Banana and Berry Smoothies

Power Shake Smoothie Breakfasts

A lovely American friend of mine recently introduced me to the virtue of ‘power shake breakfasts’. Power shaking is a staple of LA dinning – fruit, vegetables, protein, odd green powers, nut butters and obviously almond milk – Like der! If you’re going to live in California you gotta be dairy free.

Yes I felt the elixir of life flowing through me. Yes I noticed father time’s hands whizzing backwards. But you know what it tasted gross. No matter how embryonic a drink makes me feel it has to taste great.

I have done two different smoothies. Both equally delicious, but very different. The first, an uber-healthy Californian inspired banana berry smoothie. The almond butter gives a really rich flavour and the protein powder keeps you nice and full until lunch. The second is a Moroccan inspired smoothie that is more natural. It uses spices to add warmth and a little thyme for a background herbal hit.

California Banana Berry Smoothie

Serves 1

250ml soya milk
1 banana, peeled
125g mixed berries
1 tsp. almond butter
85g soya protein powder

Chuck the whole lot into a blender and blend until lovely and smooth, adding a little water if it gets too thick.

Moroccan Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

1 banana, peeled
1 ½ tbsp. honey
A pinch of ginger powder
A pinch of cinnamon powder
125g yogurt
¼ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
5g peeled blanched almonds
2-3 ice cubes
½ an orange

Throw everything into a blender and squeeze in the juice from the orange. Pour in 70ml/2 1/3 fl oz of water and blend until smooth.

 

– All thoughts and spelling mistakes are my very own –

Flour + Water in Sunny California

I have just returned from beautiful California where I was shooting holiday recipes for Hungry TV in LA and holidaying with my wonderful mate Vic in San Francisco. I loved every minute of it and I’m suffering from a serious California-come-down right now!

The weather was amazing, the people ever enthusiastic to my crazy ideas, drinks flowed, Treasure Island Festival rocked, telling Lindsay Lohan I respected her as an artist hilarious and eating was off the scale good! My favourites were breakfast at Joan’s on Third in Beverley Hills, Ink in Los Angeles for blowing my mind in the same way Dabbous did and Flour + Water in San Fran for reminding me why Italian food is sublime!

The whole of San Francisco told me to eat at Flour + water. I did as I was told, took up residency in the corner of the bar and ordered the pasta tasting menu – 5 kick ass pasta dishes, a starter and dessert.  The first pasta to arrive was tallegio ravioli with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar, which was a marvel to eat. The soft salty cheese filling was the perfect vehicle to carry the sweet-sour flavour of the balsamic vinegar. I loved it.

Next came an artichoke and potato caramelle, delicate ravioli that was shaped like little pieces of candy. The pillowy soft, melt in the mouth caramelle was livened up with a coating of burnt butter and spicy chilli. The chilli kick was much needed and complemented the otherwise mild flavours. This was followed by a bowl of chestnut tagliatelle with cabbage, chanterelle mushrooms and sage in delicious boozy sauce.

The finale was two awesome bowls of meat pasta. First, rabbit tortellini with green spigarelle and fresh chilli, which was rich, chewy and utterly divine. Finally came an awesome bowl of rigatoni with braised lamb and eggplant that was showered in herbs and cracked black pepper. The little ridges of the firm pasta filled up with sauce and took on the flavours of the lamb and spices. This was my favourite dish!

The pasta tasting menu at Flour + Water was $60, with an additional $40 for wine pairing. It was a feast and one I highly recommend.

http://www.flourandwater.com

Check out my other favourites as well, they were dead good!

Joan’s on Third  (Thanks Betsy) http://www.joansonthird.com

Ink on Melrose Avenue http://mvink.com

– All thoughts and spelling mistakes are my own –