I am a huge fan of avocado's! They are an excellent source of healthy fats and contain many oils, vitamins and minerals that are essential to have in your diet like potassium, Vitamin D, and fiber. The avocado also protect you from various types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc.
Needless to say avocado is one of my summer must have's and in all reality it is really a year round must have in our kitchen! A friend suggested that I try making a different version of my avocado spread by adding zucchini into it and with all the zucchini around this summer I jumped at the idea.
I researched online and found that there were various ideas and recipes for making a zucchini avocado spread, but I really like to take recipes and make them my own. I often experiment by swapping ingredients, changing the amounts recommended or adding something new. Since zucchini is one of those friendly green veggies high in vitamin A and folic acid (among other things), I decided to go out on a limb and add in the child fave: BROCOLI. Brocoli is one of my fave veggies to incorporate into our daily diet. Many of you know that I often finely chop up raw brocoli and sprinkle it all over my food especially pizza or pasta's. Brocoli is a great veggie that helps prevent cancer, is high in vitamin C and fiber and also helps promote healthy sleep.
I was excited to combine these 3 healthy wonders and was even more excited when it came out to be pretty tasty and was immediately gobbled up by my toddler as well as various friends and family. I waited until after they had heaped me with praise to reveal the extra ingredients in the spread though.
4.) Put the zucchini into the food processor and mash away. Slowly add in the chopped brocoli, then the onions, garlic, and cilantro. Mix it well!
5.) Add the mixture to the avocado.
6.) Sprinkle a little salt for taste and you are ready to serve it!
*** I personally add a little hot pepper to mine for the kick and spice but I don't recommend that for children who have not experienced that before.
You can serve this with chips, veggie sticks, as a spread on a sandwich, the sky is the limit! It still retains a guacamole taste but now we have added some major nutritional value that will keep your family happy and healthy! What types of ingredients to you add to your guac?
Toddlers and Children can be such picky eaters that at times we often shake our head in amazement that they get enough nutrition! They go through phases where they only eat bread or yogurt or whatever their particular favorite is. I personally find myself worrying constantly if my son gets enough vegetables in his diet. We do pretty good with fruits, carbs and dairy in our house and try to mix the veggies in with things like smoothies, muffins, scrambled eggs and sandwiches etc. But sometimes I am singing the veggie blues!
This past weekend, despite refusing to at any veggies, I decided to try some veggie croissants! You only need a few things and it takes about 20 minutes to prepare these tasty morsels! Plus the kids can help you which is a fun way to integrate learning, math and cooking all together!
You will need the following:
* your own dough or precut croissants (I LOVE Trader Joe's or Pillsbury)
* an assortment of your choice of veggies finely diced. I used brocoli, onion, zucchini and squash above.
* Cheese - I used a Mozzarella that had hints of a BBQ flavor which I found at Windfall Market. If there are dairy allergies, try a soy milk cheese or rice milk cheese.
* Although mine did not have chicken-you could add this in for protein :)
Tasty Tuesday is a weekly blog on Cape Cod Mommies featuring a quick and easy recipes for families. If you have a recipe that you would like to share with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
You ask our Advisors questions, they give you the Answer!
Today we are featuring 3 Questions to Cape Cod Mom Advisor: Heidi Ingram If you have questions for Heidi or ANY of our Cape Cod Mom Advisors, please e-mail them to: email@example.com and we will get them answered.
1.) I find myself struggling to eat healthy. The chip, soda, candy diet is not working. What are some easy and quick nutritious meals to keep me energized enough to chase after my toddler? ~ Katie, Falmouth
I would suggest planning ahead and making small baggies of celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter, carrot sticks with slices of Swiss cheese, almond’s with dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins and apricots. You could also make
small Tupperware containers of yogurt with slices of fresh fruit such as apples, pineapple, cantaloupe and blueberries.
If yogurt isn’t one of your favorites, you could try cottage cheese. Essentially you want to create small, fresh packages of nutritionally sound meals. The less processed the better!!!
2.) I feel like my son is not getting enough vegetables in his diet. How much should he get a day or per week? What are some creative ways to incorporate them so he will eat them? ~ Lauren, Harwich
Toddlers should have (3) servings of veggies per day. A serving is one half of a cup of cooked diced vegetables – a half cup of tomato sauce also constitutes a serving of vegetables. Make sure your toddler’s veggie servings amount to a rainbow of color each day so that he or she gets a variety of vitamins and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes are all nutritional powerhouses. Any vegetable diced can be placed in scrambled eggs, in a dish of pasta
and on top of a pizza. Any vegetable covered with cheese is usually enticing and inviting to a toddler. I have even diced up butternut squash and added it to some macaroni noodles with some grated cheese at the daycare and the children never even guessed there was a vegetable lurking in their meal!!!
3.) What are some healthy snacks that I can share with my child? ~ Ashley, Mashpee
I suggest making snacks a fun time with your child to explore new tastes and textures. Make the event an opportunity for the both of you to discover different types of produce together… make it fun!!!!
About 1 cup each of fresh fruits: Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, banana, pineapple, and strawberries.
Wash and cut fruit into ½ inch thick slices. Discard rinds and peels. Press cookie cutters into the melon and pineapple slices to make different shapes. Peel the banana and cut it into chunks with a butter knife. Put all the pieces of fruit in their own small bowls so they are easy to reach. Hold up a skewer so you can see the pointy end, and very carefully, start sliding fruit onto the skewer in any order you like. Lay the filled skewers
on the serving plate. Repeat until all the fruit is gone.
Tuscan Bean Dip
1 can or 15.5 ounces cannellini beans, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 garlic cloves (peeled), veggies, chips and crackers for serving.
Open the can of beans and pour them into the bowl of the food processor. Add the olive oil and garlic. Process until the mixture is smooth. Remove the blade in the processor and use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with your favorite veggies, chips, or crackers.
Tropical Celery Boats
1 can or 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained; 4 celery stalks (washed and patted dry); 3 tablespoons soft cream cheese.
Open the can of pineapple and drain it through a strainer over a bowl. Save the juice to drink or use later. Trim the ends and any leafy parts off the celery stalks. Cut the stalks in half across the middle. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and add pineapple. With a rubber spatula mix the two together until even. Use a butter knife to spread the mixture into the hollows of the celery stalk halves. Place the filled stalks on the plate and cover in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Good morning Moms! I wanted to share a great snack idea I found on Pinterest: using ice trays as snack trays! What I liked about this idea was that I could put a little bit of everything in the tray. My first try with the trays is shown in the pictures. I included the following foods: dried cranberries, cucumbers, 2 Nilla's, clementine slices, zucchini bites, raisins, cheerios, cut up string cheese, applie bites, puffs, grapes, and Sesame cheese crackers. I then used two of the compartments for dipping sauces: strawberry yogurt and squash puree. The example I saw on Pinterest (which you can find by clciking on the Pinterest link on the front page of Cape Cod Mommies), had additional other foods and suggestions. Avocado, banana's, almond butter, and other things would also be great additions to the tray. I found by offering mutliple choices, he seemed more interested and patient in trying all the different foods. I definitely recommend trying to find a nice balance in offering equal amounts of fruits, grains and veggies. Veggies are always tough which is why I snuck one in as a puree.
What I really enjoyed about this idea was that even though he didn't finish all the snacks in the morning, I was able to easily pop the tray back out for the afternoon. They are incredibly easy to prep and I decided to prep up a few of them (minus the dry goods so they wouldn't get soggy). If you have multiple children I would imagine this would be great time saver. I also incorporated a little learning into this activity by sitting with him while he snacked and we pointed to each snack and said the name and color of it. Next time I plan on trying to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow! Happy Snacking!
Cape Cod Moms