Post-Tropical Papaya Smoothie

After spending a month traveling in the Philippines and gorging on delicious tropical holiday fare — then taking another couple of weeks recovering from the exotic-sounding tropical dengue fever I picked up along the way — I’d had a belly full of tropical goodness for a while.

Now it’s March and Ohio’s early-spring promises of sunshine and breezy afternoons (along with three months endured of winter’s bitter winds and endless snow) have me longing for palm trees and beaches again.  A nice-looking papaya has been ripening on the counter next to the bananas since the weekend, and I was ready for another taste of the tropics. I made this smoothie a bit simpler than my usual multi-fruit fare, all the better to bring out the papaya’s flavor…

Papaya-Banana Smoothie

Post-Tropical Papaya (and Banana) Smoothie

1½ cups papaya chunks This was about half of a medium-sized papaya.
1 banana It’s just not a smoothie without a banana, I sometimes say. And it’s a nice tropical complement to the papaya flavor.
1–1½ cups almond milk Use less for a thicker, creamier texture.
½ cup plain, nonfat yogurt More creaminess and a bit more protein.
¼ cup raw walnuts Just a few, to balance the tropical fruit sweetness and add some good-for-you nuttiness.
1 tbsp whole flax seeds Need some of those delicious Omega-3s!
dash chia seeds (optional) Add these if you like a little texture (and chia  nutritiousness) in your smoothie like I do.

Good for about two 8-ounce servings.

Place all of the ingredients except the chia seeds into the Vitamix or other blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and stir in the chia seeds. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to give the chia seeds time to settle in, then kick back and imagine the sunrise coming up over an endless blue sea…