Tuesday, May 27, 2014
If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that we drink a lot of smoothies in our house. The second the kids walk in the door after school I usually have one on the go to re-fuel my tired little monkeys after their long and draining day. There are a few things that go into these smoothies more often than not; frozen banana, frozen berries (either ones I've bought in summer and frozen myself, locally grown or organic ones), homemade milk kefir (which we tolerate as it's lactose-free) or almond milk and a scoop or two of vanilla pea protein powder to ensure the kids get filled up to the brim.
There's also a few other sneaky little things I sometimes chuck in the mix when that boy of mine is not looking. (Ada's fine with everything, bless her little adventurous soul). Often soaked chia seeds and a couple of Brazil nuts go in (cashews or macadamia nuts are good too), sometimes half an avocado or a dollop of virgin coconut oil goes in and once- I even chucked in a whole peeled raw beetroot. Sadly he pulled me up on that one and I now only make those smoothies for myself. See sometimes it backfires on you when you're kids are well educated on different foods and flavours! Ha! Ah well, it was worth a shot though right? Thankfully most days he doesn't even know half of what he's slurping up happily every afternoon.
So while this may seem like a simple little smoothie recipe, there's a lot of goodness going on in there. Chia seeds add a beautiful creamy texture while also delivering a hefty load of omega's (3 + 6), protein, iron and calcium. Most people tend to just chuck a spoonful of raw chia seeds into their smoothies, but you'll see below that I prefer to use soaked ones. The reason being that if you just chuck them in raw, your smoothie (given a few minutes to sit) will thicken up a great deal and you'll need a spoon, not a straw (not always a bad thing, I know). But most importantly I soak chia seeds for at least 30 minutes before eating otherwise you run the risk of those little seeds acting like a sponge in your gut, soaking up liquids and possibly leaving you, ahem, clogged up. I always have pre-soaked chia seeds in the fridge as Ada eats chia pudding for breakfast most mornings anyway. You can also mix up a large batch and store it in the fridge for up to 4-5 days to use in your smoothies throughout the week if that makes life easier. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and only 2 nuts per day will give you your daily quota. All of us will happily munch on them daily, except the boy. So sneaking them into his daily smoothie is a great little mum trick to make sure he's benefiting also.
As many of you may already know, I'm flying out to the States tonight to attend the Saveur Food Blog Awards in Vegas! I've decided to take a little time off blogging while I'm away, so I can just enjoy this once-in-a-life-time-opportunity and really soak it all up. Also, if I'm being completly honest, the past few months have been mega-hectic and I could really do with a little time off, from everything. This will be my first proper holiday since well before having kids, nearly 8 years ago now! That said I'm sure I'll still be posting stuff daily on Instagram, so pop on over there if you wanna see some snaps from my time in Vegas and San Francisco! And wish me luck coping with being away from my babies for that long. I miss them already. xx
This makes enough for one large serve, but by all means double or triple things up to feed a crowd. I buy this protein power, which can be found in most health food or vitamin stores here in Australia. If your budget allows I recommend you always buy locally grown or organic frozen berries. Most of the cheap ones you'll find at your supermarket come from as far away as Chile or China and who knows whats on them. To make the swirls I just blend a small handful of defrosted frozen blueberries with a touch of brown rice syrup (you could use honey).
1 tablespoon chia seeds (either colour) mixed with 3 tablespoons almond milk, mixed to combine + left 30 minutes until gel-like.
1 cup almond milk (preferably homemade)
1 frozen banana, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (preferably locally grown or organic)
1-2 heaped tablespoons vanilla pea protein powder
4 Brazil nuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whizz everything in your blender until smooth and creamy and serve right away. Makes approx. 600ml.
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