Eating a Rainbow

by Maura Knowles

Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables

This article is by Maura Knowles of Mac-n-Mo’s Morselicious Treats, a healthy baked goods company.
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I am feeling SOOO inspired! I taught my first healthy cooking class through an incredible non-profit organization, Equitable Roots via Worksusa.org, to a group of teens last night and they were INCREDIBLE! For more info and /or to support Equitable Roots, please visit:

http://eroots.org/faqs/

My lesson plan focused on eating the rainbow of veggies and fruits every day and I created recipes around that theme, and true to my lifestyle and diet, no salt or sugar were included in my recipes. However, the director of the program brought sea salt and honey, just in case. When I saw her unpack those two items, I jokingly asked, “Um, what are those?”

She smiled like a kid who had just been caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and replied, “It’s just that I KNOW these kids and they’re going to want salt and sugar, so I figured honey was a healthier alternative.”
I conceded and asked her to keep them hidden under the chef’s table and that I would offer ONLY if ABSOLUTELY necessary. We shook hands, so to speak and made a deal.

I asked the students to name some of their favorite foods in a rainbow and yes, one student yelled out, “SKITTLES!”

Another student quickly chimed in, “that’s NOT real food!” My spirit soared.

Some of the students had never tasted an orange bell pepper or zucchini or seen purple or red cabbage.

They chopped, diced, sautéed, grilled a plethora of veggies and made a mountain of a taco with sesame slaw on the side or on top of their tacos.

We used fresh herbs, spices, citrus fruits and they devoured every morsel.

I told them they could use a pinch of sea salt or honey ONLY, IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! One student asked for it before she even tasted her food.

I asked her to please taste first. Voila! Not one of the students added either to any of the dishes.

One student wasn’t eating his dinner, and I asked if it was because he didn’t like it. He said, “No, I LOVE it, but want to bring to my family. He melted my heart.

Then we made dessert. One of my favorites, CUCKOO FOR COCO-Nanaliciousness

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 can coconut milk
1 frozen sliced banana

Blend well
Pour into small cups and garnish with fresh mint leaves
Drink or eat with a spoon.
For a thicker, pudding like consistency, add crushed ice and blend.

One student chewed on the mint and declared, “it’s pretty good, but it doesn’t taste like gum.”

The next class started a bit rocky.

One student was very turned off by my recipes and stated, “What the heck? There’s NO meat and we can’t fry our tortillas and NO soda? I guess I’ll just have to go home to eat..”

I smiled while taking a deep breath, and replied,

“Well, since you’re here now, you can at least make the dishes and try a bite. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to finish.”

He rolled his eyes in what I took as his own style of agreement.

Guess what? He was the first one to ask for seconds and begged the director to “PLEASE bring Mo back to teach more classes!”

The director apologized for underestimating me and the kids and said, “You were right, Mo. I guess if you cook with fresh herbs and spices and food, you don’t have to add extra salt and sugar. Lesson learned.”

Ahhh…the MORSELICIOUS gold at the end of the RAINBOW!

About the author...

, a.k.a. Mo the Morselist, is a Health Coach with training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In this program she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She is educated in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and the importance of preventive care.

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