Green Dragon Smoothie

When we want to wow kids and grownups with how delicious green smoothies are, this is our go-to recipe. It never fails to convert even the most selective eater to healthy green smoothies. A thinner consistency and a milkshake straw help beginners as well. We adapted this basic vitamix green smoothie recipe to meet our own tastes. You can also tweak the recipe your to make it your own! This makes a great breakfast, post workout snack or “side salad” to complement any meal! Your kids will be begging for their greens once they taste this! INGREDIENTS ½ cups green grapes 1 medium orange, peeled ½ banana, peeled 1/2 slice lime with the rind 1” slice of pineapple with the core 1 cup of ice ¼ “ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled 1-2 cups of baby spinach, packed (more if you can fit it in your blender!) DIRECTIONS Place all ingredients in the blender. We have found it’s helpful to put the grapes and orange in first, and the ice and spinach last. Blend until smooth. Sip away and don’t forget to give yourself a green dragon mustache! RATINGS “Super Yum! Can I have LOTS more?” Nora, age 4  “Super Yum! I want LOTS and LOTS more!” Alex, age 5  “Super Yum!I want LOTS and LOTS and LOTS more!” Jake, age 4  “Super Yum This smoothie has a great kick and is SO refreshing” Sharon, a grownup  “Whoa! It’s just amazingly delicious!” Darek, a...

Hot Chocolate Party!

I grew up on Lake Erie, and I have fond memories of playing outside in the snow and coming in for a warm cup of hot chocolate. I always used those hot chocolate mixes in the packets, but looking closely  at labels I have noticed how many undesirable ingredients can be found in store-bought hot chocolate. In the interest of keep things simple and unprocessed we have recently started making hot chocolate with milk, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla. Easy! This holiday season, why not set up a little “Make-Your-Own Hot Chocolate Bar.” Make a large pot of  this basic hot chocolate recipe and set up all the fixin’s for some hot chocolate variations. Your guests will enjoy putting together some fun new creations. Here are some ideas: Make sure you have some crushed peppermint sticks, crushed gingersnaps, chopped peanut butter cups and cayenne pepper to sprinkle onto of your whipped cream , too! PRETTY and YUMMY!!...

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  This is a great fall smoothie that I have made in my fall kids cooking class. Kids love smoothies, and this one has the added fun of crushed graham crackers on top. Kids love to crush the crackers, too! This recipe is part of our preschool nutrition curriculum and is fun for kid of all ages to make. With protein from the yogurt and milk, fiber, vitamins and minerals from the fruit and pumpkin, this makes a great mid-morning or afternoon snack! INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup canned pumpkin 1 ripe banana ½ cup seedless red grapes ½ cup plain yogurt ¾ cup milk (almond milk works nicely) ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice dash of cinnamon 4-5 ice cubes 1 Graham cracker, crushed (optional) DIRECTIONS: Place first 8 ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into cups and garnish with an additional dash of cinnamon and a  teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs if desired. RATINGS  “Super Yum. I like the graham cracker on top!” Zane, age 10  “Super Yum! I like the crunchy stuff on top!” Asa, age 6  “Super Yum! These smoothies are really great!” Laura, age 8  “Yum. I like it pretty well.” Mary, age 10  ...

Prickly Pear Smoothie (and Video)

Recently my kids decided to try a new fruit. They picked up a prickly pear (at Wegmans) and decided this might be one to try. My older son had tried it once at school but thought it would be fun for his little brother to try it to. They researched the prickly pear and made this video. Be careful with the tiny spines, they will get you! Use a glove or tongs, as Zane says in their video! Afterwards we took one of our prickly pears and made an AMAZING SMOOTHIE. We kept the seeds in ours, but if your blender doesn’t grind seeds well, you may want to remove them first. PRICKLY PEAR SMOOTHIE 1 prickly pear 1 orange 1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries 1/2 cup frozen peaches splash of cranberry juice (another juice or water would work too) Blend until...

Blueberry banana smoothies

I have been regularly  making smoothies now ever since my husband came home with our blender 2 years ago.  This is an after school snack at least 3 days a week at our house. I also serve these on “Pizza Movie Night”, since my kids are not much into veggie toppings on their pizza. It’s just amazing how many nutrients you can hide in a smoothie, especially if you have a powerful blender like the Blendtec. The Vitamix another blender that is frequently recommended for green smoothies and soups. Unlike most smoothie shops I do not add ANY extra sweeteners this smoothie because it does NOT need it (especially if you use vanilla yogurt).  If you have tart fruit and it needs a little sweetness, a squirt of honey or agave nectar works great.   Tonight I tried this on a new Tiny Taste Tester who loves smoothie shops.  He told me it was the BEST he every had!  I do not tell my Tiny Tasters at first that there are veggies hiding in the smoothie.  I can honestly say that you CAN NOT taste them. After trying so many different greens in smoothies, I believe that kale is the green leafy vegetable that hides the best without bitterness or aftertaste. A couple of baby carrots also adds more fiber and some vitamin A.  This recipe calls for blueberries, but any berries or combination of berries will work.  In the summer we tend to use more strawberries and sometimes even throw a few fresh peaches in there, too. Using this basic recipe you can experiment with different fruit to make...

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