Apart from being a great start to the day, a smoothie is a brilliant way of using whatever is fresh and in season. You can experiment endlessly with different combinations. When using something earthy such as kale (see opposite), it is important to add a bit of sweetness to balance the flavours, especially if using shop-bought kale, as this tends to be more strongly flavoured than home-grown. The smoothie master at Great Dixter is Thomas Gooch, a regular helper in the vegetable garden. Thomas says banana is non-negotiable in most smoothies, and that using almond milk instead of cows’ milk helps to bring out the rest of the flavours. He also likes to add a few chia seeds to his blends. Note the inclusion of the turmeric, so important for gardeners of a certain age.


  • 15g Kale chopped with tough stems removed
  • ½ Apple peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 Banana
  • 120ml Almond milk
  • 1tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1tsp Ground turmeric


  • STEP 1

    Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 3 minutes, or until perfectly smooth.

This recipe is taken from The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, £24.95).


Having studied at Kew Gardens and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, Aaron Bertelsen is now vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter. His book, The Great Dixter Cookbook was published in March 2017.