Faster than a…Nutribullet!

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I am proud to say, that I am a new owner of a Nutribullet!

My parents surprised me with one for Christmas, and in the two months since, it has been very loved and used!

The approach of the Nutribullet is to take regular fruits, vegetable, nuts, and seeds, put them in the container and BLEND them to make a quick and easy smoothie to consume on the go. It blends the ingredients so small that it is very easy to drink.

Nutribullet suggests making a smoothie with 50% greens (such as spinach or kale), and the other 50% fruit. Finally sprinkle fats, such as nuts, over the top. Since we have been blending for quite some time now, I can tolerate the flavors of “green smoothies.” But if the idea of having a green smoothie isn’t your favorite, and you want the benefits of greens in your diet, Nutribullet suggests starting off with smoothies as low at 25% greens and work your way up as you get used to the flavor (or mindset!!!).

The great thing about mixing greens in with fruit…and I’ve said this time and time again on this blog!….you CANNOT taste the greens, especially a mild one like spinach, when you mix it with fruits. But you get the awesome benefits of the greens!

My favorite morning blend:

  • 1 hand full of spinach
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • a few chunks of pineapple
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin (because I HATE orange/squash veggies…and know I need to get them somehow!)
  • 1 banana

Talk about your hardy breakfast!!! If I run that morning and need a few more carbs to keep me going for the morning, I might mix in 1/4 cup of oats.

Happy blending!

Kelly

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Smoothie

I love smoothies….my kids love smoothies…..Shawn loves smoothies. All I have to say is: “It’s smoothie time!” And all four kids come running.

I’ve posted another recipe using blueberries and almond milk. Then hiding some spinach in the mixture. Sounds gross (it’s not!), but I feel better, because my kids get some greens, and it’s completely undetectable in flavor. (SCORE!)

Here is another smoothie recipe that is “super good.” (quote from Hannah Grace, 8) She gave the smoothie it’s name after trying it. This is a very hardy smoothie that is really perfect anytime of the day. I could see eating this for breakfast or a mid afternoon snack.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Smoothie

You will need:

  • 2 cups frozen banana (about 2 whole bananas)
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 T. mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Put all the ingredients in the mixer (I have an$80 Ninja that has a broken lid….so I don’t want to hear any complaints!). Blend well, and then pour into a cup. Enjoy!
Kelly

 

Break the Fast

“Breakfast is the most imp0rtant meal of the day!”

Yeah, we’ve all heard that. But truly, IT IS the most important meal of the day. It is the meal where you literally break your fast from the night. It kick starts your metabolism.

I’ve never had a problem eating breakfast. I usually starving within an hour of waking up. But I know for quite a few people, it is a problem. Many people actually make lunch their first meal of the day. This is not good for many reasons; you are not giving your body energy (calories) to start your day off right. Your body was designed to eat.

I’ll never forget what my trainer said to me: “Eat breakfast! Something, ANYTHING, just eat something!”

Our mornings, probably much like yours, are a little crazy. We are trying to get the day started and well, it’s nuts. Here are some quick breakfast ideas for you that will give you a healthy start to your day:

1. Oatmeal: Yup, good old fashioned oatmeal. We eat this most mornings. It cooks up fast and I’ve heard from my AWESOME readers that there are a huge variety of stuff you can use to flavor it up. Cranberries, almonds, maple syrup, peanut butter, dates, or fruit. I loved all the feed back on Facebook on this fun topic! My personal favorite is 1/2 cup oats, (water), blueberries, and walnuts. YUM!

2. Powered up cereal: I’m not a big fan of cold cereal as it’s usually loaded with junk and sugar. I found some brown rice cereal at Sprouts that is only just that: puffed brown rice. Nothing more is added! Anyways, we do this sometimes for a quick breakfast. I always add in some “extra power,” by loading up the cereal with tons of fresh or dried fruit. Today was bananas and cranberries. (Yeah, yeah, I need to go to the store….) Usually I add in strawberries and peaches too. It’s a huge breakfast for these little guys, but a good start to the day. And for the “sprinkles” (thank you, Holly at My Plant Based Family, for the idea!) I added chia seeds over the top.

3. Smoothies: We love smoothies. (You can check out this link to see what kind of smoothies we make.) We don’t just eat them for breakfast either. Sometimes it’s a snack….or dinner, depending on the day. 😉 We add in different things too. But I always try to include some greens. Spinach is the most “blendable” as far as the flavor goes. You can sneak it into your drink and you’ll never know it’s there. We have a cheap Ninja blender. It was $80 at the store. It’s nothing fancy, but it does the job. We also always use almond or coconut milk (never water). The “milk” helps make it thicker and in my opinion, taste a little creamier. Then add in your favorite fruits or whatever your heart desires 🙂

Anyways, there is a million ideas for breakfast!

What’s your favorite meal to break your fast??

Kelly

Freezer Peaches…With Step-by-Step Directions!

Peaches are kind of a “June-thing” here in Texas. The super hot summers kill the fruit pretty quickly. Around the first week in June, our family packed up the car and headed out to Fredricksberg and grabbed up several boxes of white flesh peaches. We filled our fridge with peaches…and surprisingly, we ate all those peaches too! I think I only had to throw out one or two.

Peaches are “on sale” right now at the grocery store. The are grown local, but you can tell, just by feeling them, that the summer was hot. They are rock hard. But, I’m missing the taste of fresh peaches, and we have 9 months until the fresh new crop is ready. I know too, that as September drives on and winter gets closer, fruit prices are going to go up!

Last time we went to the store, I decided to buy about 30 peaches, even though they weren’t the best. I paid $1.19/pound.  (Can you see that I’m desperately holding onto the summer fruit!?!?) When I bought them, they were all rock hard. I let them sit out on the counter for a few days and thankfully they softened up some.

I really wanted to try canning them, but for some reason, canning fruit and vegetables is completely terrifying to me. I know it’s not that scary, but when I get to the part about “put the jar in the water bath for 20 minutes….” I just throw in the towel.

So, canning these peaches was out, and I decided to try freezing the peaches! This was so easy and I was able to make 8 quart-sized bags of peaches in about an hour. (and I should mention that during that hour, I was interrupted about 20 times and had to clean up 3 accidents…)

Directions:

Step One: Select a child to peel the stickers off of all the fruit. Preferably a younger one who thinks the fruit stickers are still cool. If you don’t have a young child, have an older one do the job and “pay them” with extra Wii-time 😉 If you don’t have a child in the house to do the job….well then, you know what you have to do.

Step Two: Wash fruit off and slice an “X” in the bottom of the fruit. This will help peel the peel off of the fruit. Which leads us to…..Step three.

Step Three: Blanch the peaches. Or if your like me, and have absolutely no idea how to blanch something, here’s what you do: Have a pot of boiling water and a pot of ice cold water right next to it. Put 4-5 peaches in the boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and immediately put them in the ice water.

Step Four: After the peaches have been sitting in the ice water for 1-3 minutes (or longer, if your me and have to go rescue a child from the roof of his playhouse…) gently pull away the peel of the peach. I found out the more ripe peaches, the better the peels separate.

Step Five: Stand back and admire your hard work of peeling the peaches without totally destroying the fruit. 🙂 “Ah, my Mom would be so proud….”

Step Six: Cut up your beautiful peaches and shove them into Ziplock freezer bags. I have been reading about how fruit can get freezer burn easily, so to avoid this, I used white grape juice as the liquid in the bag. You can make a syrup out of sugar and water, but that kind of defeats the purpose of fruit, right?…anyways, Pour white grape juice in the bag until it seemed full enough to cover the peaches, and then I closed it and labeled the bag.

Simple, right! Totally…..Maybe some day I’ll buck up and try canning, but until then, I’m totally diggin’ the freezer stuff!

Kelly

What’s THAT?: Meet Kale

Meet Kale. It may not be that weird, but it was weird to me when it was first mentioned that I should eat it. WHAT? It’s strange looking and not what usually shows up in my salad.

My trainer, Jenn, had added it in to my meal plan, and when I saw it, I quickly replied: “Um, can I just eat spinach.” She let me substitute it, and it wasn’t until I saw the movie Forks over Knives that I realized it was a superfood that everyone should be eating everyday!

Joel Fuhrman, author of many nutrition books including “Eat to Live” puts kale as 1000 on the list of the most nutrient dense foods! Translation: probably THE most important, nutritious foods we can eat.

Joel Fuhrman’s list of nutrient dense foods

Here is another poster I found that explains why kale is a superfood to us humans:

Whew, that’s some good stuff!

Okay, so taste part and what to do with it for us “normal people.”

It is a very bitter vegetable. It’s nothing like eating iceberg or happy little romaine. It is beyond me why God would create such an awesome vegetable but then make it taste like dirt. Maybe there are people out there that do like the taste of kale, but for me, it was tough getting down the first few times. But now, after giving it a few tries, I’ve gotten used to the flavor and ways to make it to sneak it into my food.

Here are a few ways to eat it:

  • Make kale chips
  • Eat it raw: remove stems, and put it into a bowl with olive oil and a little bit of salt (takes away the bitter taste)
  • Mix it in with something: like “Bubble and Squeak”!
  • Buy baby kale (which is less bitter), and mix it in with your romaine salad
  • Juice it! It goes pretty well through a juicer, and then you can add an apple to take away some of the flavor.
  • Blend it! This is what I do for my kids: In a blender, mix kale, blueberries, almond milk, and strawberries…you will never taste the kale, trust me, kid approved! 😉
  • Saute it! In a pan, mix together olive oil, salt, and kale. Cook lightly until soft.

Kale is found at most all grocery stores. I always thought it was one of those “special vegetables” that only came from Whole Foods. Well, I was wrong; kale is pretty much everywhere I’ve been, and it’s not a special Whole Foods vegetable. It’s about as common as iceberg.

I’m still learning how to cook with kale, anyone have any favorite recipes or uses? Would love to hear from you, please share! 🙂

Happy kale eating!

Kelly

Mean, Green, Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of working my “alternative baking” booth at a Wellness Fair. Directly across from my booth, was a fellow “healthy friend.” She sells Juice Plus, but does it out of a passion for promoting healthy bodies/healthy eating. Our booths were open from 10-2, so during that time she got to hear my pitch to the people about 50 times, and I got to hear hers.

One thing I kept hearing her say over and over again was the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Well, duh, I know this, but the more people I was hearing her talk to, the more I was thinking about my own personal diet and if I was actually consuming enough fruits and vegetables. After much thought, I realized the answer was a glaring NO. Oh man, here I am preaching healthy eating, but I’m neglecting a major part of my plate! I was maybe getting 2 servings of fruits and veggies A DAY! Then I starting think about my kids diet and if they were lacking too.

A big part of my problem is laziness. I actually LOVE LOVE raw, cooked, any-which-way-veggie. Why am I so short on them? Lazy, Lazy, Lazy. Veggies are super good for you, and there aren’t really many calories in them, depending on the kind. So this week, I’ve been focusing on fruits and veggies and making sure we all get our daily dose, plus some!

Breakfast seemed like the perfect place to put a bunch of healthy nutrition, and plus, Hannah Grace decided that she was tired of our “standard breakfast.” Thus, our “Mean, Green, Fruit and Veggie Smoothie” was born.

The recipe isn’t a secret, and I’m sure it’s been done a thousand times by many other chefs. I used whatever I had in my house, and made sure it had it all: fruit, veggie, and protein.

In a blender (I have a $70 Ninja…so nothing fancy needed!) add:

  • 8 oz. almond milk,
  • 1 c. fresh spinach,
  • 1/2 c. pineapple,
  • 1/2 c. blueberries,
  •  3 strawberries,
  • 1 teaspoon of flaxseed.

Blend. Sprinkle in your choice of protein powder and enjoy!

I know it sounds weird with the spinach, but I promise you can’t taste it! I feel great about about serving this to my kids. I know now they are getting some fresh greens, because it is hard to get that down them!

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