As summer approaches, try this cooling fresca as a replacement to sugary lemonade. The fresh watermelon and lime juice give this mock-tail a unique flavor and you can top it off with springs of cilantro for a touch of fresh garden flavor. It makes the perfect family-friendly beverage for a Mother’s Day brunch.
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Spring to me means fresh green soups and that’s just what I created for this year’s Mother’s day menu at our home. This soup combines sweet veggie flavor from the peas with creaminess from almonds. I added a few sprigs of fresh mint and my favorite Vidalia onions to dazzle taste buds and add a sweet touch without any added sugar. Pair this soup with a salad and lean protein such as grilled fish and a spinach salad for a Mother’s Day dinner that Mom will love.
My kids always want to prepare a very special breakfast for me on Mother’s Day. But guess who ends up doing most of the cooking AND cleaning? (hint: me!) Instead of getting upset at the thought of extra chores, I take this opportunity to bond with my kiddos while we whip up delicious memories together in the kitchen.
A few days before Mother’s Day, my kids and I plan out the menu and hit the market so we’re fully stocked and ready to cook. Here are some mouthwatering Mother’s Day breakfast picks, complete with tasks your kids can do.
Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (pictured above)
- Gathering ingredients
- Measuring ingredients
- Washing the blueberries
- Cracking the egg
- Stirring ingredients
Mmm springtime! Forget a basic garden salad, this salad is filled to the brim with flavorful strawberries and a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar and lime juice. You can make this salad to accompany lunch or dinner; I’m planning to serve it to my mother for Mother’s Day brunch on our back deck alongside roasted vegetables. This salad is packed with nutrients — everything from fresh basil to crunchy almonds that will leave you (and Mom) smiling!
Forget chips and salsa! This recipe is perfect for any fiesta or afternoon snack and it’s far more nutritious than your average bag of potato or tortilla chips. I added a touch of heat to these kale chips with a dash of chili powder and used sesame oil instead of olive oil for a savory taste you’ll love all spring.
This bean salad is perfect for any celebration, but it bursts of flavor make it ideal for Cinco de Mayo. Aside from classic Mexican ingredients, this bean salad takes a twist using white beans instead of black, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and almonds instead of pepitas. This salad can be served as a light, vegetarian main meal or as a side dish for lunch and it’s perfect for the warm weather that’s headed our way!
Mix up a batch of lightened-up margaritas, then cook up a bunch of these fiesta-inspired favorites.
Soup, Starters and Sides
Fresh ingredients and lots of spice make these appetizers and side dishes healthy crowd-pleasers.
My 22-month-old, Hudson, is a great eater as far as I’m concerned. But that doesn’t mean he won’t dive into a bag of Goldfish crackers and devour them all. It takes a certain amount of effort to offer our little ones snacks that are nutrient rich and likeable. Sure, its easy to fall into the rut of Cheerios, cookies and crackers and there is a place for all of this in a balanced diet. I also believe our kids learn to like the foods we give them regularly. So try these healthy snacks out for size and your little one will benefit from the added nutrition a cracker doesn’t always have.
- Beans: Like a Cheerio, beans are a great, packable, finger food. Having a cabinet full of canned beans like chickpeas and black beans is as simple as being stocked up on cereal. Pop open a can, rinse the beans and offer them as part of a meal or packaged in a baggie as a snack for on-the-go. Packed with fiber, protein and lots of nutrients this is a no-brainer. Plus, soft beans like cannellini are easy on gums.
- Dried Fruit: A great alternative to fruit snacks, dried fruits like apples and cherries are a tasty finger food that have a good shelf life, pack easily and of source are loaded with antioxidants and nutrition. Look for no or low-sugar options. Read more
Buttery flavor, big crunch, and subtle sweetness sums up these medium-sized round nuts. Although native to Australia, Hawaii has since taken over as the largest exporter in the world. With a famously hard outer shell, you’ll most often find these nuts cracked and ready to eat.
One ounce of macadamia nuts (about 10 to 12 kernels) contains 200 calories, 21 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. They also offer a decent amount of thiamin, iron and copper. Macadamia nuts are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. A small study conducted by a popular macadamia manufacturer reported that subjects who ate 1.5 ounces of the nuts per day showed improvements in cholesterol (lower total cholesterol and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol ) over a 5-week period.
Freekeh (pronounced free-kah), is an ancient grain that’s had new-found popularity lately. If you haven’t seen it on supermarket shelves or on the menu at your favorite restaurant, be on the lookout; you will soon.
What is Freekeh?
In Arabic, the word freekeh means “to rub.” About 2,000 years ago, the grain was created by accident when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their young green wheat crop was set on fire. The villagers rubbed off the burnt outer layers and cooked up the grain, and thus freekeh was born. It has a crunchy, nutty taste, which has been described as a cross between brown rice and barley.
What Makes Freekeh So Healthy?
One half cup of cooked freekeh has about 130 calories, 1 gram of total fat and 8 grams of protein. It’s free of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. This ancient gem is an excellent source of manganese, providing 70% of your recommended daily amount. It’s also a good source of fiber (with 4 grams per ¼ cup dry), plus phosphorus and magnesium. Freekeh is a whole grain so adding it to your diet can help you meet the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines to make half your grains whole.
Freekeh is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two plant chemicals that have been shown to aid in eye health. This ancient grain also seems to work as a prebiotic, helping good bacteria flourish in the digestive tract.