For most of my adult life I was under the impression that I did not like cereal, until I discovered that my dislike was cereal with cow milk. As a child I drank gallons of milk, and did not start drinking coffee until my late teens and then tea at university. Once at university living in college with no fridge near my room, and an entirely fictitious rumour (no internet in those days to check it) about the health risks of powdered whitener I rapidly switched to drinking both tea and coffee black, which I do to this day.
For cereal, porridge and baking I far prefer to use plant-based milks. I love consuming cream and cheese (cow, goat and sheep) but the thought of the taste and smell of moo milk leaves me slightly queasy. Some years ago I bought a soy milk machine which makes over a litre of milk (soy, oat or nut) in about 20 minutes for pennies, and means I am not lugging cartons back from the supermarket.
Of course not everyone has a soy milk machine to make their plant-based milk in; there are some excellent products out there for those who wish to avoid moo milk or soy. Foodies 100 has teamed up with Almond Breeze with a breakfast smoothie challenge. I am a firm believer in breakfast as evidenced by my long running Breakfast Club event, and a smoothie is my usual breakfast – 5 a day in a glass and the perfect start to the morning, so it was time to relax my loose rule of not taking part in blogger competitions and to whizz up a smoothie.
I have been working with Vitamix who provided me with one of their very powerful blenders which makes smoothie making a breeze as it will pulverize almost everything you throw at it to silky smoothness in a few seconds. If you do not have a fantastic blender my tip is to soak the least soft ingredients in liquid overnight which should make the whizzing far easier.
First thoughts were figs and honey, then after a few experiments I added in spices, dates, oats and a squeeze of orange juice for brightness. I use frozen bananas in smoothies as once blitzed they have a lovely creamy texture, if you cut them up small before freezing most blenders should be able to cope with them. If not just make sure the other ingredients are well chilled.
Recipe: Spiced Fig, Date, Oat & Almond Milk Smoothie
3 Fresh figs
½ cup dried dates, destoned
½ cup oats
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 small orange, peeled
1 – 1½ cups Almond or other nut milk (I used Almond Breeze)
1 dsp maple syrup (or honey)
Pinch ground Allspice
Simply place all the ingredients into your blender and whizz adding more almond milk if needed.
If your blender is not that powerful then soak the dates and oats in the almond milk overnight in the fridge, juice the orange and use a fresh banana.
By taking part I am allowing Almond Breeze to share my recipe via their social media channels and to feature a description and thumbnail photo with link but not the entire recipe on their or any other website.
Many thanks to Almond Breeze for sending me two cartons of their Almond Milk.