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This smoothie tastes like a rich , creamy dessert: it’s sweet and yummy. Even though it’s high in calories, it is also rich in protein, potassium, B-vitamins, fiber, calcium and iron. Next time your kid asks you for ice cream, give him/her this  smoothie instead. If they are asking for chocolate flavor, add 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder to the mix.

Almond Banana Smoothie

2 heaping tbsp of smooth almond butter

2 bananas

2 large strawberries ( or 1 tsp. of lemon juice – you need some sour flavor)

1/2 cup of almond milk

5-6 ice cubes

optional: 1 tbsp. of agave syrup

Blend everything on high until smooth.

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Today I was doing what I like to do best: playing with food. I actually tried to make some edible play dough. All of the recipes for homemade play dough online seemed to be copies of each other and the ones that seemed more original utilized unhealthy ingredients, such as corn syrup, powdered milk and white sugar. As I was testing my recipe (made out of leftovers,) I realized that my edible play dough can also be made into some yummy healthy candy.  So, I made candy and my kid and I played and ate: what could be more fun?

As a main ingredient, I used cooked amaranth. Amaranth is a grain, which was used by the Aztecs and now is popular in Latin America. Amaranth contaisn large amounts of protein and essential amino acids. Amaranth has  30%  more protein  than many other whole grians grains, such as brown rice, wheat flour, oats, and rye. Amaranth grains are very small and cooked amaranth is sticky ( this is why I thought of play dough.) Generally, I like to use amaranth as a side dish, as a substitute for any dish, asking for a grain, as  a sticky base for a casserole or even as an egg substitute, because of the binding effect it brings to baked dishes. Amaranth works well as a diversion from your morning oatmeal. It combines very well with fruits and vegetables.

 

Homemade Amaranth Play Dough

Even though this recipe contains brown sugar, it is rich in protein, fiber, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins B, D  and E. Perhaps you need to encourage your kids to eat more  play dough!

1 cup amaranth (cooked, according to package instructions.)

1/2 cup  smooth natural almond butter

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 of brown sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together. If the dough is too watery, add more wheat germ. If it’s too dry, add more almond butter. You can add more sugar of you think it’s necessary for a better flavor. Use my suggestions for homemade edible colors from here.

Homemade Amaranth Almond Butter Candy


Follow the recipe for play dough. Add 1/2 cup of almond pieces and (optionally) 1/4 cup of chopped dates. Form the dough into balls. Roll each ball in shredded coconut. Refrigerate for thirty minutes and serve.

Next time your kid asks for French fries, try to make these instead.  Parsnips are rich in folic acid, copper and manganese and carrots have a lot of fiber and vitamin D. Almond butter adds extra protein to the dish. The recipe is adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

 

 

 

For 3-4 servings:

3 medium parsnips and 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin fry-like strips. The inner core of parsnips can be a bit bitter, so I usually cut around that.

3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth natural almond butter

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp (2.5  ml) fine sea salt

1 tsp. curry

1 tsp Bragg’s amino acids

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).  Line a large baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place the “fries” in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the almond butter, oil, and spices. Drizzle the coating over the fries, and toss the mixture with your hands  until they are all evenly coated.

Line the fries up on the cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake 35-50 minutes (depending on thickness of your fries), until the coating is browned and a bit crispy, and the fries are fully cooked.

And if you like your fries simple, use just the olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until the fries are browner and crispy.

 

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