Every spring I feel like I come back alive after partially hibernating during the winter. I’m solar powered and I need my sunshine to function properly. So I watch closely for all signs that winter is over.
My cue that spring is really here is when my herb garden starts to come back to life. I’m a total urban dweller and while I have a huge garden plot in a community garden, my herb garden is tucked away outside my back door in pots. I keep culinary herbs, strawberries and salad greens growing all through the summer every year. And in the spring the hearty herbs that come back tell me warm days are right around the corner.
I have a couple of varieties of mint – both chocolate mint and spearmint that are already growing like crazy. And I couldn’t resist incorporating them into a recipe. Fresh mint frequently goes into my smoothies when I have it on hand – along with any number of other herbs. So mixing it in with a Latin-style milkshake was not a stretch.
A Batido is just that – a Latin American milkshake that is blended with fresh tropical fruit + ice + milk, rather than ice cream. If I have half and half on hand I will use that. Or coconut milk. Or just regular milk. In some countries you even make with with sweetened condensed milk. The key to a winning batido is very ripe, very sweet fruit – since you aren’t adding any other type of sweetener.
Now, let’s talk papaya… I’ve got to be honest here. The first time I ever tasted a papaya, I was not a fan. And I’ve heard that from several other people as well. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which incidentally makes a great digestive enzyme and will even tenderize meat. You know what else makes a great digestive enzyme? Your own stomach. The correlation? Well… papayas can smell bad to some people.
My cure? A really, really hot Miami day. I’d been living in South Beach for about 3 months when summer hit. And by hit, I mean the humidity and temperature skyrocketed. I’d been working outside all day and was hot and tired and thirsty and basically a depleted mess. A friend from Venezuela took pity on us when we stopped by for lunch and mixed up a papaya batido. And it was magic. Cold. Sweet. Refreshing. I’ve been a fan ever since. Turns out the trick is to add a bit of acid to combat the smell. It is like liquid sunshine in a glass.
For this particular Batido, I added some mango – because they are in season right now, papaya, fresh mint and cream together along with a little fresh key lime juice – just to take me back to my vida loca Miami days. It was the perfect cure for the cold rainy spring we’ve been having. And delicious to boot.
This post is a part of The Vintage Mixer‘s Eat Seasonal series. So many reasons to focus on eating quality in-season produce… to save money, to get the freshest produce, for sustainability but most of all everything just tastes better!
Check out these great posts with great recipes for seasonal eating! Enjoy!
Sugar Snap Pea and Bacon Salad by Completely Delicious
BBQ Cauliflower & Chickpea Veggie Burgers by She Likes Food
Roasted Asparagus with Sautéed Shallots and Kumquats by Floating Kitchen
Asparagus Grilled Cheese by Vintage Mixer
Frittata with Ham and Asparagus by Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Easy Homemade Guacamole by Joy Food Sunshine
Sorghum Vegetable Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette by Cafe Johnsonia
Mushroom Rosemary Olive Oil Bread by Cookin’ Canuck
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic, Gorgonzola and Walnuts by Aggie’s Kitchen
Polenta Cauliflower Torta with Roasted Asparagus by Letty’s Kitchen
Herbed Potato Rösti with Peas, Shallots, and Bacon by Food for My Family
Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut-Bacon Crumble by Simple Bites
Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Asparagus by Foodie Crush
Ultimate Veggie Sandwich with Lemon Herb Cream Cheese by Flavor the Moments
Spring Mint & Papaya Batido by Suitcase Foodist
Skillet Shrimp with Lime and Green Curry Compound Butter by Kitchen Confidante
Loaded Guacamole Tacos by Mountain Mama Cooks