Where Filipinos acquired the habit of serving punch for noche buena, I have no idea. Probably the American influence. Punch is great, I won’t argue about that but punch for noche buena is just a bit too predictable. For me, at least. Here’s something surprisingly different. Cucumber and coconut smoothie is made with fresh cucumber, tender coconut meat, coconut water and just enough sugar to sweeten.
Cucumber? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Cucumber is sweet and, when paired with coconut, makes a lovely refreshing drink. Coconut water is naturally sweet and you need very little sugar to strike the right balance.
You need to peel the cucumber though because the skin, while lovely for making salads, doesn’t liquefy well even in a blender. Don’t forget to scrape off the seeds too because you don’t want hard bits in you mouth while gobbling up glass after glass of this wonderful smoothie.
As for the coconut, choose one with tender but not too thin meat. There is a guide for choosing coconuts in the archive; just see it to make sure you’re getting the right kind.
Cucumber and Coconut Smoothie
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 coconut with tender meat (mala-kanin, the same kind used for making buko salad)
- coconut water
- a little sugar
- Peel the cucumber and scrape off the seeds with a spoon. Dice.
- Scrape the coconut meat from the husk.
- Place the cucumber and coconut meat in the blender.
- Add a tablespoonful or two of sugar.
- Pour in the coconut water and add some ice.
- Pulse the blender several times to process the coconut meat and cucumber.
You can run the blender on the highest speed but that will puree everything. Personally, I like the sensation of the tiniest bits of coconut on my tongue. Your choice, really. Ultra smooth or somewhat grainy, the combination of cucumber and coconut is amazingly good!