Blueberry/Banana/Pineapple Smoothie

57 (2)In a large blender add 2 cups blueberries and 2 ripe bananas. Then fill the rest of the blender with equal parts pineapple and water and/or ice. If you don’t have fresh pineapple, you can use pineapple juice instead.

I want to thank everyone who has read my posts during my 100-Day Project of writing about edible gardening—stories about plants & people. This is the 100th day! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your comments and have learned so much from you while reading your blogs and remarks. It’s also been such a pleasure to meet so many of you in the blogging community. I’m going to take a couple of weeks off from writing now to think about how I am going to continue… Perhaps I’ll post once or twice a week or change focus a bit. Please feel free to let me know what you’ve liked or not liked…

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Coffee vs Smoothie

18 (2)Oh my dear coffee, how I love you and hate you…let me count the ways… I love the ritual of getting up in the morning and first pouring the water into the stainless steel espresso maker, otherwise known as a Moka Pot. I love packing you in, ground-up fine, and putting you on the stove. It’s comforting. I love the smell of you and your taste. So what don’t I like? That the time it takes to perform this ceremony could be used to support a healthier habit, like making a fruit or veggie smoothie. And what I hate is that I’m addicted to you. This morning I tried to split-up with you. I didn’t drink you; I made a fresh juice instead. By the end of the day I had a splitting headache. When you look at the overall picture coffee, you’re not that bad of a habit—I mean you’re not nicotine or heroin. But the caffeine withdrawal is unpleasant. So now that I already survived the first day of a horrendous migraine, I think I’ll stay away from you for another day, and maybe another… we’ll see how it goes.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

How to Make Pineapple Juice / Grow a Pineapple

A (2)If you have a strong blender it’s easy to make pineapple juice or a smoothie. I use a Vitamix, which will totally pulverize the fruit. Start with a whole pineapple. Cut off the crown (top) and bottom. Then slice off the outer layer of the pineapple so you are left with the yellow part. Now slice that crosswise and into wedges. No need to slice out the middle core. A strong blender will puree that. Toss the wedges in the blender and add water and/or ice, depending on the desired consistency. Blend on high. If you add water it will look like the juice that I made in the picture. If you add ice, it will have the consistency of a smoothie. Either way, it’s sweet and tastes great.

If you want to GROW a pineapple, just take the crown that you cut off and set it aside for a couple of days to dry out a bit. Then place it loosely in soil, either in the ground or in a planter. Pineapple grows shallow roots so it is fine in a planter. It will take approximately 2 years to grow an edible fruit so it is good to have a few plants, started at different times. Pineapple is a tropical fruit; it does need sun and warm weather. Good luck!

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

The Gardener & the Green Smoothie

green (2)I really like sharing my fruit concoctions. If you visit me at my house, chances are you’ll be offered a glass of whatever smoothie I have in the fridge. I lovingly serve them to my friends, family, neighbors and the workers who come to my house. In a conversation with my mother one day, about my fruit trees and the occasional smoothies I give the gardener, she laughed and said “you don’t make that GREEN smoothie for him, do you!?”  What!? Is it against the 10 Commandments to give the gardener a green smoothie?

Today was the gardener’s day to do my yard and he was also going to plant a persimmon tree for me. I usually make a pitcher just for him and his assistant, with the fruits I have an abundance of, which are papaya and carambola. These are fruits they are familiar with and like. I decided that the tree-planting warranted a special smoothie:  a green one! I made my new favorite recipe of carambola, banana & kale. I did go easy on them and put less kale than I normally do.

You should have seen the look on their faces when I handed them each a large plastic cup of the green goodness. They were confused. Drinking something green was not an experience they had had before. They drank it because it was a very hot day, they were thirsty and perhaps a little polite. Turns out they don’t EAT much green food, much less DRINK it.

Commandment #11: Thou shall not give the gardener a green smoothie.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Strawberry/Papaya/Banana Smoothie

FullSizeRender (2)Love smoothies! I drink some sort of fruit concoction every morning, usually made with at least 3 different fruits; so I get a whole bunch of different vitamins & nutrients in one glass. If I don’t DRINK fruit, I’ll EAT the whole fresh fruits throughout the day.

SMOOTHIE RECIPE: Blend equal parts strawberries and papaya, plus 1 or 2 bananas, with water and/or ice to desired consistency. If you want to make this as a shake instead, substitute the water/ice with milk or yogurt or ice cream (nut, soy or dairy–whatever your preference is).

 
 
© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Carambola/Kale/Banana Smoothie: my new Favorite

IMG_1299 (2)This is my new favorite smoothie–not kidding–it is sweet and delicious! If you’ve never had Carambola (Star Fruit), it tastes similar to grapes. I use the fruit fresh from my trees.

RECIPE: Fill the blender in these proportions:

  • 1/3 fresh or frozen Carambola
  • 1/3 Kale + 2 ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 Water and/or Ice
  • Blend until smooth

If you don’t have access to carambola, you could replace it with seedless grapes. I haven’t tried it with grapes, so if anyone does, please let me know what it tastes like… Other recipes: Carambola/Blueberry Smoothie/JuicePapaya/Carambola Smoothie.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Jonathan’s Shake

4 (2)We were at ROBERT IS HERE fruit stand, in Homestead, waiting in line to order one of their famous fresh fruit shakes. There was a menu on the wall, listing all kinds of fruits that were available for shakes & smoothies. When it was our turn Jonathan said, “I’ll have a Guanábana Mamey shake.” I had never tasted either of those fruits so I asked him about them. “Never tried them,” he said, “I liked the sound of the names.”  “Seriously?! You ordered a shake made with fruits you’ve never even heard of!” I replied. He couldn’t even pronounce Guanábana. He called it guana-banana. I was impressed with his order, none-the-less. The cold concoction arrived and I sampled it. And then proceeded to drink half of it before Jon took it away from me. I will say that it was the best tasting milkshake I had ever had. If I would have died after drinking it, it would have been with a very satisfied smile on my face. That must have been about 10 years ago. Since then I have turned countless people onto Jonathan’s Shake.

RECIPE Ingredients:
16 oz. mamey
14 oz. guanábana (soursop)
8 oz. ice cream OR milk (whatever kind you like: soy, nut or diary)

Instructions: You can use fresh or frozen fruit. For the shake to have a thick consistency, some of the ingredients need to be frozen to start with–either the fruit, milk or ice cream. If you prefer a smoothie, just substitute the ice cream/milk with ice and water. Don’t worry about exact measurements. You can use equal parts of each of the fruits or slightly more of the mamey. Put everything in a strong blender and blend. This makes 2 tall glasses of fruit bliss.

For more soursop (guanábana) info, picture and recipe: Papaya/Soursop Smoothie or Shake
For more mamey info and pictures go to Fruit Stand Loot

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Carambola Blueberry Smoothie/Juice

01792df214a(2)If you are using fresh Carambola (Star Fruit), slice the fruit into chunks and de-seed. No need to peel the fruit. Add the Carambola and other ingredients into your blender, in these proportions:

  • 2/4 full of Carambola
  • 1/4 full of Blueberries
  • 1/4 full of Ice if you want a Smoothie or ¼ Water if you want Juice
  • Add a ripe Banana if you have one

The more variety of fruit you have, the greater variety of nutrients you get. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Papaya/Soursop Smoothie or Shake

IMG_0774 (2) papaya cutYesterday’s smoothie was Papaya/Carambola. Today I made one with Papaya, Soursop and Banana. Papaya is often called Fruta Bomba or Lechosa in Spanish. It has the consistency of mango but is a deeper color. Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, and is commonly called Guanábana in Spanish. The scooped-out pulp is sweet and creamy. Here in South Florida, many people use the Spanish common names of fruits. If you were to say “Soursop” they would look at you quizzically, but then you say “Guanábana” and they’re like “Yea, I know that fruit…”

RECIPE Ingredients: equal parts Papaya and Soursop, 1 or 2 Bananas (optional), enough water or milk to blend to desired consistency. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. The milk can be dairy, soy or nut milk–whatever your preference is.

Directions: If using fresh fruit, cut the Papaya & Soursop lengthwise. Slice the peel off of the Papaya and Soursop and peel the Bananas. Discard the peels. Discard the seeds from the Papaya and Soursop. Put all the ingredients in the blender and add water if you want a smoothie or milk if you want a shake. The bananas aren’t necessary, so if you don’t have any or don’t want to add them, that’s perfectly okay. I like to blend several fruits, if I have them, to maximize nutritional value.

Soursop (guanabana)
Soursop (guanabana)

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.

Give Fruit: Make People Happy

IMG_0777 (2) papaya carambolaToday was the day that Jorge, the gardener, and his assistant came to do yard care. They maintain most of the yards on my street on a bi-weekly basis. It was a hot, humid day, as usual. Even though they have a cooler full of water in their truck that they go to, to satiate their thirst; occasionally I make a pitcher of fruit smoothie and leave it on my back patio for them. When I’ve been around to see them drink it, I’ve noticed that they don’t guzzle it down fast, standing up. Rather, they serve themselves a large plastic cup from the pitcher and go sit in the shade to savor the refreshing drink. It kind of reminds me of my macaw. When I give him something to eat he particularly likes, he doesn’t devour it on the spot. Instead he carries it to the highest perch in his cage and there he’ll proceed to eat. I think he can better watch his surroundings from the high perch and make sure no one takes away his prize.

The fruit concoction I made today was a Papaya/Carambola Smoothie. The Papaya, I picked from my tree in the morning, and the Carambola (Star Fruit) I had picked a few months ago and frozen. It so happened that Ryan, the plumber, was in my house this morning doing some work in my kitchen during the smoothie ritual. So he received the first cup before I took the rest of the pitcher out to the gardeners. Ryan had never tried papaya before and was surprised by how sweet and tasty it was. I didn’t watch the gardeners, but I suspect they found a cool place to sit and relax while sipping their libation. And they probably had smiles on their faces.

RECIPE: Slice the papaya length-wise, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Slice the Carambola and discard the seeds. I put equal parts of the Papaya & Carambola in the blender and add enough ice & water to get a thick, creamy consistency when it is blended.

© 2015 Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com. Excerpts and links may be used and are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given to Beatriz Portela and gardeningB.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any other use and/or duplication of this written material & picture(s) is prohibited without written permission from Beatriz Portela.