Little Localvores: let them drink chocolate milk!
Welcome to Little Localvores - a weekly series on our family's first experience with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Every Tuesday all summer long we will receive a supply of fresh produce and local foods through the Good Natured Family Farms CSA. I'll chronicle my attempts to get my toddlers (3 years and 15 months) to eat fresh and local, healthy foods.
Localvore: someone who prefers to eat locally grown/produced food.
Last week's CSA goodies included red cabbage, swiss chard, new potatoes, yellow squash, patty pan squash, green peppers, hoop house tomatoes, peaches, blackberries and chocolate milk.
I think it goes without saying that the chocolate milk was a big hit with my Little Localvores. We don't buy chocolate milk and it's not something I want my kids to drink often (we went several years before they knew it existed). But there are worse things they can drink and I think it's good for them to have treats on occasion and not feel deprived. All week long I heard Charlie telling people at school about his chocolate milk "we only drink it after dinner for a treat because it has a lot of sugar." He knows the party line.
I saw this on Pinterest somewhere and thought it might be fun for the kids, they had these for dinner one night. We tried it with some tomatoes, too - they don't hold up as well as the peppers, but they tasted just as good.
The eggs & peppers were a hit!
I don't know when I last drank chocolate milk. I forgot how incredibly good it tastes! I guess I understand why kids love it. There is a lot of buzz these days about chocolate milk as a recovery drink post-exercise. I think it could be a good choice after a long run (60 minutes plus) given the combination of carbs and protein. I went for a run Saturday morning (already hot even at 6:30am) and made a smoothie with the chocolate milk when I got back. Chocolate milk, a splash of almond milk and vanilla extract, a spoonful of almond butter, one banana, a few frozen raspberries, add some ice & blend. Yum!
The beautiful hoop house tomatoes inspired a run to Whole Foods to get hand-pulled fresh mozzarella worthy of our tomatoes. We made The Mothership Tomato Salad to go with the mozzarella, a modified caprese salad. Some good olive oil and balsamic vinegar would also do the trick - quality ingredients don't need much fuss.
We roasted the new potatoes and onions like we did previously and grilled salmon sausage from Whole Foods (have you ever tried them? So good!)
Once again, using up the peaches and blackberries was easy! This time I made a Peach and Blackberry Crisp, one of my favorite summer desserts. Check out my no-fail recipe here.
Local food lovers and fellow CSA members, you have got to try this new KC restaurant...
Cafe Gratitude on Southwest Boulevard in the Crossroads (in LuLu's old spot). They are all about local, organic food with a unique postivie spin...
As you can see from the menu, all the items have names and if you order "I am humble" they will say "you are humble" when they serve it to you. It makes you smile.
Not sure which bowl this was, we've been there several times and everything has been good. And I have to say, the "I am honoring" nachos are out of sight - forget what you think of as nachos, these will blow you away.
The menu is very kid-friendly and they have items like "I am the King/Queen" which is an almond butter and banana sandwich served with a drizzle of local honey on whole grain bread. We've also ordered the apple slices with caramel, good for an appetizer or dessert. The kids love the all natural and healthy smoothies (shakes as Charlie prefers to call them - they are healthy so he can call them whatever he wants).
The service has been excellent both times we've gone, but word is getting out and we've had to wait a little. It's totally worth it, and we always have a fleet of cars with us to pass the time. Check out Cafe Gratitude!
*Photo note: I am still in the very early stages of learning to use my new camera. In the effort of time and restless subjects, I often can't get the settings right before my subjects move away or those waiting to be fed (me!) get impatient. Photographing kids and food both have their challenges. Like everything in life, it is a work in progress! I'm enjoying the process and that's what counts.