First and foremost, I'm sorry it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been suffocating under a pile of grading, as so often happens at this point of the semester. But I have a little more breathing room and a couple of tasty recipes that my kiddos liked, so here's to getting back into the swing of things.
As some of you already know I am a part of a co-op, so my produce can really vary from week to week and in quantity. Last week I got a ton of avocados, which I absolutely love. My adventurous two year old is right there with me, eating the stuff off of carrot sticks like it's frosting. But my five year old, eh not so much. Or not at all. So here's a way to sneak in an avocado, plus a few other greens, into a creamy smoothy that even a more discerning palate will go for.
First off, what's so great about avocados? The one thing you always hear about is that they have a lot of fat. Commonly we make the mistake thinking that all fat is bad. In fact fats are a necessary part of our diets and children actually need to get 30% of their calories from fats, ideally from fats that are beneficial. That last part of the reason that avocados are a great source of fat- the fats they pack in our monounsaturated fats, which are good for you. Aside from their fat content, avocados are also rich in vitamin E, carotneoids, fiber, vitamin K, and potassium.
The honeydew part of this is really just a bit of trickery; there isn't much honeydew but its green color helped disguise my avocado and spinach ingredients. If you haven't made smoothies with avocado before you're missing out- they really make it a creamy concoction. Also my daughter had some dental work done the day I made these, so her diet was pretty limited and I wanted her to get some fat and protein in this snack. To that end I also added a little coconut oil, but you can use coconut water or opt out of it altogether if you don't want that additional fat.
If my picky daughter asked for seconds on this then I'm guessing other picky kiddos will like it too. Let me know how it works out. Enjoy!
Makes: 4 servings
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup any frozen fruit, such as peaches, berries, or if not on hand use ice
1/2 cup chopped honeydew
5-6 spinach leaves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add all the above ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Have you seen coconut water all over the place? It comes in cans, bottles and juice boxes and it's become really popular recently. I even went to a lecture comparing it to Gatorade while I was at a conference last week. Now I'm a physiologist by training but I like to sneak into the nutrition lectures whenever I can, seeing as I love the subject so much.
So I figured I'd do a little comparison here. For those of you with kiddos in sports, you know that they can really work hard during games and practices. Afterwards some of us (that includes me) reach for Gatorade as a sort of beneficial reward for swimming their little hearts out. But I might be changing course...
Here's a list of the ingredients in Gatorade:
Filtered Water, Brominated Vegetable Oil (BMV) Sucralose (if sugar-free), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural flavors, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate,Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Artificial Colors
And here's the list of ingredients in Coconut water:
Filtered coconut water
If your on the less-ingredients-is-better boat like I am, then that's a pretty startling comparison. Here's how they compare nutritionally, via their nutrition labels.
What makes sports drinks special is that they have electrolytes, or salts. When people exercise, those electrolytes can be lost in sweat and leave you feeling run down. By drinking something that can recharge electrolyte stores, people feel better faster. The electrolytes here are sodium and potassium- check out how much more is in coconut water! Also coconut water has less sugar and more vitamins and minerals than Gatorade.
So with no artificial ingredients, a better electrolyte profile, less sugar and more vitamins and minerals, I think coconut water is a better alternative.Coconut water has an Earthy taste, its not too sweet and very flavorful. I love the stuff after a tough hike in the hot sun, but my kids are a little more wary. So onto the next challenge, getting your kids on board.Here's a tip that works with my kids for sneaking in that coconut water goodness. Try freezing it in ice cubes, then adding it to a little juice as a homemade sports drink. As it melts it'll flavor the juice and add great electrolytes and nutrients. Enjoy!