This is a guest post from Laura Deutsch of Instill Health
It gives me such pleasure when my kids enjoy what I cook for them. Even better is the knowledge that the recipes contain healthy ingredients that actually do their bodies good! Here are two delicious, healthy recipes that have become staples in our household and yes, my kids eat spinach, goji powder, and lentils! Try them out, and I bet yours will too! But first, see why these foods are such powerhouses:
WHY EAT GOJI POWDER OR WHOLE GOJI BERRIES?
Goji berries are high in antioxidants, contain 18 amino acids which help build muscles and support metabolism, and is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C which are great for our immune systems and eye function. It also happens to be the world’s most powerful anti-aging food!
WHY EAT SPINACH?
Spinach is a super food loaded with nutrients. It contains vitamin K which promotes bone health. It also has vitamins A, E, B2, & B6. Spinach is high in fiber. It benefits our skin and hair and contains cancer-fighting agents.
WHY EAT LENTILS?
Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate, and iron. They help lower cholesterol and are good for the heart and digestive health.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
with Spinach and Goji Powder
This smoothie recipe is such an easy way to have your children eating spinach and goji powder. This has become our go-to snack at home. Blend up a quick smoothie and watch them suck it down.
1⁄2 to 1 cup spinach
1 cup almond milk (can substitute for regular or soy milk)
2 teaspoons goji powder
1 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries (or a combination)
optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
Blend spinach and almond milk in a blender. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend.
Serve with a swirly straw—this always adds an element of fun!
with red lentils
My kids love baked ziti, but let’s face it, it isn’t the most nutrient dense food around. I wanted to find a way to add more protein and fiber which led me to the idea of adding red lentils. Red lentils have a very mild taste, are mushy when prepared, and are perfectly disguised in the red marinara sauce.
1 pound ziti (I like to get whole wheat)
1 32 oz jar marinara sauce (You can even use your Healthier Marinara recipe since you are using a blender anyway! Also, feel free to use more or less marinara depending on how ‘saucy’ your family likes it.)
1⁄2 cup dry (~1 cup cooked) red lentils
2 to 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare ziti and lentils per box directions. I like to cook the lentils in vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
Place cooked lentils and 1 cup marinara in a blender and blend for 10 to 15 seconds. Pour mixture in a bowl and stir in the rest of the marinara.
In a very large bowl, combine cooked pasta, lentil/marinara mixture, and 2 cups cheese. Spread into 9 x 13-inch pan. If you like it extra cheesy, sprinkle last cup of cheese on top. Bake at 350° F for 40 minutes.
Laura Deutsch is a health coach and busy mom. A reformed eater of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with low-fat Cheetos and diet coke for lunch, Laura began a deep dive into what “you are what you eat” truly means. Born out of her education and passion for “instilling health” into the diets of her friends and family, Laura created Instill Health, an amazing resource for those who want to create and maintain a life of optimal health and wellness for themselves and their families.
Through Instill Health, Laura offers online programs, one-on-one coaching, and speaking engagements, along with a blog that includes great resources and fabulous recipes. Check out her recipe booklet, in which she shares 3 healthy dinners – all of which can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. Make healthy eating a seamless part of YOUR life in simple, practical and delicious ways!