In our family, smoothies are more of a dessert than a breakfast food. If they are made in the morning they are usually a part of a wider variety of breakfast fare. While they don’t have to be, smoothies tend to be pretty sweet, primarily with fruit, and therefore are more in the treat/dessert category. That said, we have a vitamix (more on how it is the single best thing I have ever purchased later! Seriously. Change your life awesome.) so the things you can blend into a beautiful creamy smoothie texture is amazing and therefore I do tend to make more balanced smoothies with vegetables and other great things too. Generally though, I try and keep breakfasts (for little ones especially) not on the sweet side. We sometimes eat savoury breakfasts too, most often including miso soup.
With that in mind, we are also very much entering a stage where it is apparent that our baby is now a toddler. He wants everything I am eating, grabs at my plate, cup, anything I pick up! Therefore it seems I am becoming even more conscious of what I’m eating, doing and making. I feel it makes you unable to be a hypocrite being a parent. You really have to practice what you preach when you’re around your kid(s) all the time—which is actually kind of cool—they are your check and balance. If you aren’t going to let your toddler eat something then you best not be eating it yourself, especially in front of them. So when it comes to ingredients to put in smoothies I have been more and more aware of what I include because I know our son is going to reach out longingly and want to try it.
Now I’m not going to say I have become the “hide vegetables in things” mom just yet. (It may happen, I’m not going to lie. You gotta do what you gotta do as a mother!) So far I am trying to create more good quality balance in our meals and snacks and make sure that our little one continues to like the good-stuff, variety and simple foods too. So since banana is by far the sweetest thing this kid has come in contact with, it’s a treat and he gobbles up pretty much anything that has brushed itself near a banana! (I once turned around while grocery shopping and he had somehow go-go-gadget-arm reached into the far end of the cart to grab the bunch of organic bananas and started gnawing on the skin of one in the hopes that it would pop open. It did. And he was obviously delighted with his brilliance. Not a pretty way to eat a banana, for the record.)
It’s always a challenge to try and make sure little ones eat their greens. I will sit down and eat a giant bowl of leafy green vegetables. Yum, foliage! But really, I have never seen a one year old without molars yet be able (or willing!) to do such a thing. So purees and putting green-vegetables in other items is the ticket to help them develop a palate for them as well as get all the nutrients into their growing little bodies.
This is a green smoothie that is fabulous for tiny people and big people alike. It’s simple, rich and creamy but without anything processed like store-bought milks. It’s rich in omega oils, vitamins, iron and refreshingly green too! I like to lightly steam (not boil!) the greens before putting them in smoothies because you digest and absorb the nutrients better, plus if you’re making it for a little one its way better for their little systems to have cooked green vegetables. When you read what’s in it you seriously are going to question me on how it could possibly be good, but I promise it’s unreal! You’re welcome.
Sometimes I will put it in little mason jars and store in the fridge for snack-time. It lasts a number of days so feel free to be super-mama and pre-prep a greens-snack!
5 steamed green leaves — I use organic kale and collards
2 T hemp hearts
1-2 T cooked oatmeal (optional. After making oatmeal porridge I recommend keeping a dollop and throwing it in cold. If you don’t have it around, you can omit.)
1 1/2 c water
mint leaves (approx 7-10)
If you want it to be cold, add a few ice cube or put in a frozen banana.
Place everything in blender. Blend. Taste. Add more water if it’s not the consistency you desire. Blend again if you want. Taste. Be amazed. Enjoy!