In this week’s The Willowbee Tree story “Sacred Snacktime”, Little Ty sometimes gets so excited about playing that he forgets to eat. He would rather do so many other things than eat—especially play tag or hide and seek. Then the Willow Tree takes them to Mexico and he learns a valuable lesson from thousands of Monarch butterflies on why to eat peacefully before a big event.
Like many of you, I have a little “Ty” at my house. He'll squirm through meals taking only a bite or two before it's “Gotta go, mama! Got things to do!”
While we like to encourage a more proper, sit-down dinner, for breakfast and lunch I don't care as much about grab-and-go dining. One easy way to get good food into small stomachs quickly is by making smoothies.
There are, of course, whole libraries dedicated to smoothie making—green smoothies, protein smoothies, smoothies packed with exotic fruits—but we usually do better by keeping it simple. A little seasonal fruit, a little yogurt, a little sweetener, all poured into a mason jar with a fancy paper straw—easy peasy!
Inspired by the bright orange color of Ty's Monarch butterflies, the following smoothie uses citrus-y clementines as a fruit base, but feel free to sub in whatever fruit will tempt your children long enough to sit at the table.
Monarch Butterfly Smoothies (makes about 2, 16-ounce smoothies)
5 clementines, peeled and sectioned (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup Greek yogurt
About 2 cups ice
2 tablespoons honey, as needed
Blend the clementines, vanilla, and yogurt in the pitcher of a sturdy blender. Add ice cubes one or two at a time, until the smoothie reaches your favorite slushy consistency.
Then, give it a quick taste. If your fruit was very sweet to begin with, you might not need to add sweetener at all, but if the mixture is a little pucker-y, blend in a few tablespoons of honey to mellow it out.
Serve in a big glass with a straw or spoon.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.