As a mom I feel like I'm always trying to get my kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, but I don't hold myself to the same standard. For example, today at lunch Ava wanted a treat after she finished her "good bites" as we call them. She had just eaten chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and I knew that she'd hit me up for a treat after dinner so I just had to put my foot down and say no, this would not be a 3-treat day (okay, I let her have Jello after lunch but is that really considered a treat, AND I made her split it with Sidney).
While the girls napped, I ate my lunch - a turkey and avocado sandwich on whole wheat. Decently healthy. I was still hungry so I decided to eat one of my free Schnucks cookies.
Side story: When you bring your kids to Schnucks, our grocery store, they get a free cookie. I think the employees hope that the kids will eat the cookie and behave themselves while the parents shop. I don't think these employees have kids. My kids are not aware of this rule. They instead think that they get a free banana! And they love it - you can't imagine their excitement when we stroll by the banana stand. So while the kids eat their "free" banana I go get 2 free cookies and eat them when I get the kids down to bed. Genius!
Back to my lunch story. Just as I took a bite of my gooey butter cookie, Ava walked up. Busted. I felt so embarrassed that I offered her a bite. You see, I had also eaten pancakes this morning. They didn't have chocolate chips but they did have candied walnuts and banana. So if I held myself to the same standard as my girls, I should not have been eating that delicious cookie.
The lesson of this story: I need to shape up how I eat. I realized that I don't eat very much fruit in the winter. I'm not big on apples and pears and that seems to be in season throughout most of the winter. I found this Smoothie idea on Pinterest and had to try it. It's an easy and yummy way to incorporate fruit into my diet. The best part there less than 1/2 gram of fat and ~250 calories per smoothie!
Here's what you need:
- Mini muffin tin or ice cube trays
- 32 oz tub of Fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon Light and Fit but I think I will use Dannon's Nonfat Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt next time to up the protein)
- 1 cup Skim milk
- Your frozen fruit combo of choice (I picked strawberries, mangoes, peaches and blueberries)
Here's what you do:
- Measure 1 Tbsp scoops of yogurt into the mini muffin tin (I didn't have any ice cube trays available). I didn't level it off because some of the yogurt sticks to the tablespoon. Once they are all filled, pop them in the freezer.
- I bought pre-frozen fruits, but if yours is not frozen you'll want to freeze them. Tip: If you have fruit that you know you won't finish before it goes bad, freeze it for your smoothies.
- To freeze your fruit, first clean it and then slice it into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces on a silpat mat or on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze. You'll want the fruit to be frozen through so that they don't freeze together in the packs.
- An hour or so later when everything is frozen, I laid out the ingredients to prepare my individual serving smoothie bags.
- If you use muffin tins to freeze your yogurt, let them sit out for a few minutes then use a spoon to pop them out. Don't dip them in warm water - they will melt very quickly.
- Add ~1.5 cups of fruit and 3 yogurt scoops to a sandwich baggie.
- This recipe will make 8 individual serving smoothie packets.
- Then I package them up in a larger bag so they don't get lost in my freezer.
- When you're ready for a smoothie, all you have to do is pop it in your blender with a cup of milk (or more if you want to thin out the consistency). I use the Ninja and I love it! It's simple and super easy to clean. I bought it at Sam's for $50 and it came with tons of extras.
My total cost was ~$11 for the frozen fruit and yogurt. That brings my cost for each smoothie to $1.37. Not bad!