A Perfect Estival Treat


Here in Saudi Arabia, summer has started last April and is now in its driest month (June). As this weather nears its peak (August), my appetite for oily and protein rich foods loses more and more. My craving for the dog days of the season turned into something cold, sweet, and trophic. Nothing could better define what I have in mind than the word “smoothies”.

Smoothies are slushy fruit-based drinks that got a boost from the growing popularity of home blenders in 1940 in the West coast of the United States. The birth of Smoothie King chain in 1970, which popularized a nutritional smoothie formulated juice with the addition of vitamins and other supplements, made Steve Kuhnau the pioneer of this particular beverage. By the 1990s, smoothies were already a multibillion dollar industry, with the introduction of smoothie machines that helped propel the drink out of specialty shops and on to menus in restaurants and university cafeterias (nestleprofessional.com).

At present, the popularity of smoothies continues to evolve. Its common indulgence category as a beverage is now penultimate to the on-the-go meal or snack or dessert, most especially in the West and, of course, the tropical parts of Asia. This is the reason why it is a must-listed item on the menus of quick-service restaurants.

Recently, I stopped by not a restaurant but a local smoothie shop called Tabeie wa Sehei (in English, Natural and Healthy), which is just beside the grocery store near our place, to quench my longing for a cold drink. I took a friend’s word for how good their smoothies are.

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I was then asked to choose among the fruits that are absolutely ambrosia on the counter. Picking was not easy. All the fruits are pleasing to my taste and smell. Eventually, I chose strawberry because my two most favorite fruits (soursop and guacamole) were unavailable. The best from the choices were strawberries because they are very good sources of vitamin C; in fact, they contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits providing 149 percent of the daily value (Food and Nutrition Information Database, University of Illinois Extension).

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Tabeie wa Sehei’s smoothies only come in two sizes: medium (6 SAR) and large (7 SAR).

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While waiting, I decided to watch the beverage specialist make my healthy drink. He only used four ingredients: approximately 10 pieces of strawberries, 4 pieces of ice cubes, 2 tablespoons of vanilla, and a cup of milk. After about 10 minutes, there he was pouring the red smooth thing in my medium cup.

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On the flip side, do not be confused between a milk shake and a smoothie. A milk shake is blended with milk, ice cream, and flavoring. A smoothie will never need an ice cream and is often made with limited ingredients — ice and milk as the primary ones. Flavors can vary from frozen or fresh fruit to liquid flavoring.

What I liked most about this beverage is the natural sweet and sour taste that just leaves the mouth wanting for more. There is not much of that sugary taste thereby making the shop’s name (i.e., natural and healthy) congruent to what it sells. I remember how I savored slowly sipping the saccharine and vinegary contents of that cup in order to enjoy the natural flavor and grainy texture of the berries as well as their pellet-sized chunks swimming in the pool and slipping through the straw. The first and last sips provided me with the sweet indulgence I longed for.

Until summer is over I am considering this smoothie shop as a sort of harborage amid this scorching weather. Payday is now around the corner; I will surely come back for another cup. A large cup is what I will take by then.

Related Articles

Simple Breakfast Smoothie at thevanillabeanblog.com

Join the July-30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge at simplegreensmoothies.com

Strawberry Macadamia Nut Green Smoothie Recipe at incrediblesmoothies.com

Are Green Smoothies Good for Athletes at greensmoothies.com

Smoothies and Shakes at pbfingers.com

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11 thoughts on “A Perfect Estival Treat

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  3. What a colourful smoothie shop, Sony. Very good to hear you enjoyed your refreshing drink. I must have cooled you down that day. Here in Melbourne, smoothies are very popular. There is this shop in the city near my place that has oranges everywhere for decoration, and proclaims that they serve drinks based on smoothie recipes from the Philippines. Don’t know how true that is – once I had a smoothie there and it was way too sweet for my liking. Think they put yoghurt in it too, and it’s something my stomach doesn’t handle well…yoghurt is a popular smoothie ingredient here, though. Generally, I like banana and mango smoothies.

    Hope this year, summer isn’t too hot for you. If it is, just go and have another smoothie 🙂

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    • Summer is insanely hot here in Riyadh, Mabel. The temperature rises up to 55 degrees (C).

      See, our office is called HO3. We are like 150 meters away from HO1–the main office where we usually complete our day-to-day transactions. I feel like I’m inside an oven each time I braved the scorching heat of the sun.

      Smoothies, which I make at home, gives me that much needed relief. 🙂

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      • 55’C?! Oh no, that is really very hot. Occasionally it gets up to 40’C in Melbourne and I thought that was bad. Though I like summer, it must be burning hot wherever you go there. Hopefully everywhere you go indoors there is air conditioning – not sure if a fan will be helpful in cooling down. But all the more reason for you to have a smoothie 🙂

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