Monday, 17 September 2012

'Sneaky' Breakfast Smoothie

Second blog post, more food.  There is more to my life than that and I'm sure I'll get around to it sooner or later but in the interim I have a typically fussy 3 year old and there's only so much pasta and sauce (with blended in carrots, onion, mushrooms, peppers and celery) you can feed a child as a means of getting some veg into them.  I'm veggie and my husband's veggie so it grates a little bit that our daughter would probably live off fish fingers and bread if given half a chance!  No point in getting too concerned about it though as I remember clearly enough disliking a lot of veg when I was little (celery, broad beans, brussels sprouts.....) while my husband pretty much refused anything but raw carrots for a while (according to my mother-in-law).

However, a lack of overall concern doesn't mean I'm not going to attempt to get some vegetable goodness into her, I'm sure every mum has their sneaky way of doing this (I've been told using pizza is a favourite - blend up some extra veg in the tomato sauce and hide a bit more under the cheese.  Sadly my daughter doesn't like pizza either!).  This here is mine:
'Sneaky' Breakfast Smoothie - looking worryingly like the tofu custard pudding ;)
It does look a bit speckled which is down to the berries I used and the fact I currently only have a cheap little stick/hand blender.  It would be a lovely chocolate brown minus speckles if I had a super duper jug blender that costs two weeks pay but this'll do for now.  And yet again, easy as pie....well smoothie.

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 4-5 dates (stones removed)
  • A small mug full of berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries - I use frozen mixed summer berries or forest fruits that I've defrosted.  Cheaper than buying fresh)
  • Milk (we use soya milk at home)
  • Large handful of fresh baby spinach or 3 blocks of frozen spinach that's been defrosted (3 blocks of the frozen spinach we buy is about 80g or 2.5oz give or take - this morning I used fresh baby spinach as that's what we had in the fridge).
  • Around about a teaspoon of cocoa powder
I haven't given exact measurements because I don't tend to use them - I'm a bung-it-all-in-and-see-what-happens sort of cook.

First off I blend the spinach with a good splash of milk (not too much) until I have a bright green liquid - I do the spinach first as it can be a bit stringy and I want to make sure it's properly pureed.  Then I add the banana, dates and cocoa and blend some more until I have a dark green unappetising-looking sludge (sounds good doesn't it?!).  I finally add the berries, give it a good whizz and the purple/red with the sludgy green turns a nice chocolate colour.  I then add a drop more milk just to get it to a consistency we like, which is normally around that of a thick milkshake.  I don't need to add any sugar as the banana and dates tend to make it sweet enough (even for my daughter!) although if I've put in a lot of blackcurrants in with the berries I'll add an extra date or two to balance the tartness.

Nice and tasty start to the day, and my daughter loves it  - and heres the proof.......
The proof is in the pudding smoothie
(Although I'll be in trouble if she ever actually sees me adding the spinach!)

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