Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Drink Your Vitamins!

Vitaminas! (Vee-tuh-meen-uhs)

My favorite way to take in those much needed vitamins is to drink them in some yummy form. This is a compilation of a few of my favorite ways to take them in, Brazilian style! Vitaminas, which obviously means Vitamins in English, is a word used to describe a wide variety of juices and smoothies. Some use fruits, or fruits mixed with veggies. There are vitaminas that exist for the brave and hungover that contain key ingredients such as dark beer or raw quail eggs. I have never tried  a vitamina with raw quail eggs, nor do I ever plan to. I'm sure it is lovely though.
     If you live in Brazil, you can usually cruise on over to the nearest place with a blender and ask them to concoct whatever they might have on stock, usually always fresh orange juice. There is also something called a "creme" which is more of a desert than a healthy juice smoothie. It consists of a choice of frozen fruit pulp, sugar, milk, ice, and (mmmmm) condensed milk. It is blended into a creme and it is delicious! Very very high in calories though I'm sure. 
Below are a few simple recipes for some of my favorite ways to cool off and vitamin up! I have limited the recipes to things that I know can be found both in Brazil and in the states. If you do live in Brazil and have a vitamina vendor nearby, I suggest you pay them a visit and start trying the vast array of delicious ways to consume your fruit and veggies. One of the most popular vitaminas I saw consumed at a place I frequented in Goiania contained beet juice as a main ingredient. It was yummy!

Abacaxi com Hortel√£/ Pineapple with Mint.

Blend - 1 cup pineapple juice - 3 ice cubes - 1-3 small mint leaves
You can strain out the crushed mint, but most people like to leave it in. It's really good!
This is by far my favorite vitamin drink in Brazil. Definitely try this one!

Vitamina de Abacate/ Avocado Smoothie

Blend - 1 cup fresh avocado - 1-2  tbsp honey or sugar (or desired amount of artificial sweetener) - 6-8 ice cubes -  1/2 cup milk or soy milk (add a little more milk if you are having trouble blending, but it should be thick) - squirt of lime (this is optional. If you don't have lime, don't worry about it!)
This is very popular here, and despite what you might think it tastes like, it is SO YUMMY!
If you cannot stomach the idea of avocado and refuse to try it, please at least sub the avocado with a cup of papaya. It is amazing it really is.

Shake de Goiabada/ Guava Paste Shake

look for this if outside of Brazil

Blend - 1 cup milk - 3 ice cubes - 1/2 cup goiabada/guava paste (guava paste can be found at any international market in the South/Latin American section. 
Heaven in a cup!

Creme de (insert favorite fruit pulp) - Fruit cream smoothie

Blend - 1/2 cup favorite frozen fruit pulp (in Brazil you can find these at really any grocery store's frozen section and there are many, MANY flavors to choose from) (In other countries you will have the best luck going to a Mexican store or international market and searching for Goya brand frozen fruit pulp of your liking) - 1/4 cup milk or soy milk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup condensed milk - 4 ice cubes (more if you want more thickness) - 1 tbsp sugar (depending on how sour the pulp is)
My favorite flavor for a creme here in Brazil is Caju (Cashew Fruit). It is, amazing. For those not in Brazil, you most likely won't be able to find this unless you live somewhere that has a Brazilian market. I highly recommend trying to get a hold of pineapple,papaya or acai pulp if you can. Those make for phenomenal cremes as well. If you are vegan and live somewhere that has soy condensed milk, you can make a creme totally dairy free by subbing soy milk and soy condensed milk-- and here is a recipe I found online to make your own soy condensed milk.
This drink is delicious --- but be forewarned, it is not easy on the hips!


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