island girl flavors: early dawn smoothie

As the temperatures start rising my system automatically switches to “craving for smoothies mode” and I love it.  I find it much easier to prepare a smoothie than a meal.  And with the variety of fruits and veggies now available (hello, farmer’s markets) the options are endless.  When it comes to a smoothie I like a little bit of sweetness but not too sweet, so I try to stay away from adding too much stuff aside from the fruits or veggies I am using.  So how do I choose the flavors?  Produce availability and previous smoothies that I have tried.
photo via carta buena

One of my favorite places for smoothies and juices is a little truck juice bar in Rincon, Puerto Rico called Carta Buena.  This place is basically a pop-up smoothie/juice bar shack that offers fresh juices and smoothies, as well as a variety of healthy snacks.  This place makes some insanely delicious concoctions that are perfect for the locals and visitors alike.  Rincon is the Puerto Rican haven for surfers and outdoor activities enthusiasts alike.  So this type of place is the perfect spot to get a boost throughout your day.  One of my favorite juices there is the Dawn Patrol.  When I make it at home, I have to go the smoothie route because I do not have a juicer, which is key in getting the deep color of the Carta Buena juices.  But I am able to get the essential: the flavors. 
For my version I added the following to a blender: 1 cup carrot-orange juice  (no sugar added), 1 starfruit, 1/2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 tsp turmeric.  If you want that smoothie consistency, add some ice and blend the heck out of it! 

I call mine Early Dawn because that is what the colors remind me.  That moment just before the sun comes out in full force.   But also the flavors.  They are bright and delicious.  And talk about a Vitamin C pill in a glass!  We all know about oranges but star fruit is also packed with 29g of Vitamin C and it is used to cured everything from hangovers to helping breastfeeding moms by improving the flow of milk.  I remember growing up eating these babies and I always get a heart attack when I see how expensive they are.  But they are so good!!!  The slightly tart flavor of this fruit plus the anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric make this a good-for-you concoction.   When I drink his I feel immediately transported to the beach listening to the sound of the waves.
Have you ever had star fruit?
Ever been to Carta Buena? Ricon?


  1. that looks & sounds delish! I love tropical tasting smoothies.
    I just had my first star fruit a few weeks ago. Was so nervous about it but its like any other fruit. :) Yummy too!

    1. I have to agree. Very yummy indeed. Tropical tasting smoothies is usually what I am inclined to have and love them!

  • LOVE star fruit! My mother in law used to talk passionately about her childhood in Puerto Rico, and the fruit CORAZON...have you ever heard of it?

    I love to make my smoothies with kale, blackberries and banana, but you've got me thinking about making one tomorrow with frozen mango and orange juice! You look wonderful, BTW! Anita

    1. Anita, yes I am very familiar with Corazon fruit. It is what we call in English custard apple. I am not crazy about it but there is one called guanabana (or annona) which I simply love... and devour whenever I find one! I am a huge kale fan lately and more than a handful have found themselves in my blender :-) And thank you for your sweet complement. :-)