Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Two-Tone Superfoods Smoothie


I know, it's green... but it's good for you! And I'm sure even picky children would find this fun to drink with the two-tone colour and the different fruits in each layer.

I was recently sent two cartons of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk, with the challenge of creating a new breakfast smoothie. Obviously I know that most people are in a hurry in the mornings and want something they can drink on the go, but this can be partly made the night before - and in any case, the challenge asked for an "original and interesting smoothie recipe" - and mine is certainly that!



A year or so ago I'd never drunk any sort of dairy-free alternative to milk, but now thanks to a friend who has turned vegan, there is often a carton of soya milk in my fridge. I hadn't tried almond milk before and I can say I definitely enjoyed it - it has a more subtle taste than some dairy-free alternatives I've tried, and most importantly doesn't turn my cup of tea a funny colour like some seem to!

Almond Breeze is vegan and also low-calorie; the unsweetened variety has 60% fewer calories than even skimmed milk, while it is still a good source of calcium. It also comes in original and chocolate flavour. For more information visit www.almondbreeze.co.uk

I thought of several different smoothie flavour combinations but none of them seemed original enough for this challenge. As I was finding it hard to choose between my ideas, I decided to combine the two and make a two-layer smoothie!

Here are the ingredients I used. You can obviously adapt this and swap out any ingredients you want, but this is the recipe I used (of my own creation):
For the bottom layer:
1 banana
1 kiwi
1 tsp Matcha Green tea powder
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup Almond Breeze

For the top layer:
1 large slice melon
1 pear
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp hemp
1/2 cup Almond Breeze


First to make the bottom layer, I chopped a banana, kiwi and added a spoonful of Matcha Green Tea Powder. This is finely-milled green tea that can be made into a drink or used to flavour foods. It has all sorts of health benefits including being an anti-oxidant, boosting metabolism and reducing cholesterol. However, it's not to everyone's taste so if you were making this for children I might suggest leaving this ingredient out.


I whizzed it up in my blender with a cup of Almond Breeze and a spoonful of agave nectar - I could have used honey, but since Almond Breeze is suitable for vegans, I wanted to make sure the whole recipe was.


Transfer to a small tub that is suitable for freezing and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.


When you are ready to drink the smoothie, prepare the top layer. I cut a large slice of melon


And also chopped up a pear


Continuing on the superfoods theme, I added a spoonful of hemp. You can get this in health food shops; I bought a small box from Holland & Barrett that contained different seeds in small sachets (such as flax) so you can try them all and see what you like. Hemp is a seed that is high in protein, magnesium and iron, and the health benefits are numerous. You can add it onto porridge or museli or stir it into yogurt, or as I did, blend it into your smoothie.



I also added some agave nectar

 


Finally half a cup of Almond Breeze


Whizz it in the blender


If you have frozen the bottom layer of the smoothie overnight, you will need to allow it to come to room temperature so you can crush it up (similar to waiting for ice cream to soften enough to serve). If you have frozen it for a few hours it should be the right consistency - a bit like a slushy, so it's not entirely liquid, but you can still drink it through a straw.

Scoop a few spoonfuls into the bottom of a glass


Now pour the top layer of the smoothie on top; it will sit on top nicely.


I accessorized with a slice of kiwi and a straw. It's actually quite fun to drink one layer at a time or you can mix them both up. I think even though this is green and might put some picky children off, the fun of reaching the bottom layer should hopefully make them drink up!


You can check out the other entries in the Almond Breeze smoothie challenge here.


6 comments:

  1. I bet you had fun experimenting to make this! I didn't realise you could get green tea powder - might have to get down to Holland & Barrett and check it out, as well as the hemp!

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    Replies
    1. The green tea was from Asia, a friend brought it back from a trip there (or her dad did, I forget which). You can get it in this country but I think it's a lot more expensive. I reckon you could also just make a cup of green tea from a tea bag and use that as the liquid instead of the almond milk. Then again green tea is quite an acquired taste and I'm not the biggest fan of it anyway!

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  2. i love all the fruit and other ingredients,but it IS a bit green ,isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. I know - I was going to make a banana and strawberry one but I decided it wasn't interesting or unusual enough for this competition!

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  3. Now that is one very classy smoothie Caroline

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