Breakfast and Brunch

Aviva's Blog

Healthy Breakfast with a Side of Moral Dilemmas: Promote Healthy Families or Unhealthy Products?

Sometimes it’s hard—and expensive—to stand up for what you believe.  Recently I was booked on a satellite media tour to promote healthy breakfast products for families that are scrambling in the morning now that school has started again.  Sponsors of the products were planning to pay me to promote them as part of interviews and cooking demos on TV stations across the country, conducted by satellite (with full disclosure that I was a paid spokesperson for the products). When the company putting together the tour first contacted me, I told them that I needed to know what products I would be promoting so I could approve or reject them based on my standards of what tastes good and what constitutes a healthy breakfast for kids.  They assured me I would be able to do that, but as the date drew nearer, I grew nervous because they still hadn’t told me what the products would be. When I pushed for an answer, I learned that the main sponsor was a national food company with...

Smoothie: Blueberry, Basil, and Lemon Smoothie

This flavor combination is summery and refreshing, perfect before or after a workout or a walk. The herbs make it extra fragrant, and the yogurt and banana make the smoothie creamy.

. Blueberry Basil and Lemon Smoothie Makes 4 Servings, 1 cup each 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek or traditional) 1/2 cup water 2 cups frozen blueberries 1/2 lemon, with the rind if you have a powerful blender (if not just use juice) 1/2 cup fresh basil 1/4 cup fresh mint 1 small cucumber, halved (about 6 inches long) 1 banana, preferably frozen 1-3 Tbsp sugar, to taste (optional) Puree in a blender until smooth. Get more healthy smoothie recipes your whole family will love here: http://www.thescramble.com/cookbooks-and-other-resources/ Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values): Calories 122, Total Fat 2.5g, 4%, Saturated Fat 1.5g, 7%, Cholesterol 8mg, 2.5%, Sodium 31.5mg, 1.5%, Carbohydrate 24g, 8%, Dietary Fiber 4g,...

Fruit and Veggie Smoothies: Four-Veggie Blast Smoothie

Whatever the weather, I love making smoothies (especially fruit and veggie smoothies) for breakfast or an afternoon snack because I know that they get my family toward our daily goal of 5 – 7 servings of fruits and vegetables. This one’s a little tart but even with all those veggies, it turns out dark pink and very drinkable. Cut the tartness with the optional sweetener, if desired. **You can get all of my family’s favorite smoothie recipes by downloading my Top 10 Smoothie eBook here** 4 servings 1 banana, fresh or frozen 1 cup low fat plain or fruit flavored kefir 1 cup water 2 Tbsp. chia seeds 1 carrot, cut into thirds 1 stalk celery, cut into thirds 1 cucumber, cut into thirds (no need to peel) 1/2 cup kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or ripped 2 cups frozen mixed berries handful of fresh mint 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup or 1 pitted date (optional) Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve. Nutritional Information per Serving (% based...

Summer Drink: Mango Lime Coolers

Temperatures just hit the high 90s in Maryland, so I thought we could mark the first week of summer with a fruity cocktail recipe to keep us cool. This sparkling summer drink, invented by my colleague Linda Wolpert, is wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. For an adult cocktail, add an ounce of rum to each glass. Mango Lime Coolers 6 servings 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 cup fresh mint leaves, plus a few extra sprigs for garnish 6 limes, juice only (about 1 cup) 6 cups seltzer water 1/2 cup fresh mango, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or use frozen. Thaw the frozen mango, if using it.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, stir in the  mint, cover, and remove it from the heat.  Let it cool for at least 5 minutes. Strain the mint syrup into a pitcher (I use a fine metal strainer). Add the lime juice, seltzer and mangos. Serve it over ice, garnished with the extra ...

What Moms Really Want for Mothers Day | Special Mothers Day Ideas

We moms (and dads) love our children intensely. From the moment we bring our warm, soft, intoxicatingly good-smelling little bundles into our home, we put aside our own needs to dedicate ourselves to loving, protecting, and nurturing them. We give up our free time to help with homework, read bedtime stories and go to (often endless) school meetings. We race out of work early or arrive late, to be there for doctor’s appointments or soccer games. We sacrifice sleep to comfort a sick daughter or cuddle a scared son.  Sometimes we go haggard with worry or crazed with frustration. But be honest: Does anybody really want breakfast in bed? Personally, I used to find it hazardous, not indulgent, to balance coffee and orange juice, pancakes, and maybe even a flower on a tray perched on my lap, while lovingly assaulted by the sticky little hands and faces that delivered it with Mother’s Day kisses. After a year or two, I confessed to...

Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

(Moms--Please share this with your family and try not to peek!) Mother’s Day Brunch Menu Crustless Asparagus Quiche Whole Grain Baguette Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits I love the combination of asparagus and dill, but hadn’t thought of combining them in a quiche until recently. Fortunately, the results were fantastic! Serve the quiche with a whole grain baguette and fruit and yogurt parfaits. Don’t forget to add a few fresh cut flowers to the tray or table! 2 tsp. butter 1 bunch asparagus, diced, to yield 2 cups chopped asparagus 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped, or more to taste 6 eggs 1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk (or use Greek yogurt or 2% or whole milk) 2 tsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup shredded Gruyere or sharp Cheddar cheese Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add...

Freebie Friday: Snack Girl to The Rescue!

I’ve long been an admirer of Lisa Cain, aka Snack Girl. We first met in Sacramento, California on a trip to learn more about California walnuts, and I was charmed by her straight talking manner. I think that’s what her myriad of followers on her popular site, Snack-Girl.com, love most about Lisa—she always tells it like it is, with a big dollop of humor. If Lisa loves a product, she’ll tell the world, and if she doesn’t like a product she doesn’t hold back either. Lisa has been working tirelessly on her first cookbook, which features recipes for snacks, meals and desserts to help you slim down while enjoying your food. Lisa was kind enough to share a recipe and offer to give away two copies of her book to Scramblers, one on the blog and one on Facebook. To win, please leave a comment sharing your favorite healthy snack, below by Friday, April 25th  at midnight, or on Facebook between 9 a.m. and midnight on that Friday. Winners will be selected and notified by...

Why I Only Drink Organic Tea

Do you try to limit the chemicals and pesticides you and your family consume? Of course, chemicals are ubiquitous and there is no way, short of enclosing ourselves in a bubble (I just hope there are some raspberries, dark chocolate, good books and Netflix in there), to avoid them completely in the air we breathe, what we apply to our skin, or in our diets. But given the choice, I always opt for pesticide-free or certified organic products. My hope is that it will protect my family’s health, the health of the people who grow and produce them, and ultimately will positively impact our fragile environment. I drink green tea every morning and in the past I wasn’t too particular about the type I bought. That was, until I learned from my friend Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea (seriously, the absolute best organic iced tea on the planet other than homemade), that tea leaves are normally sprayed with pesticides in the fields and NOT rinsed before being dried and packaged and...

Healthy Dessert Recipes: Mango Sherbet Recipe with Ginger & Lime

Our daughter Celia developed a couple of new healthy dessert recipes this month including this Mango Ginger Lime Sherberet. It’s so easy to make and tastes light and refreshing. You can substitute any flavor of yogurt you like or have on hand, or for a vegan version, use dairy-free yogurt or coconut milk. (You may need to add a little extra sweetener if the coconut milk is unsweetened.)  It's so good for you, why not serve it for breakfast as well?

Mango Sherbet Recipe with Ginger & Lime 2 1/2 cups frozen mango 12 oz. strawberry banana low fat yogurt, or flavor of your choice 1 lime, use the juice plus 1/2 tsp. zest 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, or more to taste Put the mango in a microwave-safe dish and microwave it for 30 – 60 seconds until it just begins to soften. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients, and process until smooth. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for at least 15 minutes, or until it becomes...

Homemade Hot Chocolate Submarinos

When my kids came in from shoveling snow today, I remembered the most delectable hot chocolate drink I had once sipped in a café in a bus terminal in a remote area of Argentina, when I  was feeling chilled from winter travel.  When I ordered hot chocolate, I was surprised when the bartender served me hot milk with a chocolate bar on the side.  He told me to dunk the chocolate in the milk until it melted.  After making sure I wasn’t the butt of a clueless tourist joke, I took a sip and was enthralled. It was one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted, just the perfect thing to turn around a day when I was feeling lonely and far from home. I don’t know why it took me 25 years to try making Argentinian homemade hot chocolate “submarinos” but I’m glad I finally did. (They’re called submarinos because you dunk the chocolate into the milk like it’s a submarine.) Make the best of the winter by warming up with a delicously rich-tasting homemade hot...