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Spicy (or not spicy) Mango Mandarin Smoothie

Spicy Mango Mandarin Smoothie Recipe

Spicy Mango Mandarin SmoothiePhotos by Rikki Snyder.

A spicy smoothie?! Have I gone mad? Yes. Yes, I have. Like nearly everyone else, I am starting out the year with a goal of losing weight. My fridge is stocked with fruit, I’m letting Chris finish all of my Christmas candy, we bought a treadmill, and “Eye of the Tiger” is playing in a constant loop in my head. (In a week, I’ll probably be demanding that Chris give me back my Christmas candy and using the treadmill for cat racing, but let’s focus on the present!) I always feel like I have to work twice as hard at this whole weight loss thing because my metabolism is jacked up–eleven years ago, I lost 100 pounds (yes, really!) and while I kept most of it off, it’s been hard because once you gain and lose that much weight, your metabolism is never the same. Enter: cayenne pepper.

I once read that cayenne pepper is good for the ol’ metabolism and I totally latched onto that idea. Let’s put cayenne pepper in everything! I’m a big fan of the whole spicy lemonade thing and even if it does nothing for my metabolism, I like that little kick of heat. So I thought I’d try adding it to a smoothie. I was going to try to do a spicy lemonade smoothie, but a lemon smoothie would need heaps of sweetener, which kind of defeats the purpose of a healthy smoothie, so I used frozen mango chunks and mandarin oranges instead.

Spicy Mango Mandarin Smoothie
No, not the canned mandarin oranges you get at salad bars! The fresh kind! It’s citrus season now and you can find all kinds of oranges and tangerines and tangelos and whatnot at the grocery store and mandarins are one of my favorites. But any kind of sweet citrus will work hereβ€”tangerines, satsumas, clementines, or just plain oranges will do.

This smoothie is creamy and smooth and each sip ends with a punch of cayenne to the taste buds. (If you don’t like spicy, you can use less or omit it altogether though!) It’s a great base for adding other ingredients too. Need some more greens in your diet? Toss a handful or two of spinach into the blender! Want to add some protein to make it a meal smoothie? Vanilla protein powder would be perfect in this.

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Spicy Mango Mandarin Smoothie

Spicy Mango Mandarin Smoothie Recipe

A spicy fruit smoothie to give your metabolism a boost!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 smoothie

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large Mandarin orange, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional, or use less for a more mild smoothie)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk for a thinner smoothie, if desired.

Smoothie Ingredients

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    January 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I love the sound of the cayenne in this recipe with the mango. And 100 pounds – you go girl! I have no doubt you’ll be able to keep it up well into 2014.

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    January 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

    What a great and totally intriguing idea – cayenne for a spicy smoothie! Love it! If I introduce this idea (and especially the spicy lemonade) to my husband, I’m afraid he’ll have me spiking everything with cayenne – he already loves spicy coffee! Also, I am so, so impressed that you lost 100 pounds – that is an amazing accomplishment and I’m just in awe of the dedication and discipline that must have required! Don’t give up on that treadmill – I love mine for times like this (-20F – gahhhhhhh!!!) when it’s just too cold to run outside! But, seriously – if you do try some cat racing – please, please post video! πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
      January 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Hello, coincidence! Ummmmm … really … my poor little dog just came running desperately up the basement stairs. Why? To escape my husband who was trying to teach him to run on the treadmill! I can hear my husband gleefully cheering him on with positive reinforcements at this very moment! Not kidding – those cat races might be really workable! Lol for sure! πŸ˜€

      • Reply
        Kiersten Frase
        January 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        I think we both replied to your comment at the SAME EXACT TIME. Crazy! If your husband figures out how to get your dog to run on the treadmill, let me know the secret. πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Spicy coffee is a thing?! Wow, I’ve never heard of that! I think my husband would love that too. Our cats are pretty much terrified of the treadmill (whenever we use it, they stare at it with suspicion), except for Mochi who will walk on it like it’s no thang. We really need to take video!

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    January 9, 2014 at 9:20 am

    So much FLAVA!!!! There are so many good things in that smoothie, I can barely stand it! I love cayenne and didn’t realize it was helpful for metabolism. I’m imagining this smoothie to be so very tropical with the most wonderful kick. I need to slurp it down, ASAP!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Yeah, I think I heard about the cayenne thing in conjunction with the whole master cleanse thing, so I suppose it should be taken with a grain of salt. πŸ™‚ But I WANT to believe.

  • Reply
    Kare Troughton
    January 9, 2014 at 9:24 am

    My blog post for today has a very similar introduction. New year, fresh start! We can do it! Holy moly, especially with smoothies like these. This is so gorgeous (more mouth-watering Rikki photos! She’s amazing!) and so, so brilliant. I can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      I know, I get so excited whenever I do a collaboration with Rikki! Blogging is a lot less stressful when I don’t have to make something 5 times to get the photos right. πŸ™‚ And yes, we can do it! Smoothies will help!

  • Reply
    Deanna Segrave-Daly
    January 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

    LOVE cayenne & mango together – this smoothie looks delish!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      It’s such a good combination, right?! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Holy sh*t, girl, 100 lbs?! Good for YOU! I can’t even get rid of the 10 that have somehow, mysteriously amassed over the past 3 years. . .You’re now my inspiration. πŸ™‚ Good luck, and keep us posted!

    PS Hope you’re feeling better and that you’re fully recouped from your post-holiday illness. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      It’s WAAAAY harder to lose a small amount of weight than a large amount of weight. It took me about a year to lose that 100 pounds, and what little I gained back, I’ve been struggling to lose for about 4 years. My problem before was that I ate crap food. Now I eat good food, but portion sizes are my downfall. And yes, I am feeling better–thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    January 9, 2014 at 9:50 am

    i have been enjoying oranges so much lately..never thought of turning them into smoothies. the touch of cayenne makes it very special.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I love tossing an orange into my smoothies. I need the extra Vitamin C! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    courtney
    January 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Love love love! I have to make this πŸ™‚ I’m absolutely obsessed with Mango.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Me too! I’m not big on fruit, but I will happily eat mango instead of candy. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    EA-The Spicy RD
    January 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Make mine SPICY of course πŸ™‚ Hmmm…though….I’ve only tried “sweet” spices in smoothie, but I’m going to try this one for sure, especially b/c it has mandarin oranges in it {need to pick some from my parents tree!} Jealous of your treadmill…we bought one a couple of years ago {an incline treadmill} and it worked fabulously until last year when the console went “kaput” just out of warranty πŸ™ I’ve been making due with outside exercise {the best}, but with the incline it gives a great workout, plus I can do a light workout while reading e-mails, so I think I need to spend the $$$ {almost the cost of a new one} to get it fixed. Then I can drink this smoothie while I’m getting my workout in πŸ™‚ Cheers!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      You can be jealous of my treadmill and I’ll be jealous of your parents’ mandarin tree. πŸ™‚ Our treadmill has an incline too–we love it! And it’s pretty sturdy for what we paid for it (not much, at least as far as treadmills go!).

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    January 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    One of the very few reasons thanks to which I like Winter is that is citrus season! I’m a big fan of oranges and mandarins so this smoothie is perfect for me!

    xo, Elisa

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Me too! I love when all the obscure citrus fruits are at the grocery store. πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Robyn
    January 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    This looks so yummy! Have you tried barre3 online workouts in addition to your treadmill routine? I love it and have had a lot of success losing weight and inches doing their workouts over the past year. I think they’re doing a free 15-day trial right now: http://blog.barre3.com/2014/01/02/free-trial-to-barre3-online-workouts/. Thanks for the great smoothie recipes this week and Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve heard of that, but I’ve never tried it. You had me at free trial though. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you too!

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    January 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Good luck with your resolutions! This smoothie seems like a yummy way to reach them!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Thank you! 9 days into the New Year, I’ve been sticking to them. So that’s good! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    For me, extra pinch of cayenne please. Yum!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Me too! πŸ™‚ I love anything that’s sweet and spicy.

  • Reply
    marquis @realrawkitchen
    January 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    What an interesting combo! I regularly have all of these ingredients in my kitchen (and thanks to my past self that froze a bunch of uber ripe mango back when it was mango season here .. rather than selfishly eating it all) so I’ll have to give this a try!

    Congrats on the weight loss, too. I’m sure it’s old news but I don’t think it should go without notice, ever! That’s incredible πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Next time champagne mangoes are in season, I should freeze a bunch! Those are my favorites and it never occurred to me to freeze them until you mentioned it. πŸ™‚ Oh, and thank you–learning to cook real foods vs. eating out of packages can make a huge difference!

  • Reply
    Skye
    January 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I’m on a smoothie kick at the moment too… This sounds delicious – and the cayenne pepper is a lovely touch!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I’ve been having them for lunch a lot lately. I’m a little bit obsessed!

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    You make me excited to visit your blog. I love the new 6 posts per week. Each day something new and yummy.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you! I’m excited about 6 posts a week too! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Joanne
    January 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I had NO IDEA you’d lost so much weight!! AMAZING. And so inspirational. But also true. I lost around 50 lb in college and my metabolism is okay but nowhere near what it was then and the year after!! Now every 5 pounds is a battle. I like the hint of spice, though. In all things, but especially with sweets.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 10, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Thank you! I wrote a post about it once, but I didn’t want this to be, like, a weight loss blog so I don’t talk about it a lot. Congratulations on your weight loss too! Isn’t it completely unfair how your metabolism gets messed up like that? Ugh! I swear, if I even think about eating a slice of cake, I gain weight now.

  • Reply
    Kira - HealthAble Old Soul
    January 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Almond milk is delicious! I love it so much better than regular milk or even soy milk!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I love it too! The only milk I like more is cashew milk, but unfortunately they don’t sell that in stores!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    January 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I want this! Just love mango. But, um… my spice wimp self says minus the cayenne. πŸ˜‰ 100 pounds is quite an accomplishment! I can’t picture that, you look so slender in your photo. I lost 28 total, but gained back 2 stubborn pounds over Christmas that won’t go away. This smoothie might help.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      It definitely works without the cayenne too. πŸ™‚ 2 pounds over the holidays isn’t that bad–and we’re only 12 days into January, so I’m sure you will lose it soon enough!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 12, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Mango smoothies are my favorite and I love the idea of adding a little spice!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen
    January 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Cayenne for the win! Whoa I’m loving this!

  • Reply
    Nichol
    January 23, 2014 at 7:30 am

    I would have never thought to add cayenne to a smoothie. I add cayenne to a lot of foods due to the metabolism boosting powers. Gonna give this a try!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Have you ever had spicy lemonade? If you like that, you’ll probably like it in a smoothie because it’s the same sweet/spicy thing. πŸ™‚ It’s good on pineapple too!

  • Reply
    Mira
    August 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    When in a “diet” mood, I add cayenne pepper to everything! I even drink water with cayenne and lemon juice. This smoothie seems full of flavor and I must try it since, I’ve never made mandarin orange smoothie, but I love mango and pineapple and all three will be perfect together!

  • Reply
    Anna @ Blender Authority
    January 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Yum. This looks a great combo and I would have never thought to try cayenne pepper.

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