Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. In celebration of summer, we're sharing recipe ideas for healthy snacks and picnic food, or anything you could take outdoors with you. Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.
A fantastic way to introduce more [raw] greens into your and your families diet is with green smoothies. By introducing just one green smoothie into your diet a day, you will immediately reap rewards such as increased energy, clearer skin, better digestion and more (depending on the rest of your diet). The added bonus? Kids love them, as they are fruit based!
Summer is the best time to start introducing them, as fruit is easily available and because its hot nobody feels like a cooked breakfast anyway. I try to have one for breakfast every day, which I share with Jesse, if I have another one mid morning, I feel even better. Admittedly, in winter I find it *much* harder to stick to this, and it is winter at the moment in South Africa :(
A good base for green smoothies are bananas, freeze them before hand for a frozen smoothie! Add in any other fruit that is available and organic such as pears, berries or even pineapple. Try use fruit your children enjoy, almost anything can be made into a smoothie, paw paw is another great one as a base. What greens you use is up to you, I often use baby spinach, as it grows well in my garden, as well as nasturtiums which grow *wild* and are full of anti-oxidants, but be sure to choose something organic, local and in season.
My recipe makes enough for one adult, and a toddler for breakfast, double or even triple if you have more children, or if your husband is willing to try one too. Green smoothies are also great as an afternoon snack!
Teach your children to 'chew' their smoothies, so as to get the saliva in there to ensure the greens are digested properly! Thicker smoothies make this easier, Jesse eats his with a spoon out of a bowl. Try to drink your smoothie by itself, and do not eat 40 minutes prior, or 40 minutes afterwards.
Always rotate the green leaves that you add to your smoothies. Almost all greens in the world contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning. Please note that you don’t have to rotate the fruit in your green smoothies. Most commonly used fruit have very little or none of the alkaloids and cannot cause the same toxic reactions as greens. At the same time, rotating fruits will enhance the variety of flavor and nutrition in your smoothies. (Guidelines for Green Smoothie Consumption for Optimal Health Benefits, by Victoria Boutenko)
Here is my basic recipe, but I mix this up often adding in and leaving stuff out according to availability.
1 pear or other seasonal fruit
2 fresh dates
1 handful of fresh greens such as any type of lettuce or spinach or wild greens such as dandelion
herbs such as parsley, cilantro or mint for a great taste
1 cup of water as needed for blending, or 1 cup of cooled nettle tea - which is a great source or iron for toddlers!
Blend it up and serve in a glass or bowl with a spoon, to make it portable store in a stainless steel flask, such as these and place in a cooler bag.
Inspired? Why not sign up for a green smoothie challenge such as this one at Tera Warner.com :)
The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants in different time zones publish their contributions
- Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares 5 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Summer Picnics. Abbie uses fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies as the stars of her favorite summer recipes, including Greek Yogurt Dip, Sauteed Corn with Basil and Johnnycake Peach Cobbler. You can also find Abbie on Facebook.
- Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares her new favorite packable lunch - Quinoa Love. You can also find Laura on Facebook.
- Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares how easy it is to add more greens to your and your families diet with delicious green smoothies! You can also find Christine on Facebook.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her favorite Gluten Free Summer Cobbler. This light, easy, and delicious cobbler is a great dessert, snack, or breakfast! You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
- Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her muffin tin snacks , perfect for quick and easy lunches or lunch boxes, since they are delicious hot or cold