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In our Healthy Teachers workshop, we talk about making the small changes that are right for you and your lifestyle. A great place to start is with our Healthy Eating Principles. Three simple ways to pack in all the good stuff our bodies need. This month, we are sharing a recipe based on each principle: eat a rainbow of color, eat leafy greens first and eat as close to nature as possible.
Incorporate one or all three of these easy and delicious recipes into your week.
Eat a Rainbow of Color
Eating a rainbow of color tastes especially good in these Rainbow Roll-Ups with Peanut Sauce. As we’ve learned, the color of foods indicate the nutrients found in them. Adding a variety of colors to our plate ensures we get the nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. In this featured recipe, we use swiss chard leaves like a tortilla wrapping up colorful veggies like a burrito. This is a great time to use up whatever fresh produce you have on hand. We’ve listed a few suggestions, but experiment with what’s in season.
Eat Leafy Greens First
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and arugula are a powerhouse of nutrients. Some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat (remember our ANDI score from the workshop?). Simply rubbing the leaves between your fingers will break down their structure, making this vegetable taste less bitter and easier to digest. Try this Raw Kale and Apple Salad. We use mashed avocado instead of processed oils to create a luscious dressing to massage and flavor the kale.
Raw Kale an Apple Salad
- 1-2 bunches of kale stems removed and leaves cut/torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium apple (pick your favorite variety), cut into thin slices or cubes
- 1 ripe avocado (may need 2 avocados depending on how much kale you are using)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon of ginger, minced/grated
- ½ teaspoon of garlic, minced
- Tamari or Soy Sauce to taste
- 2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
Simply scoop out the flesh of ripe avocados into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash well until smooth. Once you have what looks like smooth guacamole, add raw kale leaves and begin massaging. With hands, rub kale between your fingers to soften leaves and coat with avocado dressing. You’ll want to rub and massage leaves for at least 2-3 minutes. Once the kale takes on a darker color and is wilted, add apple slices/cubes and give it another toss. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Eat as close to nature as possible
Our final healthy eating principal is eating as close to nature as possible. We don’t say no to foods, but rather encourage you to eat foods that are real and whole. This can be a challenge especially with the overwhelming selection of processed snacks, candies and sugary beverages, but making small changes in your diet over time can have lasting results on your overall health. Here’s a tasty and quick recipe that relies on the natural sweetness of dates to create a satisfyingly rich treat. You’ll want to double this recipe so you always have some in your fridge waiting for you.
Cocoa-Date Nut “Truffles”
Makes 15-20 pieces
- 15-18 large Medjool dates, pitted. Note: if your dates look a bit dry and firm, soak them in water for about 30 mins before using
- ½ cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut, plus extra for rolling
- ½ cup toasted nuts of your choice (or a combination of nuts)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus a little extra for rolling
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher/sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Mix all ingredients in food processor for about 1 minute or finely chop with a knife. If you soaked your dates to soften, be sure to drain the dates from water before placing in a food processor. Place the mixture in fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
Then form into small, bite-size balls. You have several options for coating your “truffles”. Chopped nuts, cocoa powder, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and salt, unsweetened coconuts…too many variations to choose from! Chill finished “truffles” in the fridge for 20 mins before eating. Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.