Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Avocado Shake (Smoothies)

Lately, I have been preparing and enjoying the goodness of fresh fruit shakes or smoothies. I already have 3 posts about the healthy and natural drinks namely, “Guyabano”, Mango-Papaya and Pineapple shakes. Well, it’s mainly because we have an easy access to several kinds of fruits harvested from the farms and backyards of local residents in our area. I’m pretty sure that we can consider the harvest organic and therefore it has the additional benefits health wise. Another reason is that they are really inexpensive and by buying, we are able to help the home growers. Frugality at its noblest form, you may say. :-)

Among the fruits I recently bought are nice avocados. So this time, I want to make avocado shake or smoothie. The drink is probably next to “guyabano” shake in terms of natural vitamins and minerals. Like probably most of us, I learned to like the taste of avocado when I’m already a grown up. Yes, I avoided eating the fruit when I was still young. But it is totally a different scenario now as I even search the fruits whenever I don’t find them from roadside fruit vendors.

The avocado, also known as butter pear or alligator pear and palta or aguacate in Spanish, is a tree native to the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Central America. It is a commercially valuable crop whose trees and fruit are cultivated in tropical climates throughout the world and some temperate ones like California. Avocado also refers to the fruit, a large berry that contains a large seed of the tree which may be pear-shaped or egg-shaped or spherical and green-skinned fruit that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

The fruit has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods such as high-fat meats and fish, dairy, etc is limited. A ripe avocado will yield to a gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is deep green near the skin, becoming yellowish nearer the single large, inedible ovoid seed. It is typically greenish yellow to golden yellow when ripe.

Avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, making an excellent substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. The fruit is not sweet but fatty, distinctly yet subtly flavored and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a filling for several kinds of sushi, including California rolls. Avocado is popular in chicken dishes and as a spread on toast, served with salt and pepper. Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, “tortas”, hot dogs and carne asada.

In Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, South India and the Philippines, avocados are frequently used for milk-shakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water and pureed avocado. Here in Sri Lanka, it is a popular dessert once well ripened, flesh is thoroughly mashed with sugar/sugar and milk or treacle which I featured before.

For a single blending good for about 2 tall glasses, the few ingredients you will need are about 2 cups of peeled and sliced avocado, ¼ cup condensed milk, 1 cup cold water and about 1 tray ice cube, about 12 pieces.

To prepare, just put everything into the blender, cover tightly and pulse it several times until the ice cube and fruits are broken down and blended evenly with the other ingredients.

Pulse it a couple of times more until a smooth, rich and creamy consistency is attained. Don’t over blend.

Pour the drinks into tall glasses and serve. It’s refreshingly healthy. Enjoy! c“,)

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