Healthy eating for kids - Frozen banana super smoothies

You can’t go wrong with a trusty frozen banana smoothie – we’ve mixed it up with oats, berries and peanut butter to give three different versions of a classic from Dawn Quest at Meals Our Kids Love

Spring is here! We’ve thrown off the winter warmers, dusted off the blender and have been whipping up smoothies for breakfast, dessert and anytime in between.

Banana smoothies are about as simple as it gets. Throw some bananas in a blender, add milk or a dairy alternative, whizz for 30 seconds and there you go! Delicious.

There are a couple of little secrets to getting banana smoothie perfection though:

• to get a deliciously thick, icy-cold milk-shake consistency to your smoothie, freeze the bananas first;
• the riper the banana the more delicious the smoothie. So don’t chuck those black bananas in the fridge, bung them in the freezer to make smoothies the next morning - you won't regret it.

The easy way to freeze bananas
Slice your bananas into medium-thick slices, lay them on a baking sheet and put in the freezer overnight. In the morning either add them to the blender to make your smoothie or transfer into a resealable food bag and put back in the freezer until you need them. You can keep bananas this way for up to three months.

1. The Basic Banana Smoothie
For one large glass or two small glasses:
1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks
1 cup of milk or dairy-free equivalent i.e. almond or soya milk

Whizz the banana and milk in a blender until fully blended. Serve immediately.

2. Banana Oat Smoothie
To give a little nutritional oomph to a banana smoothie, add a tablespoon of oatmeal/porridge oats to the blender with the banana and milk. Turn the blender up to its highest setting for a little longer than you would for a normal smoothie, and the porridge oats turn beautifully creamy.

Packed full of fibre and protein, oats will help turn your smoothie into something with a little more staying power - perfect for the kids' breakfast.

3. Berry Burst Banana Smoothie
For Berry Burst add a handful of fresh strawberries and/or raspberries to the frozen banana smoothie base recipe. I used fresh berries for this; if you're using frozen be aware that the result will have a little more of a liquid consistency. Try this with or without the oats - delicious either way.

4. Peanut-Banana Smoothie
Something about bananas and peanuts together is just so right; the kids really loved this one, as did I! Two or three generous tablespoons of peanut butter added to the base banana smoothie in this recipe does just the trick.

I've tried this with a supermarket own-brand peanut butter and it's very good. But if you're concerned about added sugar and also palm oil in a lot of the supermarket nut butters, then there are now a number of brands that have no added sugar or salt and are gluten-free. There are also palm-oil free brands available.

The number of ways you can mix up a banana smoothie are endless. Add chocolate powder or cacao, blueberries or tropical fruits.

You can also freeze the banana smoothie mixture in lolly moulds for a delicious spring or summer dessert.

Find out more

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