A healthy vegan strawberry smoothie with the nutritional boost from hidden veggies, including cauliflower, and yet still this pink dairy-free drink tastes like a bright tropically fruity milkshake.
Tropical Strawberry Cauliflower Smoothie
Cauliflower, is there anything you can’t do?
Who would have thought just a few years ago that this very understated – some might say boring – vegetable would be taking the culinary world by storm. It’s now used in so many healthy cauliflower recipes! It’s the main ingredient now in pizza crusts, rice, burgers, even steaks! And there are many more examples.
So finding cauliflower in smoothies and milkshakes is actually a bit less surprising, right? Because actually we have all been hiding vegetables in smoothies for quite some time. Things like avocados, zucchini, mushrooms, beets, etc. The list of veggie smoothies is getting longer by the minute.
This smoothie however, stands out a bit because there are two hidden veggies in here, not just one. And the second is a bit unusual for a smoothie.
It’s green, and hydrating and full of vitamins and antioxidants. Also, most commonly found in salads. Can you guess?
So why didn’t I call this smoothie Tropical Strawberry Cauliflower CUCUMBER Smoothie? Well, because I think the idea of cucumbers in smoothies might sound a bit too green. And I did not want to risk putting people off before I have the chance to explain.
wax poetic explain that this creamy fruity smoothie tastes like a decadent tropical drink that might be served sporting a tiny umbrella at a resort’s beach-side thatched cafe.
Because while it is true cucumbers tend to have a strong green flavor, they don’t in this smoothie. And that, my friends, is because I peeled them.
You don’t have to, of course. Especially if you buy organic. But for this smoothie I recommend it.
How Healthy Are Cucumbers?
Peeled cucumber contains protein, vitamins, folate and b vitamins. And as you probably know, it’s incredibly hydrating.
Cucumbers also contain fiber, although leaving the peel on is a better source of fiber. The peel however can be bitter, so it’s not the best way to add it to a smoothie.
Plus I wanted a pretty pink color without any sign of hidden veggies. My three girls are okay actually with green smoothies. Actually so is our dog! But Mr. greensmoothiegourmet is not so keen.
So, sneaky, sneaky.
And if you leave on the peel, it is best to buy organic because cucumbers are 16th on the list of 47 veggies and fruit, with number 1 having the highest level of pesticide residue found in fruits and vegetables, tested by the EWG.
You can choose any type of cucumber, but I have a soft spot for English cucumbers. Why? Because they have fewer seeds and more “meat” inside.
They are also long, and the skin is thin which is why you’ll always find them shrink-wrapped in the grocery store. Learn more about general cucumber nutrition here.
And this smoothie also has cauliflower, strawberries, and more! So much nutrition, and so little time, haha.
How Healthy is Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is incredibly healthy. No wonder people are putting it in everything.
It’s super high in fiber and B-vitamins. And a recent NIH study found that the stuff is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against disease. And it has a ton of fiber that supports weight-loss and digestion. But that’s not all.
It also has some very hard to find nutrients, including choline, so essential for cognitive functioning, including learning and memory. For this last alone, cauliflower is perfect to add to a morning smoothie, don’t you think?
How Healthy are Strawberries?
Strawberries carry all the nutritional benefits inherent in all berries, and then some! Most notably is their support of cardiovascular processes. Read up on that here.
But be sure to buy them organic – always! Frozen or fresh. This is very important because the EWG typically finds strawberries are the fruit with the most pesticide absorption.
How does this Cauliflower Cucumber Smoothie Taste?
Well, tropical! It tastes like a tropical milkshake! There is no cucumber “green” flavor and the cauliflower leaves no taste at all, only a creamy dreamy texture. And the addition of kiwi really brights up the flavor and makes it tropical!
You can prepare the cauliflower in two ways for this tropical smoothie.
One, you can boil or steam fresh cauliflower and then mash it up with a fork. Then refrigerate it until cool before adding to a smoothie.
Two, you can simply “rice” up raw cauliflower in a food processor or blender. And add that directly to the smoothie before blending. This second way might be a bigger challenge on the digestion, just as any raw vegetable is. So if you are sensitive, you might want to steam it first.
Lately, I’ve found rice cauliflower in the grocery store freezer area, microwaved that and let it cool. Perfect texture and so easy to use! Oh, and by the way, the EWG says cauliflower is “clean” and doesn’t have to be bought organic!
If you love this recipe, here are a few other cauliflower recipes:
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Tropical Strawberry Cauliflower Smoothie
A strawberry smoothie with the nutritional boost from hidden frozen cauliflower and another secret vegetable that tastes creamy and has a bright tropically fruity flavor.
- 3 cup organic ripe strawberries (either bought frozen, or bought fresh and frozen by you, just not too solid for the sake of your blender)
- 1 cup cauliflower (Either steamed, or raw riced)
- 1/2 cup cucumber (peeled, about 1/3 of an English cucumber)
- 1/2 cup kiwis (fresh, peeled. About 4 kiwis)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice (brightens the flavor and increases nutrition)
- 2 cups water (or coconut water, or plant milk)
- 2 medjool dates - optional (You might want to add these for a healthy sweetener if your strawberries are not very ripe or sweet)
Prepare the cauliflower in one of two ways:
1: Boil or steam fresh cauliflower and then mash it up with a fork. Then refrigerate it until cool before adding to the blender.
2: Chop raw cauliflower into chunks and grind them up in a food processor or blender to create "rice". Add that directly to the smoothie before blending. This second way might be a bigger challenge on the digestion, just as any raw vegetable is.
Add the ingredients to a high-speed blender. If you only have a regular blender, you might want to be sure the berries are soft, and the cauliflower is steamed.
Blend until smooth, and serve chilled. Enjoy!