Simple Smoothie Making
What makes a smoothie a smoothie? Some people say it must contain banana and generally they contain raw fruits and other ingredients blended to a thick, smooth consistency.
Creating a tasty smoothie can sometimes feel a bit daunting. Some recipes seem to need loads of exotic ingredients and when going rogue It's all too easy to create a brown sludge which delicious as it may be, doesn't look enticing!
Today I want to look at colourful but simple fruit and veg combinations to create some delicious , nutrient rich smoothies without too much stress!
FREE SUGARS & SMOOTHIES
Before we start lets talk about sugar. Once fruits are blended the sugars in the fruits become free sugars which means that they should be counted in your daily free sugar allowance. Currently the guidelines for children aged 4-6 are a maximum of 19g of free sugars per day. This is why smoothies should be balanced out with vegetables and have water added rather than juice. It's also why the size of a smoothie should be limited, particularly for babies and toddlers but even for children and adults.
Always ensure that everyone eats whole fruits as well as having them blended in smoothies. As a whole fruit the sugars do not get added into the free sugar allowance.
All fruits have different sugar contents. Berries are much lower in sugars than other fruits. Click here for a helpful table.
I personally have a few rules when it comes to smoothie ingredients – whether it’s for the kids or just me. I always include:
FRUIT – fresh or frozen, even canned but preferably no juice
VEGETABLE – at least 1 type, 2 is better!
SEEDS – I mostly add chia seeds but hemp or flax seeds are good too. See an explanation of the differences between the seeds here.
WATER - usually just a splash is needed!
You can also add yogurt, oats, plant milks, nuts, nut butters and other various powders. I will write about these another day!
Fruits can be fresh, Frozen or even canned! don't include the juice or syrup from canned fruits though as this will increase the sugar levels in your finished smoothie.
PLANNING BY COLOUR
This isn’t Smoothie Law but if you want to keep things simple I like to colour coordinate my ingredients to ensure a pleasant, colourful concoction rather than a brown or beige sludge!
The Brown sludge may taste amazing but if it doesn’t look great your taste buds are already wary and for a toddler that’s not going to end well!
So my advice is to choose the general colour of smoothie you want, pick your ingredients accordingly and enjoy your vibrant, tasty smoothie.
The table below shows how you can categorise common smoothie ingredients into a Green, yellow, orange, red or more purple smoothie. You can move things around a little of course but if you move a fruit too far from its natural colour be sure not to add too much.
Strawberries can be party of an orange, red or purple smoothie depending on the other ingredients. Kiwi can be part of a green or yellow smoothie. Spinach and other leafy greens work best in green and yellow smoothies. You can get away with a bit of spinach in a strong red smoothie when using ingredients like beetroot and strawberries that give a very vivid colour.
The ingredients to the right can be included in any smoothie you choose without really altering the colour of the finished mixture.
This is just my easy way of creating tasty and enticing looking smoothies without needing extensive recipes and using what I have in my fruit bowl / fridge / freezer / cupboards.
I have quite a few recipes based on these principles that you can try but don't be afraid to experiment yourself with what you have! Here's a few to help below. Click on the photo to see the full recipes.
Our reusable pouches are perfect for storing and taking out smoothies. They can be frozen, washed by hand or in the dishwasher and used 100 times or so!! We guarantee them for 40 uses / 3 months so if they break before that, I replace immediately!
They are seriously easy to fill through the wide side opening. No filling stations or funnels required! just pour it in!
We have 2 sizes of pouches - our 140ml Animal pouches for 6 months + and our 200ml Monster pouches are suitable from 2 years + and perfect for preschool and primary children.
Both priced £10 for a pack of 4 at our website. Click the below images for more details or to BUY.