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We seem to have fallen into a rhythm after lunch where mom cleans up dishes and the little ones read.  My eldest loves to read to her little brother and today was probably the most fantastic story time experience to date.  No fighting, no loud thumps, just my girl reading a fire truck story to my boy (who was sitting next to her listening intently).

It was one exciting story – full of emphasis in all the right places (maybe our years of reading stories to the kids are paying off?) – lots and lots of questions from the little one with just the right answers from my girl.

I had the water on low at the kitchen sink to listen in on all the fun.  If only the video camera was on and they didn’t know it (so dad could see).

I was one proud mama and thought “this is why we are homeschooling”:

a healthy lunch followed by a casual story between a sister and a brother forming a lifelong bond,

after a leisurely “recess” in the park playing with good friends,

collecting and studying fallen leaves and

making homemade applesauce.  And that was only the first half of the day!

But I digress.  You’d like the recipes I promised in the header of this post, right? On to the food!

I am always creating new smoothies – a tweak here and a substitution there.  Every day we have a different kind.  Some days we have green smoothies, other days there are berries and other days there is chocolate!

This chocolate smoothie is nutritious and filling.

Chocolate Banana Coconut Hemp Smoothie

Serves 2-3

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2T hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 pitted medjool dates
  • 1T raw cacao
  • small handful of ice
  • splash vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.  If you are not using frozen bananas, just add a bigger handful of ice.

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My kids love to snack (well…so do I), so dips are a big hit in our house.  The dips I make are full of whole foods, and dairy-free.

Here’s a dip that I started making years ago, but forgot about until recently.  It’s a dip that was inspired by a fancy pants natural food brand.  (Although, don’t ask me the brand because I don’t remember! I do remember the little tub I bought was expensive.)

Olive-Fig Tapenade

  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cup dried figs (I use black mission from Trader Joe’s – see above)
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil (I suppose you could use flax oil here)
  • pinch of sea salt

Add all ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with the metal S blade.  Process until all the ingredients are mixed well and close to a paste.

here’s a great shot of the texture

We love this dip on rice crackers, but it would be nice on crostini, or even spread on a crispy apple or pear.

What’s your favorite smoothie flavor or favorite dip?

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