March 22, 2013

Feature Friday - Healthy Recipes that were a Hit

A lot of you have asked about what recipes have been successful as we've tried to eat more healthy.  I thought I'd share a few today.  

Here is the criteria I'm judging them by:

Every member of the family ate it and liked it.

I figure it's a good bar to judge it by.  After all, it's frustrating to make a meal that takes a lot of time and then only have one or two takers.  So, here are 5 recipes that were a hit around here.

1) Black Bean and Sweet Corn Salad from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  This is a link one of you awesome readers gave me.  Thanks!  We really liked this one.  Quinoa is so good for you and easy to cook with, too.  I remember when my husband first told me about quinoa a couple of years ago.  I was like, "Keen-what?"  They even sell it at Costco now.  Good stuff.

2) Banana Ice Cream.  Here's a fun dessert one.  I read about this on Delia's blog HERE a while back and the original info and recipe comes from HERE (by Our Best Bites).  It's banana ice cream and the only ingredient is banana.  I know it sounds absurd, but it rocks.  You just freeze your bananas and then use a food processor to blend them up.  The consistency really is just like ice cream and it's very sweet.  Throw in a few chocolate chips if you like.  The kids absolutely loved it.  Obviously you have to like bananas for this one to be successful. 

I recommend reading the original post HERE for the details.  It was helpful.

3) Banana Bread.  While we're mentioning bananas, we all really liked this banana bread.  It has no oil or sugar, but rather applesauce and honey.  The recipe is HERE.  I think I might make it as muffins next time.  Now, let me say that my kids are really used to heavy whole wheat bread now.  This bread ends up being fairly heavy when made with whole wheat flour, but we like it that way.  It's so much more filling.

4) My Mom's Blueberry Smoothie.  My parents make this smoothie every single morning.  I think that's kind of funny.  Anyhow, I like this recipe because it's filling (oatmeal) and pretty nutritious (lots of spinach) but sneaky all at the same time.  You see, the blueberries hide the spinach color so the smoothie isn't green.  So in case your kids are against eating things that are green, they will never know the difference.  Sorry I don't have a picture.  

Smoothies are a great way to experiment.  We made one last night with frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, and coconut milk.  It was really good, too.  The smoothie possibilities are endless and spring and summer are such a great time to make them.  Yum.

1-1.5 cups of frozen blueberries

1.25 cups of orange juice

1/2 cup of oatmeal (You could use more or less depending on if you mind oatmeal in it.)

2 good-sized handfuls of spinach (about 3 cups)

2 scoops of Greek yogurt (You could use sweetened or unsweetened - depending on how sweet you like your smoothie.  "2 scoops" is probably about 1/2 - 2/3 a cup)

Instructions: It's easiest to blend up the OJ and oatmeal together first an then add the rest of the stuff.

5) Oatmeal.  I mentioned that we eat oatmeal a lot for breakfast.  We make one big pot of it since we all like it.  This recipe comes from a the Food Zone Cookbook, which has a lot of great ideas in it.  You can download/find the recipe HERE.  I didn't want to copy it here since it's not mine to give out.  

Extra notes to the recipe:  It's great to add banana as early as possible.  Then it cooks in and makes the oatmeal sweet and breaks it down so you don't have chunks in it.  I also love to add all sorts of fruit we might have on hand - strawberries, blueberries, etc.

Hopefully these recipes will give you something to try out.  I hope you like them as much as we have.

Thanks for reading.


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