Vibrant Smoothie Bowl

These just look so amazing and taste amazing too!  Colour definitely adds to the experience of eating and I just love a smoothie bowl like this with vibrant colours, different textures and lots of nutrients.  This is the kind of breakfast I want on my patio on a summer morning!  Or if you are having guests over this would be a lovely spread for the morning!

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I started mine with a mango coconut smoothie base, then added whatever beautiful fruit I could find along with hemp seeds, coconut, walnuts and granola.  The variations are endless.

For the mango smoothie: (This will make roughly 1 serving depending on bowl size)

1 Cup frozen mango

3/4 cup Coconut Milk

1 Heaping Tbsp. Coconut Greek Yogurt

Blend until ingredients are combined (You may have to stop and move it around with a spoon).  You want it to be a thicker consistency than a normal smoothie so you can scoop it up with a spoon!  Pour into a bowl and add toppings of your choice.

The toppings featured here are coconut, hemp seeds, walnuts, granola, strawberries, mango and dragonfruit.

Play around with your smoothie base…for extra protein you could add some nut butter or protein powder, it’s up to you.

While I was shooting this photo my son must have said “Me have some Mama?” about 15 times….  he finally got his own special bowl….

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Have fun creating in the kitchen!

*Note – to save some time you could even chop up the fruits the night before…..

Easter Parfait

Do you have any little ones that you may want to surprise on Easter morning with a special treat?!

Easter is not that far off and I wanted to create a parfait for my little one on Easter morning.  Yes that’s right ….this can even be eaten for breakfast (it is EASTER after all!), and this treat is not loaded with refined sugar but actual nutrients those little bodies can use.

Potassium, Vitamin C, Fibre, Iron, Magnesium, Antioxidants and Omega 3’s are just some of the nutrients found in this parfait.

It starts with a banana chocolate pudding on the bottom, followed by a mango chia pudding, topped with strawberries, coconut and of course I had to put a little speckled chocolate egg on top…..

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Ingredients:  The parfait is featured here in one large jar.  However this amount will make two small jars (2 servings) for the little ones in your family.  Simply layer the ingredients between two jars as you are assembling them.

The banana chocolate pudding…..

2 Bananas (more on the ripe side)

3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Tbsp honey

Pinch of Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Pour mixture into jar.

The Mango Chia Seed Pudding….

1/2 Cup Frozen Mango

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

1 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (you can use black or white)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Layer mango chia pudding on top of chocolate pudding.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Remove from fridge and top with chopped strawberries (these organic strawberries are so beautiful and deep red in colour!!) or favourite fruit, some shredded coconut and a little surprise on top of your choice.

Have a fantastic Easter !!!!!! 

Snack Bars

These are a definite go to in our house!  They are perfect for a morning or afternoon snack and full of nutrients for little ones and the whole family.

They are great to store in the fridge and are my kind of “grab and go” snack.  They have a lot of ingredients but are easy to make with a food processor, and once they’re made you’re covered for the week!

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Ingredients: (Makes about 10-12 squares)

1 cup Toasted Almonds

1 1/2 cups Pitted Dates

1/4 cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

2 Tsp Hemp Seeds

2 Tsp Sesame Seeds

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Sea Salt

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1 cup Rice Crisps (I use Nature’s Path)

1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

To Make:

In a saucepan over medium heat, toast the almonds moving them around so as not to burn them.  Put them in the food processer and process until broken down into tiny pieces.  Add the dates by small handfuls pulsing the processor after each addition until combined.  Slowly add all of the remaining ingredients processing for about 5-10 seconds after each addition.  Process at the end until everything looks well combined, but do not overprocess.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap covering the edges. (I use 2 separate pieces).  Lay the mixture out on the baking sheet pushing it all to one end of the baking sheet. Press firmly into the corners and press down making it even.  Be sure to push it down very firm so it sticks together well (You can use a rolling pin to go over it too).

This is how you want it to look…..

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Put in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm it up.  Remove from the freezer and lift the mixture off by the plastic wrap onto a cutting board.  Cut into squares/bars with a sharp knife and store in the fridge for a week or more.

Organic Veggie Seeds!

The snow is almost gone, the weather is slowly warming up, the birds are starting to sing and I am itching to get our vegetable garden growing!

I am so excited that I managed to find some Organic veggie seeds at the Toronto Home Show!

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There were so many different varieties to choose from but I narrowed it down to beets, eggplant, peas, green beans, large and small tomatoes (including a black cherry variety) and a few herbs.

My toddler and I are going to plant the Black Beauty Eggplant seeds today indoors since they need to be started very early.  I’ve never grown eggplant before but out for a walk last year I scoped some out in a neighbours yard…just hanging out…all dark purple and smooth and scrumptious looking!  Let’s hope ours will be the same (Insert hopeful smile here)  🙂

I have found that having a vegetable garden is a great way to get kids into healthy eating.  My son loves picking off ripe pea pods, cracking them open and popping every last pea into his mouth!  Same goes for cherry tomatoes off the vine.  Yet over the winter he wasn’t interested at all in store bought cherry tomatoes.

So on that note, let them get their hands dirty and see what it’s all about!  They may just surprise you with what they will try.

Check out http://uharvest.ca/shop/ for information on the organic seeds featured here.

 

 

Fish Tacos with Mango Pineapple Salsa

The Salsa and Coleslaw in this recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for even a few days, so all you have to do at dinner time is cook the fish, assemble and eat!

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Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas (about 6)

The Fish:

4 Haddock Fillets (fresh or frozen)

2 Tsp Ancho Chili Pepper Seasoning

The Salsa:

1 Large Mango peeled and chopped into small cubes

10 cherry tomatoes quartered

1/2 cup Pineapple chopped into cubes

1/4 cup Cilantro roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

The Coleslaw:

6 cups Coleslaw (use the pre-packaged to make it easy!)

1/3 cup Greek Yogurt

3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tbsp. Honey

Salt & Pepper

To Make:

Combine all Salsa ingredients in a bowl to combine.

In a small bowl make the Coleslaw: Combine the greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey and salt and pepper.  Pour over cabbage mixture.

Lay fish fillets out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 Tsp of Ancho Chili Pepper seasoning each.  Cook according to directions (frozen) or fresh (approximately 12 minutes or until opaque and flakes apart easily).

You can warm your Corn Tortillas in the oven or grill them on the bbq for a couple of minutes on each side while your fish is cooking (I find them best when grilled…it brings out the flavour).

Assemble the flaked fish, salsa and coleslaw on your Corn Tortillas and Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potatoe with Dill

A great finger food for your baby….as easy as it gets!   Roasted sweet potatoe with dill.

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Chop up 1 peeled sweet potatoe in similar sized small cubes that your baby can handle.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with dill (fresh or dried)

Roast in the oven at 350 degrees on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes until soft when poked with a fork.

Store leftovers in the fridge and eat within a few days.

Cacao Almond Smoothie

This smoothie is like a rich and creamy treat with a hint of chocolate!

Cacao nibs have a chocolate taste but are not as sweet.  They contain magnesium, fibre, iron and antioxidants.  If you are used to milk chocolate these may be an acquired taste.  In this smoothie however there is just a hint of the chocolate, but if you prefer you can also garnish your smoothie with dark chocolate chips instead of the cacao nibs.

Hemp seeds are also a great addition as they provide Omega 3 fatty acids and protein.

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Ingredients:

1 Banana

1 cup Almond Milk

1 Heaping Tbsp Almond Butter

1 Tsp Hemp Seeds

1/2 Tsp Cacao Nibs

3-4 Ice Cubes

*Extra cacao nibs & some shredded coconut for garnish

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Garnish with shredded coconut and cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips.

 

Chipotle Butternut Squash & Black Bean Wraps

This is another very versatile recipe.  It works for the whole family, and with some slight adjustments it’s perfect for kids and even as a great finger food for babies just starting out!

I will start with the general recipe, and down below I will give you some tips for changing it up for the little ones.

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Ingredients:

3 cups Small cubed butternut squash

1/3 Tsp Chipotle Seasoning

1 Tbsp Avocado oil (or other high heat oil)

1/2 cup Chopped Red Onion

1/2 cup Black Beans

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 Tsp honey

Whole Grain Wraps

Goat Cheese

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl to combine.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly.  Roast for 30 minutes. (Ovens may vary so cook until soft when poked with a fork).

Remove from oven and add the mixture back to the same bowl and mix in the black beans, lime juice and honey.  Scoop out desired amount onto 1/3 of your whole grain wrap, sprinkle with goat cheese, fold the ends in and roll it up!  Cut in half and enjoy!

For the little ones…..

I like to make a simple batch for my little ones with only the squash and black beans.  When you’re making this recipe, chop up an extra batch of the squash, drizzle with oil and roast at the same time on a separate baking sheet.

Mix the squash with some of the leftover beans from the can and make a wrap for your toddler or child in the same way (as you can see from the picture my toddler enjoys these!)

Or use the plain squash and bean combo for a finger food for your baby.

*Tip – make a large batch of this and store it in the fridge for a few days.  It’s perfect for a quick lunch for Mama!  Pull it out, throw some on a wrap and done! 

Mama like.

Creamy Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is nice and light and the cashews give it a creamy texture.  The cashews are soaked overnight for easier digestion.  If you are looking for a nut-free option you could substitute half an avocado for the cashews. (You will just end up with a greener looking smoothie)  🙂

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Smoothies are a great way to get in loads of nutrients.  They are especially great for little ones who may not otherwise eat some of the ingredients.  They will NEVER KNOW!  (Insert mischievous grin here).

Ingredients: (Makes about 4 cups of smoothie)

1/2 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water and rinsed clean in the morning)

2 bananas

1 cup chopped pineapple

1 heaping tbsp plain greek yogurt

About 3-4 cups cold water (you can adjust amount of water for desired consistency)

To Make:

Blend all ingredients in blender until silky smooth.  Garnish with grapes and chunks of pineapple.

Enjoy!

Rainbow Salad with Avocado Balsamic Dressing

Get your apron on!  This could get messy.

This salad is so healthy and colourful.  Excellent for a light lunch or as a side.

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Ingredients: (Makes about 5 cups of salad)

2 cups kale thinly chopped

1 medium carrot grated

1/2 of 1 medium sized beet grated

1 cup grated purple cabbage

Pumpkin Seeds

Dried Cranberries

Dressing….(Makes about 1 cup)

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3/4 cup Olive Oil

1 tsp Minced Garlic

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

1/2 Ripe Avocado

Dash of Sea Salt

Dash of Pepper

To Make:

The Salad:

Chop kale thinly and rinse and dry.  Grate the carrot.  Cut the ends off of your beet and use a potatoe peeler to peel the outer skin off.  Chop in half and grate the half into thin slices.  Grate the purple cabbage.  Toss all ingredients into a large bowl to combine, then add desired amount to your serving bowls.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries to your liking.

The Dressing:

In a blender add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, 1/2 avocado and salt and pepper.  Blend until smooth.  Use as a dressing for your salad.