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Banana and papaya power smoothie

 

Here’s a simple recipe for a super smooth power smoothie that uses bananas and papaya, which are amongst the cheapest fruits in Malaysia. It’s cheap but packed with carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, so you can drink it whenever you feel like an energy boost (I make one before heading down to the gym). The cost of this smoothie in Malaysia works out to only RM 1.80 a glass (about 50 US cents). A really cheap price for so much nutrition! I’d expect that the pricing would be the same in most tropical countries – perhaps a little more where bananas and papaya have to be imported.

Preparation:

Peel two bananas and put them into a blender. Add about the same quantity of papaya after peeling and removing the seeds. Pour in a 150g tub of low fat yoghurt, and then the same quantity of apple juice. Finally add a tablespoonful of wheat germ and blend for a minute or so. This makes sufficient smoothie for two glasses.

Tip: If you like your smoothie cold, instead of adding ice which dilutes it, pour the apple juice into an empty yoghurt container and leave in the freezer for 15 minutes before you make the smoothie. By then the apple juice will have almost frozen, and when it is blended with the other ingredients, will make the smoothie nice and cold without having to add ice.

Bananas provide the dense and ready carbohydrates needed to replace muscle glycogen used during exercise, and they are also an excellent source of potassium which helps combat fatigue and muscle cramps. Papaya contains lots of the enzyme papain, which helps digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties, so helps prevent joint aches and pains. It is also packed with anti-oxidants. Wheat germ contains Octacosanol – a substance that is believed to enhance physical performance. So don’t be surprised if you feel like you are bursting with energy after downing one of these smoothies.

Here is the cost breakdown:

Two bananas at 30 sen each – RM 0.60

Same quantity of papaya – about RM 0.60

150g low fat yoghurt – RM 1.50

150g apple juice – about RM 0.60

Tablespoonful of wheat germ – about RM 0.30

Total cost RM 3.60 (about US$ 1.00) for two glasses

 

Banana and strawberry smoothie

 

If you live somewhere you can buy fresh strawberries at a reasonable price, then you can use exactly the same recipe as above but substitute strawberries for the papaya. You’ll be surprised at how well the flavour of the strawberries comes through. Strawberries have lots of vitamin C as well as being rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, so this is a healthy alternative to the banana and papaya smoothie.