Recently, I was invited along to the Waitrose Test Kitchen to create my ultimate super smoothie recipe for the John Lewis website. Images courtesy of Charlie Richards. Smoothie styling by Cynthia Blackett. Recipe by Ren for John Lewis.
Find out how I got on…
Move over clean eating, the new kid on the block is wellbeing. This is good news, because it means we can move away from ruling things out, and instead, focus on the good stuff that we can put in to keep ourselves nourished, well and happy.
I was very excited to be invited along to the Waitrose Test Kitchen by the John Lewis team – cue shelves packed with colour-coded cookbooks, and a workspace filled to the brim with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and a selection of alternative milks plus an array of mixers and blenders for us to try out.
We also got to listen into a fascinating question and answer session with ‘Get the Glow’ girl Madeleine Shaw who was keen to put across that wellbeing is about making food your friend, not your foe. Smoothies can be a great vehicle for adding in more good stuff, rather than stripping anything out. Nature’s larder offers us an abundance of ingredients to chose from and as long as you follow a few basic rules you’ll be good to glow!
Smoothie Making Tips
- Add a small amount of liquid to your chosen blender first to help everything blend well and add more at the end to get the consistency you require.
- Fruit smoothies can be sweetened with fresh or frozen berries and a squeeze of honey – keep small bags of pre-prepared fruit and veg in the freezer ready to whiz up into instantly in a high-powered blender.
- Creamy smoothies, such as smoothies blended with banana, go well with dates, honey and almond, coconut or oat milk.
- One of my favourite smoothie secret ingredients is half an avocado, peeled and stoned which lends extra silkiness plus a boost of good fats. You’ll never know it’s in there.
- Sprinkle in nuts, seeds and powders, such as spiriluna or stir in a little nut butter for an extra protein boost. If adding chia seeds, flax or spirulina – do so carefully and sparingly. A little goes a long way.
- Experiment with adding organic, natural yoghurt or kefir for better digestion and gut health.
- Add a variety of fruits/vegetables or greens and try and vary the textures. Dried fruit, such as goji berries, work too and add a great boost.
- A cube or two of ice can help to keep your smoothie fresh and cool.
- Experiment with nutritional extras such as a little bit of grated fresh ginger, mint, spinach, unsweetened cocoa powder, a pinch of cinnamon or ground turmeric powder – depending on your base ingredients. Check out our varied super charged smoothies here for more ideas.
So, our challenge was to get creative and to blend our own recipe inspired by the freshness in front of us – our signature smoothie perhaps – which was then be beautifully styled by Cynthia Blackett and professionally shot by by Charlie Richards.
And ta-dah – here is my creation for John Lewis. This smoothie makes me feel happy. Happy on the outside, happy on the inside. Even the colour of it, makes me think happy thoughts. The very best thing about it is that it’s full of goodness – beetroot, avocado, goji berries, raspberries, strawberries, a dash of almond milk and a squeeze of lime.
Ren's Goji Beetroot Blast
Yield 1 smoothie
A super-charged smoothie, featured by John Lewis.com
20 raspberries (frozen, ideally)
10-12 Waitrose LOVE life dried goji berries
1 small cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
1/2 avocado, peeled, stone removed
A squeeze of fresh lime
125ml almond milk (or more depending on thickness)
1 ice cube
Place all the ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, adding a dash more almond milk if required.
With thanks to John Lewis for the invitation to this smoothie and #MyWellBeing event. I received a fee for taking part.