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Healthy Fruit Shakes and Smoothies

By: Catherine Gough - Updated: 6 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Healthy Eating Fun Drinks Kids’ Drinks

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.


A 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 Shake

Fruit 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 Ideas

Whiz 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
All these fruits work well by themselves too. Try experimenting with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to give them a big of zing.

The Basic Smoothie

A 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
Yoghurt-based smoothies: combine quarter of a pint each of fruit juice and natural yoghurt with 200g/7 oz each of the following fresh fruits and a handful of ice cubes:
  • banana and mango
  • peach and raspberry
  • pear and pomegranate
  • strawberry and blueberry
Milk-free smoothies: for a low-fat, really refreshing drink (and for people who are intolerant of dairy products), use a base of freshly squeezed fruit juice combined with crushed fruits and a handful of ice. Tasty combinations include:
  • Apple juice, cherry and cranberry
  • Orange juice, nectarine and passionfruit
  • Pineapple juice, apricot and peach

Vegetables in Smoothies

For 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

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