Spring berry smoothie

Something a bit embarrassing happens when we have people round. It’s not a problem when the sun is over the yardarm, so to speak, but when they look meaningfully at the kettle and the cupboard where the mugs are, I feel a bit uncomfortable.
It’s not that I am ashamed of the tin of instant coffee (it’s for my mother-in-law – she doesn’t drink the other stuff) or our ugly mug selection, but that I’m never sure when to break it to them that we don’t have any milk.
Apart from my great milk-drinking, bechamel-sauce guzzling period (September 2008 until about May 2009), we don’t drink it. I buy some occasionally if a cooking project warrants it, of course, but it does seem rather wasteful to buy milk, keep it in the fridge on the off-chance that we might have a milky tea-drinker crossing the threshold, then end up throwing it away. Perhaps I should invest in those little sachets of milk that you get in hotels. But I think I’d rather look like a bad hostess than one with no taste. What do you think?

Vegan Berry Smoothie

Spring berry smoothie
One of the best things about living a milk-free existence is that you get to make virtuous and vibrant smoothies like this one. One of the best things about coming back to New Zealand after our holiday was drinking water from the tap without gagging – if you live somewhere with disgusting tap water then I’d suggest making these with the bottle sort. Or I suppose you could go all out and use milk, but rest assured, it’s nicer without. If you’re not a fan of berries, try fresh pineapple.

For two large smoothies:

1 1/2 cups frozen berries
1 large banana, cut into chunks (this is a good way to use up frozen bananas, if you have a freezer full)
3 Tbsp ground almonds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
250ml cold water

Put everything in a blender, or in a large glass jar in which you can fit a stick blender, and whizz until smooth. Add a little more water if it seems very thick. Pour into two glasses and serve.



  1. Anonymous
    September 1, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    As a fellow non milk drinker I keep one of the small cartons of what is known in our house as "emergency milk" (UHT milk) in the pantry for milky drink drinking guests. It's a step above the single serve sachets and can also be pressed into service should a recipe demand it.

  2. September 2, 2013 / 12:45 am

    Powdered milk! Terence and I drink this with joy at Te Maika, really isn't so bad – in fact I really like it (I have been known to eat it by the powdered spoonful! Reminds me of Milk Biscuits). The good thing is, you could just put a teaspoonful in a cup for tea, re-seal the bag, put back in cupboard – no waste and plenty left for the next gumboot tea drinker 🙂

    • September 3, 2013 / 9:21 am

      That's a very good idea! We used to have some in our earthquake kit and then I realised I could use it to make condensed milk (now that's something I can eat by the spoonful) and suddenly it got used up.

  3. September 2, 2013 / 1:09 am

    Healthy and totally delicious!
    Mary x

  4. September 2, 2013 / 4:24 am

    I used to find it hard to get through a small carton of milk before it went off but I used to get milk for baking – now we buy it for porridge and sylvia drinks it from the glass – but insists on it being soy which is fine with me – though we had someone over for tea the other day and when e made tea I suddenly wondered what she would think about soy milk in her tea. Now that we have milk more I use it in smoothies more than I used to

    • September 3, 2013 / 9:19 am

      I think soy milk in tea is a VERY acquired taste!

  5. September 2, 2013 / 9:36 am

    it's so funny because my mum is the same but she keeps little baggies of milk in the freezer and brings them out when guests come over… clever mum!

    Amazing looking smoothie x

    • September 3, 2013 / 9:22 am

      That's another good idea. You are all so clever!

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