Friday, May 4, 2012

friday faves :: health food finds

if you've been keeping up around here you know that i am a girl on a mission...a mission to change the way my family eats.  i have been so encouraged by many of you who have the same pursuit.

i have much that i want to share with you but i am trying to pace myself.  i apologize that my last post was soooo long.  {you know how i get when i'm excited about something}

today i simply want to pass along some of my favorite new health food finds and a couple of new recipes that we are loving.

first, the food finds...
:: COCONUT OIL :: i have been reading a lot about the benefit of using coconut oil.  i decided to give it a glad i did!  depending on the temperature in your kitchen your coconut oil may be in liquid or solid form when you grab it out of the cupboard.  either one is fine.  if you are baking with it i recommend making sure it is liquified {which you can easily do by measuring the correct amount into a microwave-dish and nuking it for several seconds}.  at this point i am not switching completely to coconut oil but i am using it in many dishes.
:: ALMOND BUTTER :: i have tried almond butter in the past but never bought any.  it is so yummy and the kids love it {especially on a ww pita with a little of uncle robert's honey}
:: CRUNCHMASTER CRACKERS :: these are yummy and healthy.  i picked mine up from earthfare.  i have been making a snack mix for the kids that includes - 
- these crackers
- raisins
- nuts {either pistachios or kids love both...i'm sure you could use almonds too}
that's it!  super easy and...they gobble it up!
:: BARLEY GRASS POWDER :: considered a 'superfood' and really easy to sneak into smoothies.  {see our new smoothie concoction below}  i ordered a big package of it from vitacost {along with some other goodies}.  if you are looking for an on-line retailer for health foods vitacost is a great place to start.  if you connect to vitacost via THIS LINK it will earn you {and me} $10 off our orders!  use my email - - as the referrer.

and, finally, a few of our favorite recipes from this week...
{i used mostly organic ingredients...except for the bananas}

:: berry-butter smoothie ::
note: this makes enough for our family of 4
1 cup almond milk {plain}
1 cup apple juice
2-3 bananas
1 1/2 cups frozen berries {we used blueberries and strawberries...if you want to use fresh berries just add a few cubes of ice to the blender with them}
3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
{optional} 1-2 tablespoons barley grass powder
{optional} a handful of spinach
~toss it all in the blender and...well...blend!
{keep in mind that the 2 optional ingredients don't change the yummy flavor of the if you have them on hand...toss 'em in!}

:: quinoa-millet breakfast bowl ::
{don't be afraid of these words like i was!  
quinoa and millet are sooo easy to cook with and super healthy!}
place the following in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until water is absorbed...
1 cup quinoa
1 cup millet
4 cups water
dash of salt
you can keep this grain mixture in the fridge for a few days.  pull it out and add any of the following when you are ready for a yummy, healthy breakfast...
~fresh fruit {we like diced bananas} or dried fruit {like cranberries or raisins}
~nuts {we like walnuts}
~honey or maple syrup {we like both!}
~chia seeds 
~splash of milk {we love it with almond milk}
kid version and grown-up version
joey and i both really liked starting our day off with this one.  oliver devoured his too.  lucy, on the other hand, wasn't crazy about it.  i think it had something to do with the consistency.  luckily i had a good alternative for her.  lisa from 100 days of real food recommends corn puffs {as seen above} with milk and fruit as a simple and healthy breakfast option.  lucy loooooves we were good.

:: super easy veggie tacos ::
kids version - only beans & cheese in taco with avocado on the side
grown-up version with a side of fresh organic raspberries {which are on sale at harris teeter right now}
{this is a variation of another suggested meal from 100 days}
chop up the following...
~orange or red pepper
~squash and/or zucchini
...saute' in coconut oil {or whatever you have on hand} for a few minutes
meanwhile - 
heat up frozen corn tortillas in a warm skillet {this is another of my favorite can get them in the freezer section at earthfare}
shred a cup of monterey jack cheese
and slice an avocado.
add a can of black beans {or another type of beans that you like} to the veggie mixture for the last minute or so of cooking.
spoon veggie mixture into tortilla, top with cheese and avocado and fold in half.  you're done!  enjoy!

more meals and a summary of our weekly eating {including total cost} coming soon!  in the meantime...please share your favorite healthy meals with us.