Along with some heat-busting Batidas de Zapote, Granadillo, & Níspero (Dominican Fruit Shakes), I am going to tell you about these unusual fruits that we Dominicans love so much. Better yet, I’ll also give you ideas to make your shakes without sugar or milk, and still love them. They are perfect to cool down in the hellish heat that is sometimes our summer.
A heat wave is hitting us hard down here in PuntaCana, just like it does this time of the year. And I start whining about it just like I do every year. Like every year, I start sharing my famous (infamous?) summer dishes, drinks and paletas (popsicles), some of our preferred weapons against the heat.
This is níspero (In English chicle, naseberry, mispel, sapodilla, and sapote). Its scientific name is Manilkara sapota, and it’s native native to southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It is known in other Spanish countries as chico sapote, níspero, zapote and zapotillo.
Nísperos are very sweet, even by tropical fruit standards. They are rich in carbohydrates and a fairly decent source of vitamin C.
Níspero is cultivated locally in the Dominican Republic.
Zapote (scientific name Pouteria sapota) is a tree native to Central America, and that has spread to other tropical regions of the world. It is known as mamey, zapote colorado, níspero and zapote rojo in different Latin American countries.
Gently sweet, bright orange flesh, pudding-like texture and a subtle hint of nutty flavor, this is the second most popular milkshake ingredient in the Dominican Republic (following papaya). The fruit is cultivated locally and available at markets and supermarkets.
The fruit is an excellent source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and is a good source of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber. [Source]
And here’s granadillo, and if to you it looks a bit like giant passionfruits, it’s no coincidence: This large fruit (grows up to 10 inches in length) is related to passionfruit. Its scientific name is Passiflora quadrangularis, and it’s commonly used for shakes in the Dominican Republic, where it grows.
Granadillo (English name: giant granadilla, granadilla) has a slightly sour (much more gentle than passionfruit) flesh, with a pear-like texture, very aromatic and mildly sweet.
Granadillo is rich in antioxidants, packs a fair amount of phosphorus and a small amount of calcium.
So, now that you know a little bit more about some of the fruits that we Dominicans love in our shakes, it’s time to get going and making some thick, nutritious and very cold shakes.
It’s what’s for summer.
- 1 granadillo , or 12 nísperos, or 3 zapotes
- 3/4 cup cane sugar , or 9 very ripe bananas (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 2 quarts [2 lt] evaporated milk , or almond milk (see notes)
- 6 cups of ice
Peel and chop the fruits. Mix all the ingredients in a heavy-duty blender.
These batidas (shakes) are traditionally made with cane sugar and evaporated milk, and they make for very rich drinks, but at home I prefer using bananas as sweetener -- and for added flavor -- and almond milk (I am lactose intolerant). Try both and see which you prefer.