Archive for June 24th, 2013

June 24, 2013

Healthy Hospitality

green smoothies

Hi, Friends! It’s Brooke here. I’d love to share a special discovery we had on our recent girls’ trip to Mexico. Now I’d like to say I stepped off the plane that morning rested and relaxed, ready for adventure, but after only 4 hours of sleep (guess who packed until midnight?!), I lurched off in a daze, dragging my suitcase behind me. Here I was in a tropical paradise, half conscious and dehydrated. All was not lost, however. . . Forty-five minutes later, as we arrived at our beautiful home for the next few days (the incomparable Rosewood Mayakoba), the staff greeted us warmly and treated us to a sparkling emerald-green welcome drink—the Chaya Mojito. This delicious treat was served without the rum normally found in the Cuban cocktail, and it was lovely. What a way to start a vacation!

We learned that chaya (pronounced “CHY-ah”) is a popular supergreen found in Central and South America but difficult to find in the United States. My tired mind was so addled when we first learned about chaya that I thought our host was mispronouncing “chia,” like chia seeds. Thank goodness I didn’t say anything! This wonder green is called “tree spinach” and is actually very similar to the spinach we are already familiar with. The young shoots and leaves of the chaya are treasured for their multitude of health benefits, which include lowering cholesterol, improving circulation and digestion, reducing inflammation, and fighting diabetes and arthritis. Actually, these leafy gems are packed with even more vitamins C and A, protein, calcium, potassium, and iron than spinach is. Chaya is so nutritious that it has been used for centuries in regions of Central and South America where access to other greens and vegetables is limited or impossible. Wow!

I’d love to share the recipe for our special welcome drink, compliments of the beautiful Rosewood Mayakoba ( This mojito would be an excellent addition to your next summer party—I can’t wait to share it with my family and friends! (Note: 25 grams is approximately 0.8 ounces. This conversion can be a little tricky, so I’d put in a small amount of chaya and mint and then add more as you play around with it. Does this lack of exact instruction make you nervous? Me too!)

Chaya Mojito

  • 4 oz sparkling water
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 25 grams fresh mint
  • 25 grams fresh chaya (or baby spinach)
  • 2 oz sugar syrup (simple syrup—sugar dissolved in hot water)
  • 2 oz aged rum (optional)

Mix all the ingredients with ice in a blender. Serve in a highball glass and garnish with lime and a sugar cane, if desired. Enjoy!

May you have a refreshing week!

XO, Brooke