This delicious recipe starring spinach was included in this month's Veggie Buds Club box!
It was developed by Heather Staller, a mom of two boys, ages 5 and 3, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather_kidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
This pesto packs a ton of spinach power into a single spoonful. Kids will love smashing the garlic clove, adding ingredients to the food processor, and pushing the buttons to grind the pesto.
Superfood Spinach Pesto
-3 packed cups baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
-¼ cup raw walnut pieces (or any nut you like or substitute additional
-pumkpin seeds for a nut-free pesto)
-¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
-¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
-1 small garlic clove, peeled and smashed
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-¼ teaspoon honey (optional)
-¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
-1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor.
2. Pulse mixture until finely chopped then process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl one or two times.
3. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.
4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze in small portions for up to 3 months.
Here are some ways to use pesto!
-Stir into cooked pasta
-Use as a base for pizza
-Spread on a sandwich or grilled cheese
-Thin with additional oil and use as a dressing or dip for veggies
-Marinate chicken then roast or grill
-Toss with roasted veggies or cooked potatoes
-Stir into soup or tomato sauce for an extra flavor boost
We are happy to welcome Noelle Martin as our guest blogger this week! You are sure to fall in love with her Superhero Smoothie featuring spinach, Veggie Buds Club's veggie of the month!
Noelle Martin is a Registered Dietitian and mom of three young boys. She has a passion for educating, inspiring, and empowering moms to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Noelle loves involving her children in food planning and preparation for their home and sees the kitchen as a perfect area for teaching both academic and life skills. Follow @MotherhoodandMeals on Instagram for Noelle's nutrition tips, recipes, product reviews, and motherhood moments.
Spinach is a powerhouse food that is packed with nutrients and phytochemicals. A wonderful way to add spinach to a child’s (or adult’s) diet is through adding it to smoothies. This recipe is called “superhero smoothie” because just as superheroes in stories fight crime, the spinach in this smoothie helps fight off illness! Smoothies also provide a wonderful opportunity to have your children help you. Having kids in the kitchen is a wonderful way to teach about food as well as academic and life skills. As they add the ingredients you can have conversations about the colour and texture of the various foods, count them as you add foods in, and for many recipes there are times of taking turns and following instructions. Also, children who help prepare foods are more likely to eat them. So it is a win-win!!! So now, onto the recipe! Perhaps you want to pair it with berry-filled pancakes for a delicious heart-healthy meal.
-1.5-2 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
-2 handfuls of baby spinach
-1/2 cup KeyLime Yogurt (or vanilla yogurt with a squeeze of KeyLime juice)
-Optional: a few pitted dates or a drizzle of agave or honey for a little extra sweetness
-2-3 ice cubes
1. Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender and serve with a fun straw!
Note: if you would prefer to make this a smoothie bowl you can use less liquid and too it with hemp hearts, chia seeds, and/or homemade granola!
February's featured veggie for Veggie Buds Club is spinach! Enjoy this delicious kid-friendly way to "sneak" in some spinach (just in time for Valentine's day!) from heather_kidskitchen. Little chefs will know that greens are in this fun breakfast, but they sure won't be able to taste them. Maybe this is the dish to turn your spinach skeptic into a green lover?
Heather is a mom of two boys, ages 5 and 3, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather_kidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
Green French Toast Sticks
-4 to 5 slices whole grain bread (or any bread you like)
-Coconut oil or non-stick spray
-½ cup milk
-1 packed cup baby spinach
-1 teaspoon maple syrup
-¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
-½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil or spray with non-stick spray.
2. Cut each slice of bread into three sticks and set aside.
3. Add eggs, milk, spinach, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to a blender. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth and no bits of spinach remain. Pour the spinach-egg mixture into a shallow baking dish or large bowl.
4. Working with two or three pieces at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture, allowing the bread to soak up the liquid for at least 10-15 seconds per side (have a towel nearby to wipe off little hands!). Once both sides of the bread have been dipped, allow excess to drip off then place bread on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bread pieces.
5. Bake until bread is lightly browned and crunchy on the outside, about 14-16 minutes. Serve with maple syrup for dipping, if desired. Freeze any leftovers in a single layer until solid then place in a container or freezer bag for up to a month. Reheat in a toaster or oven at 375 degrees until warmed through, about 10 minutes.