Peanut Butter Milkshake

Here is a very easy, delicious (and adaptable!) milkshake recipe. I’ve had it for years and don’t remember where I got it, but credit went to head chef Rob Staegeman of Vivat Bacchus in London.

The recipe calls for “dessert spoons” of peanut butter, which usually means teaspoons. I used an actual dessert spoon with a rounded spoonful of peanut butter. Adjust the amount to your liking.

1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
2 dessert spoons smooth peanut butter

Blend everything in a blender and enjoy.

Watermelon Slush

The summer may be winding to a close, but there is still time to enjoy a fresh, cool drink like this. All you need is a blender and some watermelon, ice, and honey. It’s a delicious and different way to enjoy one of the best tastes of summer.

Makes 2 servings

8 ice cubes
2 cups seedless watermelon cubes
Honey or agave syrup

Put the ice cubes in the blender and turn it on high to get the ice thoroughly crushed. Add the watermelon and honey or syrup to taste, then blend well. Serve immediately.20150815_130644

Hot Chocolate

Made from scratch and ready in no time. This is my favorite recipe for homemade hot chocolate.

Combine in a mug 2 heaping teaspoons sugar, 1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder, and a dash of salt. Add 2 teaspoons cold milk and stir until smooth.

Add 1 cup of milk and stir to combine. Microwave 90 seconds. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract if desired.

Smoothie Basics (and how to make a Banana Protein Smoothie)

I’ve been craving smoothies so much recently, and making so many of them, that I finally no longer need a recipe for them. That’s a big achievement for someone like me who loves to cook but still relies on instructions to make a dish.

Essentially I have now hit upon a great base for any smoothie. While it may not be original or inventive, it’s nice to know I only need to have a few key things in the fridge in order to make any flavor smoothie I like.

Start with a quarter cup each of fat-free yogurt and orange juice for one regular serving. If the fruit you’re using isn’t chilled, then put a small handful of ice cubes in the blender along with the yogurt and OJ. (Using lightly thawed frozen fruit like berries is especially nice.) A spoonful or two of protein powder adds extra nutrition if you want it, and a swirl of honey (or agave syrup, my preference) adds sweetness if the drink still needs it.

There you have my perfect smoothie base. As for fruit, use whatever you like — that’s the fun of making these things. I often add banana because I like the touch of creaminess it lends the mixture. If I include other fruit, then I use half a banana. I have found a total of one serving of fruit works well with the amount in the base, but of course all of this is entirely up to your tastes.

Here’s the smoothie I made this morning — straightforward and delicious.

Banana Protein Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Blend the following until smooth:
1/4 cup fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
Small handful ice cubes
1 Tbsp. protein powder
1 banana

Blueberry-Nectarine Smoothie

I’m back after a long absence, and I can explain. I’m pregnant and those food aversions hit me in the autumn, affecting my appetite in a big way. I didn’t know what I wanted to eat, other than fresh fruit and vegetables — and the odd vanilla shake. I certainly did not want to cook.

The due date is still about seven weeks away, and while the food aversions have mostly gone away, my appetite is still dictated by the baby. The other day I woke up and wanted nothing more than freshly squeezed, high-pulp orange juice for breakfast. But opening the refrigerator, I noticed a punnet of blueberries I had bought the other day and immediately knew what I wanted: a fresh smoothie. Here’s what I came up with, and it was delicious.

Put in a blender:
1/2 cup fat-free yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 nectarine, chopped in chunks
Handful of ice cubes
170g fresh blueberries
Agave syrup, to taste (two thick swirls in the blender was the amount I used)

Blend together and enjoy. Makes 1 mega serving.

Pineapple-Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is a favorite of mine. It’s delicious and easy — it only has three ingredients — and it’s quite a good way to start the day. I had it for breakfast just this morning.

Serves 2

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 15.5-oz (434g) can of pineapple chunks in juice (preferably chilled beforehand)
1 banana

Combine everything in a blender and whizz until smooth. Be sure to include the juice from the pineapples.

World’s Easiest Strawberry Milkshake

This is a delicious, super-easy milkshake that’s also a great way to use up any extra milk and strawberries. Even if the fruit is already a little soft, it’s perfect in this recipe. With agave syrup, it’s a great snack for those on a low-GI diet, though you can also use sugar or honey in its place.

Adjust the quantities to your liking, but here’s what worked for me when I made the recipe last night:

250ml skim milk
14 medium strawberries, hulled and washed
Agave syrup, to taste

Put all ingredients in blender and process until mostly smooth. Taste and adjust sweetener as desired.

Agave Lemonade

I love having a glass of water with half a lemon squeezed into it, and nothing else. Thinking today how it’s probably too tart for most people, I wondered how to sweeten it. I didn’t want to add sugar, so I added some agave syrup, my new favorite sweetener. The result was delicious and a touch exotic — almost like a virgin cocktail — and a great spin on classic lemonade. It couldn’t be easier.

Makes 1 glass

Glass of water
Half a lemon
Agave syrup

Squeeze half a lemon and put the juice in a glass. Fill with cold water, then add a generous squeeze of agave and stir well.

Melissa’s Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberries can go soft quickly, even if stored properly in their containers in the fridge. I have found the solution: Freeze them, and use them later in a delicious recipe like this.

I devised this smoothie to use frozen strawberries almost straight from the freezer. You’ll never have to waste strawberries again.

14 frozen strawberries
1 banana
6 oz. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. honey

Let the strawberries thaw slightly, then blend it all together. Serves 1-2.