I can list no fewer than eight women I know who've had babies in the last six months or are due in the coming weeks. I have to say, it's very exciting! I love seeing the baby pictures, hearing stories, and attending baby showers (real and virtual).
Today is Krystal's baby shower fiesta. Krystal blogs over at Mrs. Regueiro's Plate. We met on a cooking board and quickly bonded over our love of finding wholesome and interesting meals for Meatless Monday. She draws much inspiration from seasonal produce and her and her husband's cultures. Krystal is of Filipino background and her husband is Cuban. Delicious, right? To celebrate their heritages and the impending arrival of their sweet baby, affectionately know as Cookie, Joelen is hosting a baby shower. This is your typical baby shower, though. It's a fiesta!
As contributors to her shower, my blogging friends and I were asked to bring a dish either traditional to or inspired by Krystal and her husband's cultures. I was both excited and intimidated by the prospect of cooking a Filipino or Cuban dish. I definitely don't have much experience with Filipino cuisine at all, and the extent of my knowledge about Cuban food lies with pressed sandwiches and rum. Yeah...not exactly far-reaching. But I love learning about new cultures (especially if it's through food!) so I jumped at the chance to celebrate Krystal and learn along the way.
A quick Google search turned up mango shakes commonly enjoyed in the Philippines. The climate there can be oppressively hot just like Phoenix, where I live. Though we lack the humidity Filipinos deal with, Phoenicians are always on the lookout for a refreshing summer beverage. The traditional recipes looked quite sweet; I wanted to make my version much healthier. Mangoes themselves are quite healthy, even being categorized as a super fruit. They are bursting with Vitamins A, B, and C and are rich in fiber and potassium--all things important for everyone, especially pregnant women, to have in their diets. By swapping out the condensed milk for an almond-coconut milk blend, I slashed the calories and sugar way down. Finally, I used frozen mango cubes both to get a riper fruit and to omit the ice and gain a more concentrated flavor. The result? A delicious, creamy two-ingredient beverage worthy of a toast to Krystal, her husband, and Cookie!
Filipino-Inspired Mango Shake
an "Apple a Day" original, inspired by multiple recipes
1-1 1/4 c. almond-coconut milk (I like Almond Breeze)
1 1/2 c. frozen mango cubes
mint sprigs for garnish, if desired
Directions:1. Place almond-coconut milk and mango cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses and garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.