Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kid-friendly Passover Favorites

As Passover is coming to an end, I thought I would share my favorite recipes that are also great for anytime of year. They are also vegetarian so they work great for Meatless Mondays. You can also throw them into your kids’ lunch box for a great healthy after school snack.

Most kids will love this kugel because of its sweet flavor. Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that has a deep orange pulp that becomes richer and sweeter the more it ripens. This kugel is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, which is important for bone growth, cell function and for a healthy immune system. It also has high amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Butternut squash is also cholesterol free and sodium free, making it the perfect vegetable to incorporate into a variety of dishes.

Squash Kugel
Makes 8 servings

2 medium butternut squash, cut in half, seeded
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Bake squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until soft.
2. Scoop squash out of skin, discarding skin/ or do not feel guilty if you buy them pre cut at Trader Joe's. If you do place them on a baking sheet with the oil for about twenty minutes
3. Place cooked squash in vitamix or blender with oil, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
4. Puree until smooth and creamy.
5. Place in a 9-inch baking pan or a casserole dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Zucchini Pancakes

1 can of Chickpeas, drained
1 cup crushed matzah/ whole wheat bread crumbs
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red onion
1 egg
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup yogurt

1. Blend chickpeas, matzah, zucchini, onion, egg and sea salt in blender or food processor.
2. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Form into patties and cook until golden brown. 2-4 minutes on each side.
3. Top with yogurt.

Coconut Oil — Superfood for Kids
Long used for its hair and skin beautifying properties, coconut oil is now gaining popularity thanks to all the amazing ways it helps to create optimum health. One of the key ingredients of coconut oil is lauric acid, an amino acid that helps support high level brain function, soothes stress, aids in digestion as well as boosts the immune system to help fight off colds and flus and other infectious illnesses. Lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, helps fight viruses, parasites, yeast overgrowth and bacteria. It’s a popular ingredient in the autism recovery community, where it is believed to help normalize brain function.

Prepare it: Use coconut oil in place of oil, for baking, salad dressings, and for sautéing. You can also mix a few teaspoons into a smoothie. Or, try melting coconut oil on popcorn, add some dark chocolate chips (70% cacao) and unsweetened coconut flakes. Makes a great snack!