Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quinoa Pilaf with Raisins- Teach your kids to be smart snackers

Makes 8 snack size servings

If your kids have never eaten quinoa before, they may approach this dish thinking rice. Try it a few times until they get used to the delicate, nutty texture of quinoa. After school kids are so ravenous they are open to trying new foods. Not only is this snack delicious—thanks to the sweet raisins and cinnamon—it is nutrient dense. This great mini meal is a powerful way to fortify young bodies, immune systems and brains, due to quinoa’s high protein content and the diabetes healing qualities of cinnamon. Great warm or cold.

3 cups liquid, such as water  low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (I like Pacific or Brad’s Organic)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup raisins
1 ½ cup quinoa, rinsed to remove saponins
Toasted pine nuts (optional, but highly recommended)

1. In a medium saucepan, boil your chosen liquid.
2. Add quinoa and raisins. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
3. When liquid is completely absorbed (about 5 to 8 minutes), add the spices and stir gently.
4. Place in serving containers and garnish with optional pine nuts.

More About Quinoa
Quinoa contains twice the belly-filling protein as regular grains and fewer glucose-raising carbohydrates. Snack on quionoa regularly! You can also start your day off with a cup of cooked quinoa combined with a half cup of milk and half cup of blueberries! A quick trip: Quinoa contains a bitter substance called saponin, which protects it from being devoured in the wild by birds. Remove this with a quick rinse in a colander before boiling.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Healthy Purim Snack

Basic Dough Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup organic palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. baking powder
2 3/4 cups oat flour
1/4 cup orange juice

Filling Ingredients:
6 oz. organic dried apricots
6 oz. dried pitted prunes
1 1/2 cups raisins
3-4 tbsp. organic palm sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup water or orange juice

1. In a small heavy bottomed pot combine all filling ingredients over low heat and cook until fruit is soft, about 20 minutes. Add water if needed.
2. Process mixture in Cuisinart for about 30 seconds until mixture looks like a dark jam.
3. Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
4. Combine eggs and oil and mix well.
5. Slowly add orange juice and then mix into dry ingredients.
6. Put mixture onto floured board and handle until soft and pliable.
7. Roll dough out on floured board till about 1/4 inch thick.
8. Cut out small circles and place a teaspoon of filling in the center.
9. Pinch sides together to form a triangle.
10. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teach Your Kids To Be Smart Snackers

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our children’s health is being greatly compromised by lifestyle, environment, diet, exercise and most of all our their snacking choices.

You'd be amazed at how many mothers I meet who are unaware of the damage they are doing to their children’s bodies when they feed them over processed, pasteurized, microwaveable and most of all pre packaged snacks, loaded with partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics and unpronounceable food additives.

 What our kids snack on makes a big impact on their overall  health. While changing our children’s snacks may seem time consuming and inconvenient, with proper planning, and a couple of easy tricks, and recipes-- transitioning to a healthy life style can be fun and easy and most of all delicious.

Healthy snack ideas to keep your kids nourished between meals:
  • Grilled cheese on whole grain bread with tomatoes and avocado
  • Peanut butter and jelly with flax seeds on whole grain bread
  • Pretzels, cheese cubes, and grapes.
  • Crackers, cheese and grape tomatoes
  • Make a trail mix: Raisins, apricots, sunflower seeds, goji berries and pretzels
  • Rice cakes with hummus dip
  • Pita triangles with hummus
  • Carrot sticks, cucumber rounds with hummus
  • Crackers, cheese and grapes
  • Pita triangles with avocado dip
  • Ants on a log
  • Homemade oatmeal cookies
  • Plain yogurt with honey and fruit
  • Rice cake, cream cheese and fruit spread and flax seeds