Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Random ingredient recipe: Avocado banana and mango smoothies

I had heard of avocado milkshakes and smoothies before, but it never occurred to me to try making one until the other day. Basically, I came across an article in the Huffington Post called "8 Great New Avocado Recipes". Included in it was a recipe for avocado-banana smoothies that, I had to admit, sounded intriguing and looked even better in pictures (below).

Avocado-banana smoothie done my way (see below)

Source: Huffington Post Canada

And, as it happened, I had several very ripe avocados and bananas at home. But alas, I was looking for something simpler than the recipe above because I really wanted to get a feel for what avocados taste like in a smoothie. Conveniently, I didn't have any fresh ginger on hand so it seemed like that recipe and I weren't meant to be--at least not today.

That's when I came across this recipe that was much closer to what I had in mind. It's simple and it really places the flavour of the avocado front and centre. I modified the recipe slightly by adding some fresh mango, an extra 1/4 of milk and using only an 1/8th of a cup (or 2 tablespoons) of sugar instead of 1/4 cup. I also used half the ice (blender issues--don't ask!) and spiced it up just a little with some cinnamon and nutmeg (see below).

It took me several tries and and I had to consume several large glasses of this stuff to get it just how I wanted it. So, to create my version of this recipe, just throw all of these ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy:
  • 1 ripe avocado (soft and dark when ripe but not so ripe that it feels bubbly--this usually means it's overripened)
  • 1 ripe banana - frozen can work too
  • 1 small ripe mango diced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of milk (I've used both soy and 1%, both of which worked fine)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded unsweetened coconut (toasted would be a nice touch if you've got it)
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp and 1/8 tsp respectively)
You can dust it with cinnamon as I did above or leave it naked, but to be perfectly honest, aside from presentation, it really doesn't add much to it. Try adding fresh grated ginger for a spicier twist, as suggested in Marcus Samuelsson's recipe noted above. It's a pretty basic recipe and it's easy to play with the proportions or ingredients to customize it to your own personal taste.

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