Back when I started Purple Asparagus, I used to say: "I'd rather under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver." For many years, I lived by this, but then a bad habit crept in. As more and more people learned about us and our work and we started fielding more requests for our services, I forgot how to say the word "no."
This bad habit went into overdrive this year after winning the Trib's Good Eating Award in February. As you might imagine, receiving this prestigious honor catapulted us and me onto a larger stage. I was so grateful for the recognition that I felt loath to turn down any but the most outrageous of inquires.
It's the end of the school year and I feel like I'm limping towards the finish line. It's been a long year. A good year, yes, but still a long one. To recuperate, I’m trying to reintroduce "no" into my vocabulary (sometimes I think I should practice it in front of the mirror). During the summer, usually filled with farmers’ market appearances, Purple Asparagus is moving into a serious development phase to meet the burgeoning demands on our services. (Much more on this topic soon).
There is one program that I severely under delivered on and about this I'm feeling rather guilty. I had signed up to be a leader on Jamie Oliver's National Flavored Milk Day of Action. Given that the event was in June, I should have realized that most of our schools programs wrapped up before the date arrived. I thought, however, at the very least, I could blog about my two favorite healthy flavored milk recipes. Thursday came and I was ready. After a long day, I set my computer on my lap with every intention of banging out a quick post.
What happened? I fell asleep. Soundly.
While the Day of Action has come and gone, kids will always still like flavored milk. And while LA may be moving to take these highly sweetened beverages of dubious nutritional value out of their schools, more districts have not. And while I'm not going to delve into the politics of the matter - I risk falling asleep again, I offer these delicious, nutritious alternatives, kid tested and approved by Little Locathor.
Minty Strawberry Milk
Frozen strawberries are a better alternative for this recipe. They blend better with the milk and the seeds soften. Nevertheless, given that this is strawberry season, you may have some extras in your fridge and they’ll work almost as well.
½ cup frozen strawberries or 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled 2 cups soy, almond, or low fat cow milk 3 mint leaves, optional 1 tablespoon honey
Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately.
The problem with chocolate milk isn’t the chocolate. Cocoa powder, sugar and fat free, is high in antioxidants, powerful disease fighters. No the issue with chocolate milk is all the HFCS they add to it to get kids to drink it and addicted to it. Here, I substitute honey in a reasonable quantity. If it doesn’t seem sweet enough to your child, you can add more honey, but I do recommend trying to wean them off sugary stuff, even if you do it little by little.
You can also scale this recipe up to make a large batch. That way you have it at the ready for any requests for chocolate milk. Keep it in the refrigerator.
1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1 tablespoon honey Tiny pinch of salt Drop of vanilla 2 cups 2 % milk
Whisk together the first four ingredients. Whisk it into the milk and serve.