Culinary Cuties: Eat Thier Greens!!

Holy Moly Guacamole
As it turns out, Kermit had it wrong after all!! It is easy being green and turning green!! Who doesn't like to mash and smush things together!! This recipe is fun for little hands, and you may find them sneaking bites of this deliciously squishy treat. What’s even better?This guacamole recipe is power packed with legumes for added fiber and so much more!!

Attention: If you are concerned about your little one’s palette or tummy not being able to appreciate some of the ingredients … leave them out!If you are unsure about the butter beans or chick peas … try it first with just avocado!That’s what I did the first go round.Hehehe … but I found he had more fun and liked it a lot more with the butterbean addition.;)

Shopping List
* 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chewable chunks for your little one.
* 1 cup lima beans, cooked and roughly mashed - blended
* 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 Tablespoon lime juice
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon sea salt
* 1/3 teaspoon pepper
Optional Blend-Ins
* 1 Roma tomato, diced
* 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* 2 scallions, chopped
* 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Before Little Hands Get Involved

Step 1 - Prep the butterbeans: Cook them to taste, but be careful not to over salt/season them.Remember you are adding them to a very flavorful spread!!I make sure they are very tender.Let them cool.
Where I come from, we call them butter beans, but some folks insist on calling them lima beans.Whatever you call them they are in my opinion an undervalued legume.They are power packed with fiber, contain extremely low levels of fat, and are easy on the tummy.Your best bet to find them fresh is in the summer.From a flavor perspective it is worth the difficult hunt.If you can’t find them fresh, dried or frozen, will perform equally well and are still nutritionally strong.
Step 2 – Blend: the cooked and cooled Butter Beans, Rinsed and Drained Chickpeas, lime juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Depending on the age of your little one, this step may not be required.If they are older and can handle mashing and eating chunkier foods with skins, you may want to get them involved at this point.Just throw it all in a bowl and let them go to town mashing it together. Truth be told I prefer the chunkier texture that provides.However, my littles are still quite little.So I worry about the chocking hazards as well as them perhaps accidentally getting a whole bunch of lemon juice in their eye. The puree helps me be sure that the consistency is right for them.
Step 3 – Get your culinary cutie ready to cook!!
The Little Chefs Job

Step 1Saftey First: Make sure your culinary cutie is in a safe, secure location in the kitchen.
A great place might be secured in a high chair or booster seat pulled to the kitchentable.Check to make sure wherever they are, they are not near any hot appliances or foods, sharp objects, or breakable items. Never leave them unattended in the kitchen.
Step 2 – Mash and Smash: Place the bean puree andavocado in a safe mixing bowl and let your little one mashto his hearts content. I recommend having them use a soft potato masher or whisk to start.
Depending on age, youmay want to only provide your little one with a portion of the ingredients at the time.That way if they want to dig in with their hands, taste, and explore the foods you can let it happen with no stress … they are only making a their serving … not everyones J
Step 3 – Back to Bigger Hands: Mix in the Options!!Add any or all of the optional items you wish.I recommend the adults do this or heavily supervise an older child.This is especially a good idea if you are mixing in some of the spicier, spices and vinegar.
It’s time to dig in!!
This spread can be great with veggies, on sandwiches, tortillas, focaccia, crackers. You name it!

The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!