A smoothie to make your day
A smoothie to make your day
Image: 123rf.com

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Sade blaring on a Saturday morning as you padded up to vryf the reddish stoep, was a real sign of our times. I often laugh as I buy Cobra wax polish for my home now as an adult, because I thought we’d never meet again.

This stoep and wax polish combo is universal: whether friends grew up in Botswana, Zambia or Ghana, this porch polishing is a thing of our youth. Kids today will never know the joy of layering polish and brushing it then finally buffing (I only knew it as vryf until my teens) a floor until you can vaguely see your reflection in it. The homes of our childhoods were built in a similar fashion with a reddened paint coating on our verandahs. My sister or cousins can correct me, but I think my aunt’s one was painted black, though it also needed the same treatment.

The best part of collective cleaning as children was that it was done en masse. Growing up in the Eastern Cape, our homes were never empty, there were often cousins and extra kids around. You never did any of the chores on your own and there was always music playing. We’re a music-loving family and Sade was a style and beauty icon for many of our older sisters and cousins. Oh, the hoop earring and jeans have had many a turn.

It’s funny how we often butchered the lyrics of so many songs as children. My older sister had a lyric book — the hard cover Croxley notebook where she’d write lyrics of the songs she’d be singing at the top her voice. These were the days when cassettes had A and B sides and she would stop and rewind to listen to a lyric one more time, so she could feel the heartache her 14-year-old soul had yet to understand.

When I think of Sade, I think of my first boyfriend, but mostly his sisters. His older sister, who basically became my older sister, loves Sade and no Sunday lunch was complete around their table without a Sade sing-along.

Smooth Operator is definitely a soundtrack of my childhood. Much like this smoothie that I made a few weeks ago, one hapless Saturday after far too little sleep due to a bout of insomnia. However, it is in these wee hours that thoughts of sustenance fill my mind. I have a lot of time to think about the contents of my fridge.

I had come from my weekly pilgrimage with my dear friend to find the perfect burger; and I was craving a milkshake, even though I’ve never been a fan of milkshakes (even as a child) and I generally do not consume dairy. The flavour profile I craved had to involve coffee, a nut butter of sorts for thickness and creaminess, some sweetness, a little saltiness and some frozen banana, because it always gives a smoothie what it needs.

Smoothie operator
Smoothie operator
Image: Supplied

I remember pouring it into a glass and taking my first sip. I may or may not have wept a little. This smoothie is so delicious. Smoothies are not my go-to for nutrition on most days, because they can be a thinly veiled sugar fest with all the fruit in, but when done right, they can be just what your body and soul need.


  1. 2 pitted dates (1 if you’re already sweet enough)
  2. ½ cup non-dairy milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  3. ¼ cup rolled oats
  4. 2 tablespoons of tahini
  5. ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  6. ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  7. 1 shot of espresso or ½ cup of coffee
  8. 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt (I used goat’s milk yoghurt)
  9. 1.5 sliced frozen banana
  10. Pinch of maldon salt


  • Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth

Pour this smoothie into your best glass. Sip slowly and savour it. Preferably alone in your favourite spot. Perhaps put on some good soul swelling tunes or sit in silence and sip. This smoothie is a sacred moment for self. Take the time to make it and enjoy it.

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