PINEAPPLE CREAM SMOOTHIE (raw-vegan)
Lately I have found really good ripe pineapple at the market. Every time I see one of these golden beauties I buy it; who doesn’t like fresh ripe pineapple? I have found that everyone does, it is especially a hit at brunch! Beware though, all pineapples at the market are NOT ripe. To pick a fully ripe pineapple you need to seek out one that is:
- dark golden yellow
- dark green leaves
- no mold on the bottom
- no spongy or soft spots
- the center leaf pulls out easily
- the skin smells like sweet pineapple, almost floral
Sometimes there is only one in the whole batch but it is worth it. Now if that perfect pineapple is not there, find one that is as close to perfect as possible and take it home. Once you get it home, put it in a large brown paper bag with 2 organic apples-any variety, roll the top down tight and let it set at room temperature for 24 hours. Now check it and if it needs more, continue to leave in the bag for 12 hour increments. NOTE: don’t over ripen it, it will turn mushy. When it is perfectly ripe, remove from the bag and use.. Oh- yes the apples will be fine to eat too.
Now that you have a perfectly ripe pineapple, what do you do with it? Well back to brunch… I like to make PINEAPPLE CREAM SMOOTHIES as part of my menu. Anyone can just cut up a pineapple and serve it, why not get creative with it? The taste of this smoothie is delicious and refreshing and the presentation is fun and delightful; everyone will rave about both. So next time you are having brunch or a party, think about this smoothie and wow your guests. CHEERS!
MAKES 8 SMALL SMOOTHIES LIKE THE PICTURE ABOVE (multiply accordingly) or 4 large smoothies
1 large ripe organic whole fresh pineapple
2 large ripe organic bananas, peel and chunk
2 cups fresh organic mature coconut milk (open your own mature coconuts for the best/freshest result)
Get the serving glasses you are using together (i use 12 ounce glass highball glasses), rinse them and place in the freezer to chill. Wash your pineapple well and pat dry. Lay the pineapple on its side on a flat cutting surface. With a large very sharp knife, cut the top of just below the nub where the leaves come out about 2 inches down the pineapple, save for your display. Now cut off the bottom about 2 inches up the pineapple, stand up on the cutting surface. Using your knife, start on the side of the pineapple on the top and gently cut the skin off just below the “eyes”, if the eyes are still present gently slice off with thin cuts. Continue around the pineapple until all of the skin and eyes are removed. Lay the pineapple down on its side and cut the skinned pineapple in half . Stand the haves back up and use a coring tool and gently remove the core from both halves (this will give it the classic pineapple ring look). Now take one prepared half and slice into 8 even thin rings * (see tip below). Lay each ring on a flat surface side by side. Place one of your serving glasses upside down centered on the pineapple ring and trim to the outer shape of the opening of the glass, return the glass to the freezer. NOTE: I did not have much to trim off. Use this trimmed piece as a template to trim the remaining rings. Reserve the trimmings for the smoothie and set the trimmed pineapple rings aside. Now take the other half of the pineapple and small chunk it, add to the reserved trimmings–you will need 2 cups of pineapple chunks. Place the pineapple chunks, banana chunks and coconut milk in your blender and blend on high for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. NOTE: if you have a small blender do half batches for best results. Remove the serving glasses from the freezer and evenly pour the smoothie into the glasses 2 inches below the rim. Top with a pineapple ring, put a straw in the ring and serve…
* A CHEF’S TIP: to make even rings lay the cored pineapple half on its side horizontally on a flat surface. ALL YOUR CUTS ARE VERTICLE NOW….Your first cut will be in the middle straight through. Now start from the middle and cut the left piece in half. Now cut each of those pieces in half, you will end up with 4 rings. Repeat this process with the uncut right piece to make 4 more rings. I like to keep the rings stacked against each other to stabilize my cuts so they are straight and even. Take your time and they will come out right.