There is a very popular drink in the UK called Ribena which is made from blackcurrants. It is sugary, sweet and very popular with children.
Ribena is a type of cordial which is a concentrated drink that is diluted with water. I’ve heard that in the USA cordial is not really available, but in the UK it’s extremely popular and most kids drink it all day long.
If you don’t live in the UK and want to try Ribena. You can buy it on Amazon here.
So when I saw blackcurrants available in the shop I knew I wanted to make a ‘Ribena’ tasting smoothie as Ribena does actually taste absolutely gorgeous.
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So I was so happy when this smoothie ended up tasting just like Ribena, sweet and with a very distinctive blackcurrant taste.
I’ve also heard that it’s harder to get hold of blackcurrants in the USA because they were once banned. But in case you can get hold of them or grow them yourself, you’ve really got to try this smoothie. There’s no other taste quite like it.
Blackcurrants are normally available in the summer so hopefully you’ll still be able to find them in the shops.
Benefits of Blackcurrants
- According to the Blackcurrant Foundation, blackcurrants are an excellent source of anthocyanins, important health promoting antioxidants, known to help protect against ill-health, especially cancer and heart disease.
- Blackcurrants are one of the richest natural sources of important antioxidants like anthocyanins and Vitamin C.
- The anthocyanins contained in blackcurrants can help fight against cardiovascular disease, ageing, joint inflammation, eyestrain, urinary infections, kidney stones and even cancer.
Blackcurrants can be quite tart so they are usually cooked or made into drinks with lots of sugar. So to ensure this smoothie remained healthy I sweetened it with raisins.
Vanilla and Blackcurrant Smoothie
- 3 Cups Apple Juice. Freshly Squeezed is healthier but if you want to buy it you can use this
- 3 cups of Blackcurrants. If you can’t get hold of blackcurrants you could always use blueberries but it won’t taste like Ribena
- Raisins or dates, or use your own healthy sweetener to taste
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract or to taste (Like this)
To make into a Green Smoothie add:
- 1 Cup Spinach tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed (or any other mild greens) OR if you run out of fresh greens, add 2 scoops of Amazing Green Powder for an extra healthy green boost.
To make into a Fruit Thickie add:
- 1 Cup Oats Like this (or one cup of Quinoa like this)
- Blend the ingredients in the following order:
- Blend the dry ingredients and liquid first for a short time
- Blend the greens next for a short time (if using)
- Blend the fruit and the rest of the ingredients until smooth (or as smooth as your blender will allow. High speed blenders may need 2 minutes for a Green Thickie, less powerful blenders may need a lot more, sometimes 5-10 minutes)
- Blending this way allows the dry ingredients to be blended for longest, it means the greens will fit in your blender and your fruit gets less blending so it doesn’t become too hot.
- Add more water if required to thin it out.
- Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have.
- If your smoothie is too warm, you can cool it down in the fridge or freeze some of your ingredients before blending.
- You can also replace half of the liquids with ice. Add the ice at the end. It is better to add frozen ingredients at the end to cool the smoothie down.
How much should I drink to replace a meal?
- Only use a meal replacement if you’ve added the oats/quinoa.
- This Green Thickie serves 2 so you should DRINK HALF OF THIS RECIPE. But if you have higher calorie requirements you may need to drink more.
Suitable for Special Diets:
- Gluten free (Use GF Oats or Quinoa)
- Raw (Use raw oats/quinoa)
- Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, wheat free, soya free (don’t use soya milk or tofu)
- Salt free (don’t add salt)
- Nut free (replace nuts with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. This doesn’t include coconuts)
If you are new to Green Thickies and have more questions about making the perfect green thickie, please read this guide on How to make a Green Thickie
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