16 August 2009

tropical fruit smoothie

One of the greatest benefits to living in Bujumbura is the abundance of tropical fruits: bananas, pineapple, mango, and papaya. Sure, it's not a huge selection and occasionally I crave an apple, but it's available year round, it's always delicious, and it's cheap.

Our cook has a standing order to keep fresh tropical fruit salad in the refrigerator at all times. We eat it for breakfast most days and sometimes for dessert after lunch. And several times a week we make fruit smoothies with it. With some of the local passionfruit or pineapple juices and a bit of dry milk powder, we have an amazingly sweet, creamy treat.

We have a five-cup blender and I fill it about halfway with the fruit salad. I add about a half cup of dry milk powder (I prefer Bob's Red Mill nonfat or buttermilk powders), a bottle of fruit juice (250 mL -- and the pineapple is sugar free; the passionfruit has cane sugar added), and six to eight ice cubes, and blend.

When a friend from the States was visiting, I made these smoothies for him and Mike after they'd gone for a run. He exclaimed, "You'll pay seven dollars for this back home!" And here seven dollars buys you more than enough fruit to make a smoothie every day for a week. The juice and milk powder are optional. At the very least all you need is the fruit and the ice.

On Sunday mornings the fruit smoothie makes the weekly malaria pill go down, well, smoothly.

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