian and Vietnamese children have also been linked to its consumption.
Have you ever eaten lychee nuts?
Have you added them to your smoothies?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
Top Photo Source: CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons