Sunday, June 19, 2011
Pretty much no artificial colors or preservatives? Check.
Lots of organics? Check.
With all of that, you'd think we never had to worry about good nutrition at my house. Unfortunately, that's just not true!
Luckily, we got the opportunity to revisit what a healthy diet should look like when the USDA revised their nutrition model from the Food Pyramid to the Dinner Plate. Even better, though, for us is the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine's Power Plate.
With the start of summer break, we took a look at the Power Plate as a family and talked about how we can enjoy a healthy, balanced diet. My kids needed a boost in the vegetables category.
So, we serve more carrot sticks (raw for Casey, steamed for Evan), bump up the veggies in our pastas and casseroles .... and worked out a way to add greens to our smoothies that the kids don't even notice!
Not only do they like these smoothies, but they ask for seconds. Victory!!!
A couple of things are key to the success of these smoothies, I think.
1) Use a good dose of blueberries, because they will prevent the smoothie from becoming a yucky brown color (green plus yellow plus orange). Blackberries could also do the trick, but they're too seedy for my kids' tastes.
2) Use a neutral tasting green. Kale seems to work best for us here. Little to no vegetable-y odor and the flavor adds a bit of freshness to the smoothie.
3) Blend those greens thoroughly!!! If your smoothie is leafy, it's likely not to be a hit. We use a standard kitchen blender, nothing fancy, so it works best if we blend the greens with a couple of the fruits and the apple juice to start, then add the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly blend.
4) Serve with a straw. At least for my kids, this a key to smoothie success.
We buy lots of frozen fruit (organic whenever possible) at the grocery store. It's a good value, and always ready to become a smoothie. We also freeze any fresh fruit that seems like it's about to turn. This saves it from going to the trash and gives us a chance to enjoy it on another day.
We shared this recipe as part of Amy Green's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Fridays. We also shared this recipe at Real Sustenance's Seasonal Sundays and Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox Love. Please check out the other great recipes!
Kid-Friendly "Green" Smoothie
Makes one blender full
1 cup apple juice
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups rice milk
Blend apple juice, mango, strawberries and kale thoroughly.
Add remaining ingredients.
Store any extra smoothie in a sealed container to enjoy the next day.
Kim and Megan