Monday, April 4, 2011

travel inspired recipe: banana avocado smoothie (Philippines)

After nearly a week of roaming off the tourist trail in search of whale sharks and a more authentic Filipino experience, I set off for Boracay, the part of my travels that would function as a real vacation from my hectic life in Seoul: six days of diving, relaxing, and taking myself out to dinner (with Infinite Jest as my date) on a picturesque (yet ├╝ber touristy) tiny island north of Cebu.  While lounging on White Beach won't get you a glimpse of the real Philippines-- just a portrait of how the natural jewels of the 7,107 island nation are being harnessed by the tourism industry (not necessarily a bad thing, as it is a major source of revenue and provider of jobs)-- it will give you access to countless opportunities for water sports, dining out, and nightlife (if you are into that kind of thing and wouldn't rather return to your room for a quiet night with a good book-- I won't judge).

Boracay's White Beach in the morning, with high tide during the full moon pushing further and further up the beach

One of my favorite things in the world is fruit-- especially of the tropical variety.  I had already delighted in the purchase of mangoes in the Sorsogon City markets (at several for a dollar instead of one for several dollars I didn't care if I made myself sick on mangoes, dammit, I was going to get as many in as possible!), but now it was time to enjoy fruit of the blended variety.  Enter Jonah's Shakes, a Boracay staple with around fifty varieties of blended goodness to choose from (though some options were frequently unavailable-- bad when you have your heart set on something, but never really that bad with a bajillion other delicious combinations to choose from).  With my minimum once daily fruit shake, I did a lot of sampling-- go tos like mango and melon varieties naturally did not disappoint, but one in particular that I was not prepared to like turned out to be a big hit with my taste buds: Jonah's banana avocado shake.

If you are anything like me (or my mother recently when she heard I was trying to recreate this), you might be thinking that putting avocado in a smoothie sounds disgusting.  Hear me out.  The avocado and banana pair brilliantly and make for a refreshing and incredibly filling protein and good-fat-packed drink.  I've been experimenting with it over the past couple days, and it has been a great thing to wake up and make on the weekend as a light meal replacement before running off to yoga in the morning.

Banana Avocado Smoothie:

1 ripe banana
1/4-1/2 avocado (the avocado's I've used recently have all had a lot of brown spots that I haven't used, so while I originally intended to use half, I realistically only used 1/4-1/3 of the fruit)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ice
sweetener of choice, to taste
I usually also throw in about 1/4 cup water- you can always add water or more milk to your desired consistency

blend until smooth, enjoy while pretending you are sitting on a tropical beach (totally normal)

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