I've been a little quiet here of late. Our little family has been dropping like flies, one after the other! While the boys bounce back from illness with great speed and furious appetites, it is their poor Mama that takes a while to recover. So I've been putting my health first and taking my sweet time to come right. Here today, to keep the blog from starkness is Nicola Galloway, Nicola is the author of Feeding Little Tummies and award-winning food blog Homegrown Kitchen. We have become lovely 'online' friends. Nicola lives in Nelson with her young family and I often look at her life, through her blog and Instagram feeling so inspired and a touch jealous. I love Auckland, I love the big, the busy, the noisy and the fun of it all - but sometimes, I just want to escape - whisking my boys to the country, breathing the fresh air, wading through thick luscious grass, eating food from the land and relaxing in the sunshine. I think I'm getting better, with all of these dreams...  
Nicola has given me this beautiful spring inspired smoothie recipe, to welcome the new season. Enjoy. x Zoe 

Spring is here and with it I find our eating changes once again to reflect the season. On our plates are loads of spring greens and parsley pesto accompanies everything. Soups and stews are being replaced by salads and lighter meals like quiche and fish cakes. Spring fruit is slim pickings however, with citrus bringing sunshine to our meals. I love to add oranges slices to salads and wedges tossed in with a roast chicken is divine. But mostly we add them to our spring smoothies...
We love smoothies around here but I do find during winter we only make them occasionally on a warm Nelson winters day. But as soon as spring comes knocking the blender takes prime place on the bench again. I like to sneak some green into smoothies, either in the form of a small handful of homegrown spinach, a teaspoon of spirulina, or in the case of this smoothie avocado for a more subtle creamy green addition. I also like to add Brazil nuts to supply the essential mineral and anti-oxidant selenium. Because New Zealand soils are low in selenium it is important to include selenium-rich foods such as Brazil nuts regularly in the diet. Note: Brazil nuts are particularly susceptible to going rancid so I keep them in a jar in the fridge. 

Happy spring and I hope you enjoy this sunny smoothie!

Serves 2  (or in our case 1 adult and 2 toddlers)


6 Brazil nuts
1 ripe banana
1/2 avocado
flesh of 1 orange or tangelo
2 dried figs, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
approx. 1 cup water or milk

Combine the ingredients including 1/2 cup of water in a blender. Blitz for 1 minutes until smooth. Check consistency and add extra water as needed to thin. Serve immediately. 

*You can also use frozen banana pieces for a cold and creamy smoothie.

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