Friday, October 23, 2009

The Brazilian Way with Avocado - Smoothies and Ice Cream

Drinking a smoothie (Portuguese: vitamina) for breakfast is very popular in Brazil. And it's no wonder with the spectrum of tropical fruits available to choose from. The recipe for a Brazilian smoothie is quite similar to the North American one - milk or yogurt, fruit, sugar or honey, and possibly oats, all blended in a blender. Very simple.

One of the most common and delicious Brazilian smoothies is made with an ingredient that Brazilians consider a fruit and most North Americans consider a vegetable - the avocado (Portuguese: abacate, pronounced a-ba-KA-chee). Botanically, it is a fruit, of course, so the Brazilians win on that account. Until I came to know the Brazilian way with avocado, I always considered it a savory ingredient - in guacamole, for example. One of my favorite ways to eat a perfectly ripe avocado was to mash it on a piece of buttered toast, liberally salted of course. Brazilians, to the contrary, think of avocado as a fruit, albeit one that must be sweetened to be appreciated. Avocado mousse, avocado ice cream, and of course, avocado smoothie, all typical Brazilian dishes containing avocado.

Brazilian avocados are larger than North American ones, and a quarter to a half a Brazilian avocado is plenty for a single-serving smoothie. I would add one whole North American avocado to achieve the desired level of intensity of avocado flavor.Since avocados are widely available in North America, an avocado smoothie is something that is easy to try at home. You'll be surprised by how well the flavor of avocado works as a sweet, rather than as a salty, ingredient.

Click on "read more" below for avocado ice cream...

If you have a Donvier, or other equipment for making ice cream, experiment with avocado ice cream. Any recipe for vanilla or creme ice cream can be used as a base - eliminate the vanilla or other flavorings, add an avocado or two, and a a couple of Tbsps. of lime juice (to prevent the avocado from darkening) - and following your usual method of making ice cream. I once served avocado ice cream at a dinner party in Vancouver, without telling my guests what flavor ice cream it was. Everyone raved about it, and commented that they knew the flavor, but couldn't identify it. One person finally realized it was avocado, and then everyone exclaimed, "I knew that I knew that flavor!" or "I can't believe it's avocado." Worth a try with your family or guests.


  1. this is fantastic!!! i will be trying this - thank you! :)

  2. Do let me know, Nina, what you think of avocado as a sweet flavor after you try the smoothie or the ice cream

  3. i love Brazilian smoothies and ice cream it is the best shit ever