Posts Tagged ‘yogurt’

Mango Chia Pudding {and Whole Foods #Giveaway!}

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Move over March Madness, it’s Mango Madness right now at Whole Foods Market — aka #MuchosMangos — and they asked us to cook something up to celebrate.

Ataulfo mangos | foodietots.com

I asked the foodie tots what they wanted to make first, and the boy suggested smoothies. But when we blended it up with chia seeds — for an extra boost of fiber — it was so thick we decided to call it dessert. Of course, it’s really just yogurt and fruit so it’s equally suitable for breakfast, but I know I can always use another healthy fruit-based dessert in my repertoire. I’m also thinking these would be great frozen in push-pops this summer!

Mango Chia Puddings by FoodieTots

The Ataulfo mango, on sale right now at Whole Foods Markets, is a sweet, creamy mango perfect for a quick snack, or to use in a salad or salsa. Mango salsa is definitely in order for our next taco night, and I know my kids would love this Mango Miso Tofu Salad.

Back to this pudding. I used plain greek-style yogurt, two mangos, a little honey to sweeten it, and scoop of chia seeds. Most recipes for chia pudding use the chia seeds as the thickener, so they use a lot more. Because the mango and yogurt mixture is pretty thick already, you don’t need to use as many seeds, which is great if you’re just introducing chia seeds to your kids. Also, the seeds soften while the pudding sits, so do let it chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or more before eating.

mango yogurt and chia seeds | foodietots.com

Recipe: Mango Chia Pudding

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ataulfo mangos, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup organic Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into glass ramekins or serving bowls and chill until ready to serve.

Note: If making these for children under 1 year, omit the honey.

FoodieTots Tip: Mangos are great for knife skills practice for little ones. The foodie tot helped peel these mangos (using a veggie peeler), and then carefully sliced them.

practicing knife skills

Ever wonder how to tell when a mango is ripe? Here are helpful tips from Whole Foods Market….

How to select and store mangos:

  • Give it a (gentle!) squeeze. A ripe mango will have a slight give, much like a peach or an avocado.
  • Don’t judge a mango by its color! Fully ripe mangos may have red, golden yellow or green skin.
  • Check the cheeks and shoulders. The sides of a mango are called “cheeks.” A mature mango should have full cheeks and “shoulders” that rise above the beginning of the stem.
  • Ripen at room temperature. If you need to speed the ripening process, place the mango in a paper bag.
  • Move ripe fruit to the fridge, which can help slow down ripening, if needed.

GIVEAWAY: Whole Foods Market is generously providing a $75 gift card to one lucky reader! Tell us your favorite use for mangos below, and follow the widget prompts for additional ways to enter. Contest closes at 11:59pm EDT next Friday, April 18.

kid-friendly mango chia pudding | foodietots.com

Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Whole Foods Market. All opinions, as always, are our own.

* shared with BeckyCharms & Co. WOW It’s Wednesday link-up. *

Dope-Free Dairy

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Part IV in the Sustainable Family Supper series

dairy cow

What’s the matter with rBST? I’ve written before about how my path to natural and organic food began with a look at milk. When I became pregnant with my son, milk took on a renewed significance as I eliminated sodas and caffeinated beverages from my diet. I finally got around to reading up on bovine growth hormones, a.k.a. rBST or rBGH. You probably already know that they are artificial hormones designed to increase estrogen in female cows, thus increasing their milk production. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in 1993, and like with so many other issues, refused to reexamine its safety despite growing consumer pressure and health concerns. The problem, or problems, are that the unnatural increase in production leads cows to develop infections at much greater rates, requiring them to be more heavily treated with antibiotics, which are passed on to milk consumers and flow out into soil and water with the cows’ waste. Then, there are studies linking rBST with increased breast, prostate and colon cancers in humans. The most galling part of the whole situation, in my opinion, is the ridiculous requirement by the FDA that requires dairy producers who label their milk rBST-free to include a disclaimer stating that “there is no difference between milk from cows treated with rBST and those who are not.” Actually, there are scientific studies showing that rBST is harmful and yet the burden is on the good actors to refrain from impugning the “good” name of the producers who continue to use rBST in the face of such studies.

Consumers Fight Back: The good news is that after repeatedly losing attempts in state legislatures to ban the use of rBST-free labels entirely (hello consumers’ right to know what they’re eating!), in the face of growing consumer pressure against the use of artificial hormones, its creator Monsanto actually sold off the product last year. Meanwhile, consumer campaigns targeting major dairy companies and grocers have successfully forced many companies to voluntarily reject the use of milk from cows treated with rBST. You can sign up to receive alerts from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to stay apprised of the latest. Food & Water Watch offers downloadable and mobile (iPhone/Blackberry) lists of rBST-free brands by state. Last month, Dannon and Yoplait joined the roster of major yogurt producers rejecting rBST milk (Stoneyfield has never used it). In the cheese world, Tillamook‘s farmer cooperative led the industry in adopting a rBST-free policy back in 2005. Cabot Creamery is the latest to get on the drug-free dairy bandwagon, announcing that they will finally stop accepting rBST-containing milk as of August 1, 2009. Even *some* Kraft cheese products (2% milk line) are rBST-free.

Next Stop, Schools: So if consumers won’t buy it, where’s rBST-treated cows milk going? Some is still in use commercially, and of course much winds up in schools. Food & Water Watch has a campaign underway, coinciding with this year’s reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, urging Congress to give schools the ability to let schools choose to use rBST-free and/or organic milk. According to Food & Water Watch, one out of five pints of the milk served to public schoolchildren may contain rBST. (Visit their School Milk action center to learn more.)

Better Yet, Drink Organic: If you already drink rBST-free milk, you might also want to consider organic. If you have to choose what to buy organic, organic milk and meat may be more beneficial than organic produce because the pesticides on cows’ feed are concentrated in their digestive system – and nonorganic feed includes genetically-modified (GMO) grain. And make sure that you’re choosing a brand that scores well on the Cornucopia Institute organic dairy study, because while organic certification guarantees that cows are fed GMO- and pesticide-free grain, it does not guarantee that the cows were allowed to graze on grass or treated humanely. Certain big-organic producers (Aurora and Horizon, notably) are only slightly better than conventional feedlot operations. (There’s a reason some store-brand “organic” milk is priced significantly lower – avoid Safeway, Giant, Publix and Costco store brands, which are sourced from Aurora Organics, a company found by the USDA to have “willfully” violated 14 criteria of the federal organic standard. Visit the Organic Consumer Association action page to sign a petition asking these company CEOs to boycott green-washing “organic” suppliers.)

We’re lucky to have a local, though not organic-certified, dairy delivery service, but when I have to buy milk between deliveries or on the road, I try to find Organic Valley. They are a co-operative of farms organized regionally, so the milk you buy may actually be fairly locally-produced, and they provide support to their farmers to make their farms more environmentally-friendly, such as helping their member farms obtain grants to place wind turbines on their farms. I attended a presentation by an Organic Valley farmer at last fall’s Green Festival and fell in love with the adorable pictures of his happy little cows and tale of how they prefer listening to rock music over classical. A recent study found that cows who are called by name (typically signifying a higher level of care) produce more milk, naturally. I may be a little idealistic, but shouldn’t every cow live like that?

What About Raw Milk? I haven’t read enough yet to take an informed opinion on the highly controversial issue of raw milk. Its sale is banned here in Maryland and Virginia (unless in a “cow share” program in VA), so I haven’t had the option of trying it. (At least not since I was a kid with cow-owning friends! Its true nothing else tastes like truly fresh milk.) On the one hand, I’m inclined to trust farmers who are praticing time-tested method,s and raw milk proponents insist that there are a wealth of health benefits to drinking raw. On the other hand, cows are naturally dirty animals! (That’s not a scientific argument, just an observation.) All the more reason to get to know your food’s producers, of course, whatever the product. At any rate, if you want to learn more, CheeseSlave has a great post on the reasons she chooses raw milk and links to more resources.