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The Quest for Fruits and Veggies
My family always seems to be on the quest to eat healthier, especially fruits and veggies. Well, I am. My kids…not so much. They would be happy to eat junk food and candy for the rest of their lives. It’s just me trying to make sure they get veggies, fruit and good protein every day.
Meanest mom ever. Who’s with me on this? Raise your hands!
Both my boys are picky eaters, but with my youngest, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to eat a vegetable, let alone the 5-10 servings recommended daily. Fruit is also hit and miss with him. More often than not, what gets packed in his lunch comes home untouched. And we wonder why the poor kid has behaviour issues at school, usually by early afternoon. (That was sarcasm, btw. He’s totally “hangry”!).
Okay, confession time. I think they might just get their pickiness from me (except for this ridiculous notion that mushrooms are gross, that one is totally on their father). Fruit is not my favourite, but it’s a texture issue. I just can’t get used to the stringy-ness of citrus, or the squishy skin pop of berries and grapes. I have tried, really I have!
But I have found the solution to my texture problem, and successfully faked out my kid in the process!
The answer is…smoothies! I can load it up with protein and spinach, add in all kinds of frozen fruit, and voila! Smooth texture for me, and a healthy dose of fruits and veggies! (Hint…if you add blueberries, it turns a lovely shade of brown that my kid thinks is chocolate!)
The Secrets To A Great Smoothie
There are a couple of secrets I have discovered to making this quick, easy and delicious! First is to use a powerful blender. I use a Vitamix. (Yep, they are expensive! Traded in my wedding rings, bought the blender with the proceeds. That thing has lasted longer than my marriage did! But I digress…)
Second, use a great tasting protein powder. My favourite is Vega but there are plenty of options out there. Look for high quality protein, whether it’s whey or vegan sources. You might have to try a few for taste and texture until you find what your picky eaters like best!
Last but not least, make it quick and easy by creating individually portioned ingredient packs ahead of time! Prep once, and you’ve got a week’s worth of smoothie packs. Just take out of the freezer, pop in the blender, add your liquid, flip the switch and in 1-2 minutes, you’ve got a great tasting, nutrient packed breakfast or snack.
Gather all your ingredients. I keep frozen fruit on hand (because…winter in Canada) but you can use fresh fruit too! I usually mix a few different kinds together. You can really vary the taste this way. Pick all citrus fruits for a tangy twist. Mix mango, papaya and pineapple for a taste of the tropic. One large container of baby spinach usually yields 6-7 servings.
Start by opening the freezer bags, and divide up your spinach. I just grab it by the handful, and even out the baggies after. Then add about a 1/2 cup of fruit or so (again, just eyeball it).
Baggy Opener is a life-saver when it comes to keeping the ingredients from spilling everywhere while filling. (Trust me on this one! Blueberries roll pretty far!)
You can also add extras like flax seed or almonds to your fruits and veggies. Seal the bags and throw in the freezer!
When you’re ready to make your smoothies, grab a bag from the freezer, pop the contents in the blender, add a scoop of protein powder, and about a cup of liquid. We like Silk Almond Dark Chocolate, but you could go with water, milk, coconut water (great with the tropical fruits), or juice. If you need a hint of added sweetness, try honey, or agave syrup, but I find the almond milk is sweet enough. Blend for a minute or two. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon or so of water and blend again.
Pour and enjoy right away, or put in a blender bottle for an on-the-go meal.
Try it and see if your picky eaters approve too! Or Pin It to your favourite board for later!
What is your favourite fruit/veggie combinations? I would love to know! Leave a comment below!