How are you guys holding up during this COVID-19? Our kids, particularly our eldest who’s 6, appetite has increased since being home during the pandemic. Is it just us or are others experiencing the same with their children and maybe even some adults as well? We‘ve taken a look at what could be some of the reasons that would cause this.

Of course, growth has something to do with it. And also, boredom, and emotional eating perhaps... But also, some of the foods in our pantry could be the culprit! Let’s face it we all have quick can and other processed foods in our pantry (some more than others). We have them for days when we’re tired and the goal is to get something in their little "hangry" stomachs. The issue is that these foods are deprived of nutrients and loaded with sugar that has empty calories. Which could explain why our children are still hungry after they‘ve eaten.

I know I challenged you the other day to stop what you’re doing and get up and move. And I see some of you are sticking to this daily, Yay! My challenge to you today is to join us and do a Spring Clean of your pantry cupboards. And when you’re done, try replacing them with homemade options. Try making your own baked beans, mac and cheese, salad dressings, sauces, dips, and nut butter. Use recipes online or from cookbooks and magazines you already have. The majority of children and young people love sauces, dips, and nut butter! It’s what makes healthy snacks like veggies, fruits, and whole-wheat pita bread more appealing to them!

Here’s one recipe you can prepare as a snack for your little and big children. It’s packed with nutrients and will keep them full for a longer stretch. I hope you try our easy quick homemade hummus dip and wholewheat crispy pita bread recipe! They were both inspired by the Simply Blending: Quick & Easy Whole-Food Recipes for Every Meal. We've made some slight variations to the hummus dip and turned their pizza dough recipe that we've made several times already into pita bread!

Hummus:

2 cans chickpeas, one drained, one with liquid 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, peeled
dime size of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon salt (add more salt for the taste to suit your palate).
1/4 cup lemon juice

How to make it using Vitamix.com:

Add all ingredients to the blender in the order listed and secure the lid. Select your spread program if you have one or start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 1 minute. If air pockets form you can add a little water at a time but not too much as this will change the consistency of the spread.

Whole-wheat pita bread dough:

3 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
1 3/4 teaspoons instant fast rise yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 3/4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup hot water

How to make it using Vitamix.com:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl and a pizza pan and set aside. Add flour, yeast, and salt to the Vitamix container and secure the lid. Select Variable 1, start the machine, and slowly increase speed to Variable 8. Blend for 5 seconds. Stop the machine and remove the lid plug. Select variable 3 and quickly Pulse about 60 times, while slowly adding oil and water through the lid plug opening. After a ball has formed, Pulse continuously for 5 to 10 seconds. With floured hands, remove the dough and form into a round ball. Place dough in a prepared mixing bowl, turning over to grease on all sides. Let rise for 10 minutes. Divide dough into smaller round balls. Stretch dough forming a flat circle with a rolling pin onto a pizza pan, and use a pizza cutter to cut the flattened dough into triangular shapes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The goal is for the pita bread to rise and get slightly brown and crunchy -- so depending on your oven the time needed may differ. Start eyeing them at 12 minutes.

Bon appetit!

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