A couple of weeks ago I had braces put in and I’ve inadvertently become a vegetarian. My teeth hurt so much, it has put a clamp on meat eating for a while. After days of being on a smoothie/soup diet, things got serious as I needed more calorie dense (but healthy) diet that was soft enough for me to chew. That where “Plant-Powered Families“* by Dreena Burton came in. “Plant-Powered Families” has over 100 kid-friendly, whole-foods vegan recipes and I found it useful to rally the troops to get them on board with eating more fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re thinking of dabbling in veganism or just want to add more plant-based dishes to your daily diet, “Plant-Powered Families” is a healthy resource.
Affectionately dubbed the “Queen Bean” or “Vegan Cookie Queen”, Burton has authored four bestselling cookbooks like “Eat, Drink and Be Vegan“, “Vive Le Vegan!” and “The Everyday Vegan: Recipes and Lessons for Living the Vegan Life,” charting her journey as a plant-powered cook with her three ‘weegan’ daughters.
(*Note: Links may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Know that we only write about things that fits our lifestyle and that we truly love. Thank you for supporting Itty Bitty Foodies)
Some of the recipes are easy to make the switch like the Sunday Morning Pancakes. Pancakes get a healthy overhaul with the addition of spelt and oat flours, chia seeds and a non-diary milk. There are snacks like Oven Baked Kale Chips which are already a favorite in the house but Burton adds a flavorful twist by coating them first with tahini. These recipes were a no-brainer as we still ate our regular meal but a healthier version.
The book is split into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts. Let the kids get involved with the process by handing them to power to bookmark all the recipes they want to try. So far the burgers (artichoke and sunflower or sneaky chickpea burger) and the desserts like fudgesicles have captured their excitement. Plant-Powered Families also holds on how to stock your pantry with staples like nut butters, dried coconut or chia seeds and how to handle picky eaters and birthday parties. And parents will love the handy meal planner.
I highly recommend asking your children to flick through the beautiful photos to see what they’d like to try. They will more likely be inclined to try unfamiliar food if they feel empowered in the decision making as well as actually making dinner. I’ll be posting all the recipes we try on Instagram and Twitter — check out how our “Chunky Monkey Smoothie” went for afternoon snack!
To whet your appetite, I’m including this Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl recipe. If you enjoy our recipes and posts, please forward it to like-minded healthy eating families. We love hearing from you.
Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (adapted from page 190 of Plant-Powered Families)
Ingredients Peanut Butter Pudding:
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter or other nut butter (see note)
1 tablespoon white chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2–4 teaspoons pure maple syrup for extra sweetening (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries (see note)
2–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
Pinch sea salt
Method: Steps 1. To make the peanut butter pudding: In a blender, puree the dates, peanut butter, chia seeds, sea salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth (if using a high-speed blender, this will be quick; with a standard blender, you may need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times). If you’d like additional sweetener, add the maple syrup, a teaspoon or two at a time, to taste.
2. To make the berrylicious swirl: Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the berries, maple syrup, and sea salt until semi-smooth. If using frozen berries, it will take a little longer.
3. To assemble: Dollop the berry mixture on the peanutbutter pudding, or “swirl” it through.
4. Peanut Butter Note: Peanut butters often have salt added, even the natural varieties. Check the ingredients—if it does, reduce or omit salt.
5. Nut Butter Note: If substituting a nut butter like almond, try adding a touch of orange zest. It pairs beautifully with almond butter!
6. Berries Note: If using seasonal fresh berries, they may be sweeter than frozen. Puree with just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and add extra to taste.
Till our next Happy Meal!