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Spike smoothie with protein or spirits

Pineapple as a light but savory chilled soup, featured in this blog’s previous post, extends the fruit’s appeal.

I even added pineapple to a Thai-style curry with carrots and tofu this week. But sweet preparations remain the most obvious, and I often freeze odd bits of pineapple to combine with other fruits in smoothies, or even float them solo in ice water with a sprig of mint.

Blending up gazpacho, the subject of my most recent column, entails basically the same steps as making smoothies. This one takes a strong tropical turn with coconut cream. Make it with protein powder for a snack or light meal, or spike it with rum for summer parties.

Note that coconut cream is unsweetened while “cream of coconut,” is syrupy and sweet, warranting different quantities listed in this recipe by Tribune News Service.

Tribune News Service photo

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

1 ripe banana

1 cup diced fresh or frozen pineapple

1 large ripe mango, pitted, peeled, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups frozen diced)

2 cups ice cubes

1/2 cup coconut cream (or 1/4 cup cream of coconut)

1/2 cup gold rum (optional)

1/4 cup seedless fresh or frozen passion fruit puree (or undiluted orange juice concentrate)

1 or 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional)

1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Several drops pure vanilla extract

Skewers of fresh fruit, for garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Put everything except garnishes into a large blender (or blend half at a time). Process until smooth and frothy.

Serve in chilled glasses. Garnish with skewers of fruit and fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 2 to 3 drinks.