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Family Central: Simple Smoothies

As summer drags on, need inspiration for a healthy, light treat for the kids – or yourself? Try a tropical batida.

A batida is the Central American/Caribbean version of the smoothie, especially popular in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. Made with fresh fruit – usually tropical ones like pineapple, papaya, mango or banana – these simple, refreshing drinks make a great summer breakfast or afternoon snack.

In a typical batida, the fruit is the star, not sugar or yogurt or other ingredients you may associate with commercial American smoothies. In tropical climates, you can get them made with milk (con leche), or just with ice and maybe a little extra juice.

Either way, these drinks work best if you use ripe, sweet fruit, so you don’t have to add a lot of extra sweetener. Since any fresh fruit works well, it’s a great way to use up anything that’s just on the edge of getting too ripe to eat. It’s also fun to play with combinations and try new flavors; mango with passionfruit, or banana with papaya. (I’ve found most kids will try any fruit if you froth it up and serve it with a bendy straw!)

Here are a couple simple recipes, one with milk and one without, to get you started.

Pineapple-Orange Batida
3 cups fresh pineapple, cubed
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups crushed ice
1 Tbs sugar, or to taste

Place pineapple and orange juice in blender and puree until smooth. (You may need to stop the blender and stir several times.)

Add ice and blend until frosty and frothy. Taste, and if a slightly sweeter taste is desired, add sugar to taste.

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Papaya Batida
2 cups fresh papaya, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups crushed ice

In blender, puree papaya and sugar until smooth. Add milk and blend. Add ice and blend on medium-high speed until well-blended and frothy.

View this recipe to print or add items to your Shopping List.