Food, Glorious Food…and how to get more of the good stuff

Jessica photo for The JourneyThe women at The Journey have been chatting…and one of our goals for the month of May was to do more for kids.  We want to promote healthier lifestyles for not only ourselves but make this a family thing.  And…those of us with kiddos in school know that our life is changing as soon as that last bell rings for the school year.  *for me…that is 11 more school days*

Eating healthy can be a challenge but…we need to.  Not only do we need to figure that out for ourselves but also get those healthy habits developed for our kiddos.  No matter how hard we try though…sometimes we just can’t get that one kid to eat specific things that we know are so important.  Do you have one of those kids?  Maybe it isn’t a kid…but you or a spouse?

One of our writers, Jenny, is sharing her tips today and recipe on how she adds in some extras for her kiddos.  This is one thing that I actually started doing a year or so ago with kale, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes…and other foods that I just couldn’t get my kiddos or day care kiddos to eat on their own.  Today, I still have little Ziploc bags of these items in my freezer ready to just add into a meal.  Super easy to add in those extra vitamins and goodness for my family.

Those were my tips…and here are Jenny’s amazing ideas!

– Jessica

jenny picHere are some ways to get more veggies into your diet–I call it veggiefy.

I started making my own baby food for my second daughter and realized it was simple, fast, easy and really fresh.  This got me started thinking about how to increase the level of veggies in our diet as a family.  My older daughter had also hit the picky eater stage of not wanting to eat tons of veggies and fruit anymore.  She would eat applesauce, apples, bananas, carrots and sometimes sweet potatoes.  Hence the superfood blend originated.  I add it to all sorts of things!

superfood.pngSuperFood Blend

Instructions:

  • Steam whatever you want or have on hand to create your own superfood blend.
  • Take a small saucepan and add ⅓ water, put lid on and let it come to a boil.  I use a metal mesh colander (see picture below) and put the veggies and fruit in for 10 minutes or so, until wilted.
  • Put in blender and add filtered water if needed to make it smooth.
  • My base for my blend is organic spinach and blueberries and most weeks it is just that but I will add other fruits or veggies if I have them.  I will also swap organic kale for the spinach to change it up.   I have added to my spinach and blueberry blend–grated carrots, grated zucchini, beets or pineapple, pears or peaches.

Example of a Superfood blend that you can mix up together:

  • 4 cups organic spinach
  • 2 sprigs broccoli or ⅓ beet (optional)
  • 4 baby carrots (optional)
  • ⅓-½ cup blueberries

 applesauce superfood.pngWhat can you add this mixture to?  Here are a few ideas that we use it for at my house:

  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce (⅓ SF Blend to ⅔ Applesauce)
  • Smoothies
  • Quickbreads (banana bread, etc.) 1 TBSP
  • PB & J (mixed in with the jelly)

How do you get your family to eat more veggies besides the superfood blend? Here are some ideas which is similar to what Jessica was talking about.

  • Frozen finely shredded carrots
  • Frozen finely shredded zucchini
  • Frozen spinach
  • Your veggies of choice

superfood recipe adds.jpgWhat to add to them to, you ask?

  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Pasta Dishes
  • Ground Beef (Sloppy Joes, Meat Sauce, Tacos Meat, Chili, etc.)
  • Chinese Chicken Recipes
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Pizza (Spinach works best since it can be crumbled very finely and looks like spices.)

I finely shred (the finest you can is best if kiddos are picky eaters) organic big carrots about once a month and stick them in Ziploc brand (BPA free) snack size bags (1-2 carrots per bag).  I also shredded lots of zucchini this past summer, using the same method.  If my spinach is looking a little sad or I buy two big containers of it, I will freeze one.  The spinach crumbles while frozen and disintegrates pretty well into the food. Then I have these three veggies on hand in the freezer.  When I am cooking, I just plop the frozen veggies into the meat or sauces and they cook down nicely.  Most weeks, we get two veggies in there but some weeks it is all three. 🙂

What foods do you think you can add into your meals?  Share how creative you are going to get and share your tips in the comments!

Jenny

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