PediaSure SideKicks – Who Feeds This Stuff to Their Kids?

I saw a TV ad for PediaSure Sidekicks last night. I’m sure it’s been on a million times, but this time I really paid attention.

Two moms were watching their kids play soccer on the field, and one mom says that her son is sluggish and maybe they shouldn’t have stopped off at the drive-thru before the game. He’s wearing a big French Fry costume, and the other mom says “Well kids are what they eat”

Then the Voiceover states:

Introducing great-tasting PediaSure SideKicks, from the #1 pediatrician recommended brand. With 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every bottle.

I found the ingredients list for PediaSure Sidekicks, and it ain’t pretty. In fact, it would seem that the other child drinking this crap should be dressed as big lolipop because it’s loaded with sugar. It’s basically water, milk and sugar with some chemicals and other nasties. Soy oil? soy protein isolate? soy lecithin? Who said it was good to add these to a something a child drinks?

Here’s the list of ingredients for PediaSure Sidekicks vanilla:


Since when is it better to drink a meal instead of actually EATING a meal? How about some natural yogurt along with some scrambled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal. Hmm no, let’s just open up an 8 oz bottle of sugary milk instead. No, don’t worry, your kid won’t become obese later in life? Or get diabetes or heart disease! Ha. Makes me sick!

Edited to add actual nutritional data from their web site: (I mistakenly posted the nutritional data for Pediasure, not the “Sidekicks” – I’m sorry for any confusion this error might have caused. The nutritional data is now correct.)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 bottle (8 fl oz)
Servings 1
Calories 150
Calories from Fat 45
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: <5mg <2% Sodium: 90mg 4% Potassium: 390mg 11% Total Carbohydrate: 21g 7% Dietary Fiber: 3g 12% Sugars: 17g Protein: 7g 14% Vitamin A 10% • Vitamin C 40% • Calcium 25% • Iron 15% • Vitamin D 40% • Vitamin E 20% • Vitamin K 20% • Thiamin 40% • Riboflavin 30% • Niacin 10% • Vitamin B6 30% • Folate 15% • Vitamin B12 25% • Biotin 15% • Pantothenic Acid 25% • Phosphorus 20% • Iodine 15% • Magnesium 10% • Zinc 10% • Selenium 10% • Copper 10% • Manganese 20% • Chromium 10% • Molybdenum 10% • Chloride 8% • Choline 15%

What To Do With Carrot Green Tops

Carrot roots are delicious, but what about the gorgeous green carrot tops? I received a batch of fresh carrots in my CSA share this week, and I didn’t want to waste the greens.

I thought about throwing them into the blender and mixing up a batch of greens for the dogs, but then I decided to google, to discover what others online are suggesting.

Carrot greens have a very bad reputation for being poisonous to humans but they are not actually toxic. Yes, some people can have a very bad allergic reaction to them! Some can’t even brush up against carrot greens without causing a bad rash, and others have reactions when eating the greens.

But it looks like in smaller amounts, most of us can enjoy carrot greens. They can be used in similar ways as parsley or other herbs and can make a tasty addition to soups and sauces. I took a bite of a raw green the other day, and it tasted similar to a carrot. I didn’t find much bitterness, as others have complained about, but perhaps I just ate a lucky leaf! LOL

Freezing Raw Carrot Greens

I removed all the younger greens from the stalks and thoroughly washed/rinsed them. After they dried for a few minutes in a colander, I tossed them in smaller quantities in freezer bags, and stuck them all in the freezer. It will be interesting to add them to chicken soup next time!

It’s also possible to blanch them for a minute or two before freezing, but I assume that I’ll use the greens pretty quickly, before the enzymes have a chance to wreak havoc on the nutrients.

I bet it’s even a good idea to dry them in a low temp oven for a few hours and use like dried celery leaves.

carrot green tops

Helpful Links:

Farmer Dave’s CSA 2010 Review

(NOTE: I also wrote a review for the 2011 CSA Season with Farmer Dave’s)

I was so excited to join the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at Farmer Dave’s this season.

red leaf lettuce from the local farm's CSA

So, what is a CSA anyway? Here’s a great explanation, but in my own words, you the consumer are prepaying for a “share” of the future growing season’s bounty. You pay in the winter/spring before the season starts, and in return, each week during the spring/summer/fall, you receive a generous portion of produce. There’s no further expense unless you want to purchase extra food. Both the consumer and the farmer benefits, so it’s a win-win situation! Granted, you are definitely taking a chance. If the growing season is poor, then your share will be smaller. But on the flip-side, if the growing season prospers, so will your share!

Farmer Dave’s in Dracut, Massachusetts offers several local pickup locations for 20 weeks, starting in mid June. CSA pick up locations include Beverly, Burlington, Lanesville, Dracut, Lawrence, Tewksbury, Somerville, Putnam Investments (for Putnam employees only), Downtown Gloucester, Boston Medical Center and Jamaica Plain.

There are several share options ranging from Small Vegetable (1-2 people) to Super Family Vegetable. There are also Fruit shares, plus Winter Vegetable shares.

Continue reading “Farmer Dave’s CSA 2010 Review”

Roasted Green Tomatoes

I don’t remember ever eating a green (unripe) tomato in the past, but we received a few in our CSA share for the last couple of weeks. But how to eat them!?

I found a whole bunch of recipes online, and the chutney intrigued me, as did the green tomato jam. But I decided to go the simple route, and just roast them with some red tomatoes; I love roasted tomato and olive oil sauce.

So last week, I made a batch of roasted green and red tomatoes, and poured it over some quinoa pasta. The green tomatoes tasted sour, but they melded very well with the sweeter red tomatoes, giving a wonderful balance of flavors. I enjoyed it so much, I roasted another batch of red and green tomatoes last night. After cooling, I poured them into a freezer bag and added to my ever expanding freezer, so we can enjoy them at a later date.

Ingredients & Instructions for Roasted Green Tomatoes:

Olive oil
Fresh basil leaves

Chop the tomatoes into large chunks, and arrange in a baking dish with basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in a 275° oven for 1-2 hours until shriveled and juicy. Enjoy!

If there’s room in the baking dish, you can also add a chopped onion and/or peppers. Yum!

First Soaker and Biga!

Peter Reinhart Whole Grains

Well it was my first try at a soaker and biga. Whoo hoo!

I followed a recipe from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor

I followed the Multigrain Stuan recipe on page 102. Actually I shouldn’t even be calling them recipes, (thanks Pen!) they are actually called “formulas”

I started out very well. I added a whole mess o’ grains and flours to the soaker. I mixed a combination of corn meal, barley flour, wheat bran, oat bran, oatmeal, and rye flour, added the salt, whole wheat flour, powder buttermilk and water. I kept it on the counter until this morning.

The Biga was just as easy to mix. I used my bread machine, and mixed the whole wheat, instant yeast and water. Shaped it into a ball, and allowed it to rest in the refrigerator until this morning.

This morning, I warmed up the Biga for a couple of hours, then, along with the grain soaker, I cut it up into smaller chunks with my pastry cutter.

This is where I went astray. I mistakenly read the wrong section on the page, and thought there was 3/4 cup of liquid. oops. That was the Biga! So, for the final dough, I poured water and the rest of the ingredients into my bread machine and let it knead. Hmm, it looked awfully soupy and that’s when I realized my mistake! Ugh!

I had to add a ton more flour, I kept adding and adding until it finally looked normal. I figured since it was so messed up, I better allow the machine to go through its paces. I kneaded for 10, then rested for 20, then kneaded again for 10.

Then I removed the dough and let it rise in a bowl near our wood stove for about 60 minutes. There was really a lot of dough, so I figured it might work better as two loaves; I divided the dough with my pastry cutter, and shaped into loaves.

After baking and cooling, I started slicing for tomorrow’s lunch sandwiches. Eh, not so good. The crust came apart from the crumb. Oh well. I had a few bites of crust, and it was surprisingly alright, considering the salt and sugar flavor was diluted from all the extra flour.

I’m not giving up, and will definitely try again. It was a great learning experience, and a mistake that I will probably not repeat again! haaha!

Back to Cooking

Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love. – “Kitchen Primer”

Craig Claiborne
American food writer, 20th century

How true! Families need to cook meals more often! I used to love to help my mom cook and especially bake!

I didn’t truly appreciate real cooking until just a few years ago though. I was a shortcut cook using ingredients like canned soup or a box of frozen lasagna. That’s not real cooking and I’m convinced that it’s what made me (and my husband) fat!

Let’s get rid of the processed food products and getting back to basics!

Influx of iPhone Cooking Apps

Wow, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of new cooking iPhone apps! Everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon.

Cook’s Illustrated (free)
Gordan Ramsay
Rachel Allen
Mario Batali – on my wish list!
MasterChef Academy
Free version – How To Cook Everything
Apple Recipes

Plus the ones that have been around for a little while:

How To Cook Everything (Paid)
20 Minute Meals Jamie Oliver – I have this one on my wish list
Martha Stewart Everyday Food
Rachel Ray Tasty Bites
170,000+ Recipes Big Oven
Betty Crocker
Women’s Day
All Recipes Dinner Spinner
Weber’s on the Grill
The Photo Cookbook

Cookbooks on the iPhone/iPad are really a wonderful medium. It’s interactive, you can include video, timers, shopping lists, etc. I think the future is looking bright and it’s only just begun!

Green Valley Organic Lacose Free Yogurt

I’ve been buying Green Valley Organic Yogurt for a couple of weeks now, and I just love it.

First, most importantly, it’s delicious! I’ve tried the blueberry, strawberry, and honey. Honey is okay, but the fruit flavors are very good. I really need to buy some vanilla and create my own flavors with frozen berries, bananas, apples, pineapples, etc. It would be so much better for me too!

Secondly, it’s a lot lower in sugar grams than other yogurts. 16 grams in their blueberry and strawberry flavors. Only 9 grams for vanilla. That’s a big difference to Stonyfield (20g) and Wallaby (22g)

I love that it’s organic and their dairy comes from farms that are certified humane. Not that that “label” really means anything, but at least it’s a start. No anti-biotic or growth hormone usage, and I like to think their cows aren’t hooked up to milking machines all day long.

I’m interested in trying their Kefir as well. I used to love love love the bottles of Stonyfield yogurt smoothies, but they were so extremely high in sugar, I gave them up! Green Valley offers plain plus a Blueberry Pom Açaí flavor that has 20 grams of sugar. Looks like each bottle is 32 oz, so that’s 4 servings of 8 oz each. The yogurts are 6 oz servings at 16g of sugar, so it breaks down to roughly the same amount of sugar per ounce.

It doesn’t look like it’s available in any other stores in my area, except Whole Foods, but that is a good thing. The more “mainstream” a small company becomes, the more they change. Less care goes into the product. I like that they are a small business. I hope they don’t get bought out by one of the big food companies like Stonyfield did.

Anyway, Green Valley Organic yogurt is definitely my yogurt of choice! I hope they don’t mind that I used one of their product photos for my post!

Green Valley Organic bottles and cups

Recipe: Ginger Lemon Muffins (Made with Fresh Ginger)

UPDATED 2011-05-11

These ginger lemon muffins were a big hit! They are light, healthy, and bursting with fresh zesty ginger flavor! The fresh ginger requires a bit more work, but it’s worth it!

ginger lemon muffins made with fresh ginger

Continue reading “Recipe: Ginger Lemon Muffins (Made with Fresh Ginger)”