Sesame seeds are a wonderful source of nutrients including calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamin B1. This combination makes it excellent for women's and children's health. To get the most out of them use the ground paste called tahini. Tahini is a little bitter, but very smooth and creamy. Unhulled tahini is darker (and stronger tasting) and hulled is lighter due to prior removal of the seed pod/hull which is edible. Hulled tahini works best in smoothies and pairs well with cacao, bananas, pumpkin and sweet potato. It's a great alternative to almond or peanut butter but does require the right amount of sweetness to balance the flavour, especially with cacao which is also bitter.
The following recipe makes 2 cups / 500ml
2 bananas, fresh or frozen and sliced
2 pitted medjool dates
1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao (reduce if pregnant or breastfeeding)
3/4 cup of milk or water
1 tablespoon of hulled tahini
The following recipe is not only delicious and an amazing colour, it is bursting with nutrition! The use of raw beet provides liver friendly betalain pigments (otherwise destroyed by heat) as well as B vitamins, iron, and betaine - all blood building and cardiovascular friendly nutrients. Cherries contain antioxidant anthocyanin pigments as well as melatonin important for relaxation and sleep. Both chia and coconut water are mineral rich.
From the :'Making Babies' chapter of my book ' Homemade Smoothies for Mother and Baby"
1/2 a cup of diced raw beet
1 cup of pitted cherries
3/4 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 bulb of baby bok choy, trimmed and well washed (optional)
Don't know about you, but I certainly don't need Easter as my excuse for chocolate! For a decadent smoothie experience, try including actual chocolate into your recipe. I am loving Changing Habits cacao wafers in mine. Think of them as 100% dark chocolate. In a smoothie with lovely ripe bananas they work beautifully and shouldn't require extra sweetener, though you could chuck in 1 or 2 medjool dates. A alternative is to use your favourite chocolate, preferably dark such as good quality Lindt or Haighs or raw chocolates such as Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate - 20-30g should do it per person
Do you like straws in your smoothies? I have only recently got into them and I like that it helps me consume my smoothie slowly, otherwise I am guilty of being a bit of a guzzler!! I am a fan of anything reusable for ecological purposes and I have both glass and metal straws - this is my fave straw by glass dharma With any reusable straw be sure to get a long really thin bottlebrush to clean it really well - my metal ones came in a pack with the cleaning brush. If your smoothie dries in the straw after use it is very hard to clean without said brush and poses a hygiene hazard.
Video of how to remove seeds from a pomegranate
Bubba is going on day 5 of a snotty nose and struggling to breastfeed - lucky I have been recpe testing plenty of lactogenic smoothies to keep my milk supply up. Breastmilk production is mostly stimulated suckling but this can be enhanced by lactogenic foods (galactagogues). Many wholefoods have milk supportive properties but the key ones include oats, flax/linseed, fennel, brewers yeast, blackstrap molasses, almonds and carrots. My favourite is fennel - you can grind the seeds, make a tea, juice a fennel bulb or use fennel tops. This smoothie pairs fennel with mint and cacao which tastes sensational! Makes 2 cups / 500ml.
Fearless Fennel and Chocolate
From my book Homemade Smoothies For Mother and Baby out in July 2015
2 pears, quartered (must be soft and juicy)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
3/4 cup any milk
1 heaping teaspoon raw cacao plus tiny pinch of salt*
3 sprigs mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground fennel**
3 ice cubes
sweeten to taste
*feel free to add more cacao if not pregnant or breatsfeeding as stimulating baby not an issue
**Grind fennel seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle if you cant find ground fennel.
I am a big fan of keeping smoothies simple. I enjoy a smoothie more when I can taste what is in it. This smoothie has just two ingredients - honeydew melon and spinach. Simply blend 2-3 cups of roughly chopped melon with as much greenery as you please. The colour is stunning and it tastes so good! The smoothie in the picture has about 100g of spinach which will be too much for a beginner - if that's you, try a handful to start with. Any melon with just greens or berries works really well. No need to add any liquid as the melon is juicy enough. If its a hot day maybe add a few icecubes or use frozen berries. If using berries I recommend strawberries or raspberrries with rockmelon or blueberreries with watermelon.
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)
Using herbs in green smoothies is a powerful way to add the nutrition of greens to your day.
Parsley is rich in iron and Vit C (Vit C is needed to help absorb iron), it is rich in the green antioxidant pigment chlorophyll, and contains all B Vitamins except B12! Parsley is one of the easiest herbs to grow and is available almost all year round.
4Ps Green Smoothie
1 cup papaya (red is nicer than yellow)
1 cup of pineapple (include the core)
1-2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley (remove bigger stems)
2 cups water
That's what you will find here! Smoothies recipes, nutrition and handy smoothie making hints.