When I first moved to Malaysia, I was pretty obsessed with the variety of tropical fruit available. Dragon fruit, passion fruit, melons . . . a large variety of fruit I had never heard of before. And mangoes– there were days I could cut into 3 different types of mangoes and compare the different varieties.
Honestly, I don’t buy it often anymore. You can’t beat the convenience of apples, oranges, and bananas, and those usually end up in my cart.
The tropical fruit is similar to many other experiences I’ve had here. I’ve been here almost 5 years! The longest I’ve lived anywhere since moving out of my parents house in Bend, Oregon right after high school.
I’ve always hated the cold weather, and Bend is known for long winters that drag on into June, and moving to someplace tropical was a dream. A place where I never had to layer on sweaters and coats, never had to wear wool socks and boots, just to survive the walk from my car down the street? Heaven. And that’s exactly how I felt about Malaysia when I first moved here. I loved the open-air restaurants, the swimming pools every where, and the fact that I wouldn’t have to put my summer wardrobe away in a matter of months.
It felt like permanent vacation. I moved into a small plaza, with restaurants, bars, a great yoga studio– and my condo building has a gorgeous resort-type swimming pool and a gym overlooking the city and the national palace. Really, where I live would be a great vacation for a lot of people.
As I settled into work and normal routines, my trips to Starbucks in the morning, lazy afternoons at the pool, and the amounts of tropical fruit in my grocery cart have all become more and more limited. We often opt to eat inside, in the air conditioning, rather than on patio seating, to avoid cigarette smoke. As these things that I loved about Malaysia have become less and less frequent in my routine, my enjoyment of living here has gone down.
I’ve been making an effort to put these small joys back into my life– when I have a day off work, I make a smoothie, take my book to the pool, and read. And some days, I will go down stairs 20 minutes before I need to leave for work, and just walk laps around the pool while talking on the phone to my mom, just to enjoy seeing the water.
While I’ve never stopped wearing my summer wardrobe (no choice there, really!), I’ve been reminding myself how wonderful it is to be able to get dressed so easily in the morning. How much I prefer sandals to closed toe shoes.
And buying more tropical fruit. Just cutting into it is pure sunshine. There isn’t too much to a passion fruit– the small juicy seeds inside are a mere couple of a tablespoons, but the smell when cutting one open is an instant mood lifter.
This green smoothie bowl is made with fruit that is easy to get anywhere– pineapple, banana, and mango– so if you can’t find dragon fruit or passion fruit, no worries– simply top with any of your favorite fruits.
It makes a great breakfast or afternoon snack– and if you don’t have a pool to go sit next to while you eat it, just close your eyes and imagine you’re there.
Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water or coconut water
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 banana frozen
- 1/2 cup pineapple frozen
- 1/2 cup mango frozen
- 6 ice cubes
- protein powder unflavored, unsweetened, optional
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- fresh fruit dragon fruit, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, banana, etc.
- a sprinkle of chia seeds
- Add all ingredients, liquids first, followed by spinach and chia seeds, and then frozen ingredients, to a blender.
- Blend well. A high speed blender works well for making really thick smoothies, but isn't necessary. If your blender needs more liquid, add water a few tablespoons at a time.
- Top with coconut, fresh fruit, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
THIS is the kind of recipe which should make EVERYONE jealous that they aren’t in Malaysia- The sheer fruit variety…your blender better be having a workout 🙂
My blender definitely has been tested to the limit. I’ve actually blown the fuse a few times– but luckily Vitamixes are built with a switch so it’s easy to switch the fuse when that happens 🙂 Yes– the fruit is a pretty amazing part of living in the tropics! It’s so whimsical.
Robyn @ simply fresh dinners says
Wow, Michelle, that’s so pretty I’d be afraid to eat it …. for about 5 seconds and then I know I would gobble it down. So delicious and so nutritious!
They were beautiful– but if you didn’t eat it, it would melt and not be so pretty anyway. No use wasting all that amazing fruit 🙂 Just snap a photo first!
Rachel Keeth // Lavender & Honey says
I know just what you mean about losing joy in living there. When we lived in Texas I didn’t find any joy in it, since I couldn’t go outdoors, or do much else of what I enjoy. However, now that I’m in Louisiana I have a gorgeous patio, there are lakes nearby, neat things to do, and family to see. I know it’s easy to not do special things you enjoy when you get busy, but it’s something I’m really going to make time for. I’m so happy to hear you’re trying to incorporate more special times for yourself! <3
This smoothie bowl sounds amazing! I absolutely love tropical fruit. I'm actually currently growing some passion flower seeds, some for myself and some to give to friends. I'm looking forward to both the flowers and fruit!
Wow, growing passion fruit! I am sure the warm temps in Lousiana will be good for this. In Central Oregon, our growing season was so short, not much could be grown at all– without the help of a greenhouse. And here in Malaysia, I don’t have a garden space.
My husband and I just bought a house in Australia, where we hope to live part-time after another few years in Asia, and the growing season there is really long, with very mild winters. Lots of lemon trees, so I am looking forward to having a garden there some day!
Michelle, when you say coconut milk do you mean the canned kind or the coconut milk like Silk brand coconut milk that’s in the refrigerator section by regular cow’s milk. And same question about coconut water. I live in Salem, OR. It is very nice here today. Wish I was there though, sounds great.
Hi Tracy, nice to hear from you over there in Oregon 🙂 Oregon is a beautiful place to be this time of year.
In Malaysia, we can’t buy the Silk brand coconut milk, and it didn’t even exist the last time I lived in the States 🙂 All of my recipes that call for coconut milk are the canned kind. Although, in this recipe, you really could use either– the canned kind will make it richer and creamier for sure! If you use coconut milk beverage, I would recommend using all coconut milk and not adding water or coconut water at all.
aakanksha soni says
wow!! now i am waiting for winters because that is when these beautiful dragon fruits are available to me. i adore your photographs too. thanks for inspiration.
Where do you live? I am living in Malaysia right now, and we get dragon fruit here year round. I miss having some fruit only available seasonally! We get imported produce from all over the world, so everything is always available. I hope you enjoy this smoothie bowl! The dragon fruit is actually only used to garnish this bowl, so you could try it with other fruit on top for now 🙂