My 11 year old is helping with food styling....mmmm...we both need professional help! She says it tastes better out of a jar and that's fine by me.
We have been a little adventurous with our smoothies lately and the vast majority of them have been green. Yes one of my children had a mini tantrum when presented with it, a little reminiscent of the Green eggs and ham character who is harassed relentlessly by Sam-I-Am.
Green smoothies are just so vogue right now so you really must try one. (Tip request that child closes eyes to taste and all will be well. This I did with my second Guinea pig and she deemed it delicious.)
Tanti throwing child also came around and reluctantly admitted that the kale could not be tasted and that the smoothie was ...yummy.
Below is the recipe for the classic banana, strawberry smoothie. NO Tantrums guaranteed.
Banana & Strawberry Smoothie/ icecream
1 tablespoon linseeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup activated almonds (soaked in acidulated water overnight)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup yoghurt
water to thin
Process the seeds in your thermomix or blender. Add almonds and coconut and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Process until well blended. The mix will be solid like ice-cream. Now you have a choice. If you would like the thinner smoothie version, add iced water as desired half - whole cup. Blend and pour.
If you like the look of the more solid version below. Simply spoon into a glass and serve with a spoon. Either way enjoy.
We often talk about hiding the vegetables in meals from the kiddies.
To be honest I find it really difficult myself sometime to eat the daily recommended amount of veggies.
Fruit recommendations (2 per day) I find easy to eat as we usually have a fruit smoothie for breaky or afternoon tea.
The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) recommends 5 serves a day - that's 2.5 cups of veggies or 5 cups of salad.
Diana from the Natural Chemist also tells us that 50% of the food on our plates should be vegetables. When you take a moment to visualise your daily consumption patterns, most people realise that it can be tricky to eat enough veggies.
We all know that Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and we mostly know why our bodies need them. for example Vitamin C is an antioxidant and the B vitamins are critical in the production of energy in our bodies. What is less well understood is the benefits of the phytochemicals in vegetables. It is believed that it is the phytochemicals that protect us from chronic diseases such as heart disease, artherosclerosis, diabetes and stroke.
We have an ancient juicer (that has to be coaxed into finishing the job somedays but I don't love the concept of composting all of that gorgeous fibre.)
Check out the veggie smoothie I made today. It is so smooth and so delicious I just had to show you a piccie.
1 whole carrot, chopped
1 whole orange, peeled
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 whole vine ripened tomato
3cm cube beetroot, halved
few sprigs parsley
tray of ice cubes
125ml water to thin (plus extra if desired)
Place all ingredients in the thermomix. Process at speed 10 for 2 minutes. You might wish to add more water for a thinner more juice like consistency. The one I made is thick like a boost style juice (but about $5 cheaper). Enjoy!
Thelma (the new Thermomix & Kit's replacement) unlike her movie namesake is headstrong, powerful and completely predictable... I am told. Thelma arrived last Wednesday.
To me she is still a total mystery! I am not really the instruction manual reading type (one of my few flaws) and I do cook by feel, rather than recipe book regimentation, so Thelma and I do not always see eye to eye. I realise as the alpha cook in the relationship that our success as a team rests pretty much on my shoulders. So I must keep them horizontal and step it up a notch.
My husband, his hungry eyes evaluating one of last week's meals with which Thelma had helped, said he felt as though he had come home to a novice cook's experiment and he was intrigued to know what else I could do with my new $1939 investment.
That's all I needed really - a challenge! I read the manual. I read the basics cook book. It made a difference. We understand each other better now.
I cooked the basics. I made butter & babaganoush, whipped cream, cooked rice, steamed beans, made sorbet, juices, smoothies (with celery that no-one even detected), cooked mushroom & spinach risotto (and yes to the purists, it was just perfect.) I made an entire meal with the steamer including rice, vegetables, chicken and a creamy tomato sauce. I made bread dough with buckwheat, concentrated vegetable stock, hommus, herby cream cheese dip, beetroot salad (twice) and a gluten free blueberry chocolate cake.
This morning I made sweet dukkah and cinnamon, quinoa porridge. Remember Thelma arrived last Wednesday.
Thelma has been completely predictable. I am happy. My husband is not scared to come home for dinner. Life is good.
Yesterday my food processor kicked the bucket. She was a fabulous draught horse of a kitchen appliance. Not much to look at or talk about, a sensible, frumpy, hard working model. She had toiled tirelesssly beside me for years, 10 in fact. She was a loyal, compliant member of the kitchen team. Her name was Kit.
Replacing Kit had been on my mind for a couple of years. Being a member of the cutting edge healthy foodie business, it is of course my duty to ensure I am up to date with all of the latest kitchen gadgets...and yet the thought of jumping on the Thermomix train made me a little scared of losing that wonderful traditional wholesome cooking experience. Would the thermomix replace all that I hold dear in my beautiful kitchen? The wooden spoon, the french oven and the egg beater - yes I know that most people think this is a party trick these days but I still have one!
On Tuesday morning I attended a thermomix cooking demonstration. I did not tell Kit. The demonstrator was a friend of mine, a brand spanking new consultant, a cult virgin. She did a great job. She sold a machine and signed up a new consultant.
That afternoon, Kit helped me make a batch of Bliss Balls. When cleaning up I could not remove the food processor bowl from the motor. Kit looked a little pale. I filled her with water and ran out the door to the New Thermomix consultant's sign up meeting...
When I came home, Kit had been washed and was sitting peacefully on the drying up rack. I replaced her bowl on the motor and then tried to refit the blade. I could not help her. The blade shaft was cracked in two places. I think it was her telling me it was time to move on. Thank you Kit for all you have done for me and my family and friends.
I took it as a sign that I had done the right thing. I had not rushed out and bought the newest kitchen applicance and thrown out a perfectly good one. I did not feel guilt as my husband and I carried her tenderly to the garbage bin and bid her a fond farewell.
So now with the mourning period over I embark on a new relationship with a new kitchen appliance and I feel that the time is right.