From Batidos to Smoothies—a Healthy Evolution on Aruba
By Rona Coster
The big fruit batido craze came to Aruba from Latin American countries, where batidos are sold under every tree, made of fresh fruit, some milk, and plenty of sugar. That’s the basic recipe, yet every self-respecting batido stand had its own recipes.
There was a good one at the end of the main street, with a young woman cutting fresh fruit in full view of the customers, and a more commercial one next to Kong Hing Supermarket, in the back. Then the media told us that batidos defeat the concept of healthy living with all the extra empty-calories added, and thus over time, the super sweet badido slowly morphed into its American cousin, the smoothy, which was more health conscious.
Savaneta is the home of Mauchi’s Smoothies. We have been stopping there on the way to the beach for several years. Mauchi, a true island pioneer farmer girl (her real name is Maureen Laaf Ras), opened her roadside shack and has been offering the tastiest smoothies made with fruit, vegetables, and herbs, many of which she grows organically herself.
This woman doesn’t just sell smoothies, she spends time in her huge fruit garden, at least two hours every morning, and she thinks about the content of her product. And it shows.
We had a very green drink with kale, cilantro, moringa, spinach, cucumber, a touch of ginger and fruit juice. It was incredibly yummy, and then the friendly barista offered and Immune booster to-go, made with noni, Soursop, and moringa. We fell for her pitch and invested in a lime-green magic potion. Another concoction available at Mauchi promises to replace Viagra, made with watermelon rind and lemon. She is big on traditional herbal medicine, balancing the liver, the blood, and fighting gout and diabetes, even cancer, with the antioxidant qualities of soursop, papaya, moringa and noni. Mauchi’s husband, Eduard, sells nice plants (local tip: I saw thick palmitas for sale at just Afl 45!).
Mauchi’s cunucu is located in Sabana Basora, an area blessed with fertile soil, and her fruits and herbs are happy in the half-shade trellis built by Edward, a former hotel food & beverage director. Each tree is encircled by charming yellow flowers, protecting the soil from the sun and conserving water.
Mauchi is also busy opening an affiliated outlet on the main street in San Nicolas., complete with a colorful mural from one of the artists at the recent Aruba Art Fair. And the Savaneta location had a recent creative colorful upgrade; you can also have some simple food on the adjacent picnic tables in the shade. The place has a children’s sand box as well.
Mauchi’s Smoothies & Juice Bar is a family business. The Laaf-Ras family includes Edward, Maureen, Mandy, and Landon, all working together under General Mauchi’s direction. They take island agriculture seriously!
Call with questions, tel. #584 7115, #593 7390, Savaneta 87, open until 8 pm, including weekends.