Month: June 2014

Smoothie Cooler

Oh my goodness this is good. Since I discovered mint leaves in a smoothie, there is no going back. It’s so refreshing.

So I’m learning the different combinations and not just dumping anything and everything I have in the blender. It’s paying off, I could drink this one all summer long.

Add a little dash of something special and you can turn this into a cocktail (maybe take out the chia seeds). Let me know how any experiments go!

Mint leaves turn fruit smoothies into a refreshing summer drink with a hint of heat.

Mint leaves turn fruit smoothies into a refreshing summer drink with a hint of heat.

cooler2Summer Cooler

1 cup raspberries
1 cup frozen watermelon
2 kiwi fruit
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp chia seeds
5 mint leaves
3 ice cubes

Roughly chop all ingredients and add to the blender. Crush the ice first, then whizz on high speed. Enjoy on a hot summer’s day!

 

Smoothie Revolution

I think I’ve created a monster. But no matter, I love these new smoothies, even if they are given dismal reviews by my children. The new flavours will take some getting used to.

If you recall from my last post, I have a 5 year old moaning that my smoothies are all the same while my 2 year old guzzles every last drop. The new recipes have been rated “gross” by both parties. I resorted to a Berry Favourite this morning to get at least one of them drinking them again.

It wasn’t all bad however, I did find a chocolate one that was an instant hit. Could it seriously not be?

I have a number of favourite recipe books which I use frequently but always skip the smoothie sections. No more! There are so many great ideas. I started with Oh She Glows which is a vegan cookbook and suits my morning routine. I find vegan smoothies more cleansing first thing.

However, we headed out with the Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie to give the girls a kick-start. It was essentially a healthy chocolate milkshake that I had no problem with the girls consuming.

Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie

Next, one for me. Oh She Glows author, Angela Liddon, has a serious of smoothies named Green Monsters. This is her Classic Green Monster and it’s variations. Please don’t be put off by the name – it’s actually delicious.

Angela's photography is oh so better than mine!

Angela’s photography is oh so much better than mine!

Keep going with the Green Monsters and I found an ultra-refreshing one (Glowing Mojo-ito Green Monster) that is going to cause me to grow my own mint this summer. It also was the only thing I could consume yesterday while I was battling a stomach bug and I am sure is the reason why I am up and functioning today. Here’s the exact combination I used. The variations are available in the Oh She Glows Cookbook.

My fave. My kids least fave!

My fave. My kids least fave!

1 cup watermelon cubes (frozen)
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
1 cup coconut water
1 Gala apple, peeled (unless you have a vitamin) and chopped
1/4 avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
10 mint leaves
5 ice cubes

Hit PLAY on your Vitamix or, if you are like me and are still pining over having your own, use the “Snow” or “Ice Crush” first, then whizz it all on high speed once the ice and watermelon is broken down.

It took me longer than I would like to admit to get around to making this one since it required an extra step of cutting up and freezing the watermelon. I used a mini-one and it still made a ton to freeze. There are at least 3 or 4 more smoothie worth ready to go in my freezer now.

Finally, here is my own Berry Favourite that is completely inoffensive, one that my youngest loves and my oldest tolerates. Healthy food consumption with kids can sometimes be a battle but it’s all worth it!

Berry Favourite

raspberries1 cup coconut water
1 banana
1 mango (optional)
2 cups frozen berries
1 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup (if added sweetness required)

Start slow if using a conventional blender to break up the frozen berries, then whizz on high until desired smoothness is reached.

Before I move onto to another author, I might just have to try this one first. I probably could have used this yesterday since the ginger is awesome when you suffering from nausea.

If you want further ideas on creating your own smoothies, check out my post called A Formula for a Smoothie.

Smoothie Review

I learnt to cook by following recipes to the T. If I was missing even one ingredient, I would ditch it and find an alternate. Now, I am comfortable switching up ingredients and adapting recipes based on what I have on hand and how I want it to taste. It rarely turns out wrong anymore.

For some reason, when it comes to smoothies, I haven’t ever followed this process. I throw everything in the blender, hit the highest blend button possible and drink whatever comes out.

This morning, my oldest daughter, said she was swearing off my smoothies “because they all taste the same”. I have to confess she’s right. They all look the same too, a muddy, blah colour.

So I’m off to find a recipe and I’m going to learn how to make some yummy – but most importantly – different smoothies.

Watch this space!

Morning Rituals

If I have time for a yoga practise and a shower before my children get up for the day, it sets the path for the day in a very positive way. I generally have more patience throughout the day, knowing that I have been able to take care of my own needs. Nothing is more frustrating that opening my eyes to whining and demands that I know aren’t going to diminish anytime soon.

A morning ritual doesn’t take a lot of effort, or time. It just takes some planning and about 15-30 minutes before you’d normally get up.

Consider these:

1. Meditation

2. Yoga

3. Coffee and a Newspaper/Internet News

4. A walk

5. Preparing a breakfast/juice/smoothie

And if all else fails, SMILE. It’s an instant boost.