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 here—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.

Smoothie Ingredients

Print this recipe
Spicy Mango Mandarin Smoothie

Prep Time

5 minutes

Total Time

5 minutes


1 smoothie


  • 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)


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


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! 😀

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! 😀

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!

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!

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.

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. 🙂 And yes, we can do it! Smoothies will help!

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. 🙂 Good luck, and keep us posted!

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

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! 🙂

Make mine SPICY of course 🙂 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 🙁 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 🙂 Cheers!

You can be jealous of my treadmill and I’ll be jealous of your parents’ mandarin tree. 🙂 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!).

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: -trial-to-barre3-online-workouts/. Thanks for the great smoothie recipes this week and Happy New Year!

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 🙂

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. 🙂 Oh, and thank you–learning to cook real foods vs. eating out of packages can make a huge difference!

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.

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.

I want this! Just love mango. But, um… my spice wimp self says minus the cayenne. 😉 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.

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!

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