1) There are quite a few alternatives to dairy, readily available these days and miss Mairin seems to have developed a sensitivity to dairy. It was a combination of hives and then also what looked like eczema from neck to toe that occurred in conjunction with a long-lasting cold and teething and brief change in laundry detergent. I'm not sure whether it's over or what, but I'm not going to reintroduce dairy for another month.
2) Leighton is growing like a little wild flower and her dinner doesn't always get her through the night. She's been waking up STARVING at 5am and that's just not working for mom, dad and ... mostly for poor Mairin. She is NOT a morning person. Wow.
3) Ryan and I are juicer people. We don't always fit in all of our veggies and vitamins and are accustomed to cleaning out the fridge every few days to make a concoction. Carrot, apple, beet, tomato, red pepper and spirulina (if we have it) is a regular recipe. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. We've used a Breville Juice Fountain Elite for the past four years.
4) Everyone can agree that it's fun to enjoy a colorful beverage of fun consistency in an unusual cup before bed and again in the morning. We go so far as to call these "shakes".
Our smoothie operation s fairly simple. I keep whole milk, Very Vanilla Soy Silk, Regular Vanilla Silk (less sugar), coconut milk and almond milk. Even Target stocks the Silk brand of most of these, if not all. They do tend to take up some room in the fridge, but the only juice we have is Vruit and fresh-squeezed orange juice and those come in relatively small containers.
We keep an assortment of fruits on hand (both fresh and frozen since it's winter) and also use the mish mash when we're otherwise low on a particular ingredient. To sneak in veggies, they need to be cooked or juiced raw.
For cooked veggies, plan ahead: We'll have broccoli for dinner, but we'll make several cups and then have some for lunch the next day or a piece to throw into a smoothie. Same thing with carrots, chunks of sweet potato or peas. All three of those are easy to sneak into a smoothie, believe it or not. There are a number of containers in the fridge with cooked this and that that. They never go to waste because we can puree them and throw them into pasta or cous cous (on gluten free days we use wild rice, quinoa, millet or amaranth) and voila, we've just added some depth to our dinner.
We also keep containers of the cooked grains I mentioned in the fridge for a day or two to add whatever sauce mixture we come up with that day. The girls really like cous cous, quinoa and wild rice.
Of course, when Ryan and I make our juice, we add veggies and can just pour some of that into the kids' smoothies. A tiny bit of beet makes everything pink, has lots of vitamins and if you use just a little doesn't have a strong flavor.
The main message here is that we juice raw or cook and puree veggies into our smoothies. I got into the groove of this Jessica Seinfeld type behavior while making baby food for Leighton and it just became second nature. If we go a day or two with just a fruit smoothie, I don't sweat it. Overall, we include veggies more than we exclude them.
And, if I am lazy or rushing, I just throw in a veggie-blend mish mash and congratulate myself for ingenuity.
I make smoothies at night just before bed and we take them up in place of our battes. I make enough for the morning, as well. I'll use last night as an example.
For Mairin: I poured 1 full Take and Toss cup of coconut milk in the blender. Mairin helped me add four big strawberries, five blackberries and a medium banana. I squeezed in the leftover half of the spinach apple rutabaga mish mash that she didn't finish at lunch and we whipped it up. I poured half of the mixture into separate take and toss cups. I put the lids on, gave one to Mairin and put the other in the fridge for the morning.
For Lei: I poured 3/4 Take and Toss cup of whole milk and 1/4 Take and Toss cup of Very Vanilla Silk in the blender. I added four big strawberries, five blackberries and a medium banana. I squeezed in another one of Mairin's leftover lunch mish mashes - sweet potato apple - and let her hit the button. I put the lids on, gave one to Lei and put the other in the fridge for the morning.
We sneak in some vitamins, avoid waking up starving and have a fun, pre-bed activity we can do together. We also have a mess-free breakfast smoothie ready to go in the morning, which cuts out the hypoglycemic whining that's been going on while the eggs are scrambling.
It's a win-win.Pin It