Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greek Yogurt: 2 Ways to Mix-Up Mundane Munchies

I hate to admit it. I'm disappointed. Even slightly embarrassed to say: my child is a picky eater. At least one of them is anyway. Was it something I did, or did not do? Am I responsible for this? Or, is it just the very nature of a 2 year-old? Probably a combination of both... Regardless, I want to get more variety in my little guy's diet. I feel like I serve the same thing over and over! Dinner is an exception because the kids get whatever it is we eat, with a side of applesauce or the like. But breakfast and lunch have become mundane.

To get out of the oatmeal/pb toast/Cheerios rut that we are in for breakfast, I started investigating smoothies. I wanted to find a way to incorporate Greek yogurt since it's packed with protein. Here's what I came up with:

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt and 1 cup of
Bolthouse Farm's Berry Boost Friut Smoothie.
Combine both ingredients until smooth.

I found both items at Aldi. And because the berries are already pureed, you can simply mix with a hand mixer or whisk. It has a really great, smooth texture. And no cleaning the blender required :)

1 cup of this Greek yogurt has 23 grams of protein and the Berry Boost is simply pureed berries (and some apple and banana). There is no added sugar or preservatives. I was surprised that I didn't need to add honey or banana or anything to sweeten the smoothie since plain yogurt can be a touch bitter, but it was really good tasting as it was. And the kids loved it! I make it in advance and store it in a jar or even right in their cups with a lid. So now we've got smoothies and some dry cereal in the bfast rotation 2 mornings a week. Usually the mornings we need to get out the door to the sitter's. (Don't know about your kids, but mine can make a piece of toast last for 20 minutes!) Now the down-side to this smoothie- the ingredients are not organic, which I tend to buy for our fruit and yogurt. And because the berries are already pureed and bottled, we're missing out on the full nutritional value of the fruit. But, for the price and time, it's working for me right now.

For lunch time, I've taken to the ever-loved muffin tin. It's funny to see people blog and post this idea on Pintrest because my mom did this very same thing when I was a kid! Nevertheless, I love to use a 6 cup muffin tin because you can use yogurt or other "spoonable" foods as well finger foods, all-in-one! In efforts to get my guy to consume more veg, I wanted to use some sort of dip, but I also wanted it to pack a healthy punch. Insert: Hummus Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

1 can garbanzo beans, 1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed), 1 Tbs lemon juice,
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cumin.
Drain and rinse beans and then combine all ingredients in a food processor.

I would recommend buying organic beans. Most canned beans are loaded with all kinds of extra crap from preservatives to high fructose corn syrup. Especially kidney beans, for whatever reason. Read the label and be appalled. Anyway, this hummus was easy, came out fabulous and Asher ate it right up, veggies and all :) Ahhh.... the small successes in the day of the life of a mother.


Trinity said...

The Gawron girls are big smoothie lovers. So often, we have smoothies and eggs for dinner if Dave and I make something we know they won't like. I have no plan at all. I just throw in whatever organic fruits, yogurts, cottage cheeses, veggies, etc that are in my fridge. If it gets thick - I add some milk. A great trip is to throw bananas that are starting to go bad in the freezer. At smoothing making time, I peel it, chop it and throw it in. Makes a great consistency with any combo. An addition in most smoothies - ground flax seed. They never taste it. One thing they love (thanks to my mother in law) is making a 'green smoothie'. We add in spinach or kale to make it green and it tastes great and looks super cool. I've even used the leftovers of a caesar salad mix and it tasted great. Welcome to the world of smoothies!

Martin05 said...

Awesomeness. U r a smoothie expert! Thanks Trin!

Anonymous said...

Sara, I love the muffin tin idea. I think Sadie would totally go for it. Thanks!


Kelli Blinn said...

Grrreat tips, mama! I will be trying the smoothie idea with hopes that I too can score the deals from Aldi. Its not just your toddler who is picky, my own babe has entered that phase as well. Its their stage in life and I have to remind myself that this too will pass. Sometime.

Ellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Ah - we used to call it a Super Snack - peanut butter, apple slices, raisins and the ever popular ice-cube peas. (that's right - peas right out of the freezer - you used to love them!)

Love to see what's old become new again - thanks to our neighbor Laura for that little idea! <3