Weekly Tip: Buy a Tub of Spinach

Spinach Tub

I was busy. It happens. A few weeks go by and I realize that I’ve barely had any greens. You know, the dark leafy ones that I tell myself I need to eat every day. We’ve talked about ways to hide kale in past weekly tips, here. So here is another way to get them in.. BUY A TUB OF BABY SPINACH!

Last week I bought a tub of organic baby spinach and challenged myself to eat it up by the end of the week. I have not been in the salad mood lately, so I knew that I wasn’t going to get it down by gorging on spinach salads day after day. Here’s what I did… successfully consuming one pound of spinach in six days.

  • Threw a big handful in my recovery smoothies after yoga.
  • Sliced it thin for a Taco Tuesday filling.
  • Tossed it into my morning eggs.
  • Sautéed it with some garlic and red pepper flakes and plated it under a chicken breast for dinner.
  • Chopped it up tiny and put in my crock-potting taco soup.
  • Blended three handfuls with a handful of basil, clove of garlic, a splash of olive oil and salt to make a pesto spread for a lunch wrap (plus had leftovers for lots of other things throughout the week).
  • Drained my cooked whole wheat pasta and tossed in a few handfuls of spinach to wilt before topping with a little cheese and steamed veggies.

You see where I’m going with this? If you have baby spinach staring you in the face, you can incorporate it into just about anything for a nutritional boost!

A final example… throw spinach in a homemade vanilla milkshake with a little peppermint extract and you’ve got a green tinted shamrock shake! Now that’s the way to get down your daily greens!

What’s your favorite way to eat spinach?

Kids Clean Up! Graham Crackers

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Kids Clean Up! is back with a new installment. As summer wanes, we are busy cleaning up the components of a s’more. We’ve already tackled the marshmallow with much success, and today we try out…

THE GRAHAM CRACKER!

Let’s take a look at what we are cleaning up:

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Sorry about my fuzzy stealth photos. I’m terrible at grocery store investigative photography. But here is the ingredient list: Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), graham flour (whole grain wheat flour), sugar, soybean oil, honey, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), salt, soy lecithin, artificial flavor. Not much here that I’d like to be eating. And even the honey is suspect, since we have learned that all honey is not equal.

As I searched for cleaned up graham cracker recipes to try I was looking for a recipe that is A.) do-able and B.) nutrient-rich and, of course, C.) delicious/kid approved. And I found all three with a beautiful grain-free recipe by Deliciously Organic. Carrie Vitt, the creator of the recipe, makes beautiful food and produces a lovely blog. I’m a big fan.

Click here for the recipe: Deliciously Organic’s Grain Free Graham Crackers.

Here are the ingredients:

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INGREDIENTS: Almond flour, coconut flour, honey, butter, gelatin, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, molasses, whole milk, vanilla extract.

Now here’s the thing with these ingredients, the graham cracker’s nutrient-rich-ness (that’s now a word) is very dependent upon said baker (that’s us) using quality ingredients. We’ve got to use real honey from a trusted source, gelatin from a trusted source, quality sea salt, unsulphured molasses, organic dairy, butter from quality dairy, etc. See what I’m saying? This graham cracker can be nutrient-rich or it can not be, all depending on what choices we make when filling our pantry. When we buy Honey Maid, we can assume we are buying the lowest quality and cheapest version of each ingredient. So by making our own, we put ourselves in charge of ingredient selection. Each little choice adds up to the final product, so make as many quality choices as you can!

RESULTS: These were delicious. I have to use past tense, because we ate them all VERY quickly. I’m always a little nervous baking something for the first time, but I can follow directions and these directions were very clear. The trickiest thing was rolling out the dough without getting it stuck on everything (it is very tacky). I accomplished that by placing parchment paper between the dough and the rolling pin, and that worked it right out. I also improvised and used a skewer to attempt to make them look like “classic” graham crackers. Next time I’d use a ruler and make them a little more consistent in size.

Too bad I’m not on the ball enough to be able to make my graham crackers the same week as my marshmallows. Then we could have completed the look of the s’more. Oh well. These were great with a glass of milk and I was dreaming about making a cream cheese frosting, like we used to eat on our graham crackers when I was a kid.

At one point my son said they could be sweeter, but then he ate four more. The boxed ones are sweeter, but these have much more depth and flavor and color (from the molasses). I’d consider them a grown-up graham cracker, except the kids ate most of them, so there you go.

I did make a fancy (but easy) dessert with them that I’d highly recommend. I simmered diced fresh pears in butter with a dollop of honey, a little water and a little cinnamon until the pears were soft. Whipped some organic heavy whipping cream with a little coconut sugar and vanilla. Put it all together by plating the graham cracker, then pears, then whipped cream and dusting with a little cinnamon. It was DIVINE!! I’d have a photo, but we attacked them too quickly.

Here are some photos from my graham cracker adventure:

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The magic happens in the food processor.

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Dough is ready.

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Fought and won by rolling the dough out with parchment paper on both sides, and went for Pinterest points by using a skewer to create classic graham cracker lines. It sort of worked.

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Final product! Can’t wait to make a second batch soon.

In the mood for marshmallows? Check out our Kids Clean Up! Marshmallows.

Marsh Cut on Board