little: Juice-y Shakes

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

These exotic, kid-friendly cocktails have a top-secret-weapon… an optional BURST of power foods that kids need NOT know about!

We all know freshly squeezed juice is great for our health and thankfully, our kids love it – but who wants the same-old, same-old when you can have these exotic concoctions that are ready in the whiz of a blender? Serve them at parties or just as an afternoon treat and the kids might even be inspired to create their own!

Tutti Frutti

1 cup chopped strawberries
½ cup blueberries
1½ cup sliced bananas
1¼ cups chopped pineapple

optional: ½ cup firm tofu 1 cup ice cubes
Blend fruits until smooth. Add ice cubes and tofu, and pulse until liquefied.

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You can make these juices one of four ways. You can use a blender or food processor with a steel blade. A stab-blender is also effective. Alternatively, you can put the fruit through a juicer, but remember kids will miss out on the fruit’s fibre this way. Serve all drinks immediately. Recipes serve 4, depending on thirst and appetite!

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Piña Colada

1 cup chopped, fresh pineapple
2 oranges, peeled and quartered OR
1 cup freshly squeeze orange juice
½ banana
½ cup coconut milk
optional: ½ cup plain yoghurt
1 cup ice cubes
Blend fruits until smooth. Add coconut milk, orange juice and ice; pulse until liquefied.

Chocolate Mud

2 bananas
½ sachet powdered chocolate pudding mix
2 tablespoons chocolate topping or syrup
¼ cup coconut milk
½ cup milk OR
optional: ½ cup soy milk
1 cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until liquefied.
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Garnish cocktails with cute home-made umbrellas. Simply cut a small circle from coloured paper, cut a slit to the centre and then glue opening over itself to form a flat cone. Push a toothpick through the top.

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Jolly Jaffa

2 oranges, peeled and quartered OR
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ sachet powered hot chocolate mix
1 tablespoon chocolate topping or syrup
1 cup milk
optional: 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, finely ground
1 cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until liquefied.

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  • Serve all drinks immediately.
  • Blending milk with these drinks is optional. Use apple or white grape juice instead.
  • Only use fresh, seasonal fruit. Taste fruit before blending. If it’s not sweet enough, add a tablespoon of honey for each half cup of fruit.
  • Frozen berries lose their sweetness. Add 2 tablespoons of icing sugar per half cup you use.
  • Be sure to pulse drinks until smooth. If drinks are too thick, use a smoothie straw or add more liquid.
  • Refrigerate drinks for a day or freeze for one month and blend again when almost thawed.
  • Experiment with other juice combinations too. Get the kids involved and see what exotic concoctions they can come up with.
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    Mango Tango

    4 mangoes, peeled and cubed
    ½ banana
    1 cup apple juice
    ¼ cup coconut milk
    optional: 2 teaspoons cooked
    and cooled sweet potato
    1 cup ice cubes
    Blend mangoes, banana and sweet potato until pureed. Add juice, coconut milk and ice and pulse until liquefied.

    Orange Pudding

    ½ sachet vanilla pudding mix
    2 oranges, peeled and quartered OR 1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
    ½ cup apple juice OR 2 peeled and chopped apples
    1 cup ice cubes
    optional: 1 tablespoon wheat germ
    Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend at low speed for about one minute and then blend for two minutes on highest speed.

    Honey Nut - NUT ALLERT!

    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons peanut butter
    1 banana
    1 cup milk
    1 cup white grape juice
    optional: ¼ cup chopped mixed nuts
    2 cups ice cubes
    Pulse nuts in blender until finely ground. Add banana, honey and peanut butter and blend until pureed. Add juice, milk and ice and pulse until liquefied.

    Berry Blitz

    1 cup raspberries
    2 cups strawberries
    ½ cup blueberries
    1 cup red grape juice (juice your own!)
    Optional: ¼ cup canned chopped beetroot or fresh* beetroot juice
    1 cup ice cubes
    Blend all berries* and beetroot, then add grape juice and ice. Pulse until liquefied. *If berries are not sweet enough, add sugar (see notes p.X). **If using fresh beetroot (preferred), put it through a juicer and use the juice, otherwise it is too fibrous.

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    Nutritional Information

    Seeds are tiny packages which contain all the essential nutrients for human growth. They are high in protein, essential fatty acids, B-vitamins, vitamin E and lecithin, which are arguably the most important nutrients for the prevention of premature aging. They are also a great source of fibre.

    Yogurt contains protein, bone-building calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and zinc. It contains live active cultures that promote intestinal health and boost immunity.

    Sweet Potato
    This delicious vegetable is packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, fibre, and carotenoids which are used to make vitamin A and to fight off disease.

    This wonder vege increases the uptake of oxygen in the body by some 400 per cent. It contains folate, potassium and manganese, all of which help our bodies function at maximum potential.

    Nuts contain fatty acids that are essential to brain function and heart health. They are also a good source of protein and minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus which are essential for strong bones and teeth. The sulphur and B vitamins found in nuts are also valuable for the brain and nervous system.

    Soy Milk
    Soy milk, a by product of the miraculous soy bean, is high in protein and isoflavones, which are a type of phytoestrogen resembling human oestrogen. These qualities make it a super disease-preventing food. Soy has also been shown to lower cholesterol.

    Wheat Germ
    There are more nutrients per ounce in wheat germ than in any grain or vegetable. It is almost a complete food and has more protein per volume than most meats, containing more iron and potassium than almost any other food. It is also rich in vitamin B and E, phosphorous, lecithin, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

    Tofu is a by-product of the soy bean, which is known as one of the super-foods, and contains strong cancer-preventing properties. Tofu is rich in iron and has a high protein content, plus it contains all the essential amino acids found in animal proteins yet with no cholesterol. It is low in sodium and high in calcium.

    Did you know...?

    Learn more about what these secret weapons do for your children’s bodies...

    Important for blood and soft tissues, as it balances water in the body.

    Amino Acids
    The building blocks of protein.

    Essential for building the body; the muscles, organs and immune system are comprised of protein.

    Vitamin E
    Needed for healthy blood cells, for soft tissues like eyes, skin and liver, and is an important antioxidant, protecting the lungs from pollution.

    Provide antioxidant protection and enhance the immune system; they may also inhibit cancer-causing enzymes.

    Antioxidants that fight the free radicals caused by pollution.

    Essential for strong bones and teeth.

    Vitamin C
    Important for soft tissues, healing and fighting infection; aids in iron absorption, and strengthens walls of blood vessels.

    Vitamin D
    For strong bones and teeth.

    Helps build bones and teeth, aids in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein, and in the formation of cell membranes.

    Maintains blood sugar levels, boosts immune system, aids collagen production; also breaks down free radicals which can aid in cancer-prevention.

    Helps form cell membranes, transports fats and nutrients in and out of cells, and is essential for
    a healthy nervous system.

    Keeps energy levels stable, and hair, muscles and skin healthy; also vital for blood health.

    Needed for the contraction of nerves and muscles.

    Fights off disease and infections, aids cell growth and healing; also important for taste!

    Important in the synthesis of DNA and the formation of red blood cells.

    A powerful antioxidant; also aids fat metabolism as well as the immune system and heart.

    Essential for the formation of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood cells.

    Fatty Acids
    Omega-3 and 6 lower cholesterol, stabilize the heart and lower blood pressure; the brain’s cell membranes are comprised of these fats, so they are essential to brain function.

    Live Cultures
    Promote gastrointestinal ealth and can even help with nappy rash; also boost the immune system and have been linked to preventing cancer.

    Helps maintain balance in blood pressure and in the cells; essential for muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission.

    B Vitamins
    Needed for energy and healthy blood cells

    Supports energy metabolism, normal vision and skin health.

    Vitamin K
    Essential for blood clotting.

    Vitamin A
    Good for eyesight, healthy skin and general growth; also fights infection in the gut.

    Photographs by Tania McCartney. Read all my little e-zine entries.

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