Spring is a wonderful time of year to get together with loved ones and celebrate in your own special way with your yearly traditions. It’s also an exciting time to share your new favorite recipes, stories, and love!
Throughout the years, unfortunately, high sugar items have been making a more frequent appearance, especially on vacation and special days. While treats are fine once in a while, if they are regularly consumed, they are no longer a treat. Often times during our get-togethers, friends and family members comment to my husband and I that they are so glad we brought something healthy, as the offerings are usually sugary, salty, and indulgent. Though a bit of those things are fine, they should be balanced with a hearty helping of veggies, whole grains, and topped off with fruits.
This spring and all other days, don’t be the person wishing there was something healthy you could add to your family’s plates—prepare your favorite healthy recipe for everyone to try!!
Below are a few of our spring-inspired favorites. Get the kids involved in pouring, stirring, and helping out in the kitchen and they are much more likely to try new items without being coaxed!
Refreshing Homemade Popsicles
Fresh or frozen blueberries
Fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup coconut water
Popsicle molds or small paper cups + sticks
Total Time: 5m
Yield: 5-7 popsicles
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon poppy seed, if desired
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small jicama
½ pint (1 cup) fresh strawberries
8 cups ready-to-eat spinach (from 9- or 10-oz bag)
½ cup sliced almonds
1 In a tightly covered jar or container, shake all the dressing ingredients.
2 Peel the jicama, removing the brown skin and a thin layer of the flesh just under the skin. The skin can sometimes be slightly tough. Cut about half of the jicama into about 1x 1/4-inch sticks to measure about 3/4 cup. Wrap remaining jicama and refrigerate for another use.
3 Peel the kiwifruit. Cut lengthwise in half, then cut into slices. Rinse the strawberries with cool water and pat dry. Remove the leaves and cut the berries lengthwise into slices.
4 Remove and discard the stems from the spinach leaves. Rinse the leaves in cool water. Shake off excess water and blot to dry with paper towels. Tear any large leaves into bite-size pieces.
5 In a large salad bowl, place the spinach, strawberries, jicama sticks and kiwifruit slices. Shake the dressing again to mix ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, and toss with 2 large spoons or salad tongs. To keep salad crisp, serve immediately.
Creamy Zucchini Boats
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1 clove minced garlic (or half teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup (4 oz.) fat-free ricotta cheese (or dairy free cheese)
Juice from half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Wash each zucchini thoroughly. Cut off the ends and then cut each one in half. Then cut each half lengthwise so you have 12 pieces of zucchini total.
With a spoon or paring knife, scoop out the seeds and compost them, or use them to make soup broth. Place the zucchini boats on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
To make the filling, chop the basil and place it in a bowl with the garlic, grated carrot, ricotta, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix it thoroughly.
Fill each boat with the creamy mixture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
Serve warm and enjoy!