Looking for a quick, easy and healthy idea for breakfast (or for dessert)? This smoothie is a winner whenever you choose to have it and kids seem to love it too, probably because it tastes like ice-cream.
And yes, you read that right – there’s avocado in it. You needn’t worry though as it doesn’t taste like avo and it isn’t green, since the red colour of the strawberries pretty much overpowers everything else, and you end up with a pink smoothie which not only looks but also tastes delicious.
You can leave the avo out if you prefer but it adds creaminess and gives the smoothie staying power, so you won’t get hungry immediately afterwards. Plus avo is extremely good for you, containing vitamins E and B, potassium, fibre and folic acid, along with a host of other essential nutrients. It’s also high in good fats (rather than the nasty trans-fat version), which are cholesterol-free and help the body to absorb extra nutrients from whatever you eat with the avo.
The optional ingredients of yoghurt, chia seeds and coconut oil boost up the nutritional profile even further so I like to add them if I have some on hand, with the mint contributing a fresh taste if you add that too. For extra probiotics, preferably use a good quality, natural yoghurt – you’ll know it’s good if it starts to separate in the container even when it’s fresh, rather than being all smooth and processed.
You can adjust the quantities of any of the ingredients to your taste, so if you particularly like the tart taste of strawberries, chuck in a few more. If you like your smoothie very sweet, add some more honey. If you’re avoiding nuts or dairy, just leave them out.
You can also change how thick it is: if you want to drink it, add more water, or if you’re happy to eat it with a spoon, add less.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can either use fresh banana and strawberries or frozen ones. If you use them straight from the freezer, it ends up more like a slush or soft ice-cream, which is perfect for hot days. If you are going to freeze them, peel the bananas first, and cut them and the washed strawberries up into chunks, then freeze each fruit in its own freezer bag. To separate the pieces when you need them, just whack the bag against your kitchen counter. Be sure to use a strongish bag or put the freezer bag into an extra bag though, or you may end up with frozen fruit all over the counter and the floor (ask me, I know).
You can in fact also freeze ripe, peeled avo, either in chunks or purée form, with a bit of lemon juice to stop it from going brown. Freezing affects the texture quite badly so you wouldn’t want to put the defrosted avo in a salad, but it’s absolutely fine in a smoothie or mashed for guacamole or something similar.
If you want to have this as a dessert, either use all frozen fruit and eat it immediately in slush form, or freeze it again after blending. If it ends up too hard, just leave it out for a few minutes to soften slightly.
I actually keep a small container in the freezer for when I end up with too much smoothie for my breakfast glass. Any extra goes in the container, and when it’s full, I take it out for 5 – 10 minutes (depending on how hot it is that day), stir it around and voilà – an instant, healthy ice-cream snack with no extra effort!
- 1 ripe banana (can be frozen)
- 4 – 6 strawberries (can be frozen)
- ¼ large, ripe avocado (can be frozen)
- 1T almonds, mixed nuts or sunflower seeds
- 1 – 2t honey
- 2-3T plain, natural yoghurt (optional)
- 1t chia seeds (optional)
- 1T coconut oil in liquid form (optional)
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves (optional)
- 2 – 5T cold water
Get ready all the ingredients you are using for your smoothie today.
Then place them in the blender, adding 2T of the cold water.
Blend until smooth, although you will probably still see bits of the chia and strawberry seeds.
Taste your smoothie and add more honey if you like it sweeter. If it’s too thick, blend a bit more water in, a tablespoon at a time, until you like the consistency.
Serve in a glass or cup as a smoothie, or freeze and eat as ice-cream.
© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014