Monday, October 27, 2014

Cooking With Kids: Coconut Smoothie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned complimentary from Epicurex in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The other day, I wrote about how my daughter invited her friend over for a cooking play date.  The girls got to practice their cooking skills and we talked about how real food is different than processed food.  They giggled through out the whole process and were eager to try some new ingredients. 

Girls cooking day

One of my daughter's very favorite things to make on a regular basis is a fruit smoothie.  Smoothies are a great way to get a wide variety of nutrients into your body in one delicious dessert tasting beverage.  A lot of smoothie recipes include yogurt which makes them nice and creamy.  Those types of smoothies are delicious and I make them all of the time, but when I am in the mood for a frozen treat, I make smoothies with lots of frozen fruit. When I make them this way, they come out more like a slushy.  Super cold and delicious!  You can even eat them with a spoon.  

I have been wanting to try coconut water for a while because I have read all about its wonderful hydration properties.  It is naturally sweet and contains electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium.  So......I bought some at the store.  It was terrible!  I refused to give up.  I tell my kids all of the time that you have to try new foods 17 times before your taste buds figure out that they like the new food.  If I tell the kids that, I better practice what I preach.  I decided to try another brand that I found at Amazon.  Yes, that place is full of exciting new things to try! I decided to try out Cocozia and then the company that makes the Cocozia coconut water, Epicurex, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try a free sample.  Um, yes!  Talk about nice timing. 

Cocozia Coconut Water

If you have been following Juggling Real Food and Real Life for a while, you know that I am a fan of organic products.  I prefer not to eat too many chemicals and I really think that organic products are better for the environment as well.  The Cocozia coconut water is 100% organic coconut water.  There are not any questionable preservatives or artificial colors like you find in your typical sports drink.  In fact, there are not any processed ingredients of any type in the Cocozia coconut water.  If you want to read more about Cocozia coconut water check out their website here does it taste?  I grabbed a small glass and loaded it with ice so the Cocozia coconut water was nice and cold.  I took a small sip and then another and another.  Keep in mind that the last coconut water that I tried hit the trash after one sip. I actually finished the entire glass of Cocozia coconut water.  I have to be still is not my favorite drink.  I think my taste buds still need some work, but it is much........much better than the non-organic brand I tried.  And..........I have a secret.  It makes the best smoothies.  See how this is all coming together now?

My daughter and her friend decided they wanted to use the Cocozia coconut water to make a smoothie.  My daughter's friend declared that this was her favorite combination of the two different smoothies that we made that day.  I have made it several times since that day because I love it!  I don't drink nearly enough liquids through out the day when I get busy at work so I really love the super hydration power of this coconut water smoothie. 

Strawberry Mango Coconut Smoothie

As with all of the smoothies I make, it is not so much a recipe as a technique.  We toss all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth and mixed well.  Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Strawberry, Mango, Coconut Smoothie   


  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup frozen shredded coconut
  • splash of pure maple syrup
  • Half of a 11.1 ounce carton Cocozia coconut water  (Available through Amazon here. )


  1. Place frozen fruit in blender.
  2. Add splash of maple syrup to sweeten.
  3. Add Cocozia coconut water.
  4. Blend until smooth.

You may need to stop the blending process and give a stir to break up the frozen fruit depending on your blender.  Continue to blend till slushy is formed.  Top with additional shredded coconut to garnish.  Eat and enjoy with a straw or spoon.  Delicious! 

If you enjoy this smoothie recipe, you will want to check out all of these additional recipes from Juggling Real Food and Real Life's smoothie competitions.  You can find 7 smoothie recipes here and 5 more here.  Get that blender going and have some fun with your kids, too. 

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  Do enjoy cooking with your kids or grandkids?  What do you think of coconut water? 

I promise to keep bringing you the best and most accurate information on nutrition I can find..........and hopefully with a little bit of humor along the way as well. You can find lots of great information on this blog (check out the tabs above and the archives). Make sure to subscribe by email so you don't miss anything. You can also find lots of great tips, tricks, advice, and fun on my Facebook page and my other social media. Please join us!     


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party #62

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week's special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week. 


Let's Get Real Friday Linky Party
I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.

1) Follow all your co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.



2) Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!

3) Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.
We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)

Simple Living and Eating

Can you believe this beautiful dish is made in a slow cooker?  Simple ingredients make the best meals.  This dish looks elaborate, but is quick and easy enough for even the busiest of schedules.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Did Healthy Eating Become A Bad Thing For Kids?

I used to be a normal mom when I ate processed food.  My kids drank drinks from pouches and ate foods from boxes.  Everything was gummy and brightly colored.  Now, that I have switched my family to healthy real food, I am the odd woman out.  Don't worry........I still love you my friends, but I hear you whispering.  "A little sugar never hurt anyone."  "This is the food I grew up with and I turned out OK."  "Come on.....they are only kids once." 

When did healthy eating turn into a bad thing for kids?

Don't get me wrong.  I like to have fun with my kids like the rest of you moms out there.  I just don't think in a society where childhood obesity and food-related illnesses are so prevalent that I want to add my children to those statistics.  When did things change?  When did feeding your kids healthy foods become a bad thing?  I just don't get it!

I have my children in after-school care until I can pick them up after work.  The program is run by the local YMCA which proudly preaches healthy living.  Certainly, they will have healthy after-school snacks, right?  Ummm...........sort of.  Even the YMCA is hedging their bets.  They serve 2 snacks.  Per my daughter, "They give us one healthy snack and one not so healthy snack."  I don't get it!  How are we supposed to be creating healthy eating habits to last a lifetime when processed foods are constantly offered to us?

Prior to my eyes being opened to real food, I know my kids did not know the difference between healthy fresh foods and unhealthy processed foods.  To them, it was just food.  Their taste buds were trained to want high levels of sugar, salt, and fat.  How the heck is a green bean supposed to compete with that?  

Why is it that my children worry about how their friends are going to react to snacks they bring to their school parties and after-school activities?  Why is it that they are made to feel that eating healthy food is not the norm and somehow a bad thing?  Even when they are complimented by the lunch helpers for the school lunch they bring, they are made to feel different.

It just all seems so strange to me that healthy is not the norm.  What are we thinking?  What are we doing to our bodies?  Why are we surprised when the doctor prescribes a medication to us for a food-related disease?

Why am I ranting about this now?  That is simple.  I would like to see change.  Real food change.  I would like to see all parents spoil the heck out of their children...........with healthy real food.  I propose we mothers give our children permission to be healthy.  Let's quit making them feel strange or different if they want to eat healthy food.  Let's make sure they know the difference between healthy real food and unhealthy processed foods.  Do your kids know what a treat is?  I know that my children expected treats so often that they were no longer treats.  What fun is that?  It is so much more fun now that we eat healthy real food on a regular basis and eat occasional treats.'s a treat again!

Are you with me? you just think I am crazy?  When do you think food changed for kids?  I don't remember growing up with all of these treats on a regular basis.  I never thought my mother was a health nut, but she did cook most of our meals on a regular basis.  When did cooking at home become so uncool? 

I promise to keep bringing you the best and most accurate information on nutrition I can find..........and hopefully with a little bit of humor along the way as well. You can find lots of great information on this blog (check out the tabs above and the archives). Make sure to subscribe by email so you don't miss anything. You can also find lots of great tips, tricks, advice, and fun on my Facebook page and my other social media. Please join us!    


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cooking With Kids: Cooking Play Date

If you have been following Juggling Real Food and Real Life for a while, you know how important cooking with my kids is to me.  I work with the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution program to make sure that kids get the chance to learn basic cooking skills that will help them to make healthy food decisions.  These are lessons that will serve them well for a lifetime.  Home Ec classes have disappeared from most schools so now more than ever, it's up to us Moms to give these cooking lessons.  

Kids cooking in the kitchen

My daughter and I cook together all of the time now.  It started out as intentional lessons and now it has grown into fun mother/daughter time.  In fact, it is rare that I cook without her these days.  She is always looking for ways that she can help.  I was really excited to see that this time spent in the kitchen encouraged her to bring home a cook book from her school library.  She showed the book to me and excitedly explained that she and her friend wanted to get together to make some of these recipes.  She showed me recipes for cupcakes, pizza, and fruit smoothies.  And then she really cracked me up.  She said, "But don't worry Mommy, I don't really need to follow the recipe.  I'll just make my own recipe."  That's my girl!

She made a grocery list of everything she needed and gave it to her Daddy.   Yes, that's how it works in my house.  My guy is really quite awesome.  She thought it all through and only needed me to add cupcake wrappers to her list.

The house was all in a buzz on cooking day.  Teenage brother had football practice and then working on his Eagle Scout project.  Daddy and little brother were going to The Ohio State Football game so the house would be all girls. Little Red was really excited to have an all-girls day.  My daughter's friend arrived and they quickly put their aprons on and got to work.

Cupcakes first............"because they would need to cool before frosting", she says.  It was fun showing them how to use the stand mixer, but they did all of the measuring and mixing on their own.  I was impressed to see liquid in liquid measuring cups and dry ingredients in the dry measuring cups.  When the cupcakes came out of the oven, the temperature changed to get ready for the pizza which would come next.

Making cupcakes

The girls used ready-made pizza crusts to make their pizzas.  They used organic pizza sauce which came from a jar to keep things nice and easy.  However, we always shred cheese in our house so my daughter showed her friend how we shred cheese.  The girls worked together and in no time they were ready to assemble their pizzas.   

Spreading olive oil to make homemade pizza crust crispy

Shredding cheese for homemade pizza

Making homemade pizza

The girls made a couple of different frozen fruit smoothies.  We call the one peanut butter and jelly because it has fruit and peanut butter.  The other is a coconut smoothie and uses coconut water.  Both are delicious.  The girls each picked  a different favorite to eat with their pizza.  

Making homemade real food smoothies

The best part of the play date had to be eating their creations.  Everything was delicious and the entire day was full of giggles.  Cooking with my daughter and her friend was the perfect way to spend a cloudy cold day at home.  We don't have too many days without something to do, so this was a really fun day for us.  Messy faces and smiles.............that's what makes life so sweet!

Girls eating their homemade pizza

Do you enjoy cooking with your kids?  What are your favorite recipes to make with them?  Have you ever had a cooking play date?  Did you take home ec classes when you were in school?  Where did you learn to cook?

I promise to keep bringing you the best and most accurate information on nutrition I can find..........and hopefully with a little bit of humor along the way as well. You can find lots of great information on this blog (check out the tabs above and the archives). Make sure to subscribe by email so you don't miss anything. You can also find lots of great tips, tricks, advice, and fun on my Facebook page and my other social media. Please join us!