As much as I’d prefer kids to be downing a chocolate supercharged smoothie (because that’s where I love to pack in maximum goodness), thick smoothie textures aren’t for everyone. Some prefer the consistency of a thinner milkshake.
My beautiful and food-fussy nephew used to be sustained almost purely by the popular “Up N Go” shakes. When he came to stay with us and wanted one, I got my thinking cap on, and this recipe is what happily eventuated!
Instead of drinking a Chocolate ‘Up n Go’ with 4 teaspoons of white processed sugar per serve, 2 damaging oils for a not-so-healthy dose of free radicals, 1 substance that acts similar to MSG in the brain, undisclosed artificial flavours (they don’t even tell us what they are!), 2 gums both prohibited in foods for infants and classed as probably GMO based, 1 gum that’s been classed as a probable carcinogen linked to inflammatory bowel disease, fibre that’s been isolated from the vegetables it came from, so devoid of the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally found in said vegetables, 1 synthetic stabiliser, 1 synthetic mineral and 8 synthetic vitamins (here’s my thoughts on synthetic vitamins), and finally a protein powder and skim milk powder which are both topics too big to discuss here.
Despite all this, the makers of ‘Up n Go’ did bother to filter the water they added, so that’s a plus 😉
The benefits espoused by Sanitarium are:
- Protein and high fibre
The simple recipe I’m giving you is only a smidge lower in protein, but more than double in fibre
- Low GI
Both are low GI
- High in calcium
The calcium sources in Up n Go are skim milk powder and an added synthetic mineral. Debate rages about calcium absorbability and efficacy when it comes to both these ingredients.
- 10 essential vitamins and minerals
This recipe has more than double the vitamin C, very similar levels of B6, astronomically higher levels of vitamin A, and similar levels of folate. Sanitarium haven’t reported on mineral levels so I couldn’t compare them, though based on the ingredients I’m confident it comes nowhere near the iron and zinc this recipe provides. Not only that, but the vitamins and minerals are synthetic, not naturally occurring the ingredients they’ve used. This raises some red flags.
- No artificial colours
That’s true. I wish they could also claim no artificial flavours, or at the very least – openly declare which artificial flavours they’ve added!
So avoiding alllll that is a huge plus!
But merely avoiding damaging “food-like substances” isn’t the only goal when it comes to feeding our kids, right?
We want to nourish them.
Well here’s a recipe that ticks all your boxes!
Did you know that modern science is clearly telling us that one of the most important indicators for strong physical and mental health is the diversity of plant foods we consume? The more different kinds of nutrients and fibres going into our bodies from plants, the better.
That’s what underpins what we do at The Wholefood Collective! We want to make it easy for people to get a robust and diverse amount of different kinds of nutrients into their bodies every single day.
In this Magic Mylkshake, you’ll enjoy 2-3 of the most powerful vegetables that are typically hard to get into the kids + 2 fruits + mineral-rich cashews + in the blend – 10 different wholefoods packed full of various phytonutrients and fibres to support rocking gut health, it really does feel like magic to us parents.
Here’s some of the benefits of those foods:
Cauliflower is a rockstar when it comes to helping our liver detox the gunk of our bodies. That’s not all though. Check out why else we love it here.
Cooked and cooled Sweet Potato turns into a resistant starch which is incredible at supporting our gut health. More info on resistant starch here.
Bananas are high in iron and can help to fight against anemia. They give an instant energy boost, add a beautiful creaminess to the milkshake. They’re high in potassium which a lot of people don’t get enough of, so great for our brain and heart health too.
Dates are a great source of the fab 4: fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re also low GI and anti-inflammatory. Of course they do have the sweetness of fructose but remember date paste is half water half dates, and the fructose is coming in a whole-fruit form, with a whoooole lotta fibre. The body knows how to handle that and process it through the body, unlike table sugar.
Cashews are a beautiful source of good fats and minerals, as well as protein and antioxidants for gut, brain and heart health.
Organic Raw Cacao has been shown to support an incredible range of health benefits. Bursting with flavanol antioxidants, fibre, minerals and phytonutrients, it may support good mood, gut and brain health, mental alertness, cognition and focus, blood flow, inflammation reduction, stem cell recruitment and activation, stress and anxiety reduction, and heart health. Phew, that’s a lot! It’s an incredible functional food that’s so often ruined by high processing and added refined white sugar.
As beautiful as cacao is, it’s a stimulant so we’ve reduced it with the addition of Organic Carob Powder which comes with it’s own host of benefits. You won’t detect it though!
Organic Lucuma Fruit Powder offers a natural subtle sweetness, as well as a great fibre hit.
Organic Beetroot Powder paired with chocolate is a match made in heaven. 1 serve of Boosted Chocolate Mylk provides the equivalent of around 1 tablespoon fresh beetroot! Dried low and slow to retain nutrients before being crushed, beetroot powder is a super concentrated form of wonderful nutrients. It also supports blood flow to the brain and lowering of blood pressure.
Organic Maca Powder introduces an adaptogen and supports our body’s ability to cope with stress. Maca powder is best known for supporting and balancing our hormones. The Incas have used Maca for thousands of years to encourage memory, focus, energy and immunity.
We reached for the best Cinnamon Powder we could find. Sri Lankan (True Verum) Cinnnamon is in a class of its own, both functionally and taste-wise. It contains highly potent polyphenol antioxidants that, like the cacao powder, has anti-inflammatory effects.
Shiitake Mushroom Powder: You’re enjoying the equivalent of 1/2 fresh shiitake mushroom in every serve of Boosted Chocolate Mylk. And great news, it’s a 2nd adaptogen in this blend! Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, the western world is catching on to using shiitake mushrooms functionally. Compounds in shiitake may help fight cancer, boost immunity and support heart health.
Turmeric Powder: Yet another food that is hailed as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s also anti-bacterial and contributes potent antioxidants.
Australian Pink Lake Salt: Every chef knows to balance sweet with a touch of salty! And of course we opt for the highest quality salt we can find, with all those essential trace minerals present.
Vanilla Powder: Because vanilla and chocolate should always be together! We went back to our vanilla supplier 6 times to clarify processing methods to ensure we only include tip-top ingredients for you and your family.
Black Pepper Powder: Perhaps an unlikely addition, but a teeny tiny amount of black pepper is all that is needed to ensure the turmeric is bioavailable. If you’re adding a good fat to your chocolate drink (a good quality cow’s milk, MCT oil, butter etc), that’s yet another way to ensure that turmeric is activated. Lastly, if you’re making a hot chocolate, the heat will also help to activate it!
Without further ado, here’s the recipe so you can go ahead and make this awesomeness in 1 minute flat! Just pull out a few cubes from the freezer, add your Boosted Chocolate Blend and water and you’re done!
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- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp Boosted Chocolate Mylk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cube frozen sweet potato puree* see notes
- 1 cube frozen cauliflower puree* see notes
- ¼ cup frozen soaked cashews* see notes
- 3 Tbsp date paste* see notes
- 4 cubes ice reserved for the end of blending
- ½ cup kale optional (no stems)
Throw everything except the ice into the blender and give it a whizz until smooth.
Add the ice cubes at the very end and only blitz for a few seconds, so that when it's served, there are small chunks of ice. It makes a great difference!
1. *Scroll down for the simple prep I have on hand at all times in my freezer. It'll take only a few minutes of active time and will make boosting your milkshakes and smoothies soooo easy and fast! 2. To make this nut-free, substitute cashews and water for any milk of your choice. 3. For lower fructose, swap date paste for green stevia powder or monk fruit powder (I find a 50:50 ratio is best with a total of 1/4 teaspoon per serve). 4. A note on the sweetener: Date paste gives by far the best result for both taste and nutrition. If you don't have any, you can sub with medjool dates. At a pinch you can use maple syrup but it won't have the same depth of flavour. 5. The optional kale can totally be added, but it will slightly change the colour of the milkshake. Consider serving it in a cup that has coloured walls and a lid, so the child can't see the colour of the smoothie.
*Simple prep work before you begin:
Before starting your milkshakes or smoothies, please go ahead and do these 3 steps. They’ll each take just a couple minutes of active time each, and will make boosting your smoothies ‘on the sly’ soooo easy and fast. Just grab a few bags from the freezer, chuck it all in the blender with water and you’re done:
- Sweet Potato and Cauliflower
Having cubes of frozen steamed pureed sweet potato and cauliflower is incredibly handy and nutritious. The sweet potato when cooked and cooled turns into a resistant starch which is fabulous in supporting gut health. More info here.
Cauliflower is an incredible vegetable in terms of nutrition density. See benefits here.
The beauty of using these 2 veggies in smoothies is that they will be undetectable in colour, texture and taste (if cooked first).
I find the best time to do that is straight away when you get home from food shopping, as you’re putting things away. Or when in the kitchen doing other things like making dinner.
- Simply steam a bunch of Sweet Potato and Cauliflower (separately or together). Keep the green leaves and stem of the cauliflower (extra nutrients). Keep the skin on the sweet potato (extra fibre).
- Puree them
I just use my blender for this because I don’t have a food processor, and add the steaming water to enable it to blend. The steaming water will have some nutrients in there, so best to use that water instead of fresh.
- Freeze in ice cube trays
I went and bought about 8 of these giant ice cube trays from KMart for $1.50 each so I always have these pureed vegetables on hand (we’re a big family and have a lot of smoothies!). Coles also have them. If you think your blender won’t cope with such big cubes, just get extra regular ice cube trays and use 2 cubes where the recipe below says 1.
2. Date Paste
A great sweetener because it’s accompanied by a tonne of fibre and minerals, that help your body know what to do with the sweet fructose.
Simply grab a glass jar (I use a 1L coconut oil jar), fill it up with dried pitted dates, cover the dates in water, leave for 2 hrs – overnight, dump it all in the blender and you’re done.
Keeps in the fridge for weeks or freezer for months. It won’t freeze hard, so you can use it directly from the freezer if you like.
Use to taste.
For more info and step-by-step instructions, see here.
3. Soaked, Frozen Cashews
This process will both activate your cashews so you absorb more of the minerals, and make them nice and soft so that when they’re blended into your smoothie, they add a beautiful creaminess.
The purpose of doing this is to enable you to make creamy smoothies without cow’s milk. It also adds a really nice dose of healthy fats and minerals to boost your smoothie.
Dump a bag of raw cashews in a bowl of water with a dash of something acidic (lemon juice / apple cider vinegar are my go-to’s). Leave covered on the bench for 2hrs – overnight. Drain and rinse. Freeze in a large snap lock bag or silicon food bag (not a container – a flexible bag is easier to get them out again for your smoothie).