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Shaking It Up

Today I took my first steps in what I hope will end with the triumphant crossing New York City marathon finish line and not sleeping through the Staten Island start, crying on the 59th Street bridge, or passing out in Central Park’s closing stretch.  Looking ahead the long Saturday training runs I have planned between now and November, I decided to play around with fresh fruit batidos (also known licuados or preparados depending on the accent).

Well before Jamba Juice took over the planet, Miami was dotted with fruit stands selling mango, mamey, papaya, guanabana, and coconut shakes and juices – sometimes from a brightly painted wooden stand, sometimes from a re-purposed grocery cart, sometimes from a well-rigged bicycle.  A cross between a fruit smoothie and icy shake, typical Cuban add-ins include whole milk, ice cream, condensed milk, sugar and even cream cheese.  The last time I visited my favorite batido stand, I ventured to ask the woman working the counter how much sugar they used.  She gave me a look that asked plainly, “what would you like to hear?”  To make sure that the fruit in my smoothie isn’t overpowered by sweeteners, I swapped the ice cream for kefir, a milk drink similar to yogurt that’s also recommended for post-run recovery.  Having recently dreamt that my favorite bodega was shut down (obsessive I know but a pretty common anxiety in gentrified Brooklyn), I ran over to grab my favorite tropical fruit purees and pulp.  Normally, I try to use fresh fruit, but in this case the colder the better.  I also doubled up on the fruit to balance out the tartness of the kefir and substituted honey or agave for the sugar.  There are still a million variations to try but the summer’s only just started and I have a lot of miles to go.

Batido de Mango
Finding good tropical fruit can be a challenge in New York.  I’ve been pretty lucky with mangoes so far this season so I use fresh ones to make this shake whenever possible.

2 cups mango chunks, fresh or frozen
1 cup plain kefir (or plain yogurt)
1 cup crushed ice
Honey or agave to taste

Add ice to blender, and pulse a few seconds at a time until well chopped.  Add the mango and kefir and blend until smooth.  Add honey or agave to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Batido de Papaya
I’ve been looking for a way to add papaya to my diet and this worked well.

Substitute 2 cups of papaya for the mango in the above recipe.

Makes 2 servings.

Batido de Mora
I wanted to include a recipe for blackberries which are starting to appear at the farmer’s markets.  I love the combination of blackberries and orange juice but threw in the banana at the last minute for a creamier texture.  The blackberry juice can be strained to pull out the seeds but I like to leave them in.

1 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain kefir (or plain yogurt)
1/2 banana (optional)
Honey or agave to taste

Using a blender, combine the blackberries and orange juice and process until smooth.  Strain seeds if needed and return to blender.  Add the kefir and banana if using and blend until smooth.  Add honey or agave to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Delicious! I recently made one with passion fruit, milk and agave nectar. Not as thick as with kefir (which I love!)but good. I’m going to try your batido de mora.

    5 June 2010
  2. Make sure you let me know when you are in the City. E-mail me so that we can meet….and cook up something….

    5 June 2010
  3. hungrysofia #

    Claudia Rapisarda
    ana congrats on the marathon!!
    and another brazilian invention is batidas de frutas we have all over in brasil!!!

    5 June 2010
  4. Maureen #

    I give you great kuddos for running in a marathon. One of my sisters ran in the Chicago Marathon 2003. She rand just two years after having a bone marrow transplant due to stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Her reasoning is that she had always wanted to. She ran with her husband and her bone marrow donor in the allotted amount of time.
    I wish you all the best of luck.

    Thank you on the giveaway.

    6 June 2010

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