I was watching Rick Stein making something or other and he needed to blend something. He said he’d bought this new blender, and went on to rave about it in his usual Rick Steiny way, saying he’d consigned all his other blenders to the outhouse after trying this one.
I have wanted a blender for some time now to make curry pastes and things. I used to have one, but boat. I thought if it pleased Rick Stein so much, maybe it was pretty good. I couldn’t tell from the screen what make it was, so I took a picture of the screen and sent it to Colin, who I knew would identify it. He did, and so I hinted that I’d like one, and one duly appeared at Christmas.
It’s actually a smoothie maker rather than a blender, although it can be used as such. At first, it sat in its box and intimidated me, but then I finally plucked up the courage to give it a go to make a smoothie, seeing as that’s what it was for.
I bunged in some fruit and some water and whizzed it up. I got a rather thick smoothie out of it. I’d need to add more liquid next time.
I’ve never been a fan of the banana, so I need to use something else to thicken them with. I’ve found you can use avocados, apples, pears or even cottage cheese, although I’ve not tried cottage cheese. I’m assured that you can’t actually taste the cottage cheese, as long as you hide it with another flavour.
Having smoothies is an easy route towards your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day because you can bung a load of stuff in there and drink it all down while you’re working or studying or commuting or whatever.
Eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables is also recommended because the different colours can represent different nutrients. However, I tried this for one smoothie, and it came out brown and unappetising. I don’t mind brown food, but it still has to look appealing. So now I stick to fruit and veg of similar colours or ones with a single dominant colour. I’ve included one such recipe below.
Other things you can add to smoothies are nuts, if your blender is good enough. Mine makes the nuts into teeny tiny bits, which adds texture to the smoothie.
Instead of using water, I started using dairy milk replacements, such as coconut milk and almond milk, or fruit juice, typically apple juice, because that’s what they often use in commercial smoothies.
If you search the internet for health advice about smoothies, you will no doubt find all sorts of stuff that tells you terrible things like
- smoothies erode your tooth enamel (so use a straw, but not a plastic one); and
- green smoothies (made with lots and lots of green leafy vegetables with the taste disguised by flavoursome fruits) are full of oxalates, which other people on the internet have addressed.
My take is that consuming more fruit and vegetables than I would do otherwise and using a different combination of fruit and veg every time I make a smoothie can only help me become healthier. So a smoothie a day, plus with a homemade soup made from vegetables of a different colour to that day’s smoothie, is going to help me get a good mix of nutrients each week, resulting in a healthier, happier me. And what’s so bad about that?
- blueberries, one punnet
- cherries, a handful, pitted
- raspberries, one punnet
- cacao powder, to taste
- pomegranate juice drink, as required to achieve the desired consistency
- Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass to serve.
If you'd rather use a pure juice than a juice drink, you can swap the pomegranate juice drink for grape juice or apple juice.
For extra sweetness,
you can add (dried) goji berries.
Cacao powder has quite a strong flavour and you may find it overwhelming if you add too much. Add a small amount to start with and increase the quantity until it tastes nice to you.