Friday, April 22, 2011

Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are a staple in our house. My girls love them as much as my husband and I do. When Sydney hears the blender she comes running (toddling) into the kitchen as fast as she can just smiling. Norah loves to push a chair up to the counter and help. Her favorite role is tearing the kale off the stalk and adding (and eating) the blueberries. She loves being involved in the creating process, which I love as well. When she's involved she loves eating what she helped create.

Smoothies are so great because you can get so creative. There are so many possibilities. Amazing ways to increase veggies and fruits into your little ones diet. My girls both starting drinking smoothies well before they were 1. We just modified them to incorporate foods we had already introduced. Plus they make a great lunch or addition to a lunch on those days your playing at the park, doing a picnic, or eating out and want a healthy alternative for the kiddos.

Every summer we head out and pick lots of fresh fruit to freeze for smoothies throughout the year. We freeze all this yummy goodness and store them in our deep freeze. This is great because you are using fresh local fruit and it's much easier on the budget as well. Those little frozen bags of fruit at the store can get expensive if you start doing lots of smoothies. So just a little thought to think about as summer approaches. We actually just finished our last bags of strawberries and blueberries that we froze last summer. It was a sad day for my sweet Norah when I told her the blueberries were all gone.

The quite delicious smoothie above consisted of:

~ avocado
~ banana
~ kale
~frozen strawberries
~frozen peaches
~ground flax seed (done in a coffee grinder)
~ground sesame seeds (also done in a coffee grinder)
~a splash of Black Strap Molasses (good in iron & calcium)

It was so good! I love the creaminess that the avocado adds, not to mention all that super good for you fat. Use less kale if you are just starting out with green smoothies and not adapted to the "green flavor" quite yet. Then as you continue to experiment with your smoothies increase amounts of kale. One side not is that sesame seeds are moving onto the top allergens list so make sure you are in communication with your health care provider to know when you want to introduce seeds and nuts to your little ones diet.

Some other things I like to add to our smoothies:

~frozen or fresh fruit (almost any fruit is great!)
~brewers yeast (we eat mostly a vegan diet so we add this to help with B vitamins)
~swiss chard
~ground almonds, walnuts, or cashews
~ground sunflower seeds
~homemade almond milk
~chia seeds
~raw cacao (I don't add this in our girls because I've learned they don't tolerate the caffeine well)
~coconut milk

Get creative and find which combinations you and your kiddos enjoy!

And a last word on serving your little foodie his or her smoothie. You may have to get creative on the sippy cup. These smoothies can be a bit thick and don't always come out easily. I've found sippy cups with a straw make this a lot easier. I prefer to keep the water bottle sippy cups  for water so they don't get any funky smells or taste, and so the girls know those are their primary beverage. These are extras. As much as I'm not a big fan of plastics these little cups work great and clean well, and are easy for them to drink.

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So enjoy your green smoothies! If you come up with a combo that your little one really likes please do share!


  1. Jen, I love your blog! With all my allergies I have had to modify my diet to mostly vegan (plus gluten free) and feel a little lost as I try to get all the necessary and healthy food parts.

    Common breakfast foods are out of the question for me, so I have been drinking green smoothies. I love to use my garden kale (and am anxious for my spinach to come up) I LOVE your suggestion about the avocado, delch! Where do you get your recipes/ideas or do you just wing it?

  2. I'm glad your liking the blog! Thank you! I just like to experiment with things. Sometimes I'll just take an existing recipe and use what I have or what I like and modify. I love reading cookbooks in my spare time! :)
    A friend of mine does a fantastic gluten free blog that I'm sure you'd love. Check it out if you get a chance.