Toddler Approved Smoothies

Smoothies are a daily occurrence in our home. Our three-year-old loves them. He begs us to make him a “see-moo” (smoothie).  Given his enthusiasm for smoothies, you are probably thinking I really mean a milkshake, but I don’t. He has never had a milkshake and has only had gelato a handful of times. When he asks for a smoothie he is asking for fruits and veggies.  We often let him choose the ingredients and today’s concoction was interesting. His goal was to create a red or pink smoothie. Every smoothie we make begins with organic unsweetened original almond milk and an organic fair-trade banana. From there he added fresh organic spinach and fresh pineapple from the fridge. He then moved onto the freezer to dig out more ingredients. He chose organic parsnips, beets, carrots, cranberries, and  strawberries. We tossed his choices in and started up the Blendtec. The result? A red smoothie. Goal 1 achieved – a red or pink smoothie. Now, for the taste. That is always an interesting and slightly nerve-wracking part of the creation process. It was a little different, but it was great. He drank 16 oz. of the smoothie! This smoothie had no added sugar, was created from primarily organic ingredients and there was no “hiding” of fruits and veggies involved.  He chose all of the ingredients. What did this interesting smoothie provide? Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk Vitamin A, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Calcium1 Organic, Fair Trade Banana Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phytosterols2 Organic Spinach Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water, Omega-3s3 Pineapple Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water4 Organic Strawberries Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Omega-3s, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosporus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Phystosterols5 Organic Parsnips Dietary Fiber, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Anti-oxidants, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Phosporus, Magnesium, Zinc6 Organic Carrots Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Water7 Organic Beets Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water8 Organic Cranberries Dietary Fiber,...
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Cookbook Review: So Easy by Ellie Krieger

Cookbooks are some of my favorite books.  Even though you can find so many recipes online these days, there is something exciting about leafing through a cookbook, looking at the pictures, seeing the splatters on the much loved pages, and picking out a recipe for the day that is intrinsically appealing to me. I am a Food Network lover but have found that so many of the recipes are not healthy.  They are loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar.  This isn’t true of all of the recipes, but a fair portion of them are this way.  Ellie Krieger, who became well known after her show on Food Network Healthy Appetite, is different.  She is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia University (Ellie Krieger Bio).  So you know that the recipes she provides are going to be well balanced and include lots of colors and nutrients.  She isn’t a big fan of packaged products, but is a big fan of healthy eating made easy. With a toddler at home, a husband who works outside the home, and too many commitments of my own we need easy, fast, and delicious meals. So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week delivers.  The cookbook begins with an explanation of nutrition as well as what the general breakdown of fat, protein, carbs, etc. should be in a typical 2000 calorie diet.  Ellie emphasizes that you don’t need to count every little calorie, gram of protein, or carb however.  She emphasizes eating lots of fruits and veggies, eating lean proteins, and making sure your plate is colorful. After this informative intro she goes on to provide a list of suggested items for your pantry.  I have a fairly well-stocked pantry and find that I agree with her suggestions.  They keep my options open during the week if I suddenly decide I want to deviate from our weekly plan and make weekly shopping simple. All of this information is great, but you may be wondering about the recipes.  A lot of times when you see “healthy” and “recipe” together all that comes to mind is BLAND.  The recipes in this cookbook are well-seasoned and flavorful.  They range from really simple – cheddar-apple quesadilla with only three ingredients – to spaghetti frittata with salad presto.  It doesn’t matter your level of cooking competence, you can easily...
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Banana-Blueberry-Almond Butter Pancakes

This recipe was adapted from 1,000 Vegan Recipes (1,000 Recipes) and is easy to make.  Be sure to tell me what your favorite toppings for pancakes are in the comment section! Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, mashed 2 Cups soy milk (we use Almond Milk, but dairy would also work) 2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegan margarine (we usually use Earth Balance) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2-3 Tablespoons of fresh ground almond butter (or other nut butter, omit if allergies are a concern) 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour (we usually do a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat) 1/2 Cup quick-cooking oats 2 Tablespoons sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt (we usually omit this) 1 Cup fresh blueberries Oil for high heat to coat your griddle so the pancakes don’t stick Instructions: In a large bowl, combine the banana, milk, melted butter, almond butter, and vanilla, mixing well.  Set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine remaining ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries. Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium-high, coat with oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 Cup of batter onto hot cooking surface.  Flip the pancakes when small bubbles appear, this usually takes about 3 minutes.  Cook on the second side until browned, about another 2-3 minutes. Top with your favorite maple syrup and enjoy! Notes: The recipe is obviously only vegan if you use a non-dairy milk and a non-dairy margarine.  If you don’t mind including animal products in your foods, by all means use the dairy products you have on hand. We like to double the recipe and freeze the pancakes in sets of two or three.  This is an easy and quick weekday breakfast packed with nutrients. This is a great recipe to let kids help with.  It doesn’t matter if they eat the raw batter – there is nothing in there to potentially make them sick 🙂 My very picky, um I mean discerning toddler LOVES these.  He will even eat them frozen straight out of the freezer! Easy to whip up and doesn’t require any special ingredients.  If you don’t have fresh blueberries on hand, just thaw some frozen ones, drain, and mix the drained blueberries in to the batter. (Link posted...
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Spring into a CSA Produce Box!

We all know that eating a lot of fruits and veggies is at the top of any healthy eating plan.  The Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. program is no different.  If you are going to try and get 10-13 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day you need to find an affordable source of produce.  We have been spending a fortune at our local grocer.  As we get better and better about eating more fruits and veggies each week, our grocery bill has been going UP UP UP!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel punished (huge grocery bill) for doing what is good and healthy for my family.  Enter the CSA.  I knew nothing at all about CSAs until last fall.  CSA, if you haven’t heard the term before, stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically, you are cutting out the middle man, the grocery store, and you get amazing, fresh in-season LOCAL produce.  You get to know the people who are growing the food you feed your family and you get to support a family or group of families in your community.  Your produce never rides on a plane, sits in traffic in the back of a tractor trailer for hours, and never gets squashed on the shelves at the grocery store.  Pretty cool right?  So if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Here is the downside…there are a lot of choices for CSAs out there.  I had you worried didn’t I?  This is a wonderful problem to have.  There are CSAs for every budget, some are organic and some aren’t.  Some you can pick up at the farm, some are picked up at a more central location.  Figure out what works for your budget and your family. A friend recently told me about Marvin’s Produce.  For just $15 per week you get a lovely box of produce.  It isn’t organic, but you don’t have to sign a contract, and heck it is just $15 per week.  Here was her first box of produce.  I was really impressed with the amount of produce as well as the variety of colors. Another option is Noisy Rabbit. The fee is similar to Marvin’s Produce at $15/week, but you have to sign a contract to get this pricing and pay a $42/year membership fee.  If you choose the non-contract option, the price for a basket of...
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Typical Meals in the Hanna Household

As a health coach I pay a lot of attention to what we eat in our house.  The old adage, “Practice what you preach” is alive and well in our family.  We try our best to live a healthy lifestyle, but don’t always succeed and we certainly have times of indulgences.  So what do we plan for dinners in our house?  Take a look below for most of the dinners we have eaten in the last month: Warm Quinoa Salad with roasted shallots and butternut squash (vegan) Ziti with red pepper and walnut sauce (vegan) Brazilian black bean stew (vegan) Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup (vegan) Black bean quesadillas and avocado (vegetarian) Homemade veggie pizza with whole wheat crust (vegetarian) Mushroom and Asparagus Barley Risotto (vegan) Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells with Salad (vegetarian) Veggie Calzones (vegetarian) Pesto Roasted Salmon with Israeli CousCous Seared Scallops and barley pilaf with dried cranberries and pecans Salmon Florentine Orange Salmon with Apricot Horseradish Salsa Proscuitto Wrapped Cod with Wild Rice and Edamame Tortellini-Spinach Soup Wheat berry salad with grilled chicken Rotisserie chicken with peas and wild rice Panzanella with Chicken Sausage Chicken, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches with Parsnip Fries BBQ Chicken with sweet potatoes and grilled corn Turkey Pot Pie Turkey Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans Turkey-And-Rice Stuffed Peppers Fillet Mignon and salad with goat cheese and caramelized onions Homemade bolognese sauce with whole wheat spaghetti and salad French Onion Soup Lentil Soup with Peas and...
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