Mango-Banana Milkshake

I’m not a huge fan of bananas. I’m a mango and melon girl. Alex often makes a banana milkshake, which works perfectly for her because she adores bananas, but unless she adds chocolate, it doesn’t give me an adrenalin rush. Well, until one day last week.

We had a few cups of mango puree in the fridge left over from the Silom Sunrise that Speedy prepared last time we had guests and he didn’t want it to go to waste. We had a couple of overripe bananas too and, Speedy being Speedy, he finds it wasteful to throw out food (that’s why he has a hard time going on a diet he’s forever eating leftovers). He combined the mango puree and the overripe bananas, added milk, ice, and sugar, and pureed everything in the blender and the result was magic.

How much milk? As much as the amount of combined mangoes and bananas. Full cream or skim? Ah, that depends on what you have and what your health requires, I suppose. Just remember that because bananas discolor fast upon contact with air, it is best to drink up the milkshake within minutes after preparation.

Cucumber cooler

I first tried cucumber juice at Alfredo’s Steak House along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. My friend Lisa, whose family owns the place, recommended it. At first, I was a bit hesitant. Cucumber juice? I mean, I’ve tried carrot juice and hated it. Vegetables always seemed better eaten than drank. I’m glad I tried it though. After the first few sips, I was hooked. After that, my brother and I made cucumber drinks at home using the blender.

Today, a conventional blender or food processor is not necessary to make cucumber juice. There are a lot of hand-held gadgets, many of them non-electrical, that will puree the cucumber just as well. Or, you can even use electric juicers. The important thing to remember when making cucumber coolers is to 1) use ice-cold water and lots of crushed or shaved ice and 2) scoop out the cucumber seeds before pureeing. The first time my brother and I made cucumber juice years ago, we did not scoop out the seeds and, my, the result was just terrible.

So, first, peel the cucumbers. One medium-sized cucumber is enough for a glass of juice. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into small pieces and puree in a blender or food processor or whatever similar kitchen gadget you have. As long as the gadget can puree the cucumbers, it will do. Pour the pureed cucumbers into drinking glasses and pour in half a cup of ice-cold water. Add another half cup or so of crushed or shaved ice. Add a tablespoonful of sugar and stir. Garnish with cucumber slices and mint leaves and serve cold.