Who is with me with loving vanilla? Good quality vanilla extract and paste is great, but using vanilla pods are the bomb! Look out for plump, soft pods that you can put in your blender to add to your smoothies as they will blend pod and all. Vanilla suits most smoothies but I do pass pairing it with melon based recipes. Vanilla is also handy to tame a green smoothie you may have made too green. I like at least a half pod for a 500ml smoothie but I have been known to put a whole one in!
Kids will love the flavor of vanilla, too, but be mindful that the whole bean may leave a slight texture to the smoothie that they may fuss about, so scrape the seeds out and use them only in that case. Paste will be alcohol-free, but not the extract. However, the amount of alcohol that ends up in a smoothie is tiny. There is no consensus as to whether extract should be avoided for kids, so you make that call. If in doubt, use vanilla paste or even vanilla powder if you can get it.
Mango-Vanilla Va Va Voom
Recipe from the "making babies" chpater of my new book "Homemade smoothies for mother and baby." Makes 500ml / 2 cups
1 cup mango flesh (about 1 mango)
1/4 cup coconut flesh and 3/4 cup coconut water from a drinking coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste, or 1/2 a vanilla bean
Handful of Swiss chard (optional)
1 raw egg (optional)
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