Sunshine Smoothies and Tiki Treats

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Red barn in the snowDeer in snowOkay, Old Man Winter, I have a bone to pick with you.  You have overstayed your welcome and it is high time you leave.  We should not be having 18 inches of snow and below-freezing temperatures in April!  How ironic that the mountains are getting pounded with snow, just as most of the ski resorts have closed.  Yes, we live in Colorado and could use the moisture, but can’t we just have a little break?  I just need a little sunshine, a little warmth, a little flower peeking out from the ground, something that will give me hope that spring is here and summer is right around the corner.

Oh, it is beautiful here.  Just when I tell myself I’ve had enough of the snow, ice, cold, horrible roads, the driveway of death, etc., etc., a herd of deer shows up in the yard, a beautiful red fox runs on our road, and I notice how much the red barn looks like it belongs in a snow globe.  Colorado may not be the tropics, but it is still a magical place…

However, times like this still have me climbing the walls, sick of wearing sweaters (and parkas and boots and hats and mittens), dreaming of a simple life on a tropical island.  This is when I tell my daughter that some day I will live on a beach and sell “sunshine smoothies and tiki treats.”  So, if I can’t escape to the tropics, while I watch the snow pile up outside, I do what a girl’s gotta do.  I bring the tropics home:  cue the Bob Marley playlist, make a mango smoothie, bake something with tropical flavor, turn up the heat, and dream of sinking my toes into the sand next to my little beach house…

Hope you enjoy this little tropical side trip, without getting on a plane.  Drink umbrellas are optional.

Peach Mango Smoothie 1Peach Mango Smoothie 2


Peach-Mango Smoothie (from Cooking Light – makes 2 servings)

  • 2/3 cup frozen sliced peaches
  • 2/3 cup frozen mango pieces
  • 2/3 cup peach nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 (6-oz.) container organic peach fat-free yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender; process 2 minutes or until smooth.  Serve immediately.


Tropical muffins 1Tropical muffins 2Tropical Muffins with Coconut-Macadamia Topping (from Cooking Light – makes 1 dozen)


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
  • Cooking spray



  • 2 Tbsp. flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. regular oats
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To prepare muffins, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.  Make a well in center of flour mixture.  Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Stir in pineapple, 1/3 cup coconut, and 3 tablespoons nuts.  Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons coconut and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of topping over each muffin.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.  Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.
Eat well.  Travel often.  Live your passion.
Tropical Muffins 3Hawaii Sunset
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