In total, I've spent about a year of my life living and working in Latin American countries, learning to live life at a different speed than we do here in good ole' America. I've brought a laundry list of life lessons and cooking skills home from these adventures, but the simple joy of fresh fruit batidos might be the absolute best piece of latin life I've integrated into my days here at home. 

In Ecuador, where I spent time most recently, I like to think batidos are a way of life. My host mom would make either a batido or a fresh juice for me each and every morning with breakfast, and any day spent on city streets would surely include at least one or two stops for a quick batido - the best way to beat that equatorial heat (okay... well... it might be tied with ice cream, because who can argue with ice cream when it comes to beating the heat?). 

If you're not already familiar with them, you're surely wondering what a batido is by now! I like to think of them as a healthy version of a milkshake, or just a super simple creamy smoothie. In Ecuador, batidos are made with just fresh fruit, milk, some sugar, and maybe a little vanilla. They come in an endless number of flavors, and you can always order them with water instead of milk, but then you're approaching juice rather than amazing milkshakey goodness! 

Batido stands are a dime a dozen, and you can almost always order your batido in a glass and saddle up to one of the barstools at the stand to enjoy your treat right there. This is a great way to chat with the locals, but I believe the real batido magic comes when you order it to go. They pour your batido into a plastic bag, stick a straw in it, and tie a knot around the straw - it's a little awkward the first time around, but you surely learn to love it! 

Instead of using fresh fruit, I like to make my batidos with frozen fruit to give them a super cold, thick, milkshake like quality. I've been known to toss fruit in the freezer right after buying it at the farmers market in order to achieve this refreshing and cold wonder! 

I'm including a list below of some of my favorite batidos to make at home, which use easy-to-find fruits, but feel free to experiment with your favorite fruits! I've included the optional addition of sugar in some of the recipes, which is how batidos are made in Latin America, but they are just as tasty, and much better for you with the sugar omitted! 

sweet black cherries make a simple batido free of added sugars! 

sweet black cherries make a simple batido free of added sugars! 

instructions: 

For all of the below ingredient lists, just put everything into your blender and blend on high until smooth! I have a high powered vitamix blender, so if you ever run into a problem with the mixture being too thick for your blender, just add a splash more milk! 

These are written to make a hefty serving for one, but you can increase the amounts as you please to serve more! You'll also notice that most of these recipes are pretty darn simple, which is why I stopped at 4 versions. That said, you should definitely experiment with your favorite fruits! Some other awesome batidos would include: blackberry, mango, passionfruit, raspberry, apricot, the list is endless! 

 

ingredients: 

Banana Batido (An Ecuadorian Classic): 

1 banana (fresh or frozen) 

2/3 cup whole milk 

1/2 tsp vanilla 

note: bananas are so sweet, they               really don't need any added sugar

Blueberry Batido: 

1 cup frozen blueberries 

3/4 cup whole milk  

1 Tbsp sugar (optional) 


Cherry Vanilla Batido: 

1 cup frozen or fresh sweet cherries 

3/4 cup whole milk 

1/2 tsp vanilla 

note: you could use frozen tart cherries for this, which are easier to find pre-frozen, but you would need to add a heafty amount of sugar to the mix to sweeten it ! 

 

Strawberry Batido: 

1 cup frozen strawberries (piled high, especially if the berries are large) 

3/4 cup whole milk 

1/2 tsp vanilla

note: this is one of my favorites, as it is so reminiscent of a strawberry milkshake! Strawberries vary a lot in their sweetness, so do add a bit of sugar if your berries are on the tart side! 

 

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