Healthy Fruit Shakes and Smoothies
Fruit shakes and smoothies are a great way to get some vitamins and calcium into the kids, while keeping them hydrated in the summer – and they taste great too. Children will go for these rather than a sugary can of pop anytime.
EquipmentA blender or liquidiser of some kind makes things easier, although it’s not essential for all fruits. Kids tend to prefer ‘no bits’ of course, in which case a blender is a godsend and saves the hassle of pushing fruit through a sieve and whisking for hours.
It’s also worth considering buying a juicer. It opens up a whole range of fruit and vegetable juices that can’t easily be bought in the shops or cost a small fortune (plums, peaches and raspberries come to mind). Market stalls often sell off ripe fruit at the end of the day at knockdown prices, which are perfect for juicing – so it can be very economical too.
The Basic ShakeFruit milkshakes are a delicious blend of milk, ice-cream and flavourings – in this case, healthy fresh fruit rather than chocolate! Softer, sweeter fruits tend to work best. Vary the ingredients to get the preferred thickness. A ‘burger bar’ texture is achieved by increasing the ice-cream until the straw stands straight up in the shake …
For a healthier version, try lower fat milk or low-fat ice-cream (or frozen yoghurt). Or go for a smoothie instead!
Some Fruity Shake IdeasWhiz up half a pint of milk, a couple of scoops of vanilla ice-cream, plus about 200g/7 oz each of the following fresh fruits (peeled and cored/stoned as necessary):
- strawberry and banana
- mango and kiwi
- plum and raspberry
- blackberry and banana
- peach and pineapple
- apple and pear
The Basic SmoothieA smoothie is a like a shake without the ice-cream – so they’re less thick and more thirst-quenching. There are many variations on the basic recipe. Some have milk, some have yoghurt; others are completely dairy-free. But they’re all deliciously refreshing!
Milky smoothies: whiz up half a pint of milk, a handful of ice cubes, plus about 200g/7 oz each of the following fresh fruits (peeled and cored/stoned as necessary). There are no hard and fast rules – experiment with quantities until the smoothie is at the preferred consistency:
- banana and strawberry
- blueberry and raspberry
- peach and apricot
- nectarine and pear
- banana and mango
- peach and raspberry
- pear and pomegranate
- strawberry and blueberry
- Apple juice, cherry and cranberry
- Orange juice, nectarine and passionfruit
- Pineapple juice, apricot and peach
Vegetables in SmoothiesFor kids who aren’t so keen on vegetables, smoothies are a great way to sneak some in. Carrot juice, cucumber and avocado spring to mind – their flavours blend well with fruit and will probably go undetected. Try:
- carrot juice, apple and mango
- apple juice, avocado and a dash of lime
- apple juice, melon and cucumber