Scrumptious Summer Smoothies – Truffles at the Market and TedXTheHagueLive July 13

Who doesn’t like a good fresh smoothie?  My favourite combinations include mangos, strawberries, limes, oranges, bananas, frozen raspberries, a bit of water and ice. We had a fabulous workshop at school in which we experimented with all sorts of combos. We used rice milk, oat milk, yoghurt, no milk, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries, vanilla paste, lime zest – you name it, we popped it in. The only thing we all decided is that cheese, tofu, bacon and eggs probably shouldn’t be included. We did have a mystery tasting of a green juice. Now I am fond of green juice and think it tastes like rude good health itself but I am aware of a little reluctance from some.  And you don’t need a vitamix to make it although it is handy if you are a raw juice fan. I asked the students what they thought was in my light green concoction which I had squeezed through a juice bag. These are called nut bags and are very useful indeed to squeeze the juice through while removing a lot of the fibrous bits. They  are available online at http://www.rawsuperfoods.com  or at  Noordermarkt in Amsterdam (9.00 am – 16.00). They are also excellent for making quince jelly, clear soups and straining. Simply throw into the washing machine when they become too, too green.

Nobody guessed that I had used 4 green apples (cored) celery, carrot and some lemon juice with no extra sweeteners at all. It was delicious in a very fresh green way. So, you may be asking did the kids like it?- yes mainly even without any extra sweetening!

Thanks to all the teachers, parents and kids. Year 4 makes a mean smoothie and we really enjoyed the smoothie names – Taste Explosive consisted of banana, apricot, strawberries and blackberries, pineapple and musk melon! Yum! The Multi Fruit Blast  team used soy milk, honeydew melon, raspberries and pineapple. The Bitsy Super Smoothie was banana, melon and frozen strawberries!

There is one secret though. Top your fruit up with water in your blender to make your mixture a bit more liquid. You don’t have to have an expensive blender either or use any dairy products. Experiment and find your favourite. I think we could give those Innocent boys a run for their money don’t you think?

Last year at our school’s Summer Fair we made smoothies. They went down a treat. I really don’t believe in buying boxes of juices or so-called juice drinks (unless I am doing a workshop in hall without a kitchen). Using whole fruits and veggies to make a smoothie is soooooo much better for you and fun to make. Green juices can help introduce new tastes such as spinach, fresh ginger, celery etc and help get those veggies in. But mainly it is a jug of water for our family at mealtimes or  we use our special blue glass jug and fill it with homemade iced tea using Twinings fruit teas, or lemon and mint tea bags. On a warm day there is nothing like a jug of iced tea, made the night before, sweetened with a little runny honey, with cut citrus, mint and rose petals added at the last moment. It looks good and tastes good! I am reminded when I try commercial brands of juice/iced tea how very, very, very sweet they are and how we don’t really need them at all.  And please don’t mention those so-called sports drinks. No, no, no! Think water, think life!

Thanks for all those wonderful notes of thanks year 4. That is the cherry on my cake, really! See below…

TEDxTheHagueLive – July 13 in The Hague

Lastly, no recipe today as I am working hard on my talk for TEDxTheHagueLive on July 13th in The Hague. I am speaking on Changing the World One Lunch at a Time and Falling in Love with food.

For me the foraging for, the preparation of, the thought behind our shared meals is what makes my world shine. I love to cook for people. I adore helping children find their feet in the culinary world. And I pretty well worship those who make their living bringing good, wholesome, sustainable food to us. That is the people at the organic market such as Jeroen at Versman, Nastacha at the Portabella mushroom stand, Raymond Organics, Yvonne who has lovely currants and strawberries at the moment, the cheese guys (excellent wild garlic and herb) and the BioBakker.

I had to invest in a small truffle (3 euros) to add to my cache of portabello mushrooms. I am looking very  forward to slowly roasting those in olive oil, lemon juice and little balsamic vinegar, adding in my truffle shavings at the last moment to heighten their earthy taste! Can’t wait.

Summer truffles from the organic market in The Hague!

Renowned chef and owner of the Cafe Paradiso in Cork has this to say “Food is survival fuel first and foremost but it is surely one of humanity’s highest marks of evolution that we have turned the preparation and sharing of it into a generous act of love”.

I intend to illustrate that point of view and argue how sharing a meal can change lives for the better. I will be arguing heavily for Dine Time being the most important time for humanity.

Do please join us at The TEDxTheHagueLive conference on July 13 – you do need to register in order to get on the guest list and there are only 150 places. It is for free (believe it or not) for invited guests and I will be part of team making a gorgeous lunch for all of those who attend. We are at present gathering sponsors for our lunch which include  the fab cooks at Cafe Quirky on the corner of Tasmansttaat/Prins Henrikstraat, Baklust on the Veenkade and Bagels and Beans. It will be real food made with love.

See http://www.facebook.com/TEDxTheHagueLIVE and register via http://www.igluu.nl/ontmoeten/110713-tedx.html

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