Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Banana Loving Monkey

Meet Lili, my little monkey.

This is really not a usual post with recipes although I will make a banana mango smoothie for you all. This is more of an introduction to my little sidekick, Lili or as I often call her my little monkey.

I have had boxers for 23 years now and they are such little comedians but this one absolutely loves bananas! It just cracks me up.

But not just any banana, she is particular.

So this is how it goes….

I always have bananas ripening on the counter and when they are ready, ripe, and spotted like this one, I peel them, chop and freeze them for smoothies. But I've noticed that when I start to peel bananas, someone shows up at my side. She will stand and stare and if I don't notice her, she will start to nudge, ever so gently until she gets my attention.

This is what she's after. (I don't usually give it to her like this though.)  She wants the banana.  But it has to be perfectly ripe. Not even slightly green, and no spots or bruises either on the meat of the banana. She can tell if there was a bruise next to the piece I give her. I can't. But she can and she will have no part of it. No, this little monkey is very particular about her bananas.

It kind of tells you something doesn't it? Animals instinctively know what is ripe and good to eat.

For years I ate slightly green bananas, and saved the brown spotted ones for banana bread, like most people. But the problem with greenish bananas is that they are not ripe, too starchy and tough for a lot of people to digest. Ever get those banana after burps? I did. Sorry gross I know but it just goes to show us that we are not doing it right. 

So take a tip from Lili the Monkey Dog: Bananas are not ripe and fully sugared until there are some spots.

Green fruit is not ripe. Not even limes but that's another post.

So my Lili monkey had a birthday last weekend. She's a rescue, so we are guesstimating but Cinco De Mayo seemed festive and easy to remember. So in honor of her birthday, I made her (and myself) a smoothie I know she loves, Banana Mango. I usually give her a little smoothie every day over her kibbles. She waits for it and no longer will eat kibble dry. Go figure.

So here's her favorite (she told me ;-) Banana Mango Smoothie:

Start with 4 ripe Champagne Mangos and 4 ripe bananas. 

First a little info about "Champagne" mangos or "Ataulfo" mangos. They come from Mexico and are smaller than the more popular reddish Tommy Atkins mangoes that you usually see in the stores. But like most smaller fruit, the yellow "baby" champagne mangos are a little sweeter and slightly tarty (is that a word?) also the flesh is less fibrous and more smooth than the bigger variety. They are definitely checking out. My store had a special so I stocked up.

These mangoes are ripe when they get a little soft and spotty as well.  As you can see above, the meat of the banana is just perfect, not mushy, just sweet and sugary.

The mangos slice up the same as the big mangos, along side the pit in the center. The pit is wider on one side so cut along those wide sides, cutting off each "cheek" and then score the meat both ways. If you bend back the skin, the meat will pop up. I usually just use my thumbs to separate the meat from the skin but a spoon or knife would work too. There is not way around getting messy with mangos. 
So juicy!

Because I like my smoothies a little frosty, I add a little frozen banana to the mix as well, plus a little water to thin it and help it move in the blender.

Blend until desired consistency adding more water to thin if you like.

Here it is, Pure Sweetness!

And here is Lili posing patiently for her birthday picture with her smoothie…

While she did get some on her kibbles, the majority of it was mine! ;-)  So delicious!

Until next time….Stay thirsty my friends. 

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  1. Oh MY! THAT looks delish!! I'll have to make that one for the kids this weekend. Your dog likes bananas? MIne eats apples. I noticed sometimes she doesn't like them though. I wonder if she is picky as well. I'll have to try to keep track and see-lol.


    1. Dogs are so funny. Lili won't eat apples or carrots and yet I have friends that their dogs love them. That's funny too about your dog sometimes not liking apples. Could be they aren't sweet enough sometimes. Dogs definitely have. Sweet tooth. Let me know what you find out. :)

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