#sugarfree #spinach #wholegrain

Crocodile Crunch Muffins

I could just have easily called these “Popeye Muffins” or “Incredible Hulk Muffins,” or “Green Goblin Goodies” but I suggest using whatever green character happens to resonate with your little guy at the moment. I like the crunch that millet offers, though I’ve also used black quinoa (cooked al dente). Some day, I will find an adequate, locally grown banana equivalent, but I have yet to find a good method of extracting pawpaw flesh in sufficient quantity. If there are any intrepid Appalachian foragers out there with more pawpaw patience than I, please let me know, and I’ll post the modification!

Crocodile Crunch Muffins
Yields 12
These sweeter-than-you'd think muffins can be made with local greens nearly any time of year. I have subbed 1 cup freshly ground oat flour and 1 cup black quinoa flour for the whole wheat, which gave the muffins a darker hue and deeper flavor.
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Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
168 calories
37 g
1 g
1 g
4 g
0 g
66 g
112 g
13 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
66g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 168
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 112mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 13g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
10%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cup chopped, packed spinach, chard, tatsoi, or other fresh greens
  2. 1 banana
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. ¼ cup whole milk
  5. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  6. 1/2 cup millet, uncooked
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  10. 2 tablespoon raw honey
  11. 6 dates soaked in 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease mini muffin tins with butter or line with parchment mini-muffin liner cups.
  2. Add water to dates in a 1 cup measuring cup until it reaches the top. Let soak for about 30 minutes.
  3. Combine greens, banana, vanilla extract, dates/water, honey, and milk in a blender or food processor until well combined into a green goop.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl . Then pour in spinach mixture, stirring to combine. If it looks dry, add another 2-4 tbsp milk.
  5. Spoon into greased/lined mini muffin pan and bake 15 minutes at 375F.
  6. 5. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Notes
  1. This will make approximately 24 mini muffins, or 12 nice large size muffins.
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calories
168
fat
1g
protein
4g
carbs
37g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/

don’t pick on picky eaters

It might have been a locker room where some well-meaning woman in her 50s(?), with a towel around her hair and a “honey, I’ve been there, done that” tone, offered the sage observation that kids (meaning babies and toddlers) are “either good eaters or good sleepers.” The implication that any wholesome child of healthy parents, especially MY son, would not be both seemed presumptive, and I interpreted it as a challenge. Nursing him as an infant– with all the exhilarating, soothing mind-space that only nursing has afforded me, and which I might have interpreted as boredom before motherhood– I entertained grand visions. Allow me to recount them here: My son in the garden, harvesting ripe cherry tomatoes with his little hands, toddling up to me proudly. Squatting down with me and patiently listening to me explain how beets and chard are basically the same species, or that broccoli and mustard greens are cousins. Helping dig up the garlic in July, and loving the surprise of each carrot popped from its damp disguise of earth. How he would relish our homegrown beets steamed to softness with pink drooly smiles in the high chair, staining his hands, hair, whatever. MY son would eat the same foods I did by the time he was two. He would join our household’s daily challenge of how many ingredients and colors can be crammed into a salad bowl. The most common acronym around here is, after all, BAS (Big Ass Salad).

It’s clear now that these visions were fueled by a naive oxytocin overdose. Fionn can see a fleck of kale emerging from a mini fritatta from a mile away and immediately hurl it to the floor. He disdains even the easiest-to-love vegetables like carrots, sugar snap peas, or lightly steamed broccoli trees in butter. When appropriately inspired, he may slip such things under his butt so that I actually briefly entertain the delusion that he ate a bite. Where I initially thought “hiding” vegetables in foods was a disingenuous rouse that robbed children of the experience of learning to love “green stuff,” I now try anything– burying a nearly microscopic speck of cabbage left on the cutting board in a “bagel ball” (the mushy insides of a whole wheat bagel rolled into a ball) or whirring up smoothies of kale, egg yolk, and other detritus from his tray, masked by apple or banana. Bananas themselves being a tropical food my locavore self eschewed for years. Oh, how the mighty fall.
Berry_face_6.9.2014
There are many days that I worry that he’s expending more calories in one hour than he eats all day, and that what he does eat is pretty much limited to milk, “gwapes,” and “marins” (what he calls raisins). How’s that for dietary diversity?

I watch other preschoolers get dropped off at daycare with disposable squeezy pouches and individually wrapped cookies disguised as “wholesome” granola bars, snorting at organic versions of overprocessed, empty calorie crackers and feel any righteous disdain waning, giving way to exhausted empathy. Goodness knows I have made many compromises, grateful for corn chips, white bread when my finicky Fionn would eat nothing else. And he loves to “share” Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, meaning that he helps himself to liberal portions of other kids’ snacks.

Our children have a right to homemade foods prepared with care, even if we don’t always have the time, and even if half or more of the food we offer goes untouched, thrown to the floor, or smeared on the wall. I am already finding that my patience and persistence in exposing him daily to things he dismisses at first is paying off. As long as I am lucky enough to have the energy and time (which isn’t always), I will resign my responsibility for helping forge healthy eating habits to food conglomerates whose products have life spans longer than a dog’s. Helping children learn to eat well is a good fight, and a fun one.

editors note, July 2, 2015: I am proud to note that since this post, Fionn does eat kale, carrots, peas, and beans. Still no dice on beets, broccoli, or cucumbers, or nearly any context where more than one vegetable cohabitates with another one on his plate. He is most interested in vegetables in the context of the garden (ours or the small one at his preschool), where he can pick them himself. Baby steps. 😉

Sunny Kale & Golden Flax Crackers

These store fairly well, so the recipe below is for a jumbo batch. Share!

Sunny Kale & Flax Crackers
Yields 35
A crunchy, nutritionally dense vegan and grain-free cracker for which you can play around with your favorite spices. Makes 210 1.5 by 1.5 inch crackers. 6 crackers per serving.
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200 calories
14 g
0 g
14 g
8 g
1 g
54 g
109 g
1 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
54g
Yields
35
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200
Calories from Fat 118
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
22%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 109mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 7g
26%
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
4%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups ground golden flax
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 4 cups sunflower seeds
  4. 2 bunches kale
  5. 2 cups Raw Coconut Flour
  6. 1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  7. 2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  8. 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix together ground flax and water. Set aside.
  2. Place sunflower seeds in food processor and process until finely chopped. Remove to large bowl.
  3. Finely chop kale, which you can also do in the food processor.
  4. Add nutritional yeast, coconut flour, smoked paprika, and chipotle to the chopped sunflower seeds. Mix well.
  5. Stir in chopped kale.
  6. Add flax/water mixture. Blend well. Don't be afraid to use your hands!
  7. Spread on a Silpat baking sheet or parchment paper, using a sheet of parchment paper on top and rolling them 1/4-inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper and score into "cracker-sized" pieces (I used 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares) and dehydrate at 145 for 30 minutes. Decrease heat to 118 and continue to dehydrate until done (approximately 8 hours*) turning once or moving to screens halfway through dehydration. You want these very dry.
Notes
  1. A good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin K and Thiamin. Estimated glycemic load: 0. Click here for more nutritional information.
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calories
200
fat
14g
protein
8g
carbs
14g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/

Cinnamon Currant Squares

shhhh…. the secret ingredients are zucchini and carrots! Actually, you can sub greens like spinach for the zucchini, or get creative with whatever the seasons have to offer. Add a tad of honey if you prefer them a little sweeter.

Cinnamon Currant Squares
Yields 19
The secret ingredients in these slightly sweet, grain- and nut-free crackers are zucchini and carrots, and you would never know it!
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189 calories
20 g
0 g
11 g
5 g
1 g
66 g
134 g
11 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
66g
Yields
19
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 134mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 6g
25%
Sugars 11g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
5%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cup sunflower Seeds
  2. 1 cup pepitas
  3. 1 cup ground Flax seed
  4. 1 cup purreed zucchini or spinach
  5. 2 medium carrots
  6. 1 cup chopped apple
  7. 1 cup dried currants
  8. 5 dates
  9. 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  11. 1/2 cup water
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  13. 1 teaspoons salt
Instructions
  1. Soak pitted dates in 1/2 cup water and set aside.
  2. Place sunflower seeds in food processor and process until finely chopped. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Place pepitas in food processor and finely chop before adding to the bowl, along with the ground flax. Stir to combine.
  4. Process carrots, apple, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in food processor until you get a puree. Add zucchini/greens puree and mix.
  5. In a blender, blend dates the water until liquefied. Add the date puree to the carrot and apple mixture, stirring.
  6. Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix well. Stir in currants.
  7. Spread 1/4 inch thick on non-stick dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 145, reduce heat and continue to dehydrate at 116 for two more hours. Flip mixture onto screen, cut into squares of your preferred size (I use 2" by 2"), peel off non-stick sheet and continue to dehydrate for about 8-10 more hours or until dry but not hard. The squares will be slightly soft.
Notes
  1. Makes about 76 2" by 2" crackers. 19 four cracker servings.
  2. Nutrition information: A good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Manganese. Estimated glycemic load: 6.
beta
calories
189
fat
11g
protein
5g
carbs
20g
more
https://goodphytefoods.com/

Click here for additional nutrition information.