Q. Why do kids like skateboards, roller blades, snow boards, slides and bikes so much?
A. Because they give such a smoooooth ride!
Did you know you can give your kids a pretty smooth ride right in your own kitchen? We’re not talking about sliding down a wet granite countertop. We’re talking about how they can be smooth operators with all the smooth concoctions they can create using a blender or food processor.
Ready to give it a whirl? Have them try out these six delicious treats made with a blender!
Kids can make great tasting and fun foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. For instance a smoothie for breakfast is the perfect way to start the day. One great thing about a breakfast smoothie is that it can be made the night before and stored in the fridge. Then the next morning all they have to do is grab and go. Now that is even faster than a pop tart! The best part (except for how fabulous it tastes!) is that the smoothie is much better for their bodies.
What do a can of pinto beans and a blender have in common? Together they make one incredible bean dip or filling for a lunch burrito! All kids have to do is open the can of beans, rinse them off and throw them in the blender with a little salsa, chopped green onion and a dash or two of chili powder. It should be blended until everything is smooth and creamy and they will have the best bean dip or burrito filling around. They can put the pureed (blended up until it’s smooth) beans on a tortilla, top it with a little cheese if they would like, roll it up and pop it in the microwave for a minute or two. It’s faster to make a burrito at home than going through the drive-through and once again, it’s way more healthy than the burrito you buy.
Talking about smooth rides…how about Aladdin and his magic carpet? Kids may not be able to come up with a magic carpet for a smooth ride, but they can come up with one of Aladdin’s favorite smooth snacks – hummus! They can make their own hummus by putting a can of garbanzo beans, a little garlic, a teaspoon of cumin, a little salt and a tablespoon of olive oil in the blender or food processor. They can give it all a whirl until it’s smooth and creamy. Hummus is terrific with pita bread or pita chips. Yum!
Who doesn’t love that all-time favorite smooth treat – ice cream?! The problem with ice cream is that it tastes so good we want to eat lots of it but it really isn’t the healthiest treat we can eat because it is so full of fat and calories. And even though kids may think they don’t care too much about fat or calories, their body does care.
The good news is that with their new best friend, the blender, kids can make their own health-ified ice cream. They can put a frozen banana, a cup of strawberries, a drop or two of vanilla and a splash of milk in the blender or food processor and give it a whirl. They will have instant, good tasting, good-for-them ice cream. They can eat lots if they want because it’s just made of frozen fruit – no bad-for-the-body fat found here!
Do your kids hate onions or mushrooms or broccoli or just about any kind of veggie? The good news is that by blending up some of that stuff into soup or your favorite spaghetti sauce, they won’t even notice the taste or texture and they will be getting all those good-for-your-body veggies. You will both love it!
See how much fun being a smooth operator in the kitchen can be? Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks, smooth foods just can’t be beat. Just remind kids that, like playing it safe with smooth rides and using the right protective gear like helmets and knee pads, they need to play it safe in the kitchen too. Blenders and food processors can cause some serious damage and injuries if they don’t know what they are doing. Make sure you are around to help your kids learn to use blenders and food processors, and always have them ask permission before using any kitchen appliance!
And, be sure to try out our favorite:
6-8 ounces yogurt, any flavor
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 fresh or frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit
1 packed cup fresh spinach
Blend all ingredients well in a blender.
Yield: 1 big delicious smoothie
This is a smooth way to start the morning, and it may be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator.
Surprised to see spinach in this smoothie? Don’t worry, your kids won’t taste it at all and the spinach will give them that smooth boost they need to get going in the morning!
Contributor: Debbie Christofferson, Heidi LeBlanc SNAP-Ed/Utah State University Food $ense