Avocados – How to Freeze and The “Best-Ever” Smoothie

Avocado 2I recently read an article about freezing avocados that Joe found and sent to me. We love avocado smoothies but never seem to have enough fresh avocados. So freezing them was of particular interest to me.  It is so easy:  Pick ripe ready to use avocados, cut them in half, remove the pit and the skin. Place the flesh in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer..Voila!!! You have ready to use avocados anytime you want them.

Here are the latest ready to go into the freezer. These are large, local variety with almost yellow flesh that you can buy from several local vendors who come to my house. These are pretty big and were 3 for a dollar.

IMG_3009 Now for the best smoothie you will ever have.

IMG_3012Yes, I said avocado smoothie, I know it was hard for me to wrap my brain around making a smoothie from what I consider the vegetable you use for making guacamole or sliced on a chicken sandwich. You will never want a mora, or frutilla or banana smoothie again after tasting this rich and wonderful drink.

Avocado Smoothie

  • one large ripe avocado
  • 8 oz. milk
  • one large glass of ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 8 oz. glass of water

Place avocado, sugar, ice and milk into a blender.  Blend on high until avocado and ice are smooth and creamy.  Add the glass of water and blend again on high for a few minutes.

Pour into large glasses and taste the best thing you have ever had in your life.  Really, I mean it, this is the best smoothie I have ever had. Once you have had this avocado smoothie you will never want any other smoothie again.

IMG_3013 My preference is the haas avocado and you can find them, most of the time, in the big supermarkets here like SuperMaxi or Mi Comisariato. They have a very dark green bumpy skin, are smaller than the local ones and have a much smaller pit. It has a little different flavor and the color is much greener flesh than the local avocados…but when in Rome do as the Romans do, so we use what we can get.

AVOCADO-hass-300x250avocadoinfoHonestly, I don’t drink avocado smoothies for any of the above reasons, I drink them because they taste so darn good!

 

Kefir – Cultured Milk similar to Yogurt

We fell in love with kefir when we were living in Panama. Some sweet soul, sorry I forgot who gave me the culture, was kind enough to share their kefir grains with us when we lived their over five years ago..

Kefir is a cultured, creamy product with amazing health benefits. Kefir is tart and has a refreshing flavor similar to a drinking-style yogurt or buttermilk. It contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly probiotic bacteria found in yogurt.

The grains are just that, they look like little grains of rice. You start with about one tablespoon of kefir grains and you add milk. It can be cows milk, goats milk, raw milk and even boxed milk works. Leave the milk mixture on your kitchen counter for 18 to 24 hours in a glass container. Do not close the lid completely or drill holes in the top to allow air to escape. Use a coffee filter with an elastic band to cover to keep little critters out. Strain using non-metal strainer into a clean storage jar. If you want a richer more tart flavored kefir – allow the kefir to sit on your counter for a few more hours after you have removed the grains. This gives you fresh kefir every day in any quantity that you need.

Kefir is a great preventative probiotic which will promote gut health, absolutely necessary while living in this climate.

IMG_2090I received this kefir from Rodger and Glennda Kauffman who are living in Bahia de Caraquez. The culture is very healthy and is reproducing grains which I will share with anyone who may be traveling through San Clemente.

You can use kefir to make smoothies using the fruit of your choice if you are not a plain yogurt eater. Plus one of my future posts will be for a dessert called Panna Cotta using kefir.  Really yummy….

Kefir

While living in Panama, I was given a gift of Kefir Grains. I did not know anything about kefir at the time but decided to try it. What a wonderful yogurt type drink it makes. I think it is more flavorful than anything you buy in the store. First I guess I need to explain that kefir is a probiotic beverage. I have purchased two types of grains: milk kefir grains and water kefir grains.The milk kefir grains can be used with cow milk, goat milk or coconut milk. The water kefir grains can be used with sugar-water, juice or coconut water but more on water kefir when I start working with that in a few weeks.

Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term “kefir grains” describes the look of the culture only – it is not a grain at all.

San Clemente 8.18b.2013 002I purchased these grains from a company in the US and had a friend bring them with her when she visited the states last month. They come in a dehydrated state and need to be rehydrated with milk to work properly.

Kefir 8.11.2013 008 I have a supply of raw milk delivered to my door three times a week. For .60 cents I buy a quart of beautiful full fat milk that I have used for making puddings in the past. Now I am using it for my kefir. It will take up to 8 attempts to get my grains really producing. Right now I am only making one cup at a time to get the grains to multiply. Once they start to multiply I will have more grains than needed and will eventually be able to share with friends and neighbors.

Kefir 8.11.2013 011The result, using one cup of kefir with a half pint of fresh frozen strawberries, was two dessert dishes of almost soft-serve consistency. No sugar added just the fresh frozen berries with the tart kefir…it was a hit.

Making a Green Smoothie

I have read on Facebook about my sister Debbie’s daughters Samantha and Ashley making and drinking green smoothies. So I decided to give it a try.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 020 I had all of these fresh ingredients so I combined orange juice, pineapple, strawberries and spinach (for the green bit). I thought with the sweetness of the pineapple and the strawberries that I really did not need any additional sweetener and I was right. The color was not very appealing but the taste was wonderful. And I even got Joe to join in for a try.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 022Sorry Samantha and Ashley I just don’t see me drinking this every day but once in a while I think it would be wonderful and a very nice change from a regular batido.

To your health everyone!