Road Tripping: Eating Healthy On the Road

Posted by Jennifer Lee on August 04, 2012 9 Comments

eating healthy on the road

Our family may be taking a vacation, but our healthy eating habits are not. How we plan to keep eating healthy on the road.

Camera. Check. Sunscreen. Check. Blankies. Check, check. We’re geared up and ready for our big summer adventure. But as much as we want to take some time off for summer fun, we don’t want our healthy eating habits to take a vacation. Eating healthy on the road is notoriously difficult, with unhealthy choices at seemingly every turn. How to resist? Make it a game! This month, our new food adventures are all about finding the healthiest food on the road.

Eating Healthy on the Road Tip #1: Pack Your Own

eating healthy on the road tip: pack your own

You know how you’re always better at eating healthy in the morning? Same goes for eating healthy on the road. You need to start on the right foot! We packed a healthy lunch in our nifty PlanetBoxes for the first leg of our journey. Green beans with nut free basil pesto for dipping, a cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, and blueberries and strawberries for dessert. Three colors, plus a protein and healthy grains earns us lots of Crunch a Color points! The objective: resist the lure of fast food joints at the airport. We also packed some reserves – whole-grain bread sticks, natural peanut butter, almonds, some fresh fruit, and water – so if we’re in a pinch we can still choose a healthy snack. We’ll just need to remember to take a break from all the exciting sights and sounds to power up!

* What are your tips for eating healthy on the road? Share your comments.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Strawberry Lemonade.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods! Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her website, www.crunchacolor.com. 

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Strawberry Lemonade Without Sugar (52 New Foods, Week 30)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on August 01, 2012 0 Comments

strawberry lemonade 

A sip of sunshine, this strawberry lemonade is worthy of any roadside lemonade stand. Even better that it’s made without refined sugar!

I’m a big fan of “old-fashioned” anything – tree houses that nearly touch the sky, hopscotch and marbles, and of course, lemonade stands. The neighborhood kids can always count on me and my kids to stop by their stands on hot summer days. But the average stand sells what amounts to sugar water. We decided to take on a new challenge for our roadside lemonade stand this year: make lemonade without using refined sugar. 

Experimenting with Strawberry Lemonade 

We started by adding blended strawberries to our fresh squeezed lemon juice, hoping that just the simple sweetness of the berries would do the trick. Not so -- still too sour. Thanks to a tip from our good friend Amy The Family Chef, we added a touch of agave to our summer sipper, a natural sweetener similar to honey but a lot less sticky. If you can’t find organic agave at your local natural foods store, there’s always Amazon! 

Strawberry Lemonade Without Sugar 

 

strawberry lemonade 2This simple strawberry lemonade is best made with farmers' market fresh organic lemons, organic strawberries and organic agave nectar. Squeezing the lemons is the best part, and a fun project for the kids!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes 8 to 10 glasses of lemonade

Ingredients:
10 lemons (about 1½ cups of lemon juice)
1 pint strawberries
8 cups of water
¼ cup of agave
A few sprigs of mint

Directions:

1) Slice and squeeze the lemons. We did this part outside, with a sieve over a large bowl (it’s messy but fun!).

strawberry lemonade slice


strawberry lemonade squeeze

2) You should end up with about 1½ to 2 cups of lemon juice.

strawberry lemonade lemon juice

3) Load the strawberries into a blender. Add about one cup of water. Blend until smooth.

strawberry lemonade add berries


strawberry lemonade blend

4) Pour the strawberry lemonade mixture into a large serving pitcher. Add the remaining 7 cups of water.

strawberry lemonade add water

5) Add a few sprigs of mint, ¼ cup of agave, then stir. Add a little more agave if you like a sweeter taste.

strawberry lemonade stir

6) Chill in the refrigerator before serving. Then enjoy!

strawberry lemonade

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Lemonade for sale!

What we liked: No need to spoil a good thing with loads of refined sugar. We enjoyed making this classic summer treat with a twist. A glass of fresh strawberry lemonade anyone? 

What are your favorite ways to beat the summer heat?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Veggie Pizza.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes. Crunch a Color™ is a proud supporter of non-profit kids' nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Available at www.crunchacolor.com and in stores nationwide at Pottery Barn Kids. 

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Healthy No Bake Cookies

Posted by Jennifer Lee on May 11, 2012 2 Comments

 

Healthy no bake cookies continue to be a favorite on our lunchtime menu.


Quick and easy (for you or your kids) to make, these tasty no bake cookies use sunflower butter instead of peanut butter to create a delicious batch of nut-free, healthy, no bake cookies that are great for dessert or a lunchtime snack. Watch how easy these tasty, healthy no bake cookies are to make.

Healthy No Bake Cookies

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes about 12 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sunflower butter
¼ cup honey
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions:

1)   In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, sunflower butter and honey.

2)   Mix well.

3)   Use a tablespoon to portion a small amount of dough into your hands. Roll into a ball the size of a large marble.

4)   Roll the balls in the powdered sugar.

5)   Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Optional: Add dried cranberries or raisins for a little pop of color.

*Cooking tip: Lightly grease a measuring cup before adding the honey. It'll make it easy for the honey to slip right off into the mixing bowl.

Our healthy no bake cookies were inspired by the fabulous Aviva Goldfarb at www.thescramble.com.  

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes. Crunch a Color™ is a proud supporter of non-profit kids' nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Available at www.crunchacolor.com and in stores nationwide at Pottery Barn Kids. 

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Veggie Pizza: When Pizza is a Vegetable (52 New Foods, Week 29)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on July 16, 2012 0 Comments
veggie pizza


Veggie pizza grown from our school garden will certainly challenge the debate that pizza is a vegetable.

Our school lunch menu listed “pizza” as one of the menu items this week. I was jumping for joy (and so were my kids). After the fierce debate about Congress declaring pizza a vegetable this year, why would I be cheering? Because this wasn’t your regular school pizza! With ingredients grown and harvested from our school garden – beets, onions, basil, oregano and fresh tomatoes – my food explorers harvested and cooked a delicious and healthy veggie pizza that we all happily enjoyed.

Pizza is a Vegetable (When it’s Garden Grown)

veggie pizza school garden


Running down the shaded, tree-lined path, the roosters beckoned us to join them in their playground. Nestled like a jewel in a sun drenched clearing at the bottom of a gentle hill was our school garden – an outdoor classroom of sorts where my kids and their friends happily tend to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables and enjoy getting their hands dirty learning how to grow and harvest their own food. Today was a particularly special day. Gathered around the weather-worn picnic tables were hungry friends and teachers, ready for a feast. To celebrate the end of week’s worth of hard work in the garden, the children were preparing a lunchtime meal worthy of Outstanding in the Field.

Veggie Pizza

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes one medium pizza, about 8 slices

Ingredients:
Use whatever fresh veggies are growing in your garden. This week we used:
2 large beets, steamed and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch oregano
1 Tbsp olive oil
Homemade tomato sauce
Fresh pizza dough

Directions:

1) Harvest your vegetables. Use whatever is growing in your garden and add veggies from the local farmers’ market if you need extra. Tomatoes, onions, beets, basil and oregano were the features in our school garden this week.

veggie pizza garden

veggie pizza harvest

2) Spread the fresh pizza dough onto a baking sheet.

3) Add olive oil and homemade tomato sauce as your base.

4) Add the chopped veggies.

5) Sprinkle lightly with shredded mozzarella.

6) Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are slightly browned. 

7) Enjoy!

veggie pizza enjoy

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Delicious!

What we liked: Gathering friends together to enjoy harvesting and cooking fresh garden veggies is one of our favorite summer activities. Enjoying veggie pizza together made it even more fun! To our absolute delight, we gobbled up the beets (a vegetable even I have had a notoriously hard time with!). With a bounty of garden fresh veggies on our pizza, we think you’ll agree that our version of pizza is a vegetable. 

* What are your favorite veggies to feature on your pizza?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Watermelon Popsicles with a Twist (of Lime).

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes. Crunch a Color™ is a proud supporter of non-profit kids' nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Available at www.crunchacolor.com and in stores nationwide at Pottery Barn Kids.

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Cool It: Watermelon Popsicles with a Twist (52 New Foods, Week 28)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on July 15, 2012 1 Comment

watermelon popsicles with a twist of lime 

A summer heat wave inspired us to chill out and make a frosty treat: watermelon popsicles with a twist (of lime).

Opening the door to the back garden, a rush of sun burnt air came barreling into the house announcing the arrival of a summer heat wave. There’s no better way to cool rising temperatures than with a homemade frosty treat. Thanks to The Naptime Chef, it was watermelon popsicles to the rescue!

Where’s Watermelon?

Despite our best gardening efforts, the melons in our kitchen garden didn’t make it. Staying true to our Eat Dirt challenge, we sourced our summer giant from the local farmers’ market. According to Jeff Leach, author of Dirtying up Our Diets, dirt from the farmers’ market is the next best thing to dirt from our garden. Armed with a farm fresh juicy watermelon and an easy recipe, we headed to the kitchen to cool off.

Watermelon Popsicles with a Twist (of Lime)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes about 9 ice pops
Adapted from The Naptime Chef

Ingredients:
4 cups seedless watermelon

Juice from 3 fresh limes

Directions:

1) Using a melon baller, scoop about 4 cups of watermelon. You could cut the watermelon with a knife, but my kids think the melon baller is much more fun!

watermelon popsicles scoop

watermelon popsicles scoop step 2

2) Load the watermelon into a food processor and blend until smooth.

watermelon popsicles puree
3) Run the watermelon puree through a sieve or food mill to remove the seeds.

watermelon popsicles strain

4) Squeeze in the juice from three fresh limes. Stir.

watermelon popsicles with lime

5) We made our pops with a Zoku ice pop maker. For best results when using a Zoku, chill the watermelon lime juice for about 10 minutes before loading into the popsicle maker.

watermelon popsicles zoku

6) Enjoy!

watermelon popsicles enjoy

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Cool!

What we liked: This recipe is colorful, easy and tasty! With garden fresh summer fruit, we didn’t need a drop of sugar to sweeten this treat. Such a welcome change from the sugary treats you’ll find in the frozen dessert aisle at the grocery store – and a fraction of the cost!

What is your favorite fruit to use in summer popsicles?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Nut free basil pesto.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes. Crunch a Color is a proud supporter of non-profit kids' nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Available at www.crunchacolor.com and in stores nationwide at Pottery Barn Kids.


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