I am a first-time Mom on a budget. In this ongoing blog series, I explore ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both my baby and husband. I’m having fun sharing my trials and tribulations of trying to cook healthfully and economically, while at the same time pleasing my family. I started out simple by turning mashed up baby foods into soups, like creating a vegetable soup out of a pea base and a carrot ginger soup from locally grown carrots. I even turned one of my purees into a zucchini pesto. I have experimented with finger foods, too. Today, I will make a green smoothie. When I was growing up, there were things that my mother always said to me, such as, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” At dinnertime, she would say, “Eat your greens” and “You can’t have dessert until you clean your plate.” Now that I am a Mom, I find myself saying some of the same things to my son. But I’ve changed the rules. At my house, you can have your greens and dessert all in one. With green smoothies, I’ve convinced both my husband and my son that eating greens can actually be fun. Not sold yet? Well, I challenge you to drink your greens. Dark leafy greens are abundant in a multitude of nutrients, particularly when compared to their caloric content, making them just about the most nutrient-dense food we can eat. Your family’s worth it, right? And this smoothie is so sweet and delicious that you don’t need any added sweeteners. Give it a try! Ingredients:
2 organic pears, peeled
1 large organic banana
1 handful of organic strawberries
1 organic orange
3 large handfuls of spinach
1 ½ cups of water
First, start by inviting your baby into the kitchen with you. I have found that if I provide my son with a few kitchen gadgets (like measuring spoons and pots), that he enjoys making music while I prepare the food. Just be careful to make sure that your baby is far enough away from you while you do the chopping. (Now, I really sound like a Mom, don’t I?) Peel the pears. Then quarter them and cut out their cores (just like you would with an apple). Place these pears into the blender. Peel your banana, cut it in half and place it in the blender as well. Now you are ready to add some strawberries. Fresh or frozen ones will work, but I prefer frozen for the smoothie because it adds a bit more texture to your drink. Now, take an orange and cut it in half. Then simply, squeeze the orange juice into the blender. This citrus fruit will add some zing to your smoothie.
Now that we have added all of the fruits, take 3 large handfuls of spinach leaves and wash them in a colander. I like spinach because it is soft and blends well. But kale, collards, chard and other greens work as well. Then place the greens in the blender on top of the fruits. And finally, add 1½ cups of water. At this point, I pick up by son and hold him while he presses the button on the blender. He loves to watch the fruits and vegetables spin around. My blender has a special smoothie button that lasts 60 seconds. But you can simply puree or whip the smoothie to the consistency that you prefer. And voila! We have a healthful, delicious green smoothie. What fun! My family has discovered an exciting way to drink the wonderful vitamins and nutrients that green vegetables offer and the taste is amazing! In fact, when I present this “treat” to my baby and husband, they both guzzle it down. Yum!