Ice Cream for Breakfast?

Say it isn’t so…are we really creating an atmosphere where kids eat pop tarts topped with fruity pebbles, lucky charm marshmallows and ice cream for breakfast?   Ok, I’m probably exaggerating. This seems more like a late night treat than a breakfast item, but honestly the whole ensemble kind of makes me cringe!

Kids of all ages DO love ice cream in many shapes and sizes and what a delicious way to cool down on a hot day.  Ice cream is what I like to call a “treat”, you know a once in a while food that is just for fun and nothing else.  Treat-like snacks on the other hand can still taste delicious, but provide nutrition too.

So can kids really have ice cream for breakfast?  Why yes, they can……when it’s made from only fruit.  An example is banana ice cream made with only one ingredient – bananas. See our Facebook page for the recipe and nutritional information at https://www.facebook.com/AnOunceofNutrition/.

But there are certainly other treat-like frozen snacks that you can make with or without bananas.  One of the simplest has only 1 ingredient – mangoes.  You can certainly peel, cut and freeze mango chunks to make this recipe, but frozen mango pieces work just as well.  At the request of my friend’s son Logan, I tested a mango sorbet recipe.  To make, just add 1 cup of frozen mango to a food processor.  Pulse until big pieces are broken down into smaller pieces and then process. You know it’s ready when an ice-cream-like ball is formed. Sweet and creamy and all the mango flavor that kids and adults love.  Yum! And it has 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C!

I use a food processor to make my fruit cream delicacies, but some of my teachers use a product called Yonanas to make what one of the reviewers referred to as “nicecream.” Yonanas looks fairly easy to use and they have tons of different recipes on their site. Check them out at http://yonanas.com/. I tried the apple pie Yonana, OMG so scrumptious!

Some may think that since fruit contains a lot of sugar that it’s just as unhealthy as eating white table sugar.  That is simply not the case.  Fruit comes packaged in fiber, which slows the release of sugar into your blood.  This means that you and your students don’t experience that same sugar crash and cravings but instead feel full and satisfied. Fruit can sometimes cause digestive issues, so a little bit goes a long way for some kids – for others it’s no problem.

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try.  Or you can design your own!

Blackberry Cream

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 frozen overly ripe bananas

1 cup, fresh and then frozen blackberries

 

  1. To freeze bananas, cut them into chunks or slices. Place them on a sheet with gaps in-between and place in the freezer.  I’ve used baggies for this, but then the bananas tend to stick together.
  2. Blackberries can be frozen in the container they came in. Just be sure to wash them, remove any paper lining, place berries back into container and then freeze.
  3. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Add bananas to a food processor and then add blackberries. Pulse until big chunks are broken down to little pieces. Then process until you have an ice-cream ball or until the recipe is smooth and creamy.

Process for less time if you want a more solid consistency.  For a soft-serve-like consistency, process for a longer amount of time.  Some recipes suggest that you refreeze after processing, but I found it makes the ice cream icy.

Nutritionals: This recipe is extremely low in calories (136 per serving), has almost no fat, is an excellent source of fiber (28% of the daily rec amount) and Vitamin C (42%) and a good source of potassium (from bananas).

Strawberries and Cream

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 frozen overly ripe bananas

3/4 cup, fresh or frozen strawberries

  1. To freeze bananas, cut them into chunks or slices. Place them on a sheet with gaps in-between and place in the freezer.  I’ve used baggies for this, but then the fruit tends to stick together.
  2. For fresh strawberries, cut off their stems, wash and then freeze in a container. For frozen, just purchase and place in the freezer. As a side note, I had the frozen strawberries in my car for a while and they defrosted a bit. So I refroze them and because some of their thawed juice froze too, the mixture had a really sweet, very strawberryish flavor.
  3. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Add bananas to a food processor and then add strawberries. Pulse until big chunks are broken down to little pieces. Then process until you have an ice-cream ball or until the recipe is smooth and creamy.

Students can increase the amount of strawberries to 1 cup if they like a stronger strawberry taste or add more bananas for a milder flavor.

***Banana tip: Overripe bananas will be mushy and have tons of brown spots on the outside. They should be almost black.  Any sooner and you won’t have a lot of sweetness.

Nutritionals: This recipe is extremely low in calories (130 per serving), has almost no fat, is an excellent source of Vitamin C (92% of the daily recommended amount – from bananas AND strawberries) a good source of fiber (18% of the daily rec amount) and potassium (from bananas).

 

 

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Ethiopian Flavors

Ethiopian_food

When I lived in Santa Monica, California there was a row of unique restaurants called the “Third Street Promenade”.  I loved to check them out to see what was new and different. There was this one small, quaint one that served “real” Ethiopian food.  I had never tried this type of food, so thought I would give it a try.  It tasted so delicious! I so enjoyed the split yellow peas and spicy red lentil stews, but especially the light-colored, spongy injera bread.  This was the start of my love of cultural foods.

Ethiopian food has some incredibly unique flavors.  In Ethiopia, families make one of the most frequently used spices; Berbere.  This spice is made from drying chilies in the sun for about three days and then crushing it using a pestle and mortar.  Then other spices are added to this mixture that may or may not include; onion, paprika, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg or cinnamon.  After they are added, the mixture is crushed again. And since it is homemade, families can make it with their own degree of spiciness.  Real, crushed Berbere spice contains a lot of heat, so you generally don’t need to add a lot of it.

Ethiopian food is usually not eaten on a plate or with utensils.  It is typically served on a silver tin pan or decorative basket lined with a serving of Injera bread.  A scoop of each of each food item is placed in different spots on the Injera bread.  Customers rip off sections of the bread to eat the food they desire.

Injera bread is a paper thin pancake-like bread made with teff flour.  The teff flour is a fairly dark color so usually in restaurants other flours are added to give it a nice, light color and fluffy texture.  Teff flour is extremely high in iron, high in protein, calcium and potassium and is naturally low in fat.

Below are two common Ethiopian recipes that you can make with students.  Injera bread is challenging to make so I usually purchase it from an Ethiopian market.  Try a few different kinds first before offering to students, as it can sometimes have a sour taste that isn’t very appealing.

Yemisir Wot (Berbere red lentil stew)

The berbere spice packs a lot of heat, so I generally have students only add a few tablespoons to start with.  If they like it spicier, then can add more after the recipe has cooked for at least 20 minutes.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ medium onions – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Berbere spice
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup dried red lentils – rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and pepper for flavor

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions. Cook approximately 7-9 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add Berbere spice, ginger and garlic and then cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add lentils and cook until covered for spices (approximately 1 minute).
  5. Add water and bring recipe to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mixture until it is a thick stew (about 30 minutes).
  7. Add salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes more.
  8. Serve with Injera bread or brown rice.

Please note: My recipes are cooked in altitude, so your cooking times may be less.

Nutrition info: Red lentil stew is an excellent source of Vitamin A, protein and fiber. It is low in calories and also a good source of Vitamin C, iron and potassium.

Kik Alicia (Yellow Split pea stew)

This is a very mild, almost sweet-like stew.  Great flavors!

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon “fresh” minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas – rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and pepper for flavor

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions. Cook approximately 7-9 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ginger and turmeric and then cook for another minute.
  5. Add the peas and cook covered until peas are soft (approximately 1 hour).
  6. Add water and bring recipe to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mixture until it is a thick stew (about 30 minutes).
  8. Add salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes.
  9. Serve with Injera bread or brown rice.

Nutrition info: Yellow Split pea stew is an excellent source of fiber (almost 13 grams in 1 serving!). It is a great source of protein and a good source of iron.