Oh, it’s a grand thing to do. Work with eager young minds who are keen to learn, try, taste and enjoy, which is why I look forward to doing workshops with kids, even if they take place in halls, rather than fancy master chef style kitchens and stretch me, mentally and physically.
Yes, there is a lot of bringing stuff hither and thither, unloading, reloading, shopping and schelping but you know it really is all worth it, particularly when kids try new stuff, like a pomegranate seed, a piece of pale green celery, a crimson piece of melon and when we talk about eating “a Rainbow” they are all for it! Two weeks ago I was back in another hall, working with 10 groups of six, a great band of teachers and parents amid the happy blending of various combinations of veggies and fruits. This time we made 2 lots of green smoothies using apple juice as a base and nut milk bags to squeeze the best of our green juices into our jugs.
This is what the kids called their smoothies: The Bubbly Banana Whizz (banana, strawberry, yoghurt, and a little honey), The Healthy Pink (banana, pineapple, raspberry, butter milk and honey), The Alien Surprise (pineapple, cucumber, apple, celery, mint, banana, spinach, and apple juice), The Sunset Smoothie (strawberry, pineapple, mango, and natural yoghurt), The Beach Smoothie (banana, apple, rice mil and mango) The Bitter Honey (watermelon, lemon, orange juice and honey), The Jazzy Razz Smoothie (raspberry, oatmilk, strawberry, banana and strawberry) and The Super Green Energy Smoothie (green apple, spinach, cucumber, water and honey)!! Now, how is that for a great bunch of glorious, healthy, delicious drinks. That sure beats a blue drink, anytime! Well done, year 3 at BSN Vlaskamp and if I have missed any of your smoothies, do contact me and let me know. Remember you are now Master Smoothie Chefs, one and all!
And is it worthwhile, teaching our kids about food. Oh absolutely, they will so need to know about what they are eating/drinking because there are huge companies out there determined to make them (me and you) buy fizzy drinks (and ‘foods’) in flamboyant colours which are overprocessed, over-sweetened and over-coloured, plus non-nutritional! The best thing we can do as parents for our kids is to cook with our kids from scratch, make lovely things that smell of real plants and gardens. So, how do you make a smoothie? The year 3 children from Vlaskamp are all experts and they will tell you.
There are no hard and fast rules and I do encourage you to experiment. I will give no measurements because you will quickly get the hang of how much fruit/veggies to use and what consistency you like.
Choose and prepare your fruit. We used mainly frozen fruit as summer is most definitely not yet upon us. Choose from fresh or frozen strawberries, raspberry, mixed berries, mango, banana and citrus. Prepare and peel, taking out cores and stones.
Add these frozen or fresh fruits to a water or fresh juice base with some ice if you have any. Or use a dairy or non-dairy type base. We experimented with rice milk, nut milk (can make it from soaked almonds or cashews using a nutmilk bag), oatmilk, butter milk, natural yoghurt and water), Blend, and taste for sweetness. You may need a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten your smoothie.
And Green Smoothies… honestly these are really, really good and you don’t need a fancy blender. I use a fairly normal blender and squeeze my green juices through a nutmilk bag. You can purchase these via ebay at myworld.ebay.co.uk/nutmilkbags for a very reasonable cost. You can also use these to make your own nut milk from almonds, cashews and brazil nuts as well. It is best to soak the nuts overnight before you make your milks.
Blend 2 chopped apples, cores removed but peel left on. Add in a variety of lettuce, spinach, cucumber, bok choy, courgette, water and ice. Blend and place your nut milk bag into a large jug. Pour the green juice into the bag and gently squeeze the juice through. Adjust for taste and you may need to add in some more water. The result should be a lovely, clear green juice delicious for breakfast. Keep cool. Can add ginger and honey, mint to flavour.
Lastly, a tip from Jack. He asked for a hot drink last night and suggested that chocolate might form a part of it. Oh no, said I, Chocolate will not help you get to sleep. Instead we heated some milk, grated in a little nutmeg and cinnamon and called it a sleeping drink. Worked a treat on a cold, damp evening!
I have recently created a Facebook page to post quick recipes, ideas and workshops. Do please join it if you like via Facebook at My School Lunchbox! And do plant some salad leaves/herbs on your balconies or in your gardens if you are lucky enough to have one. I have a rather damp balcony full of various lettuces, red basil, dill, parsley, rosemary and chives which I use every single day. And at the market you will find 75 different herbs to experiments with!!!