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Raw Green Gazpacho

12 Apr

My Raw Green Gazpacho To-Go while cleansing on the go.

I took my Raw Green Gazpacho to our homeschool coop today and the kids kept asking “What’s that?!?” I was trying to explain to a 4 year old that like soap cleans something dirty, my green juice full of veggies cleans the insides of my body. She looked at me, wide-eyed and disbelief, “You clean your body with veggies???” Yes, I do!

I have been participating in CleanseAmerica’s 10-day cleanse since Monday. I have been craving my thick and creamy Coconut Gazpacho full of umami-ness – but decided I wanted something greener and much less fattening. So, today, I created this Raw Green Gazpacho that is perfect during a smoothie cleanse: full of green goodness and still reminiscent of Gazpacho flavors.

Puree all together in a high speed blender:

1 handful of cilantro leaves

2 handfuls of spinach leaves

2 cucumbers, peeled

2 pieces of celery

2 big tomatoes

1/2 lemon, juiced

sea salt, to taste (optional)

Enjoy!

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Creamy Plantain Green Smoothie

9 Apr

Plantain Bananas

Because they are in season all year round in the tropics, I grew up eating plantains fried or baked or boiled or steamed almost daily.  They were one of my fave foods.  I was told not to eat them raw, but I couldn’t resist trying one as it ripened on my kitchen counter one day a few years ago.  Now I love them RAW when they are all black, soft and super sweet.  Sometimes, I can’t wait and eat them when they are a little soft, but still quite yellow (like in the photo above).  For breakfast, I love them with a little raw almond butter and raw honey or with cayenne spices.  For lunch, I like to eat them plain with a huge salad to bulk up my meal when I am really hungry.  Sometimes, we love them in smoothies because they create really lovely creamy drinks.  For days when you are really hungry, these smoothies have a heavier creaminess than regular bananas.  Plantains are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and vitamins B6 and C.

Today, my whole family enjoyed a Strawberry Plantain Green Smoothie.  For me, the fewer ingredients, the better.   I like keeping things simple.  I used to add dates when my family was transitioning to a more raw food diet, but we find dates in green smoothies too sweet now.  We prefer them a little plainer these days – so we can really taste the ingredients in the smoothie.  I also used to add only 4 cups of greens, but now we prefer 6 cups or more.  But feel free to experiment with other veggies and fruits and add your fave raw ingredients too like nuts and/seeds.  Here’s my basic recipe.

Blend all in a high speed blender:

2 really ripe, soft and black plantains, peeled

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup water

1 pint of strawberries or fruits in season

6 cups of greens, or more

I find it easier to add the greens to the blender first, so I can measure it to make sure I have at least more than 6 cups.

Then I add the strawberries.

Then I add the orange juice and water.

Then I add the plantains last.

Puree it all together for a creamy green smoothie.

A Raw Mama’s Reality Check: We Need Supplements?

13 Dec

Our allergic reaction or sensitivities to supplements: my rough hands and my son's rashes. How do we supplement our diet properly if we react to the exact nutrients that we need?

Every year, around my birthday, I take my family to our naturopath to have an annual check up. What did we find this year? Not exactly the news I wanted to share with you.  I wish I could say that our families have all the nutrients they need in a Raw Vegan Diet, but this simply is not true.  I’m sharing what my family found out about our food deficiencies with you, because I think it is important for Vegan Mamas to know that we need to supplement our family’s diets.

The Good:

We are all healthier than last year. This was great news considering my kitchen turned fully Vegan this year and my husband and son now only eat Vegan at home ( and at least 50% of their diet still remains raw).

The Bad:

We all have difficulty in handling sugar.  And, we still need more B vitamins, iron, zinc, iodine and protein in our diet.

A Raw Mama’s Reality Check

1. Just because it’s raw doesn’t mean we can over-indulge. Too much of a good thing…

This means decreasing our fruit (in breakfast puddings, smoothies) and raw sweetener intake (honey, maple syrup, dates in our fave raw oatmeal).

A surprising and wonderful discovery: My son sipped his cup of Pooh Bear Smoothie clean without even noticing that the 2 additional dates were missing!

2. B Vitamins is a must!

Nutritional Yeast is back on our table.  We prefer the fortified Red Star brand.  I don’t know why but we react to Bragg’s.  I also have Hawaiian Spirulina sometimes with breakfast.  I’m on a mission to look for a supplement too that agrees with us – especially after reading that nutritional yeast should NOT be our only source of Vegan B12!

3. Trying to find Supplements

Our iron, zinc and iodine levels are low and have hardly improved since last year (and we were consciously eating foods high in these)… so we really need to supplement this time.  My big problem is finding the supplements that actually agree with us! We’ve been trying a few supplements and I have been suffering with rough hands and my son with eczema on his.

4. Protein

As for protein, I decided it would be best for me to add cooked legumes to my diet and cook more for my family.  Maybe this will help with our iron levels too!

Mama’s Supplement Information and Support from Gabriel Cousens

Mama’s Brainstorming

Oooh, I just looked at all the Vitamin Code products from Vitacost.  They’re very expensive and I don’t know if my family might be sensitive or react to them. But, they’re RAW.  I guess it’s the best bet we have in supplementing right now.

A Tip from a Raw Smoothie Dad: Decrease the Number of Steps to Making a Raw Smoothie!

9 Sep

Recently, a Super Raw Smoothie Dad, Allen Kachurowski, shared a big tip with me: DECREASE THE NUMBER OF STEPS TO MAKING A RAW SMOOTHIE!

He pointed out to me, “Speaking from experience, I think males are probably worse fruit and vegetable eaters than kids.  I know I was.  Through my own experience I have found that the only way that I was able to reliably make [raw green] smoothies a habit was to decrease the number of steps to making oneI pre-measure all the dry ingredients once a week and store them in baby food containers.  That way every morning I save time by not having to open each package individually. It’s kind of like those daily pill containers.  I find with the Spirulina powder this works really well and prevents spilling.  Just wanted to let you know that thanks to your blog we have now added Spirulina (never knew about it before), Kale and and sometimes Dates to our smoothie.  Made the basic green recipe today and really liked it.”

Allen's Containers

Here’s Allen’s daily mix:

– Flax Seeds
– Raw Wheat Germ
– Spirulina powder
– Juice Plus+complete powder

What a time saver!  I think I’m going to have to start portioning out my ingredients too!

Thank you Allen.  I think your tip will not only make it easier for Dads to make those Raw Smoothies, but busy Mamas too!

A 4 Year Old Omnivore Loves Raw Vegan Foods

17 Aug

Lia requested Raw Pink Smoothie for her Fourth Birthday

My 4 year old niece Lia is allowed to eat everything (except dairy to which she is allergic), but what does she request for her birthday party?  RAW VEGAN FOOD!

Really? I was stunned because my own son requests baked cupcakes!

Lia is the same little girl who, when her preschool teacher rewarded her with candy, told her Mama they tasted ‘yucky’ and asked if her teacher could reward her with Raw Green Smoothies instead.  She also chows down Raw Kale Salad like a veteran Raw Foodie!

Yummy Kale Salad for Dinner!

Chomping away!

I don’t know what or how my Omnivore cousin teaches her daughter about nutrition, but Lia really loves Raw Vegan Foods.  So, I interviewed her amazing Mama for some tips.

An Omnivore Family

What does your family typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner? What does Lia typically eat?

Breakfast is Raw Green Smoothie and cooked eggs.  Lunch is apples, hummus and raw carrots/cauliflower, crackers (the organic version of triscuits) and peanut butter and jelly. She takes this lunch to school in her lunch box, but usually only eats the apples and crackers.  Dinner is usually another Raw Green Smoothie, spinach noodles with a little tomato sauce, Salad (sometimes with greens, sometimes just tomatoes), hummus with raw veggies, sometimes edamame, and some kind of Fruit. Noodles are her favorite but the other night we made a stir fry of beef, mushrooms and broccoli and brown rice. I also try to give her some kind of seafood once a week (she loves shrimp and salmon). We eat mostly Vegetarian, but we may eat meat 2 to 3 times per week.

An Omnivore Family Highlights Raw Vegan Food

Your family eats everything, yet your 4 year old daughter requested her birthday party foods be RAW.  How does that happen?

I think it has a lot to do with the running dialogue Lia and I have on what kinds of food we eat and how Raw Foods are so good for us. Lia loves the flavor and texture of many Raw Veggies and Greens much more so than cooked ones.

It also doesn’t hurt that she knows whenever she eats Raw, her Aunt Carissa and family are so proud!  She also loves the Raw Foods that Carissa makes for her and so requested a special Raw Green Smoothie for her birthday party.

An Omnivore Little Girl Loves Raw

What are Lia’s favorite Raw Vegan Foods?

She loves Raw Green Smoothies, Carrots (with homemade hummus) and her new fave is Raw Cauliflower (she saw it in the grocery store the other day and just had to have it!).

How much Raw does she eat?

We certainly do not eat as much Raw as I would like, but right now I think she’s at about 10-15% Raw. At lunch and dinner she asks for Raw – more so than at breakfast.

Encouraging Raw Vegan Foods @ Home

Do you/does Lia make ‘Raw Foods’ part of her play?

Yes absolutely, when Lia is playing kitchen with me, her Dad or her imaginary friends she always makes them a Raw Smoothie and she usually tells her Dad “you can only have Raw Foods!” Since he is the least likely member in our family to eat Raw or drink a Smoothie, I think she is trying to help him be healthier.

What other things do you do that encourages her to eat more Raw Foods?

1. We talk a lot about what kinds of food we eat and why they may be healthy (or not as healthy as others).

2. Lia always comes to the grocery store with me and helps me pick out our fruits and veggies.

3. Of course having family that is so close to us be Raw, Lia just naturally gravitates to what they eat and loves showing off to them when she does eat Raw Greens.  It has really been seeing the example of your family eating Raw that moved us to include Raw in our diet. I am so much more aware of what we are putting into our bodies now and even if it isn’t Raw, I have worked hard to cut out processed food and eat as much local and organic as possible. Lia has a natural curiosity when it comes to foods, so we just explore together, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t (I have heard many times “I like Carissa’s -enter food name here- better than yours Mommy”) but at least we try! She does not feel deprived or upset when kids around her are eating corn dogs etc. She says “That’s yuck” and we find her something else to eat. But I really have to attribute her attitude towards eating healthy (whether its totally Raw or not) to the example that your family has set for her.  Seeing the people you love most living a healthy lifestyle makes it so much easier to do it yourself!

Thank you Cris for taking time for the interview! 

WOW.  I didn’t know our family impacted my cousin’s family’s nutrition so strongly!  

It’s amazing what constant dialogue, exposure to what is healthy and leading by example and support can do for the young ones!  Little Lia is an example! Adding Raw Vegan Foods to our children’s diet is possible.  It’s not just for the Vegans or Vegetarians.  Lia shows how Omnivore Families can join in the Raw Vegan Health Craze too!

Very Cherry Smoothie

9 Jul

Very Cherry Smoothie

A lot of parents always ask: “What is the easiest and quickest way to get my kids to eat vegetables?”

As many will exclaim, I do too: “GREEN SMOOTHIES!”

The Winnie-The-Pooh Bear Smoothie was our gold standard, but then I discovered I could add 50% more greens in what I like to call our  “More Greens Please” Strawberry Smoothie.  And it works even better with fresh summer cherries!

Cherries seem to be the ‘in’ fruit these days. They are a wonderful fruit for cleansing the blood, detoxifying acids in the body and strengthening our heart and plasma.  Just 1 cup of cherries contains 2% Vitamin A, 2 % calcium, 3% iron, 12% dietary fiber and 16% vitamin C. They also contain beta carotene, potassium, magnesium and melatonin.  Dr. Oz has been promoting the amazing antioxidant filled tart cherry juice that helps ease arthritis and gout and reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.  Whole Foods Market is now promoting their Summer Cherry Fest with a Kid-Friendly Cherry Recipe Contest.  So I thought I’d send in my Raw Recipe that really gets kids to drink a bunch of greens too!

But, first thing’s first: here is the quickest and simplest way to pit cherries… with a paperclip!

Yummy for the Tummy ingredients!

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 pitted dates

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Summer)

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

16 oz of pitted cherries

6 cups kale, stemmed

Enjoy!

“More Greens Please!” Strawberry Smoothie

1 Jul

More-Greens-Please Strawberry Smoothie

Want to WOW your 4th of July guests with a yummy Strawberry Smoothie full of undetectable Greens?  Look no further!  This recipe is a variation from our Basic Smoothie, but with 50% more greens!  With Strawberries in season the past 2 months, we have enjoyed drinking this immensely.

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 dates, optional but children prefer a sweeter smoothie

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Summer)

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

16 oz of strawberries

6 cups seasonal leafy greens (we love microgreens from City Roots!)

Enjoy!

When A Green Salad Just Won’t Do! Top 6 Ways To Get Kids To Love Plant-Based Food Again!

21 Jun

Look familiar? This is the "I don't think I can eat this!" look.

My fabulous niece Lia loves raw Kale Salad and Green Smoothies, but a piece of plain lettuce may be asking her for too much!  How many kids have you seen do this exact same thing? Many! And there are even more who won’t even touch any kind of vegetable.

A few months ago, when Karen Ranzi came to speak at our local university, she was so excited to see my 4 year old son eat a Banana Lettuce Wrap (below) and exclaimed “Wow! We need to take a picture of that!”  Unfortunately, as he grows up and gets more exposed to the Standard American Diet, his preference for unhealthy ‘normal American’ foods has escalated.  Recently, he has exclaimed: “No more Green Salads for me!  Only Green Smoothies!”

Banana Date Lettuce Wrap: a very simple meal

What’s a Mama to do? 

I knew this wouldn’t be easy.  So I have armed myself with new ways to get my little one to love eating unprocessed plant-based whole foods again. Here’s what I make sure we have:

1. A variety of fresh fruit in the house, for breakfast, snacks and/or pre-dinner munchies.

2. Lots of GREEN Smoothies in the house.

3. My niece Lia just discovered GREEN Smoothie Popsicles and loves them.  We have loved them in the summer time too!  Simply place leftover Green Smoothie into your popsicle molds and voila! another treat with nutritional benefits! By the way, we love our BPA free popsicle molds!

My son loves his popsicle from a Blueberry Green Smoothie!

3. Get the JUICER out for GREEN Juices.  If they won’t eat the salad, they can definitely drink them (as long as they are yummy!).  For most kids, this means a mixture of fruit and vegetable juices.  Although it is hard work, it is worth any Mama’s time: fresh green juices go directly into our cells and work their wonders.

4. Mix raw and cooked together for Half & Half! Yes, definitely the easier way to get the family to eat more fresh raw veggies.

Asparagus and Tomato Salad: cooked asparagus and raw tomatoes with Balsamic Vinaigrette (this is great with Broccoli and Tomatoes too!)

Zucchini Pasta topped with Cooked Lentils... you can always try!

Vegetable Sushi: my family loves Avocado, we use raw untoasted Nori... and yes that's white rice, they prefer it that way... maybe because they feel it's more authentic?

5. Prepare more COOKED PLANT-BASED options at each meal so that the family doesn’t crave other SAD (Standard American Diet) Foods.  This is important and something I often forget because I am so involved in making something Raw Vegan at each meal.  As I add more home-cooked vegan options at every meal, my family craves less for the unhealthier cooked fare.  Some of their Vegan faves: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes, Buckwheat Soba Noodles, Vegetable Sushi, Steamed Sweet Potato, Steamed Artichokes, Baked Potato Chips, Peanut (or Raw Almond) Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Pasta Alfredo, Pasta with a very simple Tomato Sauce, Chinese Dumplings, Sloppy Joes, Fajitas, Zucchini Bread… They don’t seem to like beans all that much.

6. Remind them that there are Raw Vegan Cookies and other Sweets too.  While I prefer fresh foods, I do make some treats for my family occasionally as well.

Other Resources:

How To Transition The Family Into More Raw Vegan Foods

Top 10 Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits and Veggies

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

I Want My Pooh Bear Smoothie

11 May

A Smoothie for All Seasons

I can’t say it’s always easy feeding my family vegetables.  Fruits are easy, but vegetables can be tough – particularly greens.  Sometimes, as soon as my son sees a huge plate of salad in front of him, he sulks “Oh no!!!! Not again!!!! Why can’t I just drink my favorite smoothie???”

Admittedly, the easiest way to get my son to eat more greens is through green smoothies.  My husband and son love them with breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.  I will make a big batch to last 1 to 2 days, to make sure there’s always some available in the fridge.

Here is our basic smoothie, which my son says, “Tastes just like honey!” although the recipe only contains fruit. We have named it our Pooh Bear Smoothie.  We enjoy it several times a week.  Hope you do too!

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 dates, optional but children prefer a sweeter smoothie

2 cups or 2 big pieces of seasonal fruit

We love pear, mango and berries, but any seasonal fruit will do. In the Fall: pears, persimmons, pineapples and pomegranate, Winter: citrus fruits and pears, Spring: apricots, mango, pineapples and strawberries, Summer: any berries, pitted cherries, figs and peaches.

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Spring and Summer)

4 cups seasonal leafy greens (or more)

2 cups water (less or more depending on your preferred consistency)

Enjoy!

Raw Wild Edibles

24 Apr

Two weeks ago, I went on a Holistic Moms Network nature walk with Matthew Kip, of the Community Gardens at University of South Carolina, to learn about Wild Edibles.  It was fascinating watching Matt point out all the edible weeds around us.  I couldn’t believe there was so much food along our local river walk.  An abundance of food FREE for anyone to eat! Yet, we were the only ones enjoying them.

I have to admit that as I took my turn in trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I felt sort of like a wild animal, all at once one with nature. It was an amazing experience to watch the children especially foraging for their own wild edibles, pointing to various green weeds and asking “Mama, can I have some?  Can I eat that?” and picking some more for later.

I was very happy to be able to share this wild (yet most natural) experience with my son.

Here are our favorite tastes from the walk:

Chickweed: great as a salad green, tastes very mild. We made a green smoothie with a whole bunch when we got home. Yum.

Wood Sorrel (looks like a 3 leaf clover): sour, tastes a little like lemon peel. I found some in my garden and ate it off the ground!

Bullbrier: the best taste of the day! I never tasted anything like this. Absolutely delicious! Wish I grabbed a bunch before heading home. It would have made a great raw salad.

Note: I also learned that wild plants have dynamic accumulators, which means they have tap roots that seep up a whole array of micro-nutrients from the soil, making them very nutritious indeed!

Resources:

Eat The Weeds – a great web resource, he also posts youtube videos on various wild edibles: chickweed, wood sorrel and bullbrier 1 and 2.

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guide) – a field guide

NPR’s Foraging the Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens – I love that the Holistic Moms Network is so up to date with what is going on in other places!  Thanks Toni for the link!

The Forager’s Harvest – a guidebook

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

Berry Spirulina Smoothie

16 Feb

Berry Spirulina Smoothie

We love spirulina in smoothies.  This is one of my son’s favourites.  High in protein (50-70%) and vitamin B12, spirulina is also rich in essential fatty acids,  vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, D and E, and many minerals such as potassium.

Process in a high speed blender:

1 tbspn spirulina

2 dates, pitted

3 bananas

1 pint fresh organic strawberries (or blueberries)

1 cup water (more for blueberries)

We Love Bananas

1 Feb

 

Banana Lollipops: A Treat Anytime of the Day! Slice bananas, skewer with toothpick, freeze if desired, serve topped with chocolate sauce (equal parts raw honey and raw cacao powder) and sprinkle with chopped nuts or seeds or dried shredded coconut or dried fruit.

We love bananas at our house.  Some days, our 4 year old can eat 4 in a row.  Although we eat a varied array of fruits, some friends have cautioned that 2 bananas a day is one too many.  Needless to say, I was worried about his excessive banana consumption possibly causing hyperkalemia.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 medium banana has 467.28mg of potassium.  The recommended daily intakes of dietary potassium are (and equivalents in bananas, assuming other potassium rich foods are not consumed):

  • Infants birth – 6 months: 500 mg or 13 mEq (around 1 banana)
  • Infants 7 months – 12 months: 700 mg or 18 mEq (around 1 1/2 bananas)
  • Children 1 year: 1,000 mg or 26 mEq (around 2 bananas)
  • Children 2 – 5 years: 1,400 mg or 36 mEq (around 3 bananas)
  • Children 6 – 9 years: 1,600 mg or 41 mEq (around 3 1/2 bananas)
  • Children over 10 years and Adults, including pregnant and nursing women: 2,000 mg or 51 mEq (around 4 bananas)

However, research also suggests that doctors believe, like Dr. Jennifer Shu of CNN states here:

“A diet that is high in potassium may also be the cause [of hyperkalemia], although if a person’s kidneys are working properly, the extra potassium is usually removed from the body through the urine.”

So, we continue to enjoy our bananas heartily – but as they say, too much of anything isn’t good for you.  We make sure we have many other fruits available and don’t eat excessive amounts of bananas everyday!

What do we do with our bananas?

Breakfast Puddings – to make them thick

Smoothies – to make them smooth

Wrappers – so they are not too brittle when we use them as sandwich wrappers

Ice Cream – to make them healthy

Lollipops (recipe above) – to give your kid something fun and still healthy to eat!

Popsicles – place smoothie mix in popsicle molds, freeze and voila!  Yes, even the ones with greens work!

Fast Food Snacks – just peel and enjoy.

Holiday Smoothies

30 Nov
Our favourites this season:


Pineapple Julius
Delicious! 
1/2 a pineapple, 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Pink Smoothie
We were surprised at how yummy this was.  Strain for kids or the texture sensitive.
3 bananas, 3 pomegranates seeds, 1 cup water
Tastes Just Like Honey   
My son says this tastes just like honey.
3 bananas, 2 pears, 2 dates, 4 cups leafy greens, 2 cups water

Inspire Kids To Make Their Own Smoothie!!!

28 May

Here’s the video from The Raw Family!

10 Green Smoothie Recipes

14 May
Click here for Victoria Boutenko’s 10 Green Smoothie Recipes!!

Raw Green Powder in Fruit Smoothies

11 Apr
Sometimes we need a break from our raw Green Smoothies.  So the next best thing for us is a Fruit Smoothie with some green powder.  The flavor is not overpowering and the color of the smoothie does not change – so our son and my husband easily consume these fruit smoothies when they are tired of seeing pure green drinks in their glasses. We use 2 types of powders.  One is Products for Life Multivitamin Formulas Perfect Food™ Raw.  It is raw green powder from greens, sprouts, vegetables, with chlorophyll, trace minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics.  The other is Barley Max, which is high in enzymes, essential amino acids, protein, vitamins A and E, folate, zinc, manganese and potassium. Note: we used to use another brand but it contained maltodextrin, which none of us agreed with.  So check your labels!

One of our favourite fruit smoothies is the old favourite Straw-Anna. Ours is raw of course. 

Puree in a Vita-Mix:
10 oz frozen organic strawberries
2 fresh organic bananas, peeled
1 – 1 1/2 cups water (depending on how thin/thick you want it)
1 – 2 tablespoons raw organic coconut butter/oil, like Artisana or Wilderness Family Naturals
1 tablespoons raw local honey
1 – 2 servings of any green powder

My husband and son love Acai drinks – but these are really ‘dead’.  When they crave their purple juice, I  try to make Cherry Smoothies and add some green powder instead.

Blend together:
2 cups organic frozen cherries
1 cup water
1 serving raw green powder

Say No to Dinner in a Can

8 Mar
Andy Warhol used themes from popular America in his Pop Art.
As this Cream of Mushroom Soup work of art suggests, dinner from a can is very popular!

I know of family recipes that are based solely on canned soups and vegetables.  And growing up, I remember enjoying Pork and Beans, Corned Beef Hash and Cream of ‘X’ Soup.  Today, I make our family’s food fresh  from scratch.
Healthy Child Healthy World recently cited the top 10 toxic products we don’t need:
1. Air fresheners
2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners
3. Canned food
4. Pesticides
5. Dry-cleaning
6. Bottled water
7. Rubber duckies
8. Couch cushions
9. Perfume and cologne
10. Oil-based paints and finishes
And yes – canned food is #3 on the list – foods that are acidic and high in fat in particular, contain high levels of BPA which leach from the epoxy lining of the can. 

If you are like me and worry about BPA levels, GREENS could completely block the negative effects of BPA, especially spinach and whole soy products. Our solution = GREEN SMOOTHIES!  We love Green Smoothie Revolution, especially the chapter on Green Smoothies for Kids. Our son’s (and my husband’s) favourite green smoothies are:

1. 1 pineapple + 4 cups spinach
2. 6 pitted dates + 5 cups of lettuce + 2 cups of water 

3. 1 cup strawberries + 2 bananas + 1/2 bunch romaine + 2 cups water

More recipes here.

We will now say NO to anything canned!  (But we still love Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soups!)