PitayaPlus & Strawberry BiPro Protein Smoothie
I posted a picture of this recipe a few weeks ago because I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. Taste wise it needed some tweaking so I substituted an ingredient and hit perfection! As summer is coming to a close I wanted to create a fruity satisfying and refreshing summertime recipe with Strawberry BiPro that could serve as a snack, dessert or post-workout recovery option. I ordered some Pitaya smoothie packs after discovering them through one of my favorite health food companies, Purely Elizabeth. The color of the pitaya (aka dragan fruit) was just so pretty I couldn’t resist! The visual perception of this health food is just as alluring and as it is tasty. If you have kids they may be begging for a taste.
In my testing for this smoothie recipe I created a parfait. I prefer to eat food rather than drink it especially after hard workouts when I end up taking in a slew of liquid pre-workout fuel. The parfait version is purely optional but I will give a few suggestions including the recipe for the cashew cream shown in this picture.
Now before I share the recipe I want to, as I always do, talk about the health benefits of this recipe and the ingredients involved. Starting with the Pitaya, this health food is full of benefits including several for endurance athletes. Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is rich in magnesium which can help increase energy, regulate your electrolytes, relax muscles, nerves and anxiety, and lead to better sleep and muscle recovery. It is also a good source of iron which is often a common deficiency for runners (more on this here). Pitaya is rich in riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which cannot be stored in the body so getting a daily dose is essential as it plays a major role in energy production. Then last but not least, Pitaya is also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Antioxidants help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals which cause a slew of different diseases. The antioxidants in combination with the Vitamin C will help keep you healthy year round and protect you from other immune system deficiencies (no runner likes to be sidelined by a cold!). Vitamin C also helps aid in the absorption of iron. Fiber helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, controls blood sugar, maintains bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, and can aid in achieving a healthy weight. I used some PitayaPlus smoothie packs in this recipe which are nothing but 100% pitaya in a perfectly proportioned pack.
I added frozen pineapple as well because I like the way the tart sweet flavor meshed with the flavor of the pitaya which has a more faint sweet taste like watermelon. But pineapple is also a highly beneficial ingredient. Pineapples are high in vitamin C and manganese which has antioxidant benefits and is essential for strong bones and connective tissue. Pineapples are also very good for digestion and reducing inflammation due to the enzyme Bromelain. Bromelain helps to break down protein which can aid in digestion. The anti-inflammatory benefits can prevent muscle soreness and joint problems in addition to helping to reduce the mucus in the nose and throat thus easing the common cold and relieving regular allergy sufferers. Then of course of pineapple has ample dietary fiber for digestion and thiamin, a B-vitamin involved in energy production.
To round out the essential ingredients, I added a full scoop of BiPro Strawberry Whey Protein to the mix. Smoothies often leave much to be desired. They don’t often contain enough protein to be substantial and the excessive amount of fruit makes for sugar overload and a spike and crash in blood sugar. The added protein here will help sustain you for longer and prevent the life altering crash that will leave you hangry at the morning staff meeting. Additionally, the combination of the protein and pineapple will be great for recovery as the bromelain will help break down the protein faster getting it shuttled to the muscles sooner.
You will see below that I also added a couple of optional ingredients, UCAN Plain superstarch & Norm’s Farms Elderberry Wellness Syrup. After hard workouts I have found that having UCAN superstarch added to my recovery shake helps maintain my energy levels so that I am not dragging through the rest of the day. Hard workouts can zap you but the superstarch allows the body to utilize stored fat for energy and prevents blood sugar from crashing. I get optimal recovery from the BiPro Protein and energy and an extended recovery window from the UCAN. I added the elderberry wellness syrup in an effort to combat the cold I felt coming on. Elderberry contains sambucol which is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the immune system by increasing the number of disease fighting lymphocytes.
Alright so now on to the recipe!
Pitaya & Strawberry BiPro Protein Smoothie
- 1 PitayaPlus Smoothie Pack
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- ¼ cup of cashew milk, water, or juice (use an all-natural juice that doesn't contain added sugars)
- 1 scoop Strawberry BiPro
- Optional: 1 scoop of UCAN Plain Superstarch
- Optional: 1 tsp. Norm's Farms Elderberry Wellness Syrup
- Optional: Parfait options: layer with cashew cream (click for recipe) or greek yogurt. Add in a layer of fresh berries, Purely Elizabeth chocolate sea salt probiotic granola, and maybe even some Lily's stevia sweetened chocolate chips for a sweet treat!
Break up the PitayaPlus smoothie a bit so that it will blend easier.
Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. If needed add more liquid to help blend.
Drink as a single serve smoothie for breakfast, as a snack, or post workout recovery drink. Alternatively you can make 2-3 parfaits (depends on size you would like) with the optional layering ingredients stated above. This makes for a good snack, dessert, and post-workout option.