The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Tropical Smoothie

If there's one thing we know about tropical smoothies, it's that there is no shortage of ways to make your tastebuds feel like they're on a vacation. With their exotic fruits and indulgent flavors, they can earn your smile with the right combination of quality ingredients. While there are plenty of pre-made smoothies that you can find at your local grocery store, choosing the fruit in your tropical smoothie – whether it be fresh or frozen – and other ingredients you might desire can add a depth of flavor that makes it stand out from the store-bought version. Just ask the popular chain Tropical Smoothie Cafe, which allows patrons to customize their smoothies in various ways.

Or you could ask recipe developer Catherine Brookes, whose tropical smoothie recipe combines frozen mangoes and pineapples with a banana, coconut milk, and orange juice to produce a creamy, summer-flavored getaway for your mouth. "It's packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and has anti-inflammatory benefits, too," Brookes told Mashed. But a simple ingredient that might not be obvious takes this tropical smoothie to a higher level.

Flaxseed will elevate your smoothie

Capturing the taste of the tropics at home is simple: Just add some beach sand! Don't have any beach sand in your pantry? (That's probably for the best.) Instead, consider adding some flaxseed to your smoothie. Its hint of nuttiness will perfectly complement the sweet tropical flavors, giving your smoothie a beach-side feel without all the sand getting in your shoes.

"We could go with flaxseed as the secret ingredient here as it adds extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids," recipe developer Catherine Brookes said of her tropical smoothie recipe. Adding flaxseed to your smoothie will not only make it more nutritious, but it will also make it more filling and satisfying. Incorporating it is easy, too. If making Brookes' recipe, which yields two servings, just add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and you'll be set. She says, "It generally takes around 1 minute to blitz completely. The texture should be smooth and slightly thick."

So, the next time you have a hankering for palm trees swaying back and forth from the ocean breeze, try adding flaxseed as your secret ingredient for a majorly upgraded (and even healthier) smoothie. You may be stuck at home or work, but at least your tastebuds can be on their way to a tropical paradise.​