A Digestion-Friendly Papaya Smoothie From A TCM Specialist
Papaya is my favorite fruit. When I was doing volunteer work in Costa Rica, I had some minor illnesses, like constipation, indigestion, skin rashes, sore throat, and a little bit of homesickness. No matter what my problem was, my host mom would always give me papaya and say, "¡Come un poco de papaya y te recuperarás!" ("Eat a little papaya and you will be fine!")
Papaya is loaded with antioxidants, enzymes like papain, vitamin C, lycopene, and more. This smoothie adds to the healing benefits of papaya with Spirit-calming herbs like jujube dates, longan fruit, lotus seeds, and lily bulb. These sweet and mild herbs fit perfectly in a smoothie and provide additional fiber, protein, and natural sweetness. I love having this smoothie on a summer afternoon!
Meridian Affinity: Heart, Spleen, Stomach
Functions: Aids Digestion, Calming
YIELD: 1 serving
TIME: 35 minutes
- ⅓ cup (30 grams) lotus seeds, hearts removed
- 1 cup roughly chopped ripe papaya
- 1 cup nondairy yogurt
- 1 cup nut milk of choice, plus more as needed
- 2 medium jujube dates (10 grams), pitted
- 3 fresh longan fruit (20 grams), pitted, or dried (6 grams)
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lily bulb*
- Ice (optional)
*Fresh lily bulbs are preferred here. If you can only get dried lily bulbs, place 10 grams in a small pot of water and boil for 10 minutes. Make sure they are soft and fully hydrated before using.
- In a small pot, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the lotus seeds and cook, covered, until they are very soft, about 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the lotus seeds. Discard the liquid.
- In a blender, add the cooked lotus seeds and the rest of the ingredients and blend at high speed until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding nut milk. Enjoy at room temperature or iced.
From THE FIVE ELEMENTS COOKBOOK by Zoey Xinyi Gong. Copyright © 2023 by Zoey Xinyi Gong. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Born in Shanghai, China, Zoey Xinyi Gong is a registered dietitian (R.D.) and Traditional Chinese Medicine chef. She is dedicated to modernizing Traditional Chinese Medicine and making it a relevant and practical lifestyle for all, and serving as a bridge between Eastern and Western perspectives of wellness. She is the cofounder of the Red Pavilion, a creative venue in Brooklyn featuring medicinal cooking classes, chef’s table, and more. She's been covered by the New York Times, NBC, Serious Eats, Bon Appetit, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.