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Homemade pizza dough is the best thing to make on a Friday night!  This pizza dough recipe only has a few ingredients and is easy enough for your kids to make! 

How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough
  1. First get your yeast going -it should look nice an bubbly after about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix your oil, salt, flour in with the yeast mixture.  I let mine knead with a dough hook in my kitchen aid for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t have a mixer, knead your dough on your counter with a little flour until the dough isn’t sticky.
  3. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover.  Put it in a warm place to let it rise.
  4. It should rise for about an hour or until double in size.
  5. Punch it down and set it on your pizza stone or pizza pan.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  6. If you are just making one pizza, you can roll your dough out right on your pan.   Roll your dough very thin.  It will puff up a lot and so if you don’t want a 4 inch crust, then roll it thin!
  7. Place on a stone or pan and bake at 425 for 10 minutes (just the dough).  Then put your toppings on and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust has started to brown.
What are the Ingredients in Homemade Pizza Dough

Yeast.  This is an ingredient that a delicious dough needs the most.  Yeast is what causes the dough to rise giving you a delicious light and airy crust. Active dry yeast is one of the most common types of yeast to use in homemade pizza dough recipes because it is easy to use, and easy to find in most stores.

Sugar.  A lot of people believe that sugar is necessary to ‘feed’ the yeast, but yeast will grow and bubble just fine on its own.  Sugar plays a couple of different roles in pizza dough.  The first is that it enhances the flavor of your dough just like salt.  All of the different types of sugar add a subtle flavor to your dough.  The second thing it does is that it helps your dough retain moisture and tenderizes the dough.   You don’t need to add very much to get the benefits of sugar in your dough.

Water.  Water helps the protein in the flour bond together more tightly which forms a stronger gluten structure and gives your dough more elasticity.

Salt.  Salt is one of those ingredients like sugar that isn’t absolutely necessary in pizza dough, but without it the flavor of your dough will be a lot more bland.  It also regulates the activity of the yeast and helps your dough to rise more predictably.

Oil. Oil acts as a lubricant in dough making it easier to stretch and roll out.  Oil also can effect the crispiness of the finished product and the flavor of the pizza dough.

Flour.  The type of flour you use will significantly effect the texture of your pizza dough.  Bread flour, cake flour, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.  The type of flour you use is as personal of a preference as the toppings you put on your pizza.  Bread flour will produce an airy and chewy crust.  Cake flour produces a very tender crust.  All-purpose flour is a great all around flour for dough.  Whole wheat flour produces a dense, more bread like dough.

5 Tips for Making the Best Pizza Dough at Home
  1. Heat a pizza stone in the oven before you put your dough on it.
  2. Roll your dough as thin as you can possibly get it.  It will rise a lot and become too thick and bread like if you don’t roll it thin.  Especially when you use wheat flour.
  3. Use a dough docker (or a fork) to prevent your dough from bubbling.  This also helps your dough to rise evenly.
  4.  Make sure your don’t skip pre-baking your dough before you put the toppings on.
  5. Brush the edges of the crust with a little love oil before baking with the toppings.
Our Favorite Homemade Pizza Toppings

There is something about a classic pepperoni pizza, but if you make pizza every Friday night then it is fun to switch it up!  These are some of our favorite pizza topping combos:

  • Chicken Pesto: Grilled chicken + Pesto Sauce + Mozzarella
  • Margherita: Plum Tomatoes + Fresh Mozzarella + Basil Leaves
  • Fall Veggie Pizza: Sweet Peppers + Carmelized Onions + Oven Dried Tomatoes + Pesto + Mozzarella
  • Hawaiian Pizza: Natural Ham + Pineapple Chunks + Mozzarella
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza: Shredded BBQ Chicken + Sautéed Red Onion + Mozzarella Cheese + Cheddar Cheese + BBQ Sauce/Ranch Sauce
  • Classic Veggie: Tomatoes + Sweet Peppers + Mushrooms + Pineapple + Onions + Olives
Favorite Homemade Pizza Recipes

The post Best Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Cheesy tortellini with bites of fresh spinach and yummy basil in a creamy sauce is our definition of an amazing meal!

Pasta for Dinner

When you cook pasta for dinner, there are a lot of different options.  Dry pasta, fresh pasta and frozen pasta.  No matter which type of pasta you decide to make for dinner, the golden rule is not to overcook it.  Tortellini is an especially important pasta to follow this rule with.  It will turn into a mushy mess if cooked too long.  So what kind is best?

Dry Pasta:  This is the type that is the most available and easy to find at the grocery store.  It can be stored for up to a year at your house, making it a convenient food to have on hand.  It takes longer to cook dry pasta than fresh or frozen.  Dry tortellini isn’t as easy to find as other types of dry pasta, but it does exist!

Fresh Pasta: This is usually found in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  Fresh pasta cooks really quickly – about half the time of dry pasta.  You can store fresh pasta in your fridge for a few weeks.  It is typically more expensive that dry pasta.

Frozen Pasta: This type of pasta has bee flash-frozen to lock in the flavor.  Frozen pasta takes about the same amount of time as dry pasta to cook.

Tortellini comes in dry, fresh and frozen at the store.  Some of you may be over achievers and want to If you want to make homemade tortellini for dinner.  You should plan on spending a delightful afternoon making pasta – a very long delightful afternoon.  For the rest of you, go ahead and buy it at the store and you will still have a delicious tortellini dinner.

Cheese Tortellini

This recipe calls for cheese tortellini.  There are a lot of different types of tortellini stuffed with different things like sausage, veggies, herbs, and all sorts of seasonings.  The typical cheeses used in tortellini are romano, ricotta, and parmesan.  We love cheese tortellini because it feels a lot more substantial than just plain old pasta.   Cheese is a good source of protein and so even though this recipe is meatless, there is still a good amount of protein from the cheese tortellini.

Health Benefits of Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable and is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.  The thing we love about spinach, is that of all the leafy green veggies, it is probably the most mild and best tasting.  That is great news for kids because it makes it a lot easier to get them to try it and eat it again.  Spinach is incredibly versatile.  You can eat it fresh in a salad, blended in a smoothie, or cooked with cheese tortellini pasta!

We like to cut our spinach into very small pieces for a recipe like this because.

  1. It makes it easier for kids to chew
  2. More likely  for kids to eat a small piece of spinach with a cheese tortellini in one bit
  3. Has a better texture

Spinach is a good source of fiber, iron B vitamins and Vitamin C.   So many good things packed into those little leaves.

The post Creamy Tortellini with Spinach appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Amazon Prime Day is Amazon’s yearly anniversary sale and it’s a day of discounts you don’t want to miss!  This HUGE sale runs on July 16th and 17th only… just think Black Friday in July!

If you’re in the market for new appliances, cool gadgets and tech stuff, or anything baby- and kid-related, then read on: We’ve put together all of the deals you’ll want to check out. These are the kind of deals that you can buy now, and then save to give as Christmas or birthday gifts.

Prime Day 2018 is in full swing and we’ll be updating you all day on our Instagram Stories when new deals pop up. We’ll update this page as deals begin to roll in, too, and keep adding items regularly throughout the sale. Keep coming back for all the best deals for kids on Amazon Prime Day 2018. Happy shopping!

Baby Gear

Versatile Car Seat Canopy Nursing Cover and More

Click this link to save 20% off!  (Discount applied at checkout)

HEYI Diaper Backpack

Click this link to save 30% off!  (Discount applied at checkout)

Kitchen Gadgets

DEALS COMING SOON…………….

Kids Toys

Magnetic Tile Set

$36 – this is an AMAZING price!!

Wooden Farmer’s Market Stand 

Click this link to save 30% off!  (Discount applied at checkout)

Echo Dot for Kids

Prime Day Price: $59.99 (Save $20)

LOTS MORE DEALS COMING SOON!

Family Tech

Amazon Echo Show

LOTS MORE DEALS COMING SOON!

Household

Deals will be posted as soon as they roll in………………………..

The post Best Deals for All Things Kids: Amazon Prime Day 2018 appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Super Healthy Kids Blog by Amy Roskelley - 1w ago
Everyone needs a basic lasagna recipe, adding fresh or frozen spinach is just a nutritious bonus! Spinach Lasagna Recipe Is Lasagna good for you?

Spinach lasagna is like any dinner idea. You can make a healthy version, and you can make an unhealthy version.  So, what makes lasagna healthy  or not?

  • Veggies: Any lasagna that you include vegetables with, like spinach, will be healthier!  Vegetables are low in calories, while packed with nutrients.   If you take a bite of lasagna packed with veggies, you’ll get more nutrients in that bite, than if the lasagna was simply cheese and pasta.
  • Tomato Sauce:  Tomato sauce seems innocent enough, but unless you read the label, or can your own, you might be getting more junk that tomato. Check tomato sauce labels for added sugar, salt, preservatives, or chemicals that you can’t pronounce.
  • Meat: While we definitely are a meat eating household, quality of meat does matter when it comes to feeding your family.  This spinach lasagna recipe is vegetarian, so we didn’t need to consider the meat.  However, knowing where and how your meat is raised is helpful in knowing where to spend your grocery money.  When possible, opt for grass fed meat.  Grass fed, as opposed to grain fed beef, contains more of the healthy fat, as well as more vitamins like vitamin A & K. (source)
Can you make spinach lasagna with fresh or frozen spinach?

And finally, the best and healthiest component of this lasagna is the spinach!  I’ve made this lasagna with both frozen spinach and fresh spinach. My family prefers the fresh spinach,but you can test them both and decide for yourself.

Frozen spinach has been boiled or blanched soon after harvesting, and then packaged and frozen to be sold in stores:

  • Frozen spinach has a stronger flavor because it’s been cooked and the flavors are more concentrated.
  • You get more spinach in a single cup of frozen than fresh.
  • While frozen spinach and fresh are equally nutritious, by quantity, there is a lot more spinach per cup of frozen spinach. This makes it easier to get a lot more nutrition per cup.
  • 1 pound of fresh spinach, concentrates down to 1 1/2 cups of cooked or frozen)
  • For spinach lasagna in this recipe, we mixed the frozen and cooked spinach into the cheese mixture.

Fresh spinach is purchased by the head or in a bag of baby leaves.

  • Fresh spinach has a milder flavor. It’s usually quite pleasing to kids,because the taste is not very strong and takes on the flavors of the food it’s served with.
  • You use less less spinach in recipes that call for fresh, than recipes that ask for frozen.
  • If your recipe calls for 1 cup of frozen spinach, you can use 1 lb of fresh.
  • If you are making spinach lasagna with fresh spinach,  I like to layer the spinach leaves between the layers of the lasagna, rather than mix it into anything.
  • Gram for gram, fresh spinach has more folate than frozen or cooked spinach if eaten right at harvest. The longer the fresh spinach sits in a truck, the more the nutrient degrades, actually turning the table to make frozen the better source! (source)

So, give the kids a dinner you know they’ll  love, and take some of our advice to make it healthier by adding spinach to the lasagna tonight!

For more lasagna recipes, check out these!

The post Spinach Lasagna appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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With the right herbs and spices, this pasta dish tastes like a delicious Italian Chicken dinner.

We love Italian cuisine like Italian Chicken. Italian food is known for it’s pasta, bread, cheese, and risotto’s. This makes it easy to get kids interested in an Italian meal as well.  The many types, sizes, shapes, and lengths of pasta can make a variety of dishes feel and taste different, as well as provide a base for different fillings and toppings.   According to Wikipidia, Italian cuisine is also known for it’s simplicity, which is also appealing.  Usually only a few ingredients with lots of delicious herbs and spices.

This particular pasta dish is a great meal for healthy kids because all in one skillet, we have all the macronutrients necessary for a balanced meal.

  • Protein: The chicken in this dish of course is a great source of protein.  We used chicken breasts for this recipe, but we also like to substitute for chicken thighs.
  • Fat:  Like all good Italian cuisine, cheese is a must!  We added Parmesan cheese to this dinner, providing a little fat to make the dinner taste good and be more filling.
  • Fiber: I love this dish, because unlike a lot of pasta dishes, we’ve added beans! Beans are a great source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.
  • Carbs: Of course, you can’t have a pasta, Italian dish without stating the obvious, that pasta is a great source of carbs!  In a society where people like to talk about carbs being the fattening macro-nutrient, we still maintain at Super Healthy Kids that carbs are vital for energy,for satiety,and for delicious, inexpensive meals!
What herbs and spices make Italian flavors?

We know all about the Italian food and the pasta and cheese, but Italian cuisine is also known for it’s distinct combination of specific herbs and spices grown native to Italy.  Some typical flavors you’ll find with Italian food include:

  • Parsley– Grown in the Mediterranean region, parsley is one of the most popular herbs on the market.  Like most herbs, because they are so low in calories, they are considered dense with nutrients.Only 3 calories contains 10 mg of calcium 123 mcg of vitamin K, 10 mg of vitamin , .5 mg of iron, and even some folate.
  • Oregano– This is possibly the spice that is most associated with Italian cuisine. Oregano is typically eaten dried, because the flavor is stronger when it’s dried than fresh.
  • Peperoncino– An Italian name for hot chili peppers, these are an excellent source of Vitamin A.
  • Bay Leaves – Often a full dry bay leaf might be included in cooking to enhance the flavor, but then removed before the dish is served.   A bay leaf, eaten whole is bitter and pungent!
  • Basilbasil comes in many different shapes and flavors and can be eaten fresh or dried.  Many people enjoy basil blended with oil to make pesto.  Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Iron, and calcium.
  • Sage – sage is used to flavor meats, like chicken, sausage, and pork.  Many people will rub fresh sage onto the meat to  release some of the oils and enhance the flavor.
  • Rosemary– Some people believe rosemary has potent antioxidants that stimulate brain health and memory.   Research has supported some minor boosts in memory recall, so it’s worth a try!  (source)
  • Thyme – finally, Thyme! It’s a good source of Vitamin C and A, and enhances the flavor of Italian dishes.
How to make homemade Italian Seasoning

Recently, markets have been selling these dried herbs and spices altogether in a spice jar they are calling Italian Seasoning.  You can definitely buy this blend, but you could also make it yourself, especially if you are cultivating and drying your own herbs.    A common combination includes equal portions of:

Use about 1 tablespoon each

  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • dried rosemary
  • dried marjoram
  • dried cilantro
  • dried thyme
  • dried savory
  • red pepper flakes

You can also include Garlic powder, salt, and onion power in your seasoning mixture.   We use Italian seasoning for adding flavor to tomato based products like marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce,pizza sauce, etc.

Raising kids to be adventurous eaters starts with exposing them to new tastes and flavors of different cuisines and cultures. This Italian chicken is a great start.

More Italian dinner ideas:

The post Loaded Italian Chicken & Pasta Dinner appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Kids can eat cuisine, like fish, even from a young age! Start them off with this baked salmon and watch them fall in love with fish!

Many people think of fish as an adult food, or just for grown ups. But the truth is, kids can (and should) be eating the same food as their parents.  The only exception to this is shelfish if your family has a tendency toward allergies. Other fish like tuna, halibut, salmon and sardines not only have amazing health benefits for young kids, but can also help them enjoy the flavor and texture of fish.

Health Benefits of Baked Salmon:

Fish, like salmon, is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are already deficient in the standard American diet, so salmon is a great choice for kids.  Other benefits of including salmon in your diet, beyond the essential fatty acids they provide are

  • Tryptophan(an excellent source)
  • Selenium (53 mcg per 4 ounces. Excellent source)
  • Protein (29 grams per 4 ounces!)
  • Vitamin B 12 (3.3 mcg per 4 ounces)
  • Niacin (11 mcg per 4 ounces)
  • Magnesium
Types of Salmon

There are a few types of salmon you’ve likely heard of when shopping. Wild caught sand farm raised are two designations of salmon that fish are sold with.  Here’s a break down of what you need to know:

  • Wild caught salmon- This is the ideal choice, as the fish has been living in the “wild”. This fish tastes better and has a higher Omega 3 to Omega 6 ration, meaning, there is more of the good fat present in the fish.
  • Farm raised salmon- many concerns have been raised about farm raised salmon.  They are raised in pens, and are fed pellets that skew their fatty acid profile to be higher in Omega 6 than omega 3.   They are also fed artificial color so their flesh is more pink, and they look more like wild caught. The farm raised also  could be treated with antibiotics, because they live in such close proximity to each other.  The fish itself is lower in protein (20% lower) because they don’t exercise the same as wild salmon.
  • Canned salmon- this can be a good choice if the label says the salmon is wild caught (for reasons noted above). But this isn’t always the case.  Read the label to be sure.

So, get yourself some salmon today.  Buy wild caught if your kids are new to fish, because it definitely will taste better and you’ll have the most opportunity for them to like the taste.  For a few different fish recipes your kids will like, check out these below:

The post Kid- Friendly Herb Baked Salmon with Lemon appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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If you are planning a party or just a fun day in the backyard, Kroger Marketplace is your one stop shop for not only delicious food, but all of the warm weather seasonal kids gear that makes a party fun!

Summer Celebration

We love to have outdoor parties in the summer.   There are a few key elements that are pretty consistent for us when we throw a party.  Water Activities.  Good Food.  Festive Decorations.   When I go shopping to get the things I need, I love that Kroger Marketplace has it all.  We are partnering with Kroger today to show you how easy it is to get the fun things you need this summer season.  It wasn’t hard to find what I needed because of the fun signs they have telling me exactly where I needed to be.

Backyard Summer Kids Gear

Some of our favorite things to have for the kids to play with in the backyard:

  • Large bouncy balls
  • Blow-up pool
  • Pool floaties
  • Bubbles
  • Water guns
  • Beach towels (kids get cold when they are wet without these!)
  • Friends and Family!

I couldn’t believe the great prices on all of their fun backyard toys.  It seemed like everything was on sale.

One thing I have learned about a water party is that you need plenty of squirt guns for everyone to have one!  Sharing water guns doesn’t work very well because whoever doesn’t have a water gun usually gets blasted.

My girls thought the giant avocado floaty was the best.  I love that fruits and veggies are becoming cool now – not just for eating!

Bubbles are fun, but bubble guns are way more fun.  Luke thought it was so great to run out and pretend to shoot everyone with bubbles.

Party Snacks

We like to keep party snacks simple so that the focus can be on activities when there are lots of kids involved.  Watermelon is a staple at our summer parties and Kroger always has delicious watermelon for a great price.

A refreshing drink is a must for kids when they are running around in the heat.  My kids get SO thirsty!

When you are planning for outdoor parties this summer, or to keep your kids busy, Kroger has it all. I love that they have everything I need in one place, or that I can order online and have all my items waiting for me.  Getting my kids outside has never been easier thanks to the variety of fun summer toys at Kroger.

The post Backyard Summer Fun with Red, White and BBQ appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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Substitute white flour for whole wheat in these applesauce muffins to increase the fiber and vitamins!

Of all the muffins we have tried, these applesauce muffins are a good one to experiment with if you want to try 100% whole wheat.   Whole wheat muffins have a tendency to be denser or heavier, because the gluten develops more slowly than it does with white flour. Whole wheat baked goods also taste a little grittier than the white flour, depending on the type of whole wheat flour you are using. White flour is popular in baked goods because it can create a light and airy product, rather than dense and heavy.  But there are other facts that can help develop gluten and help baked goods to rise, even when you use 100% whole wheat.

How to substitute whole wheat flour for white flour

I’ve always taught that you can start with a small amount of equally substituted flour until your family gets used to the taste and texture of whole wheat.   Starting with 50 % of your recipe with white flour and 50% with whole wheat flour can have less impact on the finished product and give you a muffin very similar to one that you baked with all white flour.  However, as you start to move on the scale to more whole wheat than white, you can actually use LESS whole wheat flour.  1 cup of all-purpose flour can be substituted for 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.

Because you are dealing with the whole grain, whole wheat flour doesn’t absorb the liquid in your muffins the way white flour does.  White flour acts more like a sponge and sops up all that liquid. So, with whole wheat flour, adding additional liquid can help make the muffins not too dry.

While not necessary in muffins, if cooking whole wheat bread, we will incorporate a small amount of gluten to help our whole wheat bread rise.  This is easy to do with products like Vital Wheat gluten.

What types of whole wheat flour is good for muffins

It surprises me how many different types of flours there are on the market now.  In fact, some whole wheat flours are as soft and smooth as white flour, and my kids are less likely to complain that something might taste “grittier”, or they like to say “I feel like I’m eating sand!” LOL

There are different types of wheat kernels that create different textures and tastes of whole wheat.   Here are a few of them:

  • White whole wheat flour- One type of wheat kernel that can be milled is called, hard white wheat.  This is still 100% whole wheat, but the color is lighter, and the flour a little sweeter.
  • Whole wheat pastry flour- Whole wheat pastry flour is made from soft white wheat kernels, and creates a lighter flour, with less protein, which is good for baking.
  • Whole wheat self rising flour- This flour (whether from a white or red kernel) incorporates baking powder sifted into it to assist with baking.
  • 100 % whole wheat flour- This term simply means that 100 % of the kernel is present in the flour. The germ and endosperm are completely milled to create the flour.
  • Whole grain whole wheat flour 100% of the kernel- Again, the full kernel is milled, generally using the hard red wheat kerenel.
  • Whole wheat flour – While sometimes it means the full kernel is milled, only 95% of the kernel is required to label the flour “Whole wheat flour”

(source)

Health benefits of using whole wheat flour

If it can be tricky to create whole wheat muffins, you might be asking why do it at all? Absolutely!  When using the entire grain for your flour, instead of milling off the healthiest portions in favor of texture, it is healthier.  The three components of a whole wheat kernel include:

  • The Bran- the most important part (which is taken away during milling of white flour). This contains the B-vitamins, the fiber, and important antioxidants!
  • The germ – this contains the protein, and even healthy fats!
  • and the endosperm- contains the carbohydrate, the majority of the calories, and important minerals.

(SOURCE)

So, if you are ready to start incorporating more whole wheat into your muffins, start with these Applesauce Muffins!  Your kids will love it!

For more whole wheat muffins, check out these recipes:

And to make your own applesauce, check out this canning applesauce post! 

The post Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins Recipe appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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This Cheesy Vegetable Soup made in the crockpot has carrots, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions.  So many vegetables in one soup!

The number one question we get from parents is “How can I get my kid to eat vegetables?”  We are actually thrilled you are asking this! If you are asking, it means you understand the huge impact vegetables can have on our kids health.   Studies have shown us time and time again, that kids who consume more vegetables are:

  • Less likely to develop chronic disease like cancer, and heart disease. (source)
  • More able to maintain a healthy weight
  • Have improved test scores and grades.
  • Improves digestive health (source)

That’s why we love to bring you recipes like this cheesy vegetable soup. It gives you a way to introduce your kids to a variety of vegetables in a recipe that they are going to love.

What vegetables to put in vegetable soup?

When it comes to making vegetable soup, root veggies like potatoes and carrots create a good hearty base to start with.   Also, if you want picky eaters to enjoy the soup, these vegetables are a good start because so many kids already like them.  Add a little cheese to the top, and most kids who will give it a chance, usually likes it.  But what other vegetables are good in soup?  It can depend on what type of soup you like, creamy or brothy.

  • Veggies For creamy vegetable soups:  We usually use root veggies like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Starchy veggies like corn.  Flavorful veggies like onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
  • Veggies for broth based vegetable soups: We usually use veggies that hold their shape in water and have a lot of flavor like like green beans, carrots, peas, tomatoes,  celery, carrots, zucchini and onions.  Check out this quinoa vegetable soup if you want to try kale as well.
Can you make soup in a slow cooker?

Making soup in a slow cooker or crockpot is always a good idea. Soups thicken up if you want it to, and the flavor is enhanced with slow, low temperature cooking.   The other great thing is most soups don’t require several steps for cooking ingredients separately.  The best recipes have you combine all the raw ingredients into a pot or slow cooker, and cook everything at the same time. This makes it ideal for a slow cooker.  And finally, the slow cooker is ideal because you don’t have to watch your soup.  Soup over the stove top can boil over or stick to the bottom of the pan if not watched over carefully.

While this recipe can be made in a slow cooker or on the stove top, we recommend the slow cooker. It’s just easier, and you won’t have to stand over a hot stove and watch it.

What do you serve soup with?

It’s actually kind of crazy how often we get this question. It seems that most people don’t feel like soup by itself is a complete meal.  It can be a complete meal. Especially with a recipe like this cheesy vegetable soup. We’ve got some carbs (potatoes), the veggies, and some protein (a little from the milk and cheese)

But I get it! We want to serve our soup with something a little extra to make sure it’s really filling for those we make it for.    Some of our favorite things to eat with soup are:

  • Rolls or bread (how can you resist dipping bread into creamy, cheesy soups?
  • A green salad.  Although a lot of soups already have vegetables, if you want a little something fresh or cold on the side, a fresh green salad is great.
  • Fruit salad.  Also for a fresh side dish, fruit salad is yummy with a hot soup.
  • A protein– although it seems like it should be the main part of the meal, try having a “side” of chicken, or a piece of meat that is smaller than the soup itself.

So, try this creamy soup in the slow cooker. Don’t hesitate to try different veggies or include one or two more that you are interested in your kids getting used to!  Let us know in the comments what your kids think  of it, and what if any, other veggies you decided to try!

For more simple crockpot soups

The post Crockpot Cheesy Vegetable Soup appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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There are many ways to steam broccoli, and we are sharing  of them!  Steamer basket, microwave, skillet or stove top, rice cooker, or instant pot. 

A key message at Super Healthy Kids is to let your kids try a variety of foods, prepared in a variety of ways.  I haven’t been able to get  kids to eat a food they didn’t like, simply by serving it 10-14 times.  However, I HAVE been able to get a picky eater to try a new food by serving it 10 different ways.  For example, broccoli can be served raw, roasted, blended, baked, mixed in with other things, and steamed! Each way tastes different and gives kids a different texture experience.  So, don’t give up if you child doesn’t like broccoli raw or roasted. Keep trying different ways and recipes to cook it until you find the way they like it the best. Today, we’re tackling, STEAMED BROCCOLI.

How to steam broccoli with a steamer basket

The easiest way to steam broccoli is with a steamer basket (like this one). This method is popular because the broccoli doesn’t sit in the water at all. It relies on the steam to cook the veggies. This keeps the broccoli crisp and not mushy if cooked with the right amount of time, which is helpful to anyone who is new to steaming.

To cook the broccoli using a steamer basket:
  • Add a small amount of salted water to the bottom of a pot (about 1 inch depending on the height of your steamer basket legs)
  • Place the steamer basket above the water level.  Most steamer baskets have a collapsible design so they can fit in many different size pots.
  • Cut your broccoli into small florets
  • Boil the water in the pot over medium high heat.
  • Place the broccoli into the basket.
  • Cover with a lid and continue to boil.
  • You can cook anywhere from 4-8 minutes, depending on how crisp you like it. Less time for crispier veggies.

You can use a steamer basket to also cook a variety of veggies beyond broccoli, while your broccoli cooks.

How do I cook broccoli without a steamer?

Although you can get a steamer basket quite inexpensively, and they don’t take up much room, you can also steam broccoli without it. I understand not wanting to have more kitchen gadgets that is absolutely necessary!  So, if you don’t have a steamer basket, and have no intention of buying one, here are the other common ways to steam broccoli:

  1. MICROWAVE:  In full honesty, cooking or steaming broccoli in a microwave is actually the way I cook most often (even though I own the steamer basket!).  Many people worry that the microwave destroy’s nutrients. Although some nutrients are lost during cooking, they are lost through all methods of cooking, and it’s not limited to the microwave.  There are still nutrients that remain, so it’s still beneficial, no matter what way you decide to cook it, as long as you eat it.  I always say, the biggest risk to not getting nutrients from a food, is just by not eating that food!   To cook broccoli in the microwave, fill a microwave safe dish with a small amount of water (1/4-1/8 of a cup is all you need)…  Add the broccoli to the dish, and cover.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.  Remember, you are just steaming, not boiling the microwave, so a small amount of water can do the job!
  2. RICE COOKER: I cook a lot of food in my rice cooker!  My rice cooker came with both a steamer basket as well as preset setting for steaming vegetables.   It’s quick and easy, and takes about the same amount of time once the water is hot.  Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the rice cooker.  Place the basket inside.  Add the chopped veggies to the basket.  Turn on the rice cooker to the steamer settings, or just let it steam for 5 minutes.
  3. STOVE TOP: Before I got my steamer basket I always used the stove top method.  Simply take a skillet, and fill it with a very small amount of water.   About 1/4 inch is all you want.  Bring the water to a boil.  Chop the broccoli and add to the pan and cover with a lid.  There should be more steam in the skillet than water once it’s trapped in.   Cook the broccoli for about 3-4 minutes. You don’t want too cook it longer than with the water evaporating out.
  4. INSTANT POT: While this might seem like overkill, steaming broccoli in the instant pot is a great idea if you have lots of broccoli to cook.  It’s not my favorite way to steam it as it’s easy to overcook and get mushy.  To cook in the instant pot, add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pot and top it with your broccoli.  Select manual setting and set the time to zero. This will allow the steam to bring the pot to pressure, while cooking the broccoli. Once it reaches pressure, it doesn’t cook any longer.
What can I season steamed broccoli with

We love simply salt and pepper on steamed broccoli. There is no need for complex spices or toppings.  However, some delicious things that can really make broccoli kid friendly and delicious would be:

  • Cheese– Yes, we love cheese on broccoli,especially Parmesan cheese or feta cheese
  • Garlic powder– You can also use real garlic or garlic salt.  Either way, garlic compliments broccoli perfectly.
  • Onion powder – You can also use real onion or onion salt.
  • Oil (like avocado oil or olive oil).  Add after you steam the veggies, almost like a salad dressing.
  • Lemon juice – Squeeze a little lemon juice on cooked or steamed broccoli after it’s cooked.  It gives a fresh citrusy flavor.

So, give some steamed broccoli a try.   Let us know what your kids think!

Also, if you want new ideas and ways to get your kids to try broccoli and need recipes about broccoli, check out these:

The post How to Steam Broccoli to Perfection appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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