Our boys never give us trouble when it comes to eating fruit they will eat it all day if we let them. Even most vegetables are fairly easy with them since we began gardening they love to help in our garden and sample everything we are growing. Vegetables can be more of a struggle at dinner time though, especially with our two year old. To make sure everyone is still getting all of the necessary daily vitamins and minerals they need from fruits and vegetables, even in the colder, gardenless months and picky meal times, I like to make sure they start their days with a fruit and vegetable rich smoothie. Smoothies are also good for busy school mornings since we can put them in a cup with a straw and a lid and they boys can drink them on our way. I like to sneak extras in our smoothies like honey and organic apple cider vinegar to give their immune systems a little boost and for extra energy.
The recipe I use varies a little depending on what I have in the house but for the most part this is what I use:
Here are my base ingredients:
- a large carrot
- a frozen fruit mix
- a banana
- about 3 cups of kale or spinach
- 1 cup of homemade yogurt (we have our own easy yogurt recipe made in a crock pot here)
- 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of a local honey
- a dash of fruit juice to help it blend
In a blender I start with the toughest and frozen ingredients on the bottom followed by fresh and topped with leafy greens and yogurt, lastly I add the liquids and honey. I think it is easier on the blender to layer it this way.
I try to use mostly organic ingredients and will throw in any extra fruits or vegetables I have around that are looking like they are starting to turn. I'ts an excellent way to use up fruit that is starting to loose its appeal but you know is still edible.
Four things I try to incorporate in all of our smoothies aside from a good variety of fruit and vegetables are :
- kale for its vitamins A,C and K and it's ability to reduce the risk for cancer if I am out then I substitute with spinach or I will use a blend of the two to be sure we are getting enough iron
- homemade yogurt for it's calcium, protein and natural probiotics
- apple cider vinegar for it's many benefits including aiding the digestive tract and it's antibacterial properties
- local honey that helps to boost energy and gives relief to allergies.
I will give the boys a smoothie similar to this and a bowl of iron fortified cereal to start their day and make sure they will have enough energy to last until lunchtime, an since I am pregnant I will make sure to have the same to be sure I am giving my baby a healthy start.