Welcome Back Nourished Foodies!
So far it has been a wonderful summer over here at my humble abode. My kitchen is just as busy as ever since my little tasmanian devils eat every 45 minutes. There is a lot of back to school buzz from all you loving parents. Between shopping for school supplies, new clothes, lunch boxes and all the things bright and pretty, I bet everyone is feeling a little…busy. If you have the luxury of keeping up with my Facebook posts you’ve seen some great ideas for whole food lunches and snacks. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of easy lunches like lunchables or the basic sandwich, carrots sticks and apple slices. I have find myself in these same ruts even with whole foods. I’m quickly knocked out of it when Mav starts coming home with most of his carefully prepared lunch still in tact
I’ve created these adorable little muffins to help even the most left brained mom create lunches worthy of Pinterest! Make these the center of attention in your kids meals or keep them for yourself for a light but filling snack. Three or four of these should be enough to replace something like a sandwich. These aren’t your usual muffins. They are mostly made with soaked organic quinoa, a grain like seed boasting a high nutritional value. Known for being a complete protein, quinoa also contains essential amino acids and is high in magnesium and iron (to just name a few of its many amazing qualities). It is also naturally gluten-free so if you are trying to limit gluten or are sensitive you can request these muffins to be completely gluten-free. I soak almost all of my grains and legumes (even though quinoa is not technically a grain) to increase the vitamin absorption and ease digestion. You can read more about soaking here. The variety of muffins are endless so I’m starting with a large list to choose from until I narrow down people’s favorite.
Alister loved the test batch so much I had trouble getting a good picture because he kept trying to eat my props!
Organic Quinoa Mini Muffins
$18 for 24 filled muffins (choose one filling per order)
Natural Almond Butter and Jelly
Organic Peanut Butter and Jelly
Banana Split (banana, strawberry and pineapple)
Natural Almond Butter and Cinnamoned Banana
Stone Fruit (peaches, apricots or plums)
Organic Cinnamon Apple
Tropical Delight (pineapple, mango and coconut)
Pizza (organic tomato sauce and natural mozzarella)
Fish Taco (cod, black bean and corn)
Sweet Corn and Natural Chicken
Bean and White Cheddar Cheese
Veggie (medley of squash, zucchini and corn)
Turkey Taco (ground natural turkey, black beans and organic tomatoes)
Natural Beef Taco (natural ground beef, black beans and tomatoes)
If there’s a combination you don’t see, but would like to try I can always custom make an order. Available upgrades at an additional cost includes 100% Organic ($5), Gluten Free ($3), Grass-fed Organic Beef or Bison ($6), Sustainable/Wild Caught fish such as Salmon, Mahi Mahi or other white fleshed fish ($5).
Easy Button Breakfast items
Organic Soaked Steel Cut Oatmeal – $6 for 2 8.5 oz servings
An individually portioned serving of lightly sweetened and spiced steel-cut oatmeal. Our oatmeal is soaked overnight to ensure your body gets the most out of the goodness of oatmeal. With 14g of protein and only 400 calories, this is makes a complete breakfast that is sure to keep you full until your next meal.
A well-rounded, low-cal, high protein breakfast. Made with free range eggs, all natural egg whites, half a slice of sprouted whole grain bread, uncured nitrate free bacon pieces and chopped greens. It’s quick and easy to eat on the run and light enough to pair with a bowl of fruit to start your day off right!
A complete breakfast bar that perfectly balances your protein and whole grains for a morning on the go. Made with raw almonds, organic oatmeal, organic raisins and all natural sweetners like honey and molasses.Apple Cinnamon Raisin – $12 for a dozenCranberry Almond – $12 for a dozen
Homemade Pop Tarts
Made with organic whole wheat pastry, these are filled with wholesome ingredients and none of the guilt. Hands these to your kids while their running out the door or even keep them for yourself.
Just Fruit – $12 a dozen
Almond Butter and Fruit – $12 a dozen
Spinach, Turkey and White Cheddar – $14 a dozen
After School or Lunch Box Snacks and Treats
Let your kids think they are getting an indulgent treat with these big hits!
Organic Peanut Butter Banana Pops – $10 a dozen
Natural Almond Butter Banana Pops -$12 a dozen
Organic Lighty Sweetened and Spiced Apple and Pear Chips – $5 a bag (about 20 chips) Uh, you might steal these from your kids they’re so good!
Almond Power Bars – $15 for 18 bars
A naturally gluten-free bar that satisfies any sweet tooth while adding a mini punch of protein. With a touch of dark chocolate on top this is a sweet treat that counts. Also available in espresso for a little caffeinated energy boost (not for kids!).
Walnut Bites – $18 for 18 bars
Give you kid a healthy dose of EFAs in these power packed bars. Much like the almond bars minus the chocolate.
Just for Adults
Dark Chocolate and PB2 Banana Pops – $14 a dozen
I was shopping at HEB the other day and saw Lunchables for $1. One Dollar. “WOW” I thought “that is a cheap lunch“. They must be so tempting to the time starved mom desperate for an easy button. Yeah, you could feed your kid lunch for a whopping $5 a week, but really think about the fact that what you pay for is what you get. They can charge only $1 a lunchable because that is what it’s worth. Scary. Lunches like that aren’t very filling either. Whole food is more satisfying because it still contains most of the nutrients it was grown with. Your body is not searching for more to fill in the gaps highly processed food leaves behind. We make room in our budget for better food because everything we do in life is in this body. I view the extra money on clean brands and a gym membership as an investment in my future health. I love Dave Ramsey’s phrase “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”. You can apply it to health also. Eat well today, so you can live well later. I see the living proof in my grandmas. One has lived an active healthy life, raised her kids to garden and worked well into her sixties (maybe longer). After her workplace closed she started working out at a gym just to stay healthy and busy. She is in her early eighties now and watches my own kids weekly! My other grandma (whom I love regardless) allowed food to be an idol. She spent much of her life nose in a book (a great practice in moderation), eating and not taking care of herself. She has had multiple knee surgeries, diabetes, high blood pressure (and on and on) and takes an arsenal of pharmaceutical drugs everyday. She is dependent on my mother’s care since she can’t drive and getting around is a slow labored process. I love my grandma’s both the same, they both have big loving hearts. When I am of that age though I want to be able to keep up with my great grandkids and spend my last couple of decades able to take care of myself. I want to be vibrant and a have lived a life others want to immulate. More than I want that for myself, I want it for my kids. I am not naive enough to think that they won’t make some bad food choices at times when I’m not around, but their foundation will be healthy. They won’t be a hundred pounds overweight at eighteen suddenly realizing that I set them on the path of obesity, but now it’s up to them to do the hard work of losing weight. I want them to question their food and truly understand what they are eating, how it got there and where it comes from. Hopefully my food can help others feed their kids well too, especially in those moments you just don’t have the time to prepare something. Alright, alright, enough of my preaching and on to some helpful tips.
Start with just an hour. Make a large batch of whole grain pancakes to make breakfast delicious and AB&J’s fun. Here’s a simple recipe to follow. You can up the ante and create a combination of half whole wheat and half buckwheat, garbanzo bean flour, quinoa flour, sorghum flour, etc. Don’t worry too much about exact measurements. They will turn out tasty and kids won’t notice if they aren’t perfectly fluffy (you probably won’t either!) I cook these while I cut up veggies or do some other prep that I can stop easily to flip pancakes. Let them cool and store in a gallon ziplock in the freezer. They heat up in the microwave in about a minute! Eventually you’ll be like me and you’ll do this every weekend morning to prepare for the week without even needing to look at the recipe!
- Don’t let mushy overripe fruit go to waste. As soon as I see fruit get too icky for me to eat raw, I wash, cut and freeze in a bag I keep in the freezer just for smoothies. Or I put them in the dehydrator if it’s the end of the week and we have a bit of fruit that could be dried.
- We got burnt out on Boar’s Head turkey and ham. I also realized how even though it’s a good brand it’s still pretty processed and contains a lot of sodium. We buy HEB natural chicken tenders (sometimes organic if it’s in the budget) and drumsticks for lunches. I cook all the chicken at the beginning of the week. The tenders are cooked with olive oil in a skillet and the drumsticks (about 6 for less than $3!) are baked (skins removed). We all eat this for lunch because it’s so versatile. You can make sandwiches, wraps, salads, kabobs and more with them. The drumsticks are fun for the kids (meat popsicle anyone?) and the dark meat is rich in nutrients for their growing bodies.
- If you’re trying to switch the kids off dairy, start by serving them glasses with 75% cow’s milk and 25% unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk. Then just keep adding more of the alternative milk until they don’t mind the taste
- Adding yogurt (choose a responsible brand like Fage, Stoneyfield or Siggi) and fruit to any smoothie will hide the taste of veggies. Organic baby kale or spinach is my favorite green to sneak in. A pricier option is a green powder like Vibrant Green will greatly enhance the power of the smoothie. Make a large pitcher full and freeze them into pops like this or freeze in portioned glass jars with lids like ball jars (cheap! I like old Kombucha jars) to take out for a smoothie each day.
- Snap peas, baby carrots, raw orange and red bell pepper, cucumber and celery are my favorite quick and easy veggies I add to just about any lunch. If that’s difficult to start your kid on try switching veggie chips first.
- Low fat diets are not healthy for kids! Surprised? Well, don’t leave the skin on the chicken just yet. While kids brains are developing they are dependent on EFA’a (essential fatty acids) to build a healthy bright brain. If they are getting artificial fats (ahem, throw out that margarine NOW and get real butter please) then their brain is building itself artificially. What are good fats? Flaxseed oil, avocados, omega-3 rich fish, walnuts, seeds and more. Read more about why kids need healthy fats here. Check out this place for the best cod liver oil. Start your kids early and they won’t mind the taste. Mav thinks his fish oil, vitamin, proibiotic, flaxseed oil concoction tastes great. It doesn’t.
- My favorite green back to school items are Planetwise reusable washable snack bags, napkins and sandwich bags. I have their wet bags too and LOVE them. Even if you don’t cloth diaper they are great for swimsuits and to send with kids to put dirty clothes in. I’m hoping to get one of these Planetbox lunch boxes for Mav to replace the current plastic bento box. These are pricey and can be found at Potttery Barn for an even cuter bags to put them in. My next pick would be Pottery barn’s stainless steel bento boxes because they are leak proof. I like to buy from mom companies, but it’s hard to find a bento box that is leak proof with a silicone lid. Remember to try to send your kiddos off with reusable silverware. Teaching them how to take care of the earth should start when they are young!
Just a few things to start with. Sometimes blogs can overwhelm you with too much information. Don’t forget My Spring and Summer Menu is still available. You can order anything off of that menu as well. And as always if you have any food allergies please let me know beforehand. If you would like to know the ingredients in anything or the brands I use, I am an open book. Last, but not least, please feel free to try any of these on your own. Of course I can’t divulge my recipes, but I encourage everyone to cook as much for themselves as possible!
email firstname.lastname@example.org for orders please. It helps me keep my orders organized 🙂
May your mornings be filled with good grub and enchanting moments with your precious babes – Cassidy