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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Avocados. Healthy, slightly exotic (at least in Canada!) without being weird, GOOD FAT!, also naturally green, and just tasty. They’re pretty much fantastic. And my favourite way to eat them?

Guacamole.

Guacamole.

And guacamole.

Oh and also these dee-licious tacos.

But mostly, just guacamole.

 

My in-laws, bless their heart, are from the south. Now when I say south, I don’t mean the REAL south. I mean the south that’s getting real close to Mexico and also California. The south that has Mexican restaurants with Irish sounding names. (Carlos O’Kelleys? Really?) The south that knows how to make good guacamole. I am glad that I am intrinsically connected to these people, because without them, I would never have had good guacamole. In fact, I probably would never have even eaten an avocado in my life to be honest, but that’s another story.

But the reason for this tangent? Because my little Buddy Bear can’t eat no milk. (I did that on purpose, I do know how to use good grammar, I just think I’m funny). And a little boy growing at the rate he is, needs FAT in his diet. (What a predicament, eh?) And a non-allergic child, well we would just stuff him/or her full of full-fat cheese, and cream in his oatmeal, and fatty yogourt for breakfast. It would be the life. But, we can’t do that. So, our pediatrician and I sat down for a brainstorming session to figure out how we can get more fat in Buddy Bear’s diet. The doctor’s prescription? More gravy. Extra olive oil on his food (Would deep-frying work?). And avocados. I wish I was this kid. He has got it made right now.

So, we tried the olive oil thing. He thought it was gross. I can’t blame him.

We’re not a meat and potatoes kind of family, so gravy is like a Christmas and Thanksgiving thing. Not happening.

Hmm… Avocados.

Not his favourite thing in the world, but he was willing to try them. But he’s just a small fry, so he’s not going to down the whole avocado in one sitting. Maybe half.

So what am I going to do with all these extra halves of avocados? I tried throwing the diced pieces in a Rubbermaid and keeping them in the fridge. The result? Brown nasty chunks that were probably still good, but looked very unappetizing.

The internet suggested a few things to help preserve my little avocado halves:

  • Put lime/lemon juice or vinegar on the avocados to keep them greener
  • Keep it in the fridge
  • Keep the pit (or stone?) with the avocado to delay browning
  • Not salting the avocado until right before you plan to eat it
  • Covering it with plastic wrap

OR

Make guacamole for Mommy & Daddy.

That’s my great idea.

Because its healthy!

Try it. You’ll love it.


My In-Laws’ Guacamole Recipe

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 to 3 tbsp diced/minced onion
  • dash of salt

Directions: Mash ingredients together. Eat. Repeat.

 

See? I told you, you’d like it! You could even skip a step and just make guacamole for the baby to eat/share. Done and done.

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Yay summer is definitely, mostly here! Although living in the northern part of the northern hemisphere in the land of unpredictable weather where it has been known to snow in absolutely every month of the year (including July and August!), I have learned to embrace absolutely every warm, sunny day.

Do you know is one of my absolutely favorite parts of summer? If you have perused this blog and observed my many odes to eating, you might guess FOOD! And you would be right. You would have also been right if you guessed not having to wear 5 layers of clothes just to leave your house without threat of death by freezing.

All winter we suffer through “fresh” produce that is limp, bland and colorless. That is not what fruit should be! And then summer finally comes and going to the grocery store is my favorite part of the week. Although being 5 months pregnant may mean that eating is also one of my favorite things to do.

Summer time means that most of my cravings are for big slabs of juicy, yummy-nummy fruit. This will hopefully make up for the chips, coke, sugar and chocolate cravings that surfaced throughout the long dark winter. Sorry my little growing baby! Mommy will make up for it during the summer.

The Superstore by my house has watermelons on sale this week for only $3.99. We are on our second watermelon in 4 days. And these aren’t little dainty winter watermelons that taste like dirty water. These melons weigh more than my daughter and are lush, red and juicy.

The Boo and I sit down to a plate full of watermelon and devour it in minutes.

I love watermelon! It’s amazing. I just thought it was amazing because it tasted so yummy BUT then I did a little research and found these facts about just how amazing watermelon is FOR you. It was kind of like having a crush on a cute guy because he is cute only to find out that he also has an amazing character. Although with Beardie I did a lot of my research on him before I met him, so it was like knowing he was amazing but then finding out that he was also yummy…looking.

ODE TO WATERMELON

1) Delicious, tastes like summer. I could eat it all day. I do.

2) Reduces inflammation caused by asthma, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis.

3) Packed full of antioxidants including 24 % of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 11% of your RDI of vitamin A. All in just one cup of watermelon…which I eat in 1 minute.

4) Neutralizes damage caused by high cholesterol, decreasing your risk for heart attack and stroke.

5) Watermelon is high in lycopene which is rumored to prevent cancer.

6) Contains a massive amount of B vitamins which increase our energy levels. As a preggo mother of a toddler (who is still working on sleeping at night) I need all the (healthy) increases in energy that I can find!

7) One cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories but has a huge amount of nutrition. Which means (unlike my other taboo source of energy…the Coca-Cola) lots of reward for small amounts consumed. Coke has no nutrition for any amount consumed.

8) Loved by many! What’s not to love about a fruit that comes with a built in handle?

9) Super easy to prepare. Slice. Eat. Spit out seeds if necessary. Repeat.

10) There are many different ways to eat it. I don’t actually buy into this one. I only eat watermelon one way. Shove it in my mouth. Sometimes I eat if off the rind. If I am being classy I cut it and put it in a dish. But you can puree it with some yogurt or mix it into a salad. That is only 2 ways to prepare it. I was right, pretty much watermelon is meant to be eaten all natural.

11) Bonus fact: Watermelon is very low on the allergenic food scale. Meaning it is safe for the Boo and all her little friends.

PICKING A WATERMELON:

Is like picking a man. It is what is inside that counts! Unfortunately in both cases we don’t know what is inside until we make our purchase. A good watermelon should be heavier than it looks, be smooth and not overly shiny or dull. The bottom side should have a distinct yellow or creamy tone showing that the melon is mature and wasn’t harvested too soon, this gives it the best taste, texture and juiciness. I also like to knock on my watermelon before I buy it. If it sounds hollow then I take it home. I will let you draw your own conclusions on how to pick a man.

Are you in love yet? Are you wondering why you aren’t eating some watermelon right now? So am I.

Nutritional info obtained from: The World’s Healthiest Food

Devoted love for watermelon obtained from: The Bottom of my Heart

Picture from: http://www.thefatlossauthority.com/fat_loss_tips/how-many-calories-are-in-watermelon

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When we first discovered that Buddy Bear was allergic to dairy, my first thought was “You mean I can’t have ice cream???” Ok, actually my first thought was “He’s dying! My baby is dying!” *hyperventilate* But after I settled down and realized that Buddy Bear wasn’t actually dying, then I mourned the loss of my daily ice cream habit. For 3 whole weeks.

But I’m a tricky mommy, so I haven’t just sat down and taken the blows dealt to me and give up on ice cream forever. I love my little Buddy Bear, so I wasn’t willing to just ignore his symptoms/discomfort and have my ice cream anyways. So I put my thinking cap on and set to work on finding a way to have ice cream and a happy boy.

I tried that age old frozen banana in a blender trick. And it was good, but without the Oreo pie crust and chocolate sauce/ganache and everything else delicious in Penny’s Chunky Monkey Pie, it was essentially just frozen bananas. And not ice cream.

I tried sorbets, like this Mango Sorbet at Annie’s Eats. Fresh mango, lime juice, it was delicious! But ice cream it was not. And mango season was almost over anyways. So the hunt continued.

I thought maybe it was the creaminess that I was missing and not ice cream per say, so I tried coconut panna cotta. After 3 tries I finally got it to work. For only having 5 ingredients  you’d think it be easy to make. Not so much for people who can’t follow instructions (me).  But when it did work, it was delicious! I especially liked this recipe. But it was more like a creamy, chocolate jello, and I still wanted ice cream afterwards…

So I got tricksy and even more tricksy and took…

The smooth texture of the banana trick

+

The method from the mango sorbet

+

The creamy coconut milk in the panna cotta

=

 

Yum….

It only took 6 weeks, but I found a way to have my ice cream and still be dairy free! I love it!

 

Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream”

These measurements are all approximate, so feel free to play around with them and personalize it to whatever works best for you. Like adding crushed Oreos. Those would definitely be awesome.


Frozen Bananas (if your freezer makes them very hard, let them sit on your counter for a little while and soften up, just a little bit)

A big gob of peanut butter

A squirt or two of chocolate sauce (check the label to make sure its dairy free)

A splash or two of coconut milk (Or another dairy free milk, coconut is my favourite)

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend together until nice and creamy, about 30 to 45 seconds. Stir in any additional toppings and mix-ins.  Serve immediately. Repeat.

 

Suggested Variations:

Chocolate pieces

Coconut Flakes

Oreo Pieces

Frozen berries instead of the peanut butter and chocolate make a delicious and even healthier combo!

 

What would you add to make this “your speciality”?

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Have you ever wished that there was a way to make vegetables taste like chocolate? Me too. Or at least like dessert. That is why I love anything that has the winning combo. Carrot cake. Beet cake (hee hee, I’m totally sneaking that one on Beardie, he hates beets). But most of all I love Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Yum!

So Andg is talking about elimination communication and all I can think about is food. Chocolate. Yummy. Baby poohs….not so much 🙂 Back to yummy.

What I also love about this recipe is how much of a fruit/veggie punch it has but still that moist chocolate cake texture. I don’t even notice the “veggie-ness”.

And it is dairy-free! This is true love. I think next time I am going to increase the amount of applesauce and decrease the amount of oil.

My trick with the zucchini is to completely, utterly pulverize it. Not just a pleasant grating. That will lead to zucchini chunks (which I don’t mind but they are discernable to the non-veggie crowd).

It also makes the cake more moist when the zucchini juices are pre-released. 

I add a few walnuts but now that I found the Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips I think I will sprinkle a modest amount on top.

Eat one warm just when it comes out of the oven. Have another one as you put them in the container. Especially if you do the mini muffins.

Maybe one or two before bed. Another for breakfast. It’s pretty much like eating carrot sticks. But yummy.

Here’s the link to the recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake

The only things I change are: decrease the amount of sugar to just one cup and to sub in applesauce for most of the oil. I found the sweetness of the applesauce totally makes up for less sugar. I made mine in a 9×9 cake pan and then had 24 little cutie hand size mini muffins.


Try them! Tell me if you love them as much as I do.
Oh yeah and sprinkle some chocolate chips on the top. You won’t regret that.

Now to think about communicating with my daughter’s elimination…hmmm, still can’t wrap my mind around how to start. Maybe I waited too long already! How do you convince a constantly moving toddler to sit on the potty long enough to get the job done?

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This is such an easy-peasy recipe I don’t know if I should be allowed to call it a recipe. But I love it and it brings joy and happiness to my Boo.

Popsicles are so delicious! Who doesn’t remember a warm, sunny day running around and playing until you are all hot and sweaty and then running inside and getting a freezing cold popsicle and savoring the coolness dripping down your hand. Popsicles are all about summer! I need to share that joy with my little Boo! If only there was a way to have “healthy” popsicles.

I tried to find the 100% pure fruit juice popsicles but honestly those are pretty pricey and then there is the whole “rule” about not drinking more than 1/2 cup of juice in a day. Oh the rules! Why are there always rules?

Ideally I would love for us to just eat the fruit itself. That is where we get all our yummy, nummy, vitamins, nutrients and fiber from. (Hmmm, fiber is our friend).

So Apple-sicles are born.

I bought this popsicle tray from the dollar store for….you guessed it a DOLLAR! And it works great, they are just the right size for a little hand and aren’t so big that she ends up with frostbite by the end.

The easiest thing to do is to just grab a jar of unsweetened applesauce, crack it open and fill each little cup with applesauce. Pop in the little tops and VOILA! Easy-peasy apple-sicles. All fruit, all healthy, still yummy.

Sometimes I mix it up by using the different flavored applesauces. All the unsweetened ones, poor little girl doesn’t know what sweetened fruit tastes like. The little cups of Mott’s applesauce fill4 little popsicles perfectly, so each popsicle is about 30 mL or 2 TB of fruit.

These little treats were a life-saver when we were cutting teeth. The later ones anyways, once she was already eating solids. An ice cold apple-sicle really cut the “owie” for a set of 3 back molars that came through in a week. I was more than happy to keep on feeding them to her!

But then I started thinking (it is dangerous I know!)…what other yummies could we make into popsicles?

Here’s a few I’ve been brave enough to try:

Berry sicles: Apple sauce pureed with a cup of our favorite berries.

Calcium sicles: A tricky one 🙂 because of the no-dairy we give the Boo a calcium supplement. Which is kind of gross. I found that if I mix it up with a strong flavor like blueberry and applesicle then freeze it is a popsicle she thinks it is amazing! If your life includes yogurt this would be delish with yogurt and pureed whatever fruit you like.

Orange cream-sicles: An orange, a banana, something creamy, pureed and frozen.

Pretty much the gist is….puree fruit and freeze it as popsicles!

If you wanted to get a little crazy…what about throwing in a handful of spinach into the berry-sicles (see no green, taste no green) or maybe a jar of baby food carrots in the orange sicle?

What would you try? And what have you tried? And what would you recommend to never try again???

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