Breakfasts

Smoothie Revolution

I think I’ve created a monster. But no matter, I love these new smoothies, even if they are given dismal reviews by my children. The new flavours will take some getting used to.

If you recall from my last post, I have a 5 year old moaning that my smoothies are all the same while my 2 year old guzzles every last drop. The new recipes have been rated “gross” by both parties. I resorted to a Berry Favourite this morning to get at least one of them drinking them again.

It wasn’t all bad however, I did find a chocolate one that was an instant hit. Could it seriously not be?

I have a number of favourite recipe books which I use frequently but always skip the smoothie sections. No more! There are so many great ideas. I started with Oh She Glows which is a vegan cookbook and suits my morning routine. I find vegan smoothies more cleansing first thing.

However, we headed out with the Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie to give the girls a kick-start. It was essentially a healthy chocolate milkshake that I had no problem with the girls consuming.

Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie

Next, one for me. Oh She Glows author, Angela Liddon, has a serious of smoothies named Green Monsters. This is her Classic Green Monster and it’s variations. Please don’t be put off by the name – it’s actually delicious.

Angela's photography is oh so better than mine!

Angela’s photography is oh so much better than mine!

Keep going with the Green Monsters and I found an ultra-refreshing one (Glowing Mojo-ito Green Monster) that is going to cause me to grow my own mint this summer. It also was the only thing I could consume yesterday while I was battling a stomach bug and I am sure is the reason why I am up and functioning today. Here’s the exact combination I used. The variations are available in the Oh She Glows Cookbook.

My fave. My kids least fave!

My fave. My kids least fave!

1 cup watermelon cubes (frozen)
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
1 cup coconut water
1 Gala apple, peeled (unless you have a vitamin) and chopped
1/4 avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
10 mint leaves
5 ice cubes

Hit PLAY on your Vitamix or, if you are like me and are still pining over having your own, use the “Snow” or “Ice Crush” first, then whizz it all on high speed once the ice and watermelon is broken down.

It took me longer than I would like to admit to get around to making this one since it required an extra step of cutting up and freezing the watermelon. I used a mini-one and it still made a ton to freeze. There are at least 3 or 4 more smoothie worth ready to go in my freezer now.

Finally, here is my own Berry Favourite that is completely inoffensive, one that my youngest loves and my oldest tolerates. Healthy food consumption with kids can sometimes be a battle but it’s all worth it!

Berry Favourite

raspberries1 cup coconut water
1 banana
1 mango (optional)
2 cups frozen berries
1 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup (if added sweetness required)

Start slow if using a conventional blender to break up the frozen berries, then whizz on high until desired smoothness is reached.

Before I move onto to another author, I might just have to try this one first. I probably could have used this yesterday since the ginger is awesome when you suffering from nausea.

If you want further ideas on creating your own smoothies, check out my post called A Formula for a Smoothie.

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Deceiving the Kids …. and other unsuspecting family members

I’m not the first mother to hide vegetables in her children’s food and I won’t be the last. Generally, it’s not a practice I worry about too much as I believe that children should be exposed to vegetables every meal; they learn that way that they aren’t an evil food that is automatically going to taste “gross”.

Any greens powder can work.

Any greens powder can work.

Sometimes though, it has to be done and I cannot resist adding a spoonful or two of this to their morning smoothies. The hardest part is finding the fine line of enough wheatgrass to provide the benefits of a green drink and not too much to put them off the drink.

You can add this to any smoothie that is mainly fruit based.

Zoë’s Kitchen – Fruit Bottomed Yogurt

Zoë loves yogurt. The sweeter it is, the fruitier the bottom, the better. Don’t even think about mixing it.

Sure, she’s 5 but do any of us actually grow out of that?

Since school started, she loves her little tubs of yogurt in her lunch, it’s all part of the appeal. But I struggle to find something I am happy with her eating on a regular basis and usually end up with the expensive organic vanilla pots.

So I bought her some stainless steel containers, the same size as a yogurt pot, and started making my own. From a container of 2% plain organic yogurt, I mix a few spoonfuls with honey and a sprinkling of flaxseed. Not too much as it coagulates over time. I add some applesauce, raspberries, sliced banana or chopped pear to the bottom of the container and add the sweetened yogurt over the top. Occasionally, I will buy the vanilla flavoured greek yogurt – she goes crazy for that but I don’t recommend it for adults on a weight loss mission. It’s very high in fat and way too delicious to keep for more than 1/2 hour in your fridge!

I wish I’d taken a photo as I was doing this because this doesn’t look super appetizing but trust me, it is. And easy to do too. For anybody.

yogurt

What’s Cooking? Granola

Another food that is expensive and often full of undesirable ingredients is granola. But it’s even easier to make at home than bread and doesn’t require any equipment, other than a stove of course.

Feel free to substitute any of the nuts and seeds and even the sweetener. This recipe works as a basic formula. My latest batch had sliced filberts instead of almonds, pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds and poppy seeds instead of sesame seeds. Its what I had in the fridge.

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Granola

2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup coarsely chopped slivered or sliced almonds, or chopped peanuts
1/2 cup sunflower nuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey or maple-flavored syrup*
1/3 cup vegetable oil 

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease jellyroll (15 x 10 x 1) pan. Stir together rolled oats, coconut, nuts and seeds.

In separate bowl, combine honey or syrup and oil; stir into oat mixture. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes then stir. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

After baking immediately turn mixture out onto a large piece of foil. Allow to cool and then break into chunks. Store at room temperature in tightly sealed containers or bags for up to 2 weeks. May also be stored longer in the freezer.

Makes about 6 cups.

* Don’t substitute low sugar or light syrup in this recipe. The natural sugar in syrup and honey acts as a much needed preservative.

 

Juicing without a Juicer

One of  my favourite cookbook authors, Jae Steele, wrote a recipe for a refreshing juice this morning on a super hot day. I was determined to make it, it looked too good and too tempting to resist.

Only problem is I don’t have a juicer. I created a lot of washing up and there was a lot of waste so I’m not sure I would do this with organic vegetables but once in a while, it was totally worth it. It was very refreshing and very delicious. Even my kids loved it.

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40 Degree Juice

Juice of 1 lemon
4 carrots
2 apples
1 cucumber
1 2″ piece of ginger
Coconut water as needed

Pour in 1 cup of coconut water into a blender. Add the lemon juice and roughly chopped ginger. Peel and roughly chop the cucumber. Add to blender.

Add the grating function to a food processor (or do it by hand) and grate the apples and carrots. Add to the blender.

Blend for 2 minutes, stirring as needed and adding more coconut water as needed.

Strain into a mason jar or other storage jar.

Enjoy!!

An Awesome Smoothie

I love this smoothie that was recently printed on the Mama Earth newsletter I receive with my delivery. It was called Tom’s Fruity Medicine Chest Smoothie but it’s use of raw kale had me intrigued, because I find it hard to eat raw. I think it’s perfect to detox from the long weekend overdoses.

It was delicious. Even my 2 year old gulped it down which I was extra happy about.

Give it a shot. After my Vitamix vacation, I’m back on the Breville but it was just as good.

Summer Smoothie

2 apples, cut into chunks
2 ripe pears, cored and cut in chunks

1-2 cups coconut water
Juice of 2 lemons
1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5 kale leaves, rinsed and torn
5 spinach leaves

Place the apple and pear chunks, water and lemon juice into a blender. Blend. Add the ginger, kale and spinach, blend again until very smooth. Add more water for a thinner smoothie.

I confess, I just threw everything in but I learnt during the Vitamix vacation, that you should put the liquid in first. It blends so much easier like that.

Happy Canada Day!!

Vitamix Day!

I’ve been looking forward to today. A friend of mine was visiting and brought with her, her new Vitamix for me to play with.

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A Vitamix is a type of blender but it can be used as a juicer as well since it pulverizes anything that comes near it. So you benefit from all the fibre and you don’t lose any of that expensive organic produce.

I prepared for her visit:

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I don’t have any recipes since I just threw whatever I felt like at it and only one needed some adjustment because of the bitter greens in it.

There were a couple of successful ones that didn’t need any sweeteners. I started with coconut water, then green grapes, bok choy, an apple, a pear, a carrot, a splash of flax oil, a teaspoon of wheat grass and a pint of local, organic strawberries. Delicious and nothing to feel guilty about.

The second one, that had a touch of guilt, I made into freezies. We were a little tired of the green by then, so went for an orange one. In went the coconut water, grapes, banana, 4 carrots, a mango, an orange, apple, pear, flax oil and vanilla flavoured coconut ice cream. That one was awesome.

The most challenging one was the one with the garden grown bitter greens. A lemon took out some of the bitterness but it still needed a banana and some maple syrup to make it palatable.

I made sure I was able to keep some reserves for after her departure.

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What a fun morning. And great to see my friend Fiona as well of course!