Ground Beef Stuffed Zucchini (Zucchin-izza)

We continue the food and garden chronicles here at Nourishing Hope. Our garden, to say the very least, has been a place of comfort, fun, learning, memories, and deliciousness for me and my family. 

I know there can be some intimidation around starting a garden. But trust me when I say you can start small and really create something successful. 

Today, I’m sharing a delicious and kid approved recipe for ground beef stuffed zucchini. 

I love this recipe so much, not only because my LO (little one) Ruby loved it, but because it’s easily tailored to accommodate food restrictions and allergies. The fact that we have been able to grow a ton of zucchini also adds to the fun of it.

To be frank, Ruby was not super convinced about trying zucchini but she was a sport about it. Ruby is actually low-histamine, so I only included one fresh tomato. 

**If you are truly following a low histamine diet, I recommend avoiding tomatoes altogether. 

Turns out, the whole dish was a hit and she asked for it for dinner a second night! Definitely a win in my book. 

And now she’s had it so many times, I’m becoming an expert at making it and can whip it up quickly. It’s a kid-friendly favorite!

She calls this dish Zucchin-izza (pronounced Zucchin-itza) because it tastes like zucchini pizza – It’s a great meal for a grain-free diet and Paleo folks.

Picky Eater Tip

Name, or have your child, name the new dish something fun. Now, not only does she love the taste, but she giggles every time she mentions it because of the clever name she came up with.

Finding a creative way to prepare vegetables by making them tasty and a good texture, can turn a mushy vegetable they don’t like into something they’ll love. 

Something I’ve learned over the years is that it is common for kids not to like something the first or even second time they try it. I can’t say it enough, don’t give up! They need time to build their taste buds and familiarity just like we do. Don’t be discouraged and avoid that food forever. As I teach parents in my Nourishing Hope for Healing Kids program, the research shows you may have to offer a food 8-15 times. Try again. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Pro-Gardening Tip

Sometimes your zucchini can get really large. When they do, they tend to get a slightly off kilter texture, particularly the center where the seeds are. This recipe is perfect since you scoop the seeds and center out, and you won’t toss any produce out!

Diet Compliance Notes 

For the low oxalate diet, avoid pepper or use white pepper in its place, and use 1/2 cup of a low oxalate tomato such as big beef or brandwine.

For keto diet complaint, limit to one medium zucchini.

Avoid the optional dairy-free cheese unless compliant with your diet.

Ingredients 

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • Dash of pepper
  • Optional: dairy-free cheese 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut the ends off zucchini – just the very ends, not too much so that it will hold its “boat shape.” Scoop out center seeds and carve a boat.

Boil zucchini for 3-4 minutes depending on size and thickness, so they soften and cook about half way. 

Heat pan, and brown ground beef. When close to done, add onion, garlic and tomato, as well as salt.

Cook for a few minutes until the tomato is cooked down and the onion and garlic get fragrant.

Place zucchini halves on a roasting pan, fill with cooked ground beef mixture.

Optional step is to sprinkle on dairy-free cheese.

Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and/or top is a bit browned.

Makes 4 servings.

Summer Grilling: Kid-Friendly Vegetables on the BBQ

Most dads love a good barbeque.

If you’re a dad planning a barbeque, or a mom creating a fun day for the dad in your family’s life, I’ve got some ideas for you!

When you think of BBQ, I’m sure most of you are thinking of meat.

But vegetables can be delicious on the grill! In fact, as a Certified Nutrition Consultant working with families (and picky eaters), one of my favorite ways to get kids (and adults) to eat vegetables is grilled.

Vegetables on the Barbeque

Grilling vegetables removes some of the moisture, so vegetables that might otherwise be wet and mushy like zucchini, are drier and crispy. Zucchini spears were one of my family’s favorites growing up. Cut zucchinis like you are making carrot sticks, in other words like thin spears. When you cook them they are like zucchini fries. You can also make “planks” which can be very good too.

Vegetable skewers are also fun for kids. And they are a great way to prepare vegetables that are smaller and might slip through the grill like button mushrooms. However, personally I like mine flat on the grill for more charring which makes them more caramelized and sweet.

You can even make kale chips on the grill, but place them on the cooler side of the grill and be sure to watch them because they can burn quickly.

Great vegetables to grill include:

  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Asparagus
  • Green onions
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Summer squash
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

To be low salicylate, oxalate, and FODMAPs, choose diet-compliant vegetables and oil.

Marinade for Vegetables

You can make it with anything you like. I don’t usually use a recipe. I simply…

– Start with olive oil (about ½ cup)

– Add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (couple tablespoons)

– Include some minced garlic and chopped onion.

– Add some salt and herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano, or anything from your garden.

– Consider some mustard (1 teaspoon).

Mix it all together and taste it. Adjust as desired. Then let the marinade sit for a little while so the flavors meld together.

I do not soak/marinate my vegetables in the marinade ahead of time.

Wait until you place your vegetables on the grill, then brush the marinade on vegetables.

On a side note… Personally, I love anchovies. I know. I know. Most of you are cringing right now. But I do love the flavor in caesar dressing, so when I saw a recommendation for anchovy paste in the marinade from Sam the Cooking Guy on YouTube I thought it sounded amazing (apparently it does not impart a fishy flavor) and wanted to share it with you. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to for Father’s Day! So I’ll let you know how it turns out and report back.

Share with us. Comment below and let us know your grilled vegetable favorites.

Coconut Pancakes (Grain-Free Recipe)

GFCF/SCD/GAPS/LOD, Nut-free

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup, (plus 1 Tablespoon) coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large or 5 medium pastured eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk or other diet compliant non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil or ghee
  • ½ Tablespoon raw honey (or other sweetener if not on SCD) – sweetener is optional

Directions

Beat eggs in a large bowl; add non-dairy milk, honey, vanilla, and ¼ cup melted oil. In a separate bowl combine ¼ cup coconut flour, salt, baking soda—next, place this flour blend in a sifter. Sift flour into liquids bowl little by little while mixing it with an electric mixer until combined and smooth. If the pancake batter is too thin add 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour. If it’s too thick to pour or scoop, thin with more non-dairy milk.

Pour pancake batter into greased pan. Cook on one side then flip and cooking thoroughly, as you would any pancake.

 

GFCF = Gluten-Free and Casein-Free
SCD = Specific Carbohydrate Diet
GAPS = Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet
LOD = Low Oxalate Diet

Sauerkraut Recipe

GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/LOD/BED/Keto Diet Compliance

Sauerkraut is wonderful for digestion and the immune system. It’s also beneficial for our mood. 

Sauerkraut is made with fermented or cultured cabbage and other vegetables. When they are made raw, the traditional way, they contain live bacteria that aid our digestive health, as well as our brain and immune system. Since sauerkraut is rich in probiotics, it supports a balanced, healthy microbiome and good health.

Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics, which supports a balanced healthy microbiome and good health. And it’s never too early to start. See my daughter below at 10 months old.

It’s easy to make and a really fun experiment with kids when you’re home with free time on your hands. All you need is a cabbage, some salt, and time.

Supplies

  • Ceramic crock and a plate or other jar that fits inside crock to hold the cabbage down
  • 1 quart or 2 liter jar filled with water (scrub the outside)
  • Cloth cover such as muslin or kitchen towel

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs/2 kilograms cabbage (Green or red/purple)
  • 3 tablespoons/45 milliliters sea salt

Instructions 

  1. Rinse cabbage.  Retain two outer cabbage leaves.  Grate cabbage by hand with mandolin or in food processor, finely or coarsely.  
  2. Place cabbage in bowl.  Sprinkle salt on cabbage as you go.  The salt pulls water out of cabbage and creates the brine so it can ferment and sour without rotting.  The salt also keeps the cabbage crunchy by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it.
  3. You can add other vegetables such as carrots, ginger, radishes, onions, garlic, leafy greens, seaweed, beets, turnips and burdock roots.  Juniper berries are common. For consistent results, I typically use a majority (75%) cabbage with some of these other vegetables for flavor and variety.  You can try almost anything, but without a starter, vegetables containing natural lactobacillus are the best such as cabbage and root vegetables including beets, radishes, turnips, and carrots.
  4. Mix ingredients and pack into crock.  Pack a small amount into the crock a little at a time and tamp it down with your fist or a kitchen implement like a potato masher.  You can also massage cabbage with your hands, and then tamp down. The goal is to force water out of cabbage, pack the kraut tightly, and press out any air. If you’d like, you can place a cabbage heart (the center of the cabbage) in the center of the sauerkraut in the crock.  The center pickles and leaves you with very crispy, crunchy cabbage that you can eat with your fingers—this is often fun for children.
  5. Place cabbage leaves in crock on top of packed cabbage to keep any shredded cabbage from floating to the surface of the water.  Place the plate over the leaves to keep everything down. Add a weighted jar (filled with water works) to top to act as a weight.  The goal is to keep EVERYTHING (except the jar) under water. The water is formed by the liquid in the cabbage and the salt. Let it sit for 6 hours or so and see if the water line rises above the cabbage.  If there is not an inch and a half of water, add salt water in the ratio of 1 tablespoon salt to 1 cup of water. Salt inhibits mold growth, but too much salt slows good bacteria. As such, you want to be fairly accurate with your salt/cabbage and salt water proportions.
  6. Cover with fabric cloth and tie with a string or large rubber band. Make sure it goes all the way around so no bugs can get it.  
    1. If you use a Harsch crock, the process (in steps 5 and 6) is simple.  Instead of needing a plate and weight, specially made weights are included.  Place the plates on top of the cabbage making sure the water is over the top of the vegetables.  Place lid on top and fill rim with water to form water seal. No fabric is necessary.
  7. Ferment for 2-8 weeks or more.  Personally, I like long ferments of 8 weeks or more.  Because my home (in San Francisco) is very cool all year round (resembling a cellar), the kraut turns out great every time.  Always sour and crunchy. Never soft.

The types and amounts of bacteria differ in the raw sauerkraut as the fermentation changes over time.  For this reason, I like Sandor Katz’s suggestion of “eating it as you go.” Make a large batch. After two weeks, “harvest” one jar or one week’s worth.  Pack the sauerkraut back up and set aside to ferment. After that jar is finished, harvest another jar in the next week. Continue for eight to ten weeks or whenever it is done.  This ensures that you get the various bacteria types and counts over time.

Additional notes:

  • If you live in a warm climate, you will want to invest in a Harsch crock.  They help insulate the sauerkraut with its thick ceramic. The crock keeps the kraut from getting mushy in hot weather.  The weighted “plate” inside with an air tight water sealed lid keeps air out but allows gasses to escape.
  • You can make sauerkraut with whey but it is not necessary and I’ve never noticed any difference either way.  More importantly, whey is from yogurt and contains casein—something many people are trying to avoid with sauerkraut.  You can also use a cultured vegetable starter such as the one Donna Gates has on BodyEcology.com. I like to do things the “old fashioned way” without a starter—it feels empowering.  
  • There is another method seen in books and online. This method typically doesn’t weight the sauerkraut down, they use a starter, an airtight lid, and only ferment them 3-7 days.  Be aware not to use this method for long ferments; otherwise, you will blow the top of your ferment. 

Variation and note on salt: You can use half the salt by substituting seeds (an even mix of celery, caraway, and dill).  Although, the original recipe uses only salt, it is not “salty” in taste—especially the longer it ferments.

*I adapted this recipe from Sandor Katz’s sauerkraut recipe and his book, Wild Fermentation. This is one of my favorite books on fermenting everything.  And he has a new book, The Art of Fermentation.

Here’s a photo of my daughter at 10 months, eating cultured vegetables. And my “intention kraut” where I write my desired intention on the jar and I believe the good bacteria help me put the good energy in the sauerkraut. Here’s my batch of Love Kraut.

Share your experience, comments, and questions on sauerkraut with us. 

Crispy Kale Chips Recipe

Our family loves kale chips, including my daughter. And not only are the delicious, they are very nutritious.

Kale is the cruciferous, or brassica family, along with other powerhouse foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. 

Kale Nutrition

Kale (particularly lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale, Italian kale) is rich sulfur-contain glucosinolate compounds, such as glucoraphanin, the precursor of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a glutathione-inducer, which means it helps the body create more glutathione. Glutathione is our “master antioxidant.” 

Glutathione helps reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and is an important detoxifier. Glutathione is low in autism and down syndrome, and research on sulforaphane for children with autism showed substantial improvements in their social interaction and verbal communication, along with decreases in repetitive, ritualistic behaviors.”1

And kale is great for all kids, not just those with special needs. 

Kale is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and calcium, and contains beneficial B vitamins and magnesium – Important nutrients for growth and development. 

Kale is one of our favorite vegetables in our household. We like many ways including sauteed baby kale, kale salad, and our favorite is kale chips.

And kids love eating and making them. Here is my daughter making her own batch of kale chips.

Chips should be green and crispy, not browned. When they are browned, they are burnt… and they taste it… yuck. And the secret to the perfect kale chip is a lower temperature, slower bake. When you get it right, they will be bright green and crunchy. Check out our daughter, demonstrating the crunch.

You can also use other greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, or mustard greens. Use lacinato kale for lower oxalate kale chips. Arugula, mustard greens, and turnip greens are also low oxalate.  Depending on the serving size, these kale chips are a low or medium oxalate food, which have a place in most low oxalate diets.

Kale Chips Recipe

GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/Low Oxalate/Low FODMAPs/Body Ecology Diet/Keto, Egg-Free, Nut-Free

Avoid the optional herbs and spices, unless compliant with your diet.

Ingredients

  • Bunch of Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Unrefined salt
  • Herbs and spices, optional (smoked paprika, cayenne, rosemary or any)

Directions

Rinse kale leaves and dry. Remove stem of kale. Rub with olive oil. Season with salt and any other herbs you’d like.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place stalks directly on oven rack and cook for 10-15 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Chips should be green and crispy.

Zucchini Pickles [Recipe]


If you have planted a garden, by the time summer is in full swing, zucchini and summer squash are often so abundant that you just don’t know what to do with them all. 

These are simple refrigerator pickles, so there’s no expertise in canning necessary and no fuss. They are super simple to make, and kids love them.

You can either make them quite sweet or not, depending on your health needs and child’s palette.

Personally, I like to make them sweet and spicy with red pepper flakes so the sugar counterbalances the spiciness. For the kids jars, I simply left out the red pepper flakes. 

You can also use this recipe with cucumbers to make sweet “bread and butter” pickles.

For low oxalate, avoid the turmeric.

For SCD/GAPS, use honey instead of sugar.

Ingredients:

6-8 zucchini and/or summer squash
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2-3 cups coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole celery seed
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

Slice zucchini into ⅛ inch discs. (Cucumbers I slice ¼ inch thick because they remain crunchy). But I like the zucchini a bit thinner. It’s all preference.

Cover zucchini slices in cold water with 2 Tablespoons of salt. Soak one hour in the refrigerator. Drain.

Dissolve  vinegar, sugar and spices in a bowl. If you want to keep your vinegar unheated you can do so by stirring the mixture around every few minutes for about 10-15 minutes. (If you don’t have raw vinegar to start with you can heat the vinegar/sugar mix to dissolve the sugar faster. If so, let it cool down for 3 minutes.)

Fill very clean (or sterilized) mason jars with zucchini slices and pour liquid mixture over the vegetables until covered. 

Store in the refrigerator. (Remember, because these are not canned they must be stored in the refrigerator.) They will last approximately a month. 

Let me know what you – and your child – think about these zucchini pickles.

Less-Sugar Cooked Buttercream Frosting Recipe

How time flies! 9 years ago, my daughter Ruby was born. Today, she’s baking her own birthday cakes. She loves cooking shows like Masterchef Junior and has been inspired to do her own cooking and baking. After watching the show, I realized how capable children can be at cooking, so I started letting her do everything herself, and I just supervise (and help out when she asks for it). Sometimes she cooks dinner and sometimes dessert. She even piped the frosting and decorated this cake ALL by herself!

We’ve tried all different types of frosting over the years. She felt buttercream was too sweet, but stabilized whipped cream (what we used for her 6th birthday) was “too weird.” So we were on a hunt for a “less sweet” buttercream. And we found it! It’s a cooked buttercream.

You heard that right… “cooked” buttercream. It’s normally made with flour, but we figured out how to make it gluten-free. Interestingly, it uses granulated sugar not powdered sugar, but it’s NOT gritty. I know it sounds strange but it’s absolutely delicious. Light and fluffy. Not too sweet. And pipes and holds its shape really well!!

We had to adapt the recipe to make it gluten-free, and it worked! Since the sweetener is dissolved in the milk and flour, I also wonder if I can make it GAPS/SCD with honey… and a different flour, maybe coconut flour. We are going to continue to play with this recipe. It’s so versatile. We are also going to try even less sugar next time.

Here’s our Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake recipe and our frosting recipe.

To make low salicylate, use white sugar, and make sure you tolerate the non-dairy milk and “butter” ingredients you are going to use.

Less-Sugar Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup tapioca
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups non-hydrogenated palm shortening and non-dairy butter (I use 3/4 cup of shortening and 3/4 cup Miyoko’s Organic Vegan Butter )

Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl and set aside.

Make sure your shortening/non-dairy butter are room temperature.

Mix tapioca, salt, sugar in pot with milk, stir and begin to dissolve.

Cook on low heat until it begins to thicken, stirring continuously with a whisk. (It turns thick quickly, so watch closely, around 4 minutes). As soon as it begins to leave a trail with the whisk, pull off the heat. Quickly transfer to a bowl and place the bowl inside the ice water bath. If it’s pretty thick like glue, don’t worry it will still work.

Once the frosting reaches room temperature, transfer the mixture into a stand mixer, add the vanilla, and mix on medium while slowing adding the shortening/butter. Once the shortening/butter has been blended, put the speed to high and blend for 3 minutes. (Add any natural food coloring, as desired) Then transfer to the whisk attachment and whip for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Once your cake is cool, you’re ready to frost. Watch the video below to watch Ruby practice decorating with rosettes.

Amazing Instant Pot Refrigerator Pickled Beets

I like to have lots of veggies on hand throughout the year, and we love beets! Beets are excellent for our digestive health. Beets help the liver and gallbladder by thinning the bile, making it much easier to digest and assimilate healthy fats in our diet. Beets are rich in betaine, which is involved in and supports methylation. They are also a great starchy vegetable, containing 4 grams of fiber per serving.

These are “refrigerator pickled beets” rather than fermented in a brine. So there are different benefits. This recipe actually uses raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) and not cooked like most. ACV is excellent for getting our digestive juices flowing, so we can get more of the nutrients from our food. And while not fermented (fermented beets also have amazing benefits), this recipe is great for stocking up on veggies in the refrigerator to last a couple months throughout the winter. Or if you make a small batch, you can have a couple weeks of ready-to-eat vegetables in your refrigerator that can be added to salads or have as a quick side dish.  And they taste amazing!

Recipe: 

3 lb beets (4 large beets or 6-8 small ones)
1 1/2 cups of the raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1  1/2 cups of water
2-3 TBS maple syrup or honey (optional)
2 inches of fresh ginger, cut into coin-size slices
1-2 tsp grated orange zest
1 cinnamon stick or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon chips (chopped up cinnamon stick)
1 tsp whole cardamom (decorticated, i.e. outer pod removed)
1 tsp whole clove
1 tsp allspice berries
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Remove beet greens (the greens are great to saute’, and serve as a veggie side).

Leave skin on the beets and scrub them. Put beets in an instant pot on top of the steamer at the bottom. Place on Steam setting (for pressure steaming) with lid on for:

15 minutes for small/average sized beets
20-25 minutes for large beets

**Texture of cooked beets should be tender (better to be a bit firmer than softer, and remember they will continue to cook/soften a little while cooling).

Release steam naturally for about 5 minutes. Check beets for cooking completion. If they need more cooking, quickly lock lid in place and continue to let steam in residual steam for 5-10 more minutes, you should not need to turn the Instant Pot on again.

When cooking is complete, let beets cool and rub the skin off the beets (comes off easily once steamed).

Cut beets into small cubes or slices, and place in mason jars.

Mix all ingredients, and pour liquid over cooked beets. I often mix the other ingredients as the beets are cooking.

Refrigerate, and enjoy!!

Let them marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator and they will reach full flavor.

 

 

 

 

Sugar-Free Ketogenic Chocolate Mousse (RECIPE)

 

Contains Dairy. You can make this GFCFSF and Paleo, use coconut cream.

This recipe is perfect when you cannot have any sugar in your diet. And the cream adds the perfect mouth feel for a dessert treat that is very satisfying for those on a sugar-free or ketogenic diet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream, see variation below)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A few drops of stevia liquid

Directions

Place cream in a bowl (or quart-sized jar for emersion blender). Add cocoa powder. Whip with emersion blender with whisk attachment or with electric mixer. Add stevia drop by drop until it’s the right sweetness level for you. Do not over sweeten. Chill and serve.

To make with coconut, use coconut cream. Refrigerate cream overnight. Scoop out the hardened cream (reserve the liquid for other uses) and place in the bowl to blend. Follow the rest of the directions above.

Green Smoothies…. YES, you can! (RECIPE)

Your kids will love smoothies – even green ones!

One thing I ALWAYS talk about at live presentations is smoothies. Smoothies are one of the best tools in your “add good nutrition” learning toolkit – particularly when you want to get kale in. They’re: Quick, easy, delicious, nutritious, easy to clean up, and kids love them!

I like going green.  However, spinach, swiss chard, and certain other greens can be very high in oxalate.  Not only have high oxalates been shown to be a problem in autism,1 oxalates also inhibit mineral absorption so you will not be able to access the wonderful and important minerals in the smoothie, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron.  I suggest adding kale (particularly lacinato kale which is the kale lowest in oxalates).  I include some frozen fruit and maybe a spot of honey or a couple dates if the berries are a bit too sour. Add water or fresh pressed vegetable juice, or ice if you wish – but go easy of adding extra fruit juice (sugar!).

NOW is the time to get in the groove with smoothies – especially with all of the wonderful fruit and greens at farmers’ market right now.

Be mindful of the power of your blender – if you’re really committed, get a Vita-mix, it can handle any smoothie concoction you contrive.

EXPERIMENTATION is the key to making a successful smoothie – you’ve got to discover the flavors/textures that you like, otherwise you’re not going to bother. Ideas to play with: fresh (or frozen) fruit, raw kale (vitamins!), avocado (good fats, add “smoothiness”), etc.

To make it SCD/GAPS compliant, use a very ripe banana and medjool dates.

Ingredients:

1 cup mango (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1 banana
1/2 avocado
5-8 kale leaves destemmed (about one cup of kale)
12 oz of water, or fresh fruit or vegetable juice
2 dates (optional if the berries are on the sour side)

Blend together in a blender and serve.

Sure, it’s prettier going INTO the blender than in your glass, but with green smoothies it’s the beauty inside (good nutrients) that counts – and, you and your kids will discover – they taste great! If you find your smoothie is more brown in color (when mixing red fruit with greens you get brown), add more greens.  I find if it’s bright green, kids prefer the color better. Involve your kids in the process, it’s fun too! Once you get your desired blend together, it just gets easier and more fun

NOW is the time to get in the groove with smoothies – especially with all of the wonderful fruit and greens at farmers’ market right now.

P.S. If you’ve read The Autism Revolution, or listened to Dr. Martha Herbert lately…you’ll know that she’s a big fan of green smoothies too! 🙂

1. Konstantynowicz, Jerzy, Tadeusz Porowski, Walentyna Zoch-Zwierz, Jolanta Wasilewska, Halina Kadziela-Olech, Wojciech Kulak, Susan Costen Owens, Janina Piotrowska-Jastrzebska, and Maciej Kaczmarski. “A potential pathogenic role of oxalate in autism.” european journal of paediatric neurology 16, no. 5 (2012): 485-491.

 

POST UPDATE: June 10, 2015

Here are a few helpful slides from Julie’s Nutrition Workshop (Supplements, Kids, and Fun with your Blender), presented along with Dr. Devin Houston at the USAAA Conference.

SmoothieSupplementSLIDES_ForBlog

DOWNLOAD these Slides