This week the Pantry team have been busy in 'test kitchen' mode, trying out recipes from a soon to be published book, Freshalicious by Stacey Fokas.

The book certainly looked appealing so I offered to test the smoothie recipe.  Now, smoothies can mean different things to different people - either all fruit and no dairy or a mix of fruit, yoghurt, milk and often banana for bulk.  My kids love them and they are a fun thing to make together...just remember to put the lid properly on your blender or risk a purple milk shower as was the case recently in our house!

Stacy's smoothie recipe had two variations: 
Blueberry and Raspberry and
Strawberry Rhubarb.
Both versions contained apple juice, bananas and vanilla almond milk.
Now I don't know about you, but rhubarb and almond milk are two things you don't generally have hanging out in your pantry so a quick trip to the supermarket was in order.  I searched high and low and couldn't find rhubarb (seasonal??) which was a shame as I was also thinking a nice stewed rhubarb crumble might be possible with the leftovers.  I did find almond milk though and another little side note - this is definitely an acquired taste - a bit like soy milk - you either love it or hate it.  I like it in some things eg porridge and rice pudding but not smoothies - just too sweet.

So I prepared the drinks according to instructions and this woman must be from a big family as the recipe made about 4 times more than other similar ones and I had to do it in 3 batches (or else purchase an industrial sized blender) as the recipe called for 8 -9 cups of pre -blended products!
The verdict?
Kids loved theirs and wanted more (surprise surprise), I couldn't finish mine - just too sweet (again!).  
I would probably make it again but substitute dairy for the almond milk and maybe add a spoon or two of unsweetened yoghurt to balance the sweetness of the fruit.