This pitaya peach smoothie has quickly become my go-to power breakfast because it’s easy, healthy, gorgeous, and delicious. What more can you ask for in the morning?
Thank you to Rodelle for providing products for use in this post!
Big news: Ben and I are married! We started dating almost six years ago, before the idea of starting a food blog had even crossed my mind, got engaged almost three years ago, and tied the knot on Saturday. I’m so happy and in a way amazed that we are finally married, mostly because we’re not the best at planning big events. However, we somehow pulled it off (with a huge amount of help from our families and especially my mother, who put together all the little decorative elements and details into something better than I’d ever imagined) and are so thrilled to be husband and wife. Also, Ben’s sister and her husband threw us an outdoor rehearsal dinner that was so fun I worried the wedding itself couldn’t top it, complete with a gorgeously decorated tent in their driveway and a late-night fire pit. I could go on and on about our wedding weekend, but should probably save it for a separate post since I also have lots to say about these smoothies. If you’re interested, though, here are a couple of photos from our first look shot by my dear friend, bridesmaid, and photographer extraordinaire Lindsey Lowe.
So, smoothie time! I have been making smoothies all spring and summer long, and this pitaya peach smoothie is my very favorite. I shot a cookbook written by someone else this summer (more details coming!) for the first time, and had 60 photos due just over two weeks before my wedding date. As if photographing a cookbook and planning a wedding wasn’t enough, I also continued to work 30 hours a week as a speech therapist and took on several other freelance projects. To say I didn’t have time to cook breakfast would be an understatement. This is such an easy breakfast, especially if you use an immersion blender like I do–you can make your smoothie in a big jar and drink it from there, too!
Smoothies like this one came to my morning rescue, and as a bonus, they are packed with nutrients and make me feel light, energetic, and happy in the mornings. Here’s a rundown of the ingredients I use and why, plus ideas of how you can customize this pitaya peach smoothie to make it just right for you:
- Greens (I prefer Swiss chard, dino kale, curly kale, or spinach, in that order!) are needed to get in a serving of dark leafy vegetables and all the great nutrients they bring with them. If you don’t love greens in smoothies, though, you can leave them out or start with just a tiny bit and work up. I find that Swiss chard actually blends in the best and asserts its flavor the least (and I get it in my CSA all the time), but dino or Tuscan kale, pictured here, is my second favorite.
- A fresh peach lends amazing flavor and an almost creamy texture to the smoothie. Of course, Georgia peaches are the best, but they’ve already been gone for a while this year. However, there are some very good West Coast peaches that are still in stores. Peach season is almost over, so go grab some while you can! You can also make this with frozen peaches (and I often do) but it’s significantly better with fresh.
- Frozen pitaya (otherwise known as dragonfruit) gives this smoothie its vibrant color and is a good source of magnesium and iron. Pitaya has a light flavor that’s almost like a cross between melon and kiwi, which is why I like pairing it with the more assertively flavored peach. I prefer the pitaya smoothie packs over cubes because they’re more concentrated and easier to use, but both work. If you’re in Chattanooga, check Whole Foods for the smoothie packs or Publix for the cubes. It’s worth calling ahead since they’re often out. You can rest assured that I’ve been bugging them about stocking more, though! I found the fresh pitaya for the garnish at Earth Fare. The smoothie doesn’t need a garnish, but it’s fun to do every once in a while! My nieces also had a great time using the leftover fresh dragonfruit to decorate a cake.
- Collagen makes this a high-protein smoothie. If I don’t have a good amount of protein (and fat) with breakfast, I feel desperately hungry and distraught by 1o am, and collagen is the protein powder that works best for me. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, just substitute your favorite protein powder.
- Almond butter adds healthy fat to this smoothie, which is essential for keeping me full and making the smoothie taste great. You can also substitute 1/4 large or 1/2 small avocado (peeled and pitted, of course) or a handful of raw cashews. If you’re doing cashews and you have time, soak them briefly in hot water and drain before adding so they blend better. Whether you’re soaking or not, I recommend blending cashews first with just the greens and water before adding any other ingredients. (That may not be truly necessary with a high-speed blender, but I don’t have one of those and use an immersion blender for all my smoothies.)
- Golden flaxseed meal is a great addition if you want a little more fiber, and I’ve also read that flax seeds may help with cramps, so I’m trying to eat more of them.
- Rodelle vanilla and lemon extracts are my secret smoothie weapons. I believe everything sweet needs a touch of vanilla so I’ve always added that one to my smoothies, but the lemon extract was a more recent revelation. The stuff is magical because it lends pure lemon flavor without any tartness. Every single time I’ve tasted a smoothie I’ve been experimenting with and it hasn’t tasted quite right, a little lemon extract has totally fixed it. It’s technically optional but it really takes these pitaya peach smoothies over the top! For another easy breakfast featuring vanilla and lemon extracts, check out my weekday morning paleo dutch baby.
Phew, that was a lot of smoothie details! If you’re still with me, I hope you’re planning to give this recipe a try.
What are your favorite fruits to add to smoothies? After pitaya and peach, my next two favorites are frozen dark sweet cherries and frozen wild blueberries, but I’ve also been loving fresh pears!
- ⅓ cup lightly packed greens, such as kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, destemmed and torn (optional)
- 1 (100-gram) frozen dragonfruit pack (or 150 grams/about 1¼ cups frozen dragonfruit cubes)*
- 1 fresh, ripe peach, pitted and roughly chopped**
- 2-3 scoops collagen (or your favorite protein powder)***
- 1 rounded tablespoon almond butter****
- 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon Rodelle vanilla extract, or to taste
- Scant ¼ teaspoon Rodelle lemon extract, or to taste (optional but highly recommended)
- ⅓ cup water or almond milk, plus more if needed
- Handful of ice cubes (optional)
- Fresh dragonfruit balls, for garnish (optional)
- Blend all ingredients using an immersion or high-speed blender until very smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. For an even smoother texture, begin by blending the greens with the water for about 1 minute, then add all remaining ingredients and blend again (I skip this step most mornings!).
- If you'd like an icier smoothie, add a handful of ice and blend again until incorporated.
- Top with fresh dragonfruit balled with a melon baller if desired. Serve right away.
*I use Pitaya Plus. I prefer the smoothie packs but sometimes can only find cubes. The smoothie packs are a bit more concentrated, so you need less to achieve the desired flavor and color.
**You can substitute about a cup of frozen peach slices, but a fresh, juicy, ripe peach gives this smoothie the best flavor and texture. When I use frozen peaches, I often find I need to add about a teaspoon of honey to up the sweetness a little. Edited to add: In the winter I love using 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries in place of the peach.
***I use Vital Proteins collagen. You can of course easily make this smoothie vegetarian or vegan by using a different protein powder that fits those criteria.
****I sometimes use ¼ to ½ of a ripe avocado or a handful of cashews (preferably soaked briefly in hot water and then drained) instead of the almond butter. If I'm using cashews, especially unsoaked, I blend them first with just the greens and water before adding the other ingredients. Avocado blends in well (and you won't taste it!) so you can add it anytime.
Thank you to Rodelle for providing products for use in this post!
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