Smoothies

After experimenting with many different smoothy ingredients for a number of years, our family of five now has 2 or 3 favourite smoothies that we regularly enjoy for breakfast.  We then throw in some different ingredients from time to time (depending on what is being grown in the backyard at the time) to keep the flavours interesting and help us appreciate the seasons.

The advantages I have found with smoothies are as follows:

1.  Smoothies are an easy way to pack loads of healthy ingredients into a tasty and easy drinkiing breakfast.

2.  Smoothies are quick to prepare – works well when preparing breakfast for 4 others in the family!

3.  Smoothies are quick to consume – easier to drink, rather than eat your breakfast.

4.  You can add ingredients to your smoothies that you would not normally eat at breakfast.  The advantage here is that I am able to add many healthy ingredients for the kids and then mask the taste with other stronger flavoured ingredients, such as frozen berries.

5.  Smoothies are a great way to use up excess seasonal produce.  Last year we picked over 28kg of berries from the backyard and the majority of the berries were used in our smoothies over the preceeding months.

6.  They are a great healthy food for babies and young children.  Our 18 month old boy loves his smoothies (usually fed to him with a teaspoon).  Our older kids enjoy drinking them with a straw and will finish them off within 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes quicker!

7.  Have you made too much smoothy?  No problem, just get yourself some icypole moulds and freeze the rest.  They make a great afternoon snack for the kids on a hot day.  We sometimes make icypoles for later use, if the kids prefer something else for breakfast.

8.  A great activity for the kids.  I often get them to “help” me with chopping, grinding and composting the peels (it does get a little crowded at times and takes twice as long!)

Here are some different smoothy recipes we use.  I hope that these will give you some ideas and you can then start experimenting with your own combinations.

The amount of ingredients below for each recipe serves our family of five and would be enough for 4 adults for breakfast.

We used this smoothy when the apples are in season.

Bananna, Apple, Nut and Avocado Smoothy 

3 medium sized apples

3 banannas

3 cups yoghurt (we use home made natural yoghurt)

1 cup of nuts (we use almonds and cashews)

1 tablespoon of honey

1 Avocado (adds a thick and smooth consistency to the smoothy)

Some optional extras – to change the flavour…

2 passionfruit (to sweeten it up), or

4 teaspoons of coconut butter (to give a hint  of coconut taste), or

1 cup frozen or fresh berries (we use raspberries, young berries, and blueberries) (for those that prefer a berry flavour)

Directions

Core apples (leave skin on) and chop into quarters

Peel banannas (I don’t bother chopping these up as the blender has no problem chewing through them)

Grind nuts in coffee grinder until they are a fine powder

Peel and remove pip from Avocado and chop into quarters

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

Serve immediately – can be kept in the fridge for a short time, but always tastes best directly after blending

Bananna, Coconut Butter, Cacao, Nut and Avocado Smoothy 

4 banannas – (I like to leave the skins on as it adds a little texture to the smoothies)

1 and a 1/2 cups yoghurt (we use home made natural yoghurt)

1/2 to 1 cup of nuts (we use almonds and cashews)

1 tablespoon of honey

1 Avocado (adds a thick and smooth consistency to the smoothies)

1/2 cup of coconut butter

2 tbsp. of Cacao powder

Optional extras:

1 cup frozen or fresh berries (we use raspberries, young berries, and blueberries) (for those that prefer a berry flavour)

Directions

Chop ends off bananas (I don’t bother chopping the bananas into slices as the blender has no problem chewing through them)

Grind nuts in coffee grinder until they are a fine powder – if you have a good blender there is no need to add this step

Peel and remove pip from Avocado and chop into quarters

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

Serve immediately

The cacao powder gives the smoothie a strong chocolate taste – if you prefer a milder taste then reduce the quantity of powder to 1 table spoon.

We also use the left over smoothie to make icy poles.  This is a great afternoon snack for the kids on a hot day.

There are many variants to the above recipes, so feel free to experiment with the produce you have that is in season.  Some examples are adding mango, kiwi fruit, peaches and nectarines.

I experimented for a while with adding green leaves such as kale and spinach, but the kids picked up on the change in flavour straight away and did not like it.  I will have to do some more experimenting with ingredients to get them to give green smoothies another go.