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1 back-to-school breakfast smoothie 4 ways

  • February 8, 2018
  • By Bronwyn Mulrooney
  • 0 Comments
1 back-to-school breakfast smoothie 4 ways

Yikes! I wrote this wonderful back-to-school post 4 weeks ago already, and was so busy back-to-schooling, I never got around to posting it!

So imagine for a minute it’s that back-to-school week, and you’re bracing for the full impact of having to organise little (and some not-so-little) people’s lives again:

Ah can you smell it? That back-to-school smell?

While some moms might be mourning the end of the holidays and the quality time they’ve been spending with their kids, I’ve been secretly hanging outside the school gate for the past 2 weeks silently willing it to open and take back two of its escapees.

The school holidays have been great but OMG they have been long. I mean like, ‘are we there yet?’ long. Like, ‘how long would it take you to chew off your own arm?’ long.

I love my kids, but man they need to go back to school already. I don’t mind missing out on those long lie-ins until 7am we’ve been enjoying the past 6 weeks. I don’t mind having to spend almost every waking hour in the car ferrying children between the extra-murals – the days and times of which I invariably mix up. I don’t even mind having to start dreaming up out-of-this-world lunchbox ideas again to keep the little cretins happy.

Just please….let. them. go. back. to. school.

That being said, getting the kids back into their day-to-day routine – especially in the morning – can be so difficult. In our house, The Oldest Child eats enough to feed a small African country. And although he’ll pretty much eat anything (including, bless his cotton socks, vegetables and my latest superfood addictions), he changes his food preferences all the time.

The Middle Child wakes himself up most nights with his own ramblings about Jake and the bloody Neverland Pirates, so can never get up on time, and has food texture issues (read: fussy eater).

So mornings in our house are an absolute delight. The cherry on top of all this is that I refuse to let the kids eat regular cereal for breakfast. The majority of the popular, commercial cereals are laden with colourants, preservatives, harmful additives like TBHQ and of course, sugar.

Cereal killer

I have never been a fan of commercial cereals because of this, and managed to raise The Oldest Child on relatively healthy cooked oatmeal.

But when The Middle Child came along, that practice somehow got chucked out the window and Cheerios made their way into our house. That paved the way for Oat Crunchalots.

And then one day we were shopping and the kids spotted a cereal box adorned with smiling Smurfs and blue rings of ‘multigrain toasted cereal’. ‘High in vitamins’ and ‘a source of minerals’ the box declared from among the falling rings and mini-marshmallows.

I don’t care how many grains, vitamins and minerals are in these kinds of cereals, kids shouldn’t be eating anything blue for breakfast. Or bright pink for that matter. Or any other luminous colour, and with marshmallows no less.

I decided right there and then we would revert to our old ways, and oats it would be for breakfast once again. I found that in winter, The Middle Child was only too happy to try what he fondly calls warm oats (regular cooked oats with butter, cinnamon, honey and a splash of milk), and in summer I introduced cold overnight oats made with almond milk, after seeing tons of recipes for this very trendy oatmeal on Pinterest.

Every December The Long Suffering Husband and I use our extended breakfast time (read: the more than 10 minutes we normally have to shove a piece of toast in our mouths while rushing out the door to work/school only semi-dressed) to try make real breakfast. With actual food.

We’ve tried our hand at all manner of things, but by far the best has been an immune-boosting breakfast smoothie recipe I found online and adapted slightly to our tastes.

With a base of banana, kiwi and lemon, it’s creamy and super satisfying with a slight tart edge. To this you simply add a couple of handfuls of kale, a cup of water, blueberries and honey, and blitz the whole lot up for a totally scrummy breakfast.

Now, I’m a chocolate addict through and through. If I could eat chocolate in any form for every meal of every day, I would be an exceptionally happy person. The kids could have a 6-month school holiday, as long as it was dipped in chocolate, I wouldn’t care.

So you can just imagine my absolute delight when I discovered that Wazoogles – the uber-cool superfood brand and maker of 100% vegan protein blends for smoothies and shakes, had a chocolate variant.

And not just any chocolate variant: the Chocolate Moondust with Ancient Mayan Cacao variant, bursting with superfood goodness courtesy of its organic mesquite, and raw and organic chia seeds, maca root, hemp protein and lucuma fruit.

Its kickass ingredient is organic cacao powder that delivers a delicious chocolatey punch without any of the sugar or other nasties in regular chocolate. Does this then equate to chocolate for breakfast? You bet your last coconut-covered cacao bliss ball it does.

During the holidays I’d also been experimenting with overnight chocolate (what else?) chia seed puddings. Talk about love at first bite. I am a chia pudding convert, and cannot see future breakfasts without them.

Quite simply, you whack a bunch of chia seeds, raw cacao, almond milk and honey (or other natural sweetener) into a bowl, give it a stir, divide the mixture up into little jars, and pop them all in the fridge to enjoy over the next few mornings for a no-fuss breakfast. It really couldn’t be simpler (or more delish!)

With the back-to-school breakfast conundrum staring me in the face, I knew I needed to up my game. Oats were going to be cool, but not every day.

First I tried giving each of the boys a taste of our Wazoogles-laden, immune-boosting breakfast smoothie. The Oldest Child and The Baby devoured it. The Middle Child refused to touch it (I’ll confess, the handfuls of kale he saw going in left him a little green around the gills). But I’d won two of them over; 2 mom points to me.

Next I tried a smoothie bowl. In our house we call these bowls of gorgeousness Buddha bowls and yes, they taste as good as they look. I used the same smoothie recipe, added less water to make it thicker, and then topped it with plain probiotic yoghurt and a selection of seasonal fruit, nuts and shaved coconut.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The Middle Child who ran screaming for the hills when presented with the smoothie version, lapped up the Buddha bowl. And asked for seconds. I know, kids, right? The Oldest Child and The Baby loved the bowl too, so no probs there.

My last two experiments were to use the same smoothie as a base for overnight oats and chia puddings. What I love most about overnight recipes like these is that you prepare everything at night when the kids have gone to bed, pop them in the fridge, and the next morning you have a healthy, readymade breakfast. They are definitely the Best Kept Breakfast Secrets.

I thinned down the smoothie by adding a bit more water and a touch less kale, and added in a serving of oats to the one, and a serving of chia seeds to the other. The Oldest Child has sworn off cold oats (remember those ever-changing food preferences I mentioned?) so he wasn’t keen on that one, but was interested in the chia pudding, which I layered with plain probiotic yoghurt.

The Middle Child was appalled that I’d added ‘green stuff’ to his favourite overnight oats. Not even the power of Wazoogles’ Ancient Mayan Cacao was enough to overcome the steely determination of a 5 year old. He agreed to try it one day. But that day was not the day.

So, there you have it, my breakfast smoothie 4 ways.

The best part about this approach is that you can adapt any smoothie recipe that your kids love to double as Buddha bowls (far more filling, and they can get in on the creative action); overnight chia puddings; or overnight oats.

Experiment a little first and see what works for you. But I really think that when you hit on a winner, maximise it for all it’s worth with new and inventive spins on that same much-loved recipe.

It makes those back-to-school breakfasts a piece of (chocolate) cake!

Recipes

Immune-boosting smoothie (serves 4, or 2 tall glasses)

2 large bananas (peeled, broken into pieces)

2 kiwi fruits (peeled, cut into quarters)

¼ lemon (rind, flesh and juice; wash the rind well)

1 – 1.5 cups of water (to your preferred thickness)

4 kale leaves, chopped (stalks removed) or 2 handfuls of chopped kale (if buying bags of pre-chopped kale)

1 – 1.5 cups of frozen blueberries

1 – 2 scoops of Wazoogles Chocolate Moondust Protein Blend (mix with a little water in a separate cup first, then add to the blender)

Squeeze of honey to taste (or any other natural sweetener; not sugar)

Add all the ingredients to your power blender and blitz until smooth. I sometimes first blend all the ingredients up to the kale, and then add the blueberries, Wazoogles and honey, and blitz it again. Serve immediately.

Immune-boosting Buddha bowl (serves 4)

Exactly the same recipe as for the smoothie, adding less water to the blender, and topping the bowl with nuts and fresh fruits of your choice. I also add a good dollop of plain probiotic yoghurt to my bowls for extra creaminess. Serve immediately.

Immune-boosting overnight oats (serves 4)

Exactly the same recipe as above, but add more water or keep the amount of water the same, but add less banana and less kale.

Transfer the smoothie from the blender to a bowl and add 1 cup of raw rolled oats (I have found the Woolies rolled oats and gluten-free oats from Dischem deliver the best results).

Stir it all together and then divide the mixture into 4 portions. I love glass, and so use mini mason jars for my overnight oats. Pop the jars in the fridge and enjoy the next morning.

Note: Make the overnight oats as late as you can the night before, and eat them as early as possible the following day. While normal overnight oats made with plant-based milks can keep several days in the fridge, this is not recommended for smoothie-based overnight oats. Make exactly the amount you need for the following day.

Immune-boosting overnight chia puddings

Exactly the same recipe as above, but add more water or keep the amount of water the same, but add less banana and less kale.

Transfer the smoothie from the blender to a bowl and add two thirds of a cup of chia seeds. Stir it all together and then divide the mixture into 4 portions. Again, I love glass for these puddings, and store them overnight in the fridge in little glass jars.

Note: Make the chia puddings as late as you can the night before, and eat them as early as possible the following day. While normal chia puddings made with plant-based milks can keep several days in the fridge, this is not recommended for smoothie-based chia puddings. Make exactly the amount you need for the following day.

 

By Bronwyn Mulrooney, February 8, 2018
About
Welcome to Muddy Boots, a little escape from your everyday world that features my personal experiences with family-friendly travel, leisure and lifestyle activities in South Africa. I’m a fulltime writer, editor and author; wife to a long-suffering husband; mom to 3 young boys (aged 10, 4 and 1); and pack leader to 2 mutts and 1 thieving Weimaraner who steals (and eats) everything he sees. We all live together in a little village at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains in the southern Cape, where the weather is wild and traffic jams usually involve waiting for herds of lazy bovines to cross the road. BRONWYN MULROONEY
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