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 tsp Matcha Green tea powder
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup Almond Breeze
For the top layer:
1 large slice melon
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.