Having been given a swanky new blender for Christmas I am really enjoying concocting lots of delicious healthy smoothies every morning, and the children are loving them. I have discovered almond milk, which I’d never used before but it turns out it’s great in smoothies and is much lower in calories than semi-skimmed milk. Plus I’ve been using all kinds of fruit, including papaya, blueberries and frozen berries – but the staple ingredient of all my smoothies is banana. I prefer to use Fairtrade bananas where possible, in the same way that I buy Fairtrade sugar and Fairtrade coffee when I can. Did you know that all the bananas sold at Sainburys are Fairtrade? That’s right, all of them, even the economy ones, which are perfect for smoothies. Hurrah.
So without further ado, I give you the winner out of all the smoothies I’ve been making for the past two weeks: The Banana Peanut Boost.
The boost comes from the added porridge oats (more on those below), which give your smoothie a boost of B vitamins and fibre. The sweetness comes from the banana and the agave nectar, a natural sweetener with a low GI and a great alternative to sugar – as you know, we are all being advised to cut down on the amount of sugar we eat, plus it’s not good for children to eat too much sugar, obviously. Agave nectar doesn’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels and yet is sweet enough to ward off sugar cravings, and it comes in a squeezy bottle, making it perfect for smoothies. And peanut butter is just yum.
And what’s more, assuming you’ve pre-toasted your oats, you can whizz the whole thing up one-handed, and drink it with one hand too, I promise you. No excuses, now!
You will need:
1 Fairtrade banana
4tbsp natural or Greek yogurt (Greek makes a creamier smoothie; I like Rachel’s Organic)
500ml unsweetened almond milk (Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original is my fave)
1tsp smooth peanut butter
Agave nectar (I use the one by the Groovy Food Company)
1tbsp toasted porridge oats
First of all, you need to toast the porridge oats; you can do a batch for the whole week while you’re at it to save time down the line. Simply pre-heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and when it’s hot, add your porridge oats and toast them, turning and mixing using a wooden spoon until they smell ‘toasty’ – about five minutes. You can use untoasted oats, but toasting them makes the smoothie much nicer. Trust me, it’s worth the minor effort. Now you are ready to make your smoothie:
- Peel the banana and break into chunks; chuck into the blender along with the Greek yogurt and the almond milk. Blend thoroughly.
- Add the peanut butter, the agave nectar and the porridge oats.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve over ice.
Enjoy – and no monkey business!