This Sicilia Smoothie features the bright flavors of its island namesake: juicy oranges, sour grapefruit, refreshing fennel, sweet grapes, and fragrant basil.
Sicily is renowned for its abundance of citrus fruits. Everything from juicy, sugar-sweet oranges to pithy, acidic citrons is cultivated on the island. The agreeable weather and rich, volcanic soil is very productive of citrus. Perhaps the most famous Sicilian citrus is the blood orange, a vibrantly-hued variety believed to be a cross between tangerines and pomelos. These have all the familiar taste of an orange along with an extra hint of black cherry flavor. At least thats what I think it tastes like. 🙂 Adding some blood orange to this smoothie not only gives an interesting flavor twist, it also imbues it with a lovely pink color.
While the chilly winter season brings on a lack of tasty, sweet fruits like peaches, plums, and apricots, it also brings about an abundance of citrus, both sweet and sour. This smoothie combines those blood oranges with the juicy, more familiar oranges and pleasantly bitter grapefruit. Fresh fennel bulb, with its slight licorice taste, blends into an almost creamy base for the acidic fruits. Grapes provide the sweetness that a smoothie demands and the basil adds pops of spiciness throughout.
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 cup grapes, frozen
- 1 orange (valencia, navel, cara cara), peeled and seeds removed
- 1 blood orange, peeled and seeds removed
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and seeds removed
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup ice
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- ¼ cup fennel fronds
- Add the fennel, grapes, orange, blood orange, grapefruit, zests, water, and ice to the blender jar and blend on high until smooth.
- Throw in the basil leaves and fennel fronds and blend just enough to leave little bits of herbs that burst with flavor with every sip.
- Pour into glasses and serve.
-Can't find blood oranges? Just substitute with another regular orange.
-This smoothie is best enjoyed right after making it. If you plan to make this for later, replace the grapefruit with more orange. This is because grapefruit can get more and more bitter the longer it sits after juicing. This may not be an issue if you like bitterness though.
Looking for more smoothies? Check out my World of Smoothies!