Smoothies: the craze for busy, fit people who slurp down green chunks of pulp because they’re too busy to chew (but not too busy to upload a pic of their concoction on social media).
Smoothie selfies aside, home-made smoothies can be a great way to up your fruit intake and avoid sugar-laden commercial varieties.
But research out of the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that only 52 per cent of Australians eat the recommended intake of two serves of fruit per day. So get blending and creative with a smoothie filled with some of these strange fruits.
1. The spiky durian
With its weird looking porcupine-shape, this Asian fruit may not seem like a good choice for a healthy smoothie, especially given its odour has been compared to smelly socks.
But look beyond these flaws and you’ll find a surprisingly creamy and healthy fruit.
The Asian durian is one of dietitian Katrina Mills’ favourite Asian fruits.
"It is a nutrition powerhouse, because of its high monounsaturated fat content, the same type that heart healthy avocadoes contain," says Mills from Body Fusion.
It is also rich in potassium, high in dietary fibre and great for your immune and nervous system and bowel.
Mills says durian is best paired with spices like vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate and can satisfy an afternoon or sweet after-dinner craving.
The durian typically grows in Asian countries from June to August and can be purchased fresh or frozen from most Asian supermarkets. But keep an eye out as your local major supermarket because some also stock the fruit.
Recipe: Katrina Mills’ chocolate-durian smoothie (serves 2)
1 cup chopped durian; 1 chopped banana; 1 tablespoon cacao powder; 1 tsp vanilla powder; 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 250 ml (1 cup) iced water.
Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender for 1 -2 minutes.
2. The pretty in pink dragon fruit
A cross between a kiwi fruit and a pear, this sweet and crunchy fruit also known also as pitaya is a type of cactus originally grown in South East Asia, Israel and Central and South America. With its pink flowers and soft flesh, the dragon fruit is a beautiful food that can add a dazzling effect to a dull fruit bowl.
But Bannie Williams, nutritionist at The Healthy Ingredient, says its spectacular visual appearance is only one benefit.
"Dragon fruit or pitaya is a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help fight toxins and free radicals out of the body," says Williams.
Australian-grown dragon fruit is best eaten during summer season. It can be purchased at most Woolworths supermarkets and other specialist stores.
With its sweet and refreshing flavour Williams suggests using the fruit in a smoothie with watermelon, strawberries and mint.
3. The sweet Polynesian noni
Another strange fruit you might like to chuck into your blender is the egg-shaped green and white ‘noni’ fruit, native to Malaysia, Australia and Polynesia.
"It is traditionally used by Polynesians for healing liver disease. It has a very subtle flavour and hence is usually combined with other fruits," says Mills.
It is also bursting with vitamins and antioxidants, and is believed to boost your immune health and the cardiovascular system.
Noni is in season from July to December and best consumed before it is completely ripe.
The fruit can be sourced from specialist stores and some farmers’ markets. Noni juice is also readily available in most health and organic stores.
Recipe: Katrina Mill’s noni nutrient booster (serves 2)
330 ml coconut water; 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce leaves; ½ cup baby spinach leaves; 1 chopped green apple; 1/2 pear; 1 tbsp noni juice; juice of ½ lemon and ice cubes.
Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender for 2-3 minutes.