A few of my friends were recently having a discussion about “hiding” nutritious vegetables in fruit smoothies as a way of getting their kids to eat some healthier foods. Luckily, Cadence is a vegetable addict, so I don’t have to get super creative. But, like Steven and I, she is a bit pickier about her fruits. She loves apples, pears, blueberries and strawberries, and that is about it. When it comes to trying other fruits, she is just really not interested.
I have to admit, I am probably partially to blame. I’ve never been a big fruit eater. I love watermelon, and could probably sit down and eat an entire watermelon by myself. Other than that though, my appetite for fruit is pretty slim. I enjoy apples, but only really Granny Smith and Braeburn. I don’t like pears. I hate grapefruit. I like oranges, and blood oranges in particular. I enjoy cantaloupe, but only when it is perfectly ripe–too green and it makes my face pucker, too ripe and it makes me gag. I’ve never really liked peaches, kiwi, or any other fruit sporting any sort of hair, fur or fuzz. I will eat an occasional strawberry, but again, they have to be perfectly ripe. Mangos are too slimy. And I have a fierce love/hate relationship with bananas–some days I hate them and the mere thought of eating one turns my stomach, other days I actually have a craving for them and can eat two or three in one sitting.
Steven is much the same. I’ve only really ever seen him eat apples and watermelon, and these days he seems to be developing some sort of strange allergy to apples because his ears start itching and his throat feels tight whenever he eats one. Needless to say, before Cadence came along, we never really kept a whole lot of fruit in the house.
When you have children, little things like eating healthier suddenly become a bit more important. When Cadence was old enough to start solid foods, I decided I was going to make all homemade baby food from fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s really not hard–steam or boil everything until it is super soft, puree, and just like that, instant baby food. With our refrigerator suddenly filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, I decided that maybe the answer to Steven and my fruit aversion was to “hide” the fruits in a smoothie. After all, my stepmom Wendy had made us some fruit smoothies when we were in Colorado visiting, and we both loved them, so maybe it was time to give it a try.
Since that first batch, Steven and I have been completely addicted. We’ve had all sorts of combinations of kiwi, cherries, mango, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, raspberries, etc. We’ve even had a little banana in our smoothies and still enjoyed the results. I have yet to blend in any vegetables like carrot or spinach, but I am always game to try. And if it means we are all a little healthier, it is soooo worth it!
Today’s 365 Project is dedicated to the creative ways we find to eat healthier. Looking for some more fruits and veggies in your (or your children’s) diet? Maybe it’s time to bust out the blender and try a smoothie.
Sorry I can’t give you a recipe. I always just sort of eyeball the ingredients and make our batches to taste. We enjoy frozen smoothies the best, so we use frozen fruit, plain yogurt, a little fruit juice (Cranberry Pomegranate with no added sugar), and some water to thin it out if needed. This is what was on tonight’s menu:
|After burning out the motor on our last blender, we bought this Waring Pro and I LOVE it! Powerful enough to make frozen smoothies and crush ice, and best of all MADE IN THE USA!|
|All natural plain yogurt. One of these days, I want to try Greek yogurt too.|
|Add fruits one at a time, and add water and/or fruit juice to thin as needed until fully blended.|
|Serve and enjoy.|