A beginners’ green smoothie
I’m in the trenches at Natural Kids camp and it’s playtime. There are children making bracelets, racing cars, building towers, drawing pictures and some of them are running a café.
They are hilarious and, oh my god, they are so loud! We made the mistake of giving them emoji balloons and they are blowing them up and letting them go repeatedly.
So, mixed in with the sounds of racing cars and general yelling, we have whizzing balloons that occasionally pop and give us a heart attack.
Sam, who runs camp with me, hates balloons. She hates them. She probably now hates me.
I’ve just popped a bottle of champagne in the fridge for after camp. Let’s see if a few bubbles can sweeten the deal.
I couldn’t manage camp without her — she’s a teacher and the one who actually knows what she’s doing when it comes to children.
I’m teaching some nutrition and baking with them and learning as I go along.
Yesterday, we started out easy and made green juice and green smoothies. We did a cucumber-apple juice, which halved the sugar and won about 50 per cent of them over.
Everyone tried it though, which is the big objective. After four years of camp we’ve found that most children are willing to try anything so long as there’s no pressure to like it.
They just give us a thumbs-up, thumbs-down or thumbs “on the side” to let us know what they think.
We also ask them not to decide ahead of time what they think their reaction will be. If children try something with a screwed-up face, it’s unlikely they’ll like it.
If you have children in your world that do that, try reading them a book called Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake.
Betty doesn’t want to try chocolate cake because it’s brown and looks “yucky”.
When she eventually does, she loves it. So you can basically draw a parallel and let them know that it’s always worth trying something, because otherwise you’ll never know what you’re missing out on.
Different people like different things, but it’s always worth a try.
Anyway, for the smoothie we did banana, mango, peach and spinach, which was a huge hit.
We got thumbs-up from 25 out of 26 children — that’s not bad! Usually I’d add protein (nut butter, hemp seed, protein powder) to help steady the sugar release, but it’s one step at a time over here.
Also, the spinach gives tons of fibre, which helps slow things down a little.
If you did want to add protein you could try a little collagen powder which is tasteless — but you need to get a grass-fed one to make sure it’s a good quality source.
I use the Great Lakes grass-fed collagen hydrolysate in the clinic (Inside Out Wellness Centre) which we all love.
Today, we were more adventurous and made the Nutrifit banana bread.
We replaced one banana in each of the batches with a grated zucchini instead and the children were totally cool with it — probably because we also poured in a lot of chocolate chips. It’s all about balance, right?
I’ve given you that recipe a hundred times, so here’s the beginners’ green smoothie instead. If you want the banana bread recipe too, I’ll pop that up on social media over the weekend.
Beginners’ Green Smoothie
1 frozen banana
½ cup frozen peaches
½ cup frozen mango
1 big handful spinach
Milk — for whatever consistency you like. We used Good Karma flax milk
Method: Just throw it all in a blender and go!
Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda