Slurpin’ Up Some Smoothies

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a tour of Valley Natural Foods for about 25 Kindergarten – 5th grade students from Tutor Time in Apple Valley. The students were given a store tour by two of our board members followed by a smoothie tasting. After they were finished touring indoors our Garden Coordinator gave them a tour of our teaching garden and sampled a variety of vegetables like kohlrabi, jicama and rainbow carrots.

Kids-veggie-trayFor my portion of the tour I had the students come into the classroom and sample a smoothie with mystery ingredients. I had them try the smoothie first and then try to guess what I had put in it. As they sampled the smoothie a majority of them though it was delicious and hoped for seconds. They started naming off different fruits they believed were in the smoothie and were able to identify most of the fruits, but none of the vegetables.  As I revealed the contents of the smoothie, the look on their faces was priceless as I told them they had  just drank spinach, cucumbers, carrots and wheat grass as well!

Smoothies are a great way to incorporate vegetables into a child’s, or your own diet! I was able to incorporate nutrient-dense vegetables without them being able to detect it. There are so many recipes available for making kid-friendly smoothies or you can just create them with what you have on hand.

Smoothies are one of my favorite go-to breakfasts during the spring and summer. They’re quick, delicious and most of all nutritious! I typically start by grinding up some almonds to add a bit of protein to my smoothie. If I don’t have fresh nuts on hand I’ll addKelsey-Kids-Classroom a scoop of my favorite protein powder. After I’ve added my protein I throw in a handful of spinach, a few carrots, one banana and any other fresh or frozen fruits I have. A perk to using frozen fruits or vegetables for a smoothie is that you generally do not need to add ice!

After I’ve blended everything up I give it a little taste test and add more or less of an ingredient if it tastes off, and voila it’s done! The best part about making a smoothie is that you really can’t make one wrong.

If you don’t have time to make a smoothie at home you can stop by our drive-thru and grab a smoothie to-go! Our drive-thru offers 15 different kinds of smoothies and one featured smoothie every month. Try adding a boost of Acai Vitamin and Mineral or Emerald Energy to really kick start your day. Our Juice and Java Drive-Thru window is open Monday-Saturday from 6:30am-8pm and on Sunday from 9am-8pm.

Kelsey is the Food Demo and Education Coordinator at Valley Natural Foods. She oversees the in-store demo program and scheduling of classes.

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