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Easy Avocado Smoothie – Basic and Elegant {Avocado Mousse with Strawberry Puree}

by Jeanette on May 19, 2011 · 30 Comments
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Avocado Strawberry Mousse
Last week, I received a beautifully packaged box of Haas Avocados from California Avocados Direct, a fourth generation avocado family farm located near Valley Center, California.

When I took a peek inside the box to see these little treasures, I was surprised to find eight gorgeous super large avocados. The avocados that I buy on the East Coast are imported from Mexico, and pale in comparison in size, texture and flavor. Let’s just say, the avocados Ben Holtz sent me were extra extra large, and extra special!

Top: Avocados from Mexico 7-8 ounces. Bottom: Ben Holtz’s California Avocado 10 ounces
Over the years, I’ve found buying avocados to be a bit of a mystery. I never know exactly when my avocados will be ripe, and there have been many times when I have been sorely disappointed after waiting several days for avocados to ripen, only to find they were rotten inside. This can be especially stressful when I’m trying to make a dish using avocado for guests without knowing whether or not my avocados will be any good. In fact, often I buy extra avocados in case some of them are bad (e.g., mushy, rotten, bruised).
 
Enter, California Avocados Direct! California Avocados Direct picks and ships their avocados the same day, so there is minimal handling before it arrives at your door. Ben Holtz, fourth generation avocado farmer, and President of California Avocados Direct, started shipping his avocados across North America just this past year due to significant challenges the California avocado market has been facing (increased water rates, increased cheaper imports which are driving domestic prices down, water rationing in California, and water salinity which has reduced fruit size and crop yield). 
Ed and Ben Holtz
In the box of carefully wrapped avocados, a pamphlet is included that explains the ripening process for avocados. I learned a few things. Fresh avocados are picked green and rock-hard, and it takes 5 to 9 days for them to ripen at room temperature (63-75 degrees), depending on the time of year they are picked. Also, there is a 24-48 hour “breaking” stage when avocados are starting to soften, but are still too early to eat. If cut open during during the “breaking” stage, the avocado will still be too hard to use, it’s important to be patient. However, right after this period, the avocado is perfectly ripe.
These avocados were carefully packaged, and the instructions on ripening were very helpful.
I found this information especially interesting since most of the avocados I’ve bought at the supermarket are already starting to ripen, and are often overripe. In fact, my biggest problem is knowing when the avocados are ready to use. 
Avocados waiting to ripen, day 1
The first avocados were ready by day 5; the last of the avocados ripened on day 9.
Although avocados sometimes get a bad rap for being fattening, they are actually very healthy. Did you now that Avocados:
  • Provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K, B-vitamins and folic acid
  • Have mono and polyunsaturated “good” fats that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Are packed with antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer
  • Contain phytonutrients, which are believed to prevent many chronic diseases
  • Contain 60% more potassium than bananas, which helps protect your body against hypertension, heart disease and other circulatory problems
  • Act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients (e.g., alpha and beta-carotene and lutein) in foods that are eaten with the fruit
Now, let’s get onto those gorgeous avocados…As I patiently waited for my avocados to ripen, I started thinking about all the different ways I had enjoyed avocados in the past — smashed with a little lemon juice and salt and smeared on whole grain toast, sliced and served on top of a black bean diptartine, chopped and served as a garnish for Cuban Black Bean Soup, in salads with clementines and grapefruit, in mango avocado red pepper salsa, and of course, in guacamole.
 
As I dreamt of what I would make with all these gorgeous avocados, I knew one thing – these supersize Haas Avocados from California Avocados Direct deserved to be the star of the show, not to be used just as a garnish. I’d eaten avocados for breakfast, lunch, and snacks/appetizers, but not for dessert or in a smoothie. 
 
As the avocados started to ripen, I became anxious, as I wanted to have a list of ideas to try at their peak ripeness. I wasn’t sure if they would all ripen at once, or over a period of time. Fortunately, these avocados ripened one or two at a time, so I had a chance to really enjoy them, and try out some interesting ways to serve them.

As I did a little research, I learned that avocados are a fruit and are commonly served as a shake in Southeast Asia and Brazil. In fact, in Southeast Asia, avocado shakes are often served with chocolate syrup or pureed strawberries.

I would never have thought to make a shake or smoothie out of avocado, but since it’s a fruit, it makes complete sense. Interesting, how in America, the avocado is treated like a vegetable and eaten that way, even though it is actually a fruit.

As I made more and more avocado smoothies, I realized how versatile this fruit was. Not only could these avocados be eaten chunky, sliced, or smashed, but whipped into a smooth creamy pudding, sauce or dressing.

First I tried a Basic Avocado Smoothie (“Sinh to Bo” as it is called in Vietnam or Avocado Shake in Brazil). Creamy and silky smooth, this smoothie was thick and luscious, with a velvety mouthfeel. 


Then, to step it up a notch, I tried making a dessert using avocados, something atypical in the American use of avocados, but probably right at home in Southeast Asia or Brazil. Somehow, I was thinking of a Lava Flow concoction (a pina colada with strawberry puree) I had in Hawaii years ago, and I decided to try making something similar using avocados.


Dairy-Free Avocado Smoothie (“Sinh to Bo”)

Traditionally, sweetened condensed milk is used to make Sinh to Bo. I made this dairy free by using a non-dairy coconut milk beverage. This is more of a pudding than a smoothie. If you like a thinner consistency, just add more coconut milk beverage. The chocolate syrup is strictly optional, but makes this more kid-friendly.

Dairy-Free Avocado Smoothie (“Sinh to Bo”)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk or almond milk 
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey or 1- 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • organic chocolate syrup, optional

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. If desired, put a few small spoonfuls of chocolate syrup along  the inside rim of the glass. Let the syrup drip down the sides of the glass.
  3. Spoon the avocado smoothie into the glass.

Serves 2.

“Hawaiian Lava Flow” Avocado Strawberry Mousse

I call this a Mousse because of the thick rich texture.This “Mousse” can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert.

Strawberry Puree Ingredients:

  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar

Avocado Mousse Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure coconut milk
  • 1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey or 1 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions:

  1. Blend strawberries with honey until pureed. Divide among 4 glasses.
  2. Rinse out blender container. Blend avocado, pineapple juice, pure coconut milk, So Delicious Coconut Milk, and honey until smooth. 
  3. Spoon or carefully pour on top of pureed strawberries.
  4. Use wooden spoon handle or chopstick to create gentle swirls as desired.

Serves 2.

I received a complimentary box of avocados from California Avocados Direct.com; however the opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.


Sources:
California Avocados Direct.com: Avocado Nutrition
California Avocado Commission: Avocado Nutritional Information
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Avocados
Dole Nutrition Institute: Anti-Cancer Avocados

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Comments

  1. Pretend Chef says:

    I have recently discovered how delicious avocado is in a smoothie with my, Mango Surprise Smoothie, on my blog. Those avocados look amazing and the size was mind blowing. I really love the thought of the Avocado Strawberry Mousse and can only imagine how delicious it was. Yummy! Can't wait to get my hands on some of those avocados.

  2. Squash Blossom Babies says:

    That looks beautiful!

  3. Nicole K. says:

    This was so informative, Jeanette. Our family loves avocados, and the little ones have enjoyed them since they began solid foods. Something as simple as an avocado sandwich can be so yummy! Your creativity is inspiring, and I will give these smoothie recipes a try…as soon as we find some good avocados!

  4. Jeanette says:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I whipped up the avocados in my blender. I didn't expect them to come out so light and creamy.

  5. Inside a British Mum's Kitchen says:

    As always this is a beautiful and informative post. We LOVE avocados and I would never have thought of putting them into a smoothie, so thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    Mary

  6. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Mary, I never put them in a smoothie before either until now, and I have to say it was really good, more like a pudding than a smoothie. If you like it more like a smoothie, just add more Coconut Milk beverage or liquid.

  7. avegangirl says:

    OMG, these are the most beautiful smoothies I have ever seen! And they sound incredibly delicious. I use So Delicious coconut milk in my morning smoothies every day, and I cannot wait to try these recipes! Thank you!!!!!!

  8. Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful smoothie recipes, Jeanette. We couldn't wait to share them with our Twitter and Facebook fans. Once again you've outdone yourself with your culinary creativity, and all of us here are really eager to try your Lava Flow and Chocolate Sinh to Bo smoothies!

  9. these avocados are definitely the star of this blog post :). amazing photos, delightful combos! btw, my friends from brazil told me that they eat avocados with sugar for dessert!

  10. Jeanette says:

    Thanks everyone – glad you all are liking these avocado smoothies! They're super easy to make and so light and creamy tasting. Hope you all have a chance to try them.

  11. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful post (and photos). My boys can each eat an entire avocado at one sitting. I love using them in all kinds of things, but these two smoothie/mousse recipes are going on to my must try list. They would devour them! ;)

  12. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Kim – that's awesome that your boys love avocados. My boys are now converts after these smoothies!

  13. Tanvi@SinfullySpicy says:

    Hi Jeanette, came across your blog via Junia's FB page.Some great recipes for healthy living.Loving it so much!I like how simple yet gorgeous your pictures are.

  14. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Tanvi, just took a lot at your blog – gorgeous photos and love the detailed instructions!

  15. omg I got a box of avos from them too!!
    http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/04/locally-grown.html

    And went on to create quite a few avo recipes b/c I was inspired.

    Your recipe looks awesome and i make choc mousse w/ avos, cocoa powder, agave, vanilla, blend..I need to try your version.

  16. Jeanette says:

    Averie – aren't California Avocados Direct avocados the best – the quality was so impressive. Now that I ran out, just opened another rotten avocado this morning from my local supermarket, will have to buy more California Avocados! Your chocolate mousse sounds amazing!

  17. Grace @ HapaMama says:

    How fun and delicious-looking! I've seen Avocado shakes on the menu at Vietnamese restaurants, but never tried one.

    The mango and strawberry mousse looks especially interesting. It reminds me of a baby food I used to make for my kids: mashed avocados topped with mango puree. They, of course, loved it.

  18. Jeanette says:

    Grace, what a great mama, making whole food purees for your baby! That's what is so wonderful about whole foods, perfect and healthy for babies and adults alike!

  19. Jennifer says:

    Avocados are the most amazing food ever!! These recipes look beautifully delicious!

  20. ThatsHowIRoll says:

    I love avocados, but usually I'm not lucky with the ones I find in the store. I would love to try those California ones. Your smoothie and mousse look so creamy!

  21. Jeanette says:

    You should definitely try these California Avocados – perfect as a gift to yourself! They are so much better than the ones I've bought in our local grocery store.

  22. These look so good, Jeannette. Can't wait to try them for myself!

  23. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Marly – hope you have a chance to try, I think you'll like it!

  24. Wooow, perfect combination and beautiful presentation. Green and red make a great composition.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Can't wait to try these delicious looking avocado smoothies out! I'll be making a batch for my friends… yummmmmy!

  26. Jeanette that smoothie looks fantastic.
    Loved reading your post, I don’t live far at all from the Holtz Avocado Farm and hope to visit soon. Had lunch with Ben’s mom the other day. She is lovely. Their avocados are fabulous, they are very large! I had the Reed variety and they are now my favorite.

    • Thanks Diane, you’re so fortunate to live so close to the Holtz Avocado Farm. Would love to hear about your visit if you have the chance. Their avocados are huge, and you can see the care the Holtz takes in growing these beautiful avocados.

  27. Thanks to Diane for calling my attention to this post! Jeanette, what beautiful photos! Thank you for your kind words…we do take pride in the details, from keeping the trees healthy, to producing the largest and most flavorful avocados, to hand-selecting and packing the fruit for gift boxes and monthly subscriptions.

    I can’t wait to try your elegant mousse with strawberry puree! Beautiful!
    If you’re ever in the area, I’d love to meet you!

    • Hi Mimi, thank you! It is evident how much care goes into growing your gorgeous avocados. I have never seen such large and flavorful avocados, all beautifully packaged. I would love to meet you if I am ever in your area. Hope you and Ben are doing well.

  28. I didn’t think I would like this smoothie but it was good! I didn’t have honey so I used stevia and I used a little bit of fresh squeezed orange juice instead of the pineapple. I’ll definitely make it again. Who knew avocado and strawberries would work well together.

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