In Ireland we have this saying – perfect in its simplicity.
“Tús maith, leath na hoibre”
A good start is half the work. Uncomplicated & true.
I find in life that straight-forward tends to be the purest and most effective. Simple solutions tend to be what we return to time & time again in our daily lives. Healthy family life doesn’t have to be complicated – although every part of family life tends to be difficult and problematic one time or another. I find a good breakfast really is half the battle.
Breakfast is without doubt my favourite meal of the day – every day. My theory is that if you start off well and fill ’em up with a good portion of their 7 a day before the cockerel crows you are winning (right I know – who here has ever actually heard a cockerel crow? Surely I meant before the school traffic goes from ‘we are doing ok’ to ‘Ah well late again today’). Regardless of how crazy things get as the day goes on you aren’t doing so bad.
Who has time to play Dylan McGrath in the mornings? No disrespect intended Dylan, it’s just my skill set and time restrictions send me on a different culinary journey to that of a master-chef what with the school run & an army of kids. (I made them, I gotta’ look after them huh?). I’m more of a bish, bosh, bash and pour while you count to 3 kinda’ gal.
That is part of the reason I love smoothies. You can’t really go wrong with them. There’s no magic formula – it’s all about taste (and what’s leftover in your fridge!).
Here are 2 of our favourite smoothies at the moment.
Green Goodness for School Mornings
I could make this smoothie in my sleep – it’s our family default smoothie and it goes down great. My kids love to drink them through a metal re-useable straw and a portion for them at this restaurant (anyone else ever feel like this?) is roughly 200 mls. The have this plus their porridge.
1 pink lady, quarter & take out core,
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks,
1 cup spinach (I buy organic, wash it and freeze it),
2 cups almond milk,
1 tbsp flaxseed,
1 tbsp shelled hemp (you can get this in most supermarkets near the flaxseed).
Probiotic or multivitamin powder if you wish – if someone if recovering from a bug in our house I use these. Probiotics are great post antibiotics.
1 cup water optional – this depends on how thick you like your smoothie.
Put all ingredients in your blender and whizz until smooth.
I keep anything left over in the fridge but it just needs a stir after a few hours or I freeze it into pops.
Mango Madness Smoothie
1st born is the least enthusiastic smoothie drinker round these parts. The other 3 whippersnappers lap them up at a ferocious rate. I could probably hide a full turnip in 2nd & 3rd born’s smoothie and it would go unnoticed. 4th born would smell a rat from 5 miles out though. Anyway back to 1st born. It can be a struggle but she loves this one – to the point where she requests it.
60g vanilla yoghurt
500ml almond milk
50g cashew nuts
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 cups mango (frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp Flaxseed
*Top tip: Green Isle do a pineapple, papaya, mango smoothie bag in the frozen fruit section. Use this in place of the frozen pineapple and mango. It’s fab! This is not sponsored – I just stumbled across it and it solved a problem. Anything that solves a problem is worth a mention!
Combine all your ingredients and whizzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Then sit back, relax and tell yourself that you aren’t doing so badly after all.
Your’s, off to tackle the ever-growing laundry pile,
All photos by Anna Groniecka