Superfruits impart both flavor and nutrition to beverages.
While Clark Kent wouldn’t recognize some of them, such superfruits as açaí and goji could not have made a more dramatic entrance onto the nutrition scene if they had stepped out of a phone booth. Superfruits have captured the public imagination for the way their antioxidant properties allow them to pummel free-radical bad guys.
Many of these fruits are obtainable as whole-food concentrate powders and capsules, which allow you to easily take advantage of their health benefits. But a number of superfruits can also be had in juice and other forms, extending the available range of flavors for the adventuresome blender drink fan.
Of all the superfruits, açaí is the trendiest. Native to the northern Brazilian rainforest, the fresh fruit doesn’t travel well and so first made a splash in Rio de Janeiro, located in the southeastern part of the country, in the form of frozen purée. Both the purée and juice are available in the US. Pomegranate is another popular option. Known for its multitude of ruby-red arils, or seed casings, the pomegranate can be had fresh or as juice and syrup (as in this recipe).
Goji and mangosteen are two fruits that originate in the Far East, goji from the Himalayas and mangosteen from Indonesia. Goji, also known as wolfberry, can be found in dried form; in China it is used as a medicinal food or boiled into an herbal tea. Goji juice is also available. The mangosteen, known as the “queen of fruits,” is especially prized for its delicate sweet-sour flavor.
Blueberries and cranberries are all-American standbys that can get lost in the buzz surrounding the more exotic superfruits. Their status as natives make them readily available in fresh, frozen and juice forms.
All the superfruits are suitable for smoothies; add in ingredients such as yogurt or combination-protein powders and you can create a tasty meal-on-the-go. When making smoothies add the fruit first and the liquid second, followed by either ice cubes or crushed ice. A high-quality blender with a glass container and heavy-duty motor can make quick work of any smoothie ingredient, including ice or frozen fruit. If your recipe calls for water, use a filter for the freshest taste or a high-quality bottled brand.
Superfruit juices can give your beverages a tasty health boost. And you won’t have to visit the planet Krypton to find them; simply fly on down to your health food store.
1 thin kiwi slice
1 thin mango slice
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp no-sugar-added
2 tbsp pomegranate syrup
1. Make a garnish by threading the kiwi, mango and raspberries onto a small skewer.
2. Combine the yogurt, juice, syrup and salt in a blender and purée until smooth.
Pour into a highball glass half-filled with ice and place the skewer across the rim before serving.
Serves 1. Analysis per serving: 397 calories, 14g protein, 0g fat, 0g fiber,
48g carbohydrate, 335 mg sodium
Source: Zero Proof Cocktails: Alcohol-Free Beverages for Every Occasion by Liz Scott, photography
by Sheri Giblin (Ten Speed Press, www.tenspeed.com); copyright © 2009