A smoothie a day keeps the Doctor away

Trying to get foody goodness into my children (and husband) is a daily struggle. Any time I set a plate of greens down in front of them this is pretty much the reaction I get.

Nevertheless, man cannot live on sweets alone so desperate times call for desperate measures, I have resorted to making smoothies and in the process duping my children into thinking that they are drinking milkshakes. There is nothing else for it and my strategy seems to be working.

I first discovered the beauty of homemade smoothies when I was a penniless student, in those days the ingredients consisted of banana, milk and Tesco Value strawberry yogurt. Now as a penniless Mum I’ve been forced to up the fruit and veg content to try and get those five a day into the girls by any means possible. I was inspired to start making smoothies again while out with a group of girlfriends one night, a pregnant friend had been talking about a new machine she had bought for making smoothies and of late one of her ingredients had been spinach. Spinach is a superfood with lots of nutritional benefits but spinach in a smoothie, really?! I was intrigued and my knowledge of Popeye promised that spinach would provide you with superhuman strength.

Anyone who has seen my no.2 daughter in action will know that spinach is not required to induce this type of behaviour but in any case I thought it was worth a go. I resurrected my trusty hand mixer from the back of the kitchen cupboard and hit Lidl for 100% pure orange juice (99p), a bag of spinach (99p), a bag of frozen forest fruits (£2.29) and bananas (68p per kg). A spend of approximately £5 will make you, on average, ten smoothies, working out at around 50p per smoothie, a lot cheaper than the shop bought smoothies, as nice as some of them are, I’m talking about you Innocent!

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So the process goes, you simply cut up as many bananas as you require, add a handful of spinach, some forest fruits (still frozen, which keeps it cool and saves you adding ice) and a cup full of orange juice, then get to work with your hand mixer and voilà! Lots of goodness disguised as a treat for the girls. Mission accomplished.

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