For as long as I can remember all I wanted to be was a tennis player when I grew up. Maybe it was being born on Wimbledon Women’s Finals Day or maybe it was hours spent at Broxbourne Tennis Club in Hertfordshire where both my elder brothers played regularly. I imagine it was the natural progression that I would also pick up a racket but who knew the bug to play would be quite so powerful.
I have many happy memories of time spent at that tennis club although oddly the ones that really stand out aren’t of being on the tennis court but are in fact of feeding the ducks by the stream and collecting conkers in the fields that surrounded the courts. Each time I take Seb to feed the ducks at Barnes pond it really reminds me of my childhood.
Whilst I had a crack at tennis, it was unfortunately not to be and new dreams had to be created. It could be said I’ve flitted a little bit since leaving university and whilst I’ve had some success with producing some pretty memorable events, I can’t quite help get past the dream of having a local coffee shop in Barnes.
In my mind I can see the big glass front looking so inviting with beautiful treats in the window making you stop to take a second glance before the inevitable happens and you walk through the front door.
There will be cool tiling on the walls and a counter adorned with the colours of the rainbow but not using paints, instead bowls of heaving salads that leave you salivating.
There will be juices and smoothies to wash it all down and of course a stunning coffee machine serving the most fabulous freshly ground coffee under the advice of a great friend who knows her coffee. In fact she knows her coffee so well she’s started up her own coffee business called Bell and Rigg making beautiful coffee accessible to all. Take a look!
It’s all there in my mind and one day, I’d love to make it happen.
And in the mean time, I’ll continue to try out beautiful salads and experiment with different smoothie flavours that I think might just make it up on that menu one day.
Often smoothies have banana added because of its smooth texture and sweetness, but there are other fruits like avocado that can also achieve this. (Yes, avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable! I fancied a chocolate mint combo but in a form that was fresh, filling and delivered a smack of flavor and I like to think I achieved it with this.
The avocado produced a filling smooth texture and a bucket load of good fats. The raw cocoa provided that rich chocolate flavor without it being sickly sweet. And the mint give a real freshness against the raw chocolate that meant you couldn’t help but taking another sip.
It’s simple, it’s addictive, it’s a mint aero in a jar.
You can’t argue with that.
Raw Chocolate Mint Milkshake
You could easily turn this into a smoothie bowl by adding a little less milk and topping with whatever you fancy. I imagine some crunch granola and coconut chips with some fresh raspberries would be delicious.
2 tsp raw cocoa
bunch of fresh mint (5-6 sprigs – just the leaves)
350ml almond milk or milk substitute of your choice (feel free to add more or less depending if you want to make a smoothie bowl or you like it thinner in a smoothie
4 or 5 ice cubes
Put all your ingredients in a blender and blend!