Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (with hidden greens ;)


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Hey everyone! I figured it was time to share another recipe, since it has been quite some time since my last post!  Recently I have had a few people ask me for some of my smoothie recipes. Truthfully, I don’t usually follow a recipe when making smoothies; I just throw things into my Vitamix without measuring and most of the time it seems to work out well. I find that smoothies are a fantastic way to incorporate vegetables into the diet that many kids wouldn’t normally eat on their own. I personally love to add a variety of greens to my morning smoothies, such as kale and spinach. They are fairly quick to prepare and make for a nutritious breakfast.

However, Sebastian has been less interested in smoothies lately, so I wanted to try a new one out to spark his interest once again. I am happy to report that he really enjoyed it, and maybe your kids will, too! 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 Cups Silk Almond Coconut Blend (but you can use any milk of your choice)

1/2 of a frozen banana

1.5 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1-2 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder ( I use Navitas Naturals brand or buy raw cacao powder in bulk at the health food store)*

handful of organic baby kale

handful of organic baby spinach

handful of ice cubes

1 medjool date (optional if you want to add more sweetness)

* If you don’t have raw cacao powder, feel free to substitute with regular cocoa powder. I prefer raw cacao powder because it is less processed and contains more nutrients. If you are interested in learning more, watch this short video about some of the health benefits of raw cacao by one of my favourite bloggers-Mama natural. 🙂

Directions:

Throw everything into your blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! (I use the smoothie function on my blender, it’s great!)

Note: To get a really smooth smoothie, I recommend using a powerful blender, such as a Vitamix, Blendtec, HealthMaster, Nutribullet or Ninja, to name a few.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Pudding…Ch-Ch-Ch-try it!

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA…remember that commercial about the Chia pets? I do, too! But, today I will be talking about chia seed pudding….Mmm Mmm Mmmmm!

Chia seeds are very versatile because they can be used in a number of ways. They are a great addition to baking, smoothies and, especially, as a pudding because they absorb liquid and plump up. How cool is that! Sebastian LOVES chia pudding, which I am thrilled about because it is not only delicious, it is also nutritious!  It took me a little while to get past the tapioca-like texture, but now I really enjoy it as well. I have made many different kinds, including vanilla,chocolate, and strawberry chia pudding. But after experimenting today, I made my favourite kind to date….peanut butter chocolate chip chia pudding. Creamy, peanut chocolatey goodness!!!

Why eat chia seeds? Well, these little gems have many health benefits. For example, they are a great source of fiber, protein, calcium and Omega- 3 fatty acids, among other things, which I encourage you to read about  here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html

Peanut butter chocolate chip chia pudding

Ingredients:

3 tbsp chia seeds (I use Organic ChiaNutra, which I found at Costco)

1 cup almond milk (I use Silk unsweetened, but I am sure you can use any other type of milk, I just haven’t tried with any other milk)

For the peanut butter chocolate chip mixture:

5-6 tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter (I use Nuts to You Nut butter, but any natural peanut butter would work)

1 tsp organic raw honey (I use Organic unpasteurized honey from Costco)

3 tsp organic coconut sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic coconut Palm Sugar from the Superstore or Zehrs)

1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic brand that I can find at Zehrs or Nature’s Emporium)

2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp chocolate chips (I use enjoy life mini chips)

Steps

1) Begin by measuring out 3 tablespoons of chia seeds into a cup or container. I like to use a cup or container with a lid.

2) Measure out 1 Cup of Almond milk and add to chia seeds. Stir.

3) Put this into the refrigerator to give the chia seeds time to absorb the almond milk. I usually do these first steps in the evening before I go to bed and let it sit in the fridge over night. You will know it is ready to use when it is a thick and not overly runny.

4) While you are waiting, measure out the peanut butter, honey, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and almond milk and put into a small food processor or magic bullet and mix until well blended.

5) When the chia is plump and ready to go, add the peanut butter mixture to it and use a hand blender to mix well.

6) Stir in your chocolate chips.

7) Enjoy. Best tasting when chilled, in my opinion. 🙂

 

 

Yummy grain-free pancakes….and your kids won’t even know they are made with plantains!!

Here is a link to one of my favourite pancake recipes by The Paleo Mom, which I will most likely make tomorrow because my family and I LOVE them.

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/perfect-paleo-pancakes.html

(There is even a video at the end about plantains and how to peel them…very helpful!)

I had never cooked with plantains before this recipe and, to be honest, I was somewhat skeptical about the whole thing. But, to my surprise, they were delicious! I was amazed that you could use plantains in place of grains. I even made chocolate chip plantain muffins and they were equally delicious. I will post that recipe later…stay tuned.

For more info on plantains and their health benefits, visit this link:

http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/diet-diva/health-benefits-plantains

Enjoy! 🙂

My first post…finally!

Hello all!

I have finally started a blog! I was a bit hesitant at first because I thought, “Who is actually going to read it?! I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to say!” But, after much encouragement from my husband, friends and fellow mamas, I decided to give it a shot.

Here it goes…

I am using this blog as a means of posting information I find meaningful as well as healthy recipes, both ones I have tried from other wonderful bloggers and ones that I have created. Hopefully some of the recipes I post will appeal to you and your picky toddlers!

I would like to think that I have always been a fairly healthy eater, but sInce having my lovely little boy, Sebastian, I have taken my healthy eating to a new level. Even before Sebastian was born my husband and I were committed to providing him with the healthiest food possible to give him the best start in life. We do our very best to avoid processed food and refined sugar and only buy nutritious, locally grown and organic food. Of course, we still have treats, but I sweeten with alternatives to refined sugar, such as raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, bananas and apple sauce. I also bake using a variety of healthy grains, such as spelt, teff, brown rice and quinoa, or grain-free substitutes like almond flour, coconut flour and plantains.

I have learned so much about food and cooking since Sebastian was born and I continue to read, search for and create new recipes to appeal to my newly-picky toddler. He was such a GREAT eater until the age of 2 and then it began….he can find and pick out TINY pieces of anything he chooses not to like in his meals, one day he likes broccoli and the next he hates it, he tells me he doesn’t like food before he even tries it, AFTER I have spent a long time preparing it for him, and it seems as though every meal involves a negotiation of some kind! (My mom tells me it is Karma, since I was the pickiest child in the world, apparently). His new-found pickiness (is this even a word? lol) has caused me to become more creative in hiding vegetables and making food more fun for him.

Here’s hoping you enjoy some of the links and recipes I post and that some appeal to your children, too! 🙂