Super smoothies

Super smoothies provide the satiety we all need, stopping the mid-morning angst in its tracks.

Smoothies were once the hip thing to do but one reads very little about them now. They have simply gone out of fashion. Yet made properly and simply I might add, they can make a very nutritious and satiating breakfast in just a few minutes; that means no hunger-pangs at 11 o’clock, reaching for a cola or sugary snack.

Reading about them on the net is quite enough to put you off; they make a meal of it. We follow the KISS principle; keep it simple and don’t bother with measuring the ingredients. Just toss them in; you will soon get the balance right. We have a few basic rules.

Purple power smoothie.A mulberry smoothie

Firstly buy as little as possible but you probably don’t have a coconut tree in the garden; nor patches of flax and sunflower for nutritious seeds. But keep purchases to a minimum and use what you have.

Secondly certainly don’t go adding any protein powders and the like; a tablespoon of hummus would be interesting. I have not tried it.

And thirdly keep the carbs low; we might split half a banana between two smoothies but generally we try to stick to berries.

The mulberry season is over alas.

But we are at the height of the strawberries right now; one can easily find half a dozen every morning. Do some “forest bathing” whilst you’re down there. Relax and take in the air.

The blueberries are swelling nicely; after that it will be fresh and frozen fruit from the Reko Farmers' Market[4]. Or alternatively smoothies made with avocado or other greens.

We are not afraid of fat when enjoyed in the context of high-fibre whole foods. So a dollop of fresh Jersey or coconut cream gives our smoothies the satiety we all need. Snacking is the devil.

And lastly add a tablespoon of freshly-ground seeds and nuts. Here goes, it takes less than five minutes.

  1. Grind a mixture of your favourite seeds and nuts; enough perhaps for a week. Store the powder in the fridge. We love pumpkin, flax and poppy; almonds in their skins and pecans too.
  2. Toss some coconut or full-cream dairy milk into a mixing bowl; the berries and a green. That could be a chunk of avocado or a spinach leaf; or even a herb like parsley. Cilantro, known as dhania in South Africa is another firm favourite.
  3. Absolutely no sugar but a small chunk of honeycomb is delicious.
  4. And then enjoy whatever you have available; a couple tablespoons of butternut soup? Some like it hot so perhaps half a peppadew.
  5. Use a stick-blender; so much easier to clean. 
  6. You could add a raw egg or legumes for protein.
  7. But we tend to have scrambled eggs with parsley on the side; and hummus rather with our salad for lunch. Do your own thing.

Natural unheated honey incidentally has a low GI, and in the comb[3] it would be better still; hard to find though.

Have you ever thought of having a few beehives in the garden? Mine produce 35kg of beautiful natural honey each year; it's well nigh impossible to buy these days.

Using kefir in your super smoothies is a touch more complex but a huge step-up in nutrition; it’s quite acidic on its own but it gives that wonderful sweet and sour taste. Now you have a meal in one. You will need nothing else until lunch.

Enjoy your super smoothies.

Magnesium from nuts and seeds

Magnesium from nuts and seeds

Magnesium is absolutely essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body[2]; yet less than half the folk enjoying the modern industrial diet are getting enough. Not one of those who are deficient is experiencing true wellness; they are almost certainly on blood pressure medication, for example.

Half a handful of mixed nuts and seeds in your super smoothies will provide about 50mg of magnesium; and a host of other essential nutrients too. They thicken the concoctions giving them a wonderful rich consistency. 

Super smoothies

Super smoothies can provide quick, nutritious breakfasts.

This nutritious green smoothie is another of our joyful breakfast treats.


"The potential effect of probiotics on restoring and preserving the microbiota was also evaluated regarding important metabolite and vitamin production; pathogen exclusion, immune system maturation and intestinal mucosal barrier integrity too[1]."

- PubMed

There is a huge amount coming out of the nutritional literature about the importance of the happy tum; that means ensuring that it gets plenty of fibre too. It has an astonishing 2kg of friendly bugs known as the normal flora; or "microbiome" if you want to be fancy.

These friendly bacteria, yeasts and viruses produce a very wide array of important compounds ranging from vitamins to neurotransmitters like dopamine; and substances like butyrate that undergird the immune system. 

There are many probiotic foods that have been made for centuries but we find that kefir is the easiest; it takes about five minutes, a few times a week. It will greatly enrich your super smoothies.

Every family should know how to make kefir.

kefir bubbling in funnel

"Researchers have started to find interesting links between the naturally occurring bacteria that live in our guts and things we’ve traditionally attributed to the brain; like our mood, feelings, and even thoughts."

- Avicenna J Meed Biotechnol

Fresh fruit every day

The challenge this year is whether we can enjoy fresh fruit from our green garden every single day of the year. So far it's been simple; mostly berries in spring, limes through the summer and cherry guavas in autumn.

Gooseberries and avocados which bear for nearly nine months are there to fill in the gaps; it's not been difficult.

Mulberries are my favourite but the season lasts only about a month, beginning as I write in mid-September. This year I will be experimenting with turning the surplus into a honey mead, really a melomel. It's another of our probiotics, rich in friendly yeast cells.

Life is full and never boring. Television and social media cannot compete.

Mulberry honey mead in carboyMulberry honey mead fermenting in a carboy.

"The gut microbiota form an extraordinary army of fighters to defend the host."

- Antioxidants (Basel), 2021 Nov


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa