It’s an issue I hear lots of parents talking about. How to get your children to eat vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, beets are on the forefront of my mind when I ask the question. We have some success with steamed broccoli and one of my children will eat beets in a salad I make. But, I have discovered the easiest way to feed them those green veggies…
This is the problem. How to eat these?
Step 1: Toss a bunch of fruit into a blender. I use frozen berries. Sometimes, I’ll have frozen mango or cherries. Add in a banana and milk or yogurt.
Step 2: Add your steamed green veggie. In this case, it’s broccoli. But, sometimes it’s spinach or beet greens (or some combination).
Step 3: Add in any other food that you want to sneak in. I like to add ground flax for a little Omega 3 in the mix. You may also need a little honey, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
Step 4: Blend!
Step 5: Pour into an ice tray and add popsicle sticks. I have little helpers for this part 😉 (Please excuse the messy counter. Making coleslaw was next on my list.)
Step 6: Enjoy!!! 🙂
How do you get your children to eat veggies?
It's January 10. Most people are still doing well with their resolutions. Gyms are full. “Health food stores” are busy. Lots of people are putting on those running shoes and getting out to walk or run. But, did you know that by March, most of the people doing all those things won't be doing them anymore? We all know that most resolutions don't stick. That's why a lot of people either make the same resolution over again every year or give up making resolutions.
How can a resolution turn into reality? It's easier said than done; but, it is possible!
1. Make Sure It's A Realistic Resolution. If you don't workout on a regular basis, you may not want to start with the goal of working out every day. You could burn out and lose interest quickly. Instead, you could aim to work out 3 times a week. You can increase it once 3 times a week becomes a habit (after about 4-6 weeks).
2. Make Sure It's Measurable. “Eating Healthy” is a fine goal. But, that can mean so many things to so many different people. Make it easier on yourself and decide what exactly you are going to change. “I will substitute my lunchtime bag of chips for an apple.” Or, “I will one cookie instead of three for dessert.”
3. Take Baby Steps. The way to lifestyle change is not cold-turkey change most of the time; it's one step at a time. Give yourself a few minutes before going back for seconds to give your stomach the time to register (to your brain) that you're already full. Say “no” to the soft drink when you are out to eat. Try baking using almond flour or coconut flour instead of white flour. Slice a smaller piece of cake; or, skip the cake once in a while. You'd be surprised at how little steps will give you make you feel good and motivate you to make more of those choices.
Don't become a March statistic. Make your changes and make them stick.
What do you do turn your resolutions into reality?
Eating a meatless diet can be expensive, especially when making sure I’m still getting the protein and nutrients I need.With a little commitment and a few tweaks I can make it possible to stick to my diet, even on my budget.
Eliminate Junk Food
Junk food, like potato chips, can be vegan. That’s a problem because it’s also inexpensive, convenient or easy to make. When I eliminated even my shopping list it makes my healthier and vegan foods easier to afford. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get to have snacks. I just end up having healthier snacks. Instead of chips I have bagged salad and eat it like chips. I also eat unsalted nuts and raw vegetables.
A Change in Drinks
I drink more water than I used to. I use a filter pitcher so I am not always buying bottled water. I use herbal teas like mint or fruit flavors to enhance the taste of my water without adding calories, sugars, or diet drink chemicals to my beverage. Instead of using soy milk I use almond milk, which is a good source of calcium and protein.
Planning To Eat Out
When going out to eat I check online menus before I even get to the restaurant. This way I know what I’m getting, I know it’s in my price range and I know if it’s in accordance with my vegan diet. It also gives me time to change plans if the restaurant doesn’t have anything I can make a meal of.
I used to love refried beans. Over the years, as I began to become more health conscious, I found that it wasn’t very difficult to give them up, since I rarely ate them to begin with. However, once in a while, at a Mexican restaurant, I give in. And, it’s always a little reminder that I wish I could get or make a healthy version of refried beans.
I recently ran across a recipe for refried beans with pinto beans. But I only had black beans in my pantry. So, I thought I’d give ’em a try. And, it worked. It was easy, thrifty and healthy…my favorite combination.
Here’s what I did.
3 cups of black beans
5 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 onion, diced finely
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Soak the beans overnight. I like to cover with as much water as the bowl can hold, at least an inch above the beans.
2. Rinse the beans and put all the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. The beans are ready when they are soft and have popped open.
3. Strain the beans (and reserve the liquid). Then, mash them with a potato masher, food processor or immersion blender. I just used a potato masher. Add liquid to get the consistency you like.
That’s it! Enjoy!
Have you made your own healthy version of a not-so-good-for-you food?
I know that I’m not the only one who LOVES Fall. The weather. The foods. The decorations. The weather. The food. You get the idea 😉 So, about a week or so ago, even though it was 95 degrees out, I went through Starbucks and ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte for myself and a slice of Pumpkin Bread for my children. Happy campers were we! So, I’ve since done the same thing a couple more times. Each time I’ve thought that I could replicate both the drink and the bread at home, and probably much more inexpensively and with much healthier ingredients.
Well, I haven’t attempted my re-make of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, I did a little research into a grain-free pumpkin bread. The only thing is that we grow sweet potatoes in our garden. And, sweet potatoes are so yummy, so healthy that I wanted to use them in my recipe.
So, I searched and searched and found a grain-free pumpkin bread recipe that I played around with and I think we have something that you will enjoy as much as we have!
Here’s the recipe.
1/2 cup of sweet potato purée
1/2 cup of honey
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
3/8 cup of coconut flour (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1. First, I baked my sweet potatoes (the day before so that they would be cool when I used them). I had smaller sized potatoes. So, I baked them for about one hour at 400 degrees. Incidentally, I wrapped them in parchment paper and aluminum foil (because parchment is healthier and won’t leave a residue in the food).
2. Then, mash about 1/2 cup worth of the cooked sweet potato. I had small potatoes. So, I used two of them. I just used a fork to mash them in a bowl.
3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a large bowl and the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.
5. Let the batter sit for about five minutes to give the coconut flour time to absorb the moisture.
6. Then, pour the batter into a loaf pan. (I lined mine with parchment again. This time just to make it easier to cut out without it sticking to the pan.)
7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
And, just so that you know how much my family loved it, here’s a picture of what was left by the end of the night.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! 😉
What’s your favorite fall treat?
It’s a common thought that healthy foods are expensive and junk food is cheap. While it’s true that junk food is incredibly cheap, and healthy food is generally more expensive, there is still hope for cheap healthy foods.
Here’s our list of healthy foods under $1.
Black Beans-the ones in a can are less than a $1 or you can make your own from a bag. It’s high in protein and is a great addition to a meal. It really fills you up and bulks up your meal.
Eggs-usually they are around $.20 per egg and it doesn’t take many to fill you up. Plus there are a million uses for eggs and I mean that literally. The possibilities are endless and they are another incredible source of protein.
Hummus-This is only the homemade version, but I don’t think there is a better treat. HERE is a recipe we posted a while back. Nix the tahini for cost because it doesn’t change the taste too much anyway. Even with all the ingredients, it shouldn’t be more than a $1.
Rice-quite possibly the cheapest food out there. No wonder they use it on survivor the most. It doesn’t have a ton of nutrients, but it’s very cheap and very filling.
Yogurt-You can always find good prices on yogurt and even better prices when they are on sale. Makes for the perfect breakfast and is packed with protein and probiotics.
Popcorn-Just don’t buy the junk version. Make your own. A bag of kernels is around $3 and that will make about 40 servings of popcorn. We posted the “how” to do it without a bag HERE. Popcorn is a great healthy treat! Your kids love it too!
Fruits-Everyone loves fruit right? Some fruit is cheaper than others. Making the cheap list is watermelon (in season), oranges, bananas, and apples. All of these are less than a $1 a serving and are obviously awesome for you!
What’s your favorite cheap, healthy food?
My family and I have really been making the switch to not only more organic whole foods, but to really eliminate processed and fake foods. We prefer to buy food with less than 12 ingredients in them and really know what’s going into our body. I won’t lie, it’s taking a hit on our monthly food budget.
So when I heard we were getting a Natural Grocers chain in our town, I was excited. Bulk means cheap, so I jumped at the grand opening. I learned very quickly that doors like this were good for some things, but that Target and Costco could easily compete with their pricing on organic vegetables and snacks.
Here’s everything I learned.
1. The meats were expensive. But I get that, I understand they had to be. However, if you don’t want to pay those kinds of prices, you’re better off finding someone local who have meat and use them. You’ll be able to still get the same quality, but not nearly the cost.
2. Snacks! I prefer our kids to have healthy snacks and I want to know how to say the ingredients in their lists. Health food stores are AWESOME for that. However when I scoped this place out, I quickly found that Costco and Target had some of the same items wayyy cheaper.
3. Don’t discredit your local grocers. Our store is state running grocer and they have an amazing organic and natural food selection. They are much cheaper than the larger chain for the same foods.
4. Check for sales. Even the larger health food stores have coupons. I was able to get a bag of blue corn chips for less than a $1 with a coupon. You just have to look around to find the deals.
It’s a very common belief that it’s more expensive to eat healthy and with less processed food. And while I’ll be the first to admit that it’s almost always cheaper to buy non-organic, more boxed foods and even frozen foods, but there are some tips to help you buy those healthier foods without breaking your budget.
1. Join a food co-op. These are GREAT ways to get fresh produce and bulk foods for a great price.
2. Shop seasonly. Out of season produce is definitely more expensive, so when you can eat in season. If you want to enjoy some of those veggies or fruits all year long think about canning or freezing them.
3. Buy in bulk. It’s just cheaper.
4. Have a cow. No really, have a cow. One way we saved a ton of money was buying a cow and splitting the cost of it after the processing with another family. We paid around $2.50 a pound for all cuts of meat. That included steak as well! You can also know where your meat is coming from and assure you get the best quality.
5. Read the sales paper. Even some health stores will put out sales papers and a lot of times you can find cheaper deals than your regular foods. For example, this week Target has had Auntie Ann’s macaroni and cheese on sale for $1 a box!
6. Stock up on sale items. When you see things like olive oil and nuts buy them up. They take longer to go bad and regularly are kind of expensive items.
What are your tips for saving on healthier foods?