Adding avocado to virtually anything makes it taste better: Hashbrowns and eggs, enchiladas, grain bowls, chili…you can’t tell me that generous slices of the creamy fruit don’t make all these dishes even more delicious. But adding avocado to your coffee? It’s a twist that’s popping up more on social media and both chefs and dietitians are here for it.
Mixing avocado and coffee isn’t new. The combo has long been a popular drink in parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. There, it’s called es alpukat and it’s typically made iced. “Es alpukat is usually made by scraping avocado flesh into a glass and smashing roughly with a spoon. Condensed milk, sugar syrup, crushed ice, and sometimes coffee or chocolate syrup are then added,” says Patricia Tanumihardja, a food writer who was born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore. “Nowadays, you can also get avocado shakes or smoothies called jus alpukat like you would commonly see at boba tea shops here in the U.S.”
Tanumihardja, who is the author of four cookbooks, including Farm to Table Asian Secrets—Vegan and Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season ($13), says es alpukat can be enjoyed any time of day, with a meal or as a snack. “You don’t even need a blender unless you want a smooth shake-like texture,” she says. It’s also customizable. Instead of using condensed milk, Tanumihardja says coconut milk works just as well; it will still have the same rich, creamy texture. You can also use coconut sugar instead of white sugar; Tanumihardja says it adds a caramel taste to it. “Sometimes I add young coconut flesh and jackfruit. Then it becomes another drink called es teler!” she says.
Registered dietitian Asako Miyashita, RD, says there are nutritional benefits to es alpukat, or iced avocado, too. As avo-lovers already know, the fruit is full of nutritional benefits, including fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin E (which is good for the skin). “Avocado is low glycemic index, which means that it contains carbs that take the body longer to break down than high-GI foods,” Miyashita adds, listing another benefit. This means it won’t spike blood sugar levels. All of these benefits make es alpukat especially great to enjoy in the morning. The combination of the caffeine in the coffee and the fiber and healthy fats in the avocado provides an energy boost that won’t result in a crash later.
Watch the video below to learn more about the health benefits of avocado:
If you’re looking for a recipe to try, check out this one from the food blog Bittersweet which only calls for four ingredients: avocado, coffee, coconut milk, and vanilla (and an optional drop of stevia).
Overall, this is one drink that gets the seal of approval all the way around. Truly, is there anything you can’t add avocado to?
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