Secret Number 1: People are scared of words! Have you ever noticed that the very mention of something 'healthy', 'vegetarian', 'vegan', 'new' or 'natural' scares the pants off of people? In our society today, we are conditioned to think that any of those words equate to 'bad', 'scary', 'gross', 'weird' or the big one 'CHANGE!' People hate change, it's scary to them. It makes them feel out of control and vulnerable because it is different! This is not a bad thing, it just means we need to hold their hands a little bit! When you first present a new and healthy recipe, do it just as you would with any other recipe! If they go into it thinking it's going to taste bad, then it will so don't make a big deal out of any component that someone might think odd or scary!
Secret Number 2: Introduce the sweet stuff first! I know, sneaky right? Not really! It makes sense to try the desserts first. It helps people to know that those words don't have to be scary and that real food tastes great! Desserts are supposed to be delicious even if they are new or different. It's another word association thing. When a dessert type food can also be used as a snack or meal, it's a BIG hit! For instance; smoothies, puddings and energy bars!
So, let's EAT!!!
One of the easiest ways to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet is to introduce green smoothies!!! The best time for a green smoothie is in the morning! Generally people love smoothies, especially kids! Greens are really important to your diet and this is one of the best ways to get them! Basically you just throw whatever combination of fruits you want in the blender then add leafy green vegetables to the top, they should ideally be about half the blender! Add water as necessary! Using frozen fruits will allow you to omit ice and use less water! When you are first starting with smoothies, you may find you need some added flavor. You can try raw agave nectar, raw honey or pure maple syrup (which actually does not make it taste like a waffle!) Bananas and pineapple add a good deal of sweetness as well! Spinach is virtually undetectable and a great 'green starter!' If you are worried your kids or significant other will be afraid of the color, there are a few things you could try! A lot of kids will really get into things if they think it is fun! You can try calling it a 'Monster Smoothie' and play some sort of monster game or watch something like Monsters Inc. A friend of mine had a great idea as well! She let her daughter pick out what she wanted in her smoothie and throw everything in the blender herself! Kids like to be involved in the kitchen! If the color is still off-putting, you can disguise the greens with darker fruits! Anything with blueberries, raspberries or cherries will generally hide the green color! This is a good recipe of disguise! If you are one who likes 'tried and tested' recipes like me.....
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Chocolate Cherry Bomb
Lots of recipes in the 'smoothie' section!
Green Monster (there's a good story with this one, you should read it!!!)
Chocolate Cherry Bomb with Almond Milk
There are so many delicious foods in their natural state! We just have to find out how to use them......which is funny because really this is the way food should be eaten!
1/4 cup cocoa powder (or cacao powder if you are going completely raw with this!)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
*combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth! ~this is sooooo rich and sooooo delicious! I serve it with strawberries because it takes some of the 'rich' out!
Banana Soft Serve! This has endless possibilities! You can add cacao nibs or dairy free dark chocolate chips/pieces, peanut butter, almond butter, strawberries, nuts....I mean really, YUM!
Raw Fruit Cobbler ~she uses peaches here, but you could use anything....apples would be sooooo good!
Oh She Glows has so many recipes it's ridiculous! She is amazing! Just pick a section and start drooling! If you are gluten free like us, check Love Veggies and Yoga! ~I think she might have a chocolate addiction...maybe?!
The idea is to start cooking and 'uncooking' with real ingredients. No more refined sugars, flours and artificial stuff. Yuck! Let's eat REAL FOOD please!!!!
It is so nice to have snacks on hand! Healthy snacks are even better!
Raw Almond Butter Cookies These are seriously delicious but I don't consider them cookies! I refrigerate them rolled into balls!
Try your hand with homemade 'Lara Bars' There are so many options with this one! Last night we made blueberry-lemon Lara Bars and they were so good! You can basically use whatever combo you want! FYI: If you live around here, Kroger has organic medjool dates for 5.99 a pound! The other stores are at least 2 dollars more per pound, so I recommend Kroger!
These sound delicious!
I am certainly not saying that these are the only foods you should eat! I just want to give you some of the recipes that got us started and that everyone will love! When it comes to kids....keep trying! They may not like something at first but they may loooove it later! You know your kids best and there is a fine line between being stubborn and really and truly disliking something! For instance, my daughter just doesn't like juice or smoothies of any kind. She isn't even 2 yet so I have hope that she will change her mind eventually. She does eat rather than drink her fruit, so I don't push too hard at the moment! When it comes to greens, I just blend some spinach or spirulina in with her almond milk. At first I had to disguise the color in a dark sippy cup but now she doesn't care what color it is because it tastes good! Baby steps my friends, baby steps! She, like a lot of toddlers, has a hard time with something new. We just keep trying and most of the time she will come around! If I know she is being stubborn....well that's a different story! In that case, she doesn't get a choice! It may sound cruel, but I am not denying her food or trying to give her something she doesn't like. They are just trying to see if you will give in!
Little Lady "Pasta?"
Mommy "No, you need to eat your blueberries...it's breakfast!"
Little Lady "Pasta!"
Little Lady "Want pasta!"
Mommy "Blueberries, banana or strawberries."
Little Lady "Ok, bluebears!"
I am sure you have had similar conversations! LOL I hope this is going to get you started and help you to be creative! I will put together lots of yummy dinner ideas that even your meat and potatoes guy will love along with some great veggie recipes your kids will love too! Until then........have a fantabulous day!