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    Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie with Chia Seeds





    I’ve recently discovered the awesomeness of super food chia seeds and have been experimenting with them (you can check out my Pinterest Yumminess board for some recipes). The evidence seems to point to chia being a super vegan source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, and protein. Plus, chia seeds add just a bit of texture without much (any) flavor. So, I thought I’d try them in a smoothie. I made this for my dinner last night, and it was so tasty, I decided to post it here for you!

     

    Ingredients:

     

    8oz organic milk

    1 container (individual serving) of organic greek yogurt (I used vanilla)

    1 ripe banana

    1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

    1/2 cup of frozen peaches

    1 Tbs of chia seeds

    1 Tbs of ground flax seed

    1 Tbs of raw honey

    1 tsp of vanilla extract (if you used plain yogurt)

     

    Put all of the ingredients in your favorite blender. Blend & drink!

     

    Note: I did not use ice because I had frozen fruit on hand. If you use fresh fruit, I’d recommend adding a bit of ice if you like your smoothies cold! This made around 20oz of smoothie, so my kids split the extra – it was very smooth, creamy, and fruity-sweet. Delicious!

    Another note: Next time I’ll add some spinach or kale for a vitamin boost!

    Final note: I made this with milk & dairy-based yogurt. I’m sure coconut milk & coconut milk-based yogurt would work as well – and make it vegan! 

    Posted: Jun 05 2012, 14:17 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Vegan Strawberry Cream Smoothie





    Two days ago, we went cherry & strawberry picking! The cherries were gone within 24 hours - we ate every last delicious one of them! The strawberries, however, being small & at the end of the season, were not so tasty. As of this morning, they were ready to either be made into a smoothie, or tossed out to the woods for the squirrels. We decided to go for a smoothie - and I'm glad we did! Here's the super-simple, healthy recipe I threw together. It turned out so yummy, the kids asked for MORE! Too bad we were out of strawberries!

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup of fresh Strawberries

    10oz of Coconut Milk (we used vanilla-flavored)

    Ice

     

    PREPARATION:

    Put the ingredients into a blender and blend well! Serve immediately & ENJOY! This recipe made approximately 2 8oz servings.


    PS: I'm sure you could add whatever fruits - or even veggies - that suit your fancy & this would still taste delicious. The sugar in the vanilla coconut milk added just enough sweetness to the smoothie, though I'm sure you could add a bit of agave nectar or honey if you like it sweeter. I found the richness of the coconut milk made the smoothie just the right creamy consistency - but I'm sure yogurt or whole milk would work well too, if you prefer dairy. Please let me know if you make this smoothie & end up adding anything to it. We'll definitely be making this one again in the future & I'm always open to suggestions!

    Posted: Jun 18 2011, 15:50 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Whole Wheat Banana-Apple Pancakes





    Every weekend, we make pancakes for breakfast, and try to change it up a little for variety – and added nutrition! Some weeks our experiments are well received, some less so.

    This morning, I had some overripe bananas and a few bruised apples, so decided to give the recipe below a whirl. Turned out delicious – the kids ate the pancakes up like gangbusters (They really did, but mostly I just wanted to use that word in a blog post)!

     

     

     

    1-1/4 cups of whole wheat flour (I like to use King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat – it works for everything & can be subbed easily for regular white flour, but with added fiber & protein!)

    1 tsp baking powder

    ½ tsp salt

    1 egg (my preference always being local from free ranging hens.  You can also skip adding an egg, and use applesauce + a bit more baking powder as substitution.)

    1-1/3 cups of organic milk (or, sub soy or ricemilk)

    1 Tbs oil

    1 Tsp vanilla extract

    1 ripe banana

    1 – 2 apples (depending on size)

    Cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

     

    Set the apples & spices aside. Put all the above ingredients in a blender (yep, I know, but really, it works so well for smooth pancakes!) & blend well. Peel, core, and dice the apples.

    Pour the batter onto a hot griddle, and then sprinkle diced apples & spices on top. When the edges begin to bubble, wait just a bit longer than usual (the banana & apples make the batter a bit looser), then flip. The apples will brown & soften while the 2nd side is cooking, and, along with the spices, will smell heavenly.

    Serve with real maple syrup & enjoy!

     

    Posted: Sep 03 2010, 10:59 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Recipes

    Healthy Snacking, Healthy Kids





    Snacking has a bad rap.  But it really shouldn’t, as snacking can be one of the healthiest ways to eat! When you eat several smaller meals throughout the day – as you feel hungry – instead of ignoring your hunger signals and waiting until a big sit down meal, you tend to eat less, and thus feel less hungry overall.  When I’m less hungry, I find I make better, healthier choices for snacking, and am less inclined to gorge myself when I do sit down for dinner.  When I’m not sugar-starved and faced with the feeling of, “oh my gosh, if I don’t get something in my face right now I’m going to keel over – pass me whatever is edible”, then I can make a more measured choice. I believe that when given a chance, your body will let you know when you’re hungry, and if you trust that feeling, you can make good, healthy choices to satisfy and nourish yourself! 

     

    With children, I’ve found they are naturally inclined to be snackers.  They have smaller stomachs, higher energy levels, and just need to eat smaller meals, more frequently, in order to stay healthy, and even-keeled (which, as we all know, is super important for everyone’s sanity!). When preparing snacks for the kids, I like to use the grazing method.  I prepare a plate with several different options on it, and put it out on a small table for them to pick at as they are hungry. Why? Primarily, this approach takes the pressure off eating.  The grazing plate allows for a little of something for everyone, with no need to sit down in a specific spot at a particular time or eat something that they aren’t fond of. Not everyone is always hungry at the same time, nor for the same thing.  And as the goal with food isn’t clearing a plate or eating exactly what’s put in front of you, but rather, consciousness: being aware of your hunger, and choosing healthy foods (that taste good, too), grazing just makes sense! The other reason I like the grazing approach to eating is because it seems to follow naturally after breastfeeding my infants on cue, baby-led feeding my older babies, and child-led weaning my toddlers.  It’s about giving your children a choice, and trusting their bodies to let them know when they are hungry and what they’re hungry for. 

     

    So what kinds of snacks am I talking about when I say healthy snacking/grazing?

     

    Here are a few healthy (vegetarian) suggestions for kids (and adults):

     

    Veggies:

    Sliced avocado
    Baby carrots

    Sliced cucumbers

    Celery

    Sweet potato chips

    Olives

    Pickles

     

    Protein:

    Peanut butter, sunbutter, almond butter

    Cream cheese

    Hard boiled egg slices

    Hummus

    Cheddar or colby cheese cubes

    Cheese strings (we love Armenian string cheese)

    Rolled tofurky

    Cashews, walnuts, almonds

    Yogurt (we like Liberte brand because it’s naturally sweetened with fruit)


    Fruit:

    Apple slices

    Peach, nectarine, mango slices

    Berries (I serve cherries pre-pitted)

    Grapes

    Clementine oranges (easy for kids to peel)

    Dried cherries, cranberries, apples
    Banana circles

     

    Grains:

    Whole wheat crackers

    Pretzels (we like Newman’s Own protein)

    Popcorn (air popped, non-GMO)

    Spiral or Farfale pasta

    Whole wheat pancake or waffle slices

     

    Pickles

    Posted: Jun 11 2010, 19:04 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Children | VEGetariANism