ne of the things that surprised me when I first started blogging was that breakfast in the Western world (which is how I think of Europe and the US, from my home in India) was mostly sweet. Most of India, and definitely South India has a traditional of eating savoury breakfasts. I still find it difficult to stomach anything sweet for the first meal of the day.
Then I discovered a trend where people did not have the time to cook or sit down to a good breakfast but still wanted to start off the day with something healthy , filling and sweet like a breakfast parfait with yogurt, fresh fruit and granola or muesli, or maybe a Smoothie.
I am very much a breakfast kind of person, as I tend to get really hungry in the mornings and believe in starting my day on a comfortably filled and fuelled mode. I grew up on traditional South Indian style savoury breakfasts and so even today, my breakfast has to be savoury. I’m not a great fan of cereal and milk and invariably resort to that on days when I’m unwell and don’t have much of an appetite for food but need to eat.
While I don’t mind having toast and an omelette on the odd day, you will find only butter (no jam) on my toast and my omelette will be cooked Indian style with chopped onions, tomatoes, bell peppers if I have them on hand, chopped green chillies and coriander leaves!
A Smoothie could never replace breakfast for me, though a smaller serving is welcome on the side or a good thing for me to have mid-morning, especially during hot summer days. Some people find Smoothies a healthy way to diet/ lose weight and it’s a great idea of controlling your meal portion but making sure you’re getting the nutrition you need. However, being the person I am, I would probably have that Smoothie and then spend the rest of the day craving my carbs!
What defines a Smoothie? I don’t know if there’s a hard and fast rule about what makes a Smoothie, but it has to be “smooth” of course, in texture and quite thick in consistency. Traditionally, a Smoothie is made with fruit and fruit juices blended till smooth. Over time, Smoothies have come to include dairy products like milk, yogurt and even ice-cream. But to my mind, yogurt in a Smoothie is fine but if there’s milk or ice-cream in it, then it becomes a “Shake”!
A Smoothie or a Milk Shake is one of the easiest things to put together and I find its one food that everyone, even the fussiest of eaters, will almost never say no to. My daughter though not a fussy eater, was never (and still isn’t) the greatest fan of most fruits, but this is one way she will have them.
The Custard apple and the banana I had were both quite sweet but my strawberries were a bit tangy so I added a little sugar. You could add as much as you want or leave it out altogether. You could also use honey instead of sugar.
You can add granola or muesli to this and it becomes breakfast if you like Smoothies for breakfast, otherwise it’s a good mid-morning snack which is how I prefer it. You can use milk in it instead of yogurt and it makes a nice Milk Shake that’s great along with an after school/ evening snack. Add a little milk and scoop of ice-cream to it instead of the yogurt, and top it off with some grated chocolate or drizzle some chocolate syrup over the top and you can serve it for dessert!
Custard Apple & Strawberry SmoothieIngredients:1 custard apple (about 250gm)5 to 6 large strawberries1 medium sized banana (optional)3 tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats1 tsp vanilla extract2 cups thick yogurtSugar (optional or to taste)
Method:Spilt the custard apple open, and scoop out the flesh. If your fruit has seeds, just run it in a blender a couple of times on the slowest speed (not more or the seeds will break up!). The seeds would have separated and would be easy to pick out. You should have about 1/2 cup of pulp.Put all the fruit and the oats in the blender and blend till smooth. Now add the yogurt and the vanilla and blend well to mix.Pour into four glasses and garnish according to your preference. Serve immediately. Do not keep this refrigerated as it will change colour and change taste.This recipe makes 4 Smoothies.
Before I end this post, I wanted to mention one other thing. Quite a few readers of this blog and those who follow me on Facebook, have asked throughout this year that they would like to join my “We Knead To Bake” group where a group of like-minded bread loving bakers bake a bread every month through the year.
After a year of baking together, the group voted to bake along for another year so it is now open to new members. If you’re interested in joining us and serious about baking along with the group, please leave a request at the Facebook page of the group. Thw group will be open to new members through December, till the 30th of the month, after which it will be closed for the year.