A few years ago I spent two weeks traveling through Vietnam and became hooked on a drink called sinh to bo, or Vietnamese avocado shake. When I got back to the US, I experimented with recreating the shake and wrote a recipe for my other blog Appetite for China.
Traditionally, Vietnamese avocado shake is made by mixing together mainly avocados and sweetened coconut, sometimes with a bit of ice and coconut milk added. As good as it tastes, the shake is also pretty thick and sweet, more of a spoonable dessert than a refreshing sip. So yesterday I decided to make lighter version of the avocado shake I loved from that summer.
From my other post:
“If a fruit grows in abundance in Vietnam, you can be sure it is pulsed into a shake. And avocados are everywhere. I grew up associating avocados with salty foods: mashed into guacamole, fanned on chicken sandwiches, sprinkled with sea salt and eaten straight. So a sweet shake was something of a novelty.
But it makes sense. Because avocado flesh is naturally neither sweet nor salty, it’s a tabula rasa for any creamy concoction you want to make.”
This time around, instead of sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk, I decided to use coconut water plus a small amount of unsweetened coconut flakes to bring out the flavor. The Greek yogurt adds the needed bit of tanginess. I used about 10 ounces of coconut water, but feel free to use a little more if you prefer a more liquidy smoothie.
As for the coldness factor, I prefer my avocado drinks to be just chilled instead of icy cold, so the refrigerated coconut water and Greek yogurt made the smoothie cool enough for my liking. However, you can always add some crushed iced to yours.
Which I actually might start doing myself as we inch closer and closer to summer.
- 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
- 10 ounces coconut water (12 ounces for a more liquidy smoothie), chilled
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 pinch salt
- Combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust the sweetness with more agave nectar if you’d like. Transfer to a 16 ounce glass and serve.