March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is go further with food. This theme can be interpreted in many ways, but the overarching message is, the foods you choose make a difference. They can give you energy or drain you. They can prevent disease or feed it. They can contribute to a healthier environment or deplete resources. Essentially, go further with food is encouraging us to be conscious consumers and to help our kids do the same.
When it comes to helping children develop healthy eating habits and learn to enjoy the right foods, creativity is the name of the game. This is especially true when it comes to vegetables. Why does this matter? Because vegetables:
1.) Reduce risk of chronic disease
2.) Help maintain healthy weight
3.) Provide essential nutrients that are important for growth and development
The reality is, most kids are simply not eating enough vegetables. In fact, kids are falling short on vegetable intake in every single category.
So, how do we help our kids eat- and enjoy- more veggies?
Our secret: hummus. It’s fun, kid-approved, healthy and pairs perfectly with vegetables. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we teamed up with Lantana Hummus to create a delicious vegetarian take on a kid-favorite: meatballs. Lantana has an incredible lineup of unique flavors that are guaranteed to make veggies more appealing. And, the flavor combos can even help parents introduce new flavors (hint: try the BEET hummus) into their child’s diet. Whether you use it as a dip, spread it on a sandwich or incorporate it into recipes, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy hummus. Inspired by Lantana’s creative flavor combos, we took to the kitchen, played with the Sriracha Carrot Hummus and came up with these Sweet n Spicy Mushroom Meatballs!
- 1 lb. white mushrooms, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup quick oats
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup Lantana Carrot-Sriracha Hummus
- 3 green onions sliced, light green & white part only
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ½ cup cold water
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt to the hot oil and cook, stirring often, until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, stir in oats, and allow to cool.
- In a separate bowl, using a fork, combine remaining meatball ingredients. Mix well. Add to mushroom mixture.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form mixture into small meatballs, about 2 tablespoons each, and place on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- While meatballs bake, combine all sauce ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
- Combine meatballs with 1/3 of sauce mixture. Toss to coat.
- Serving Suggestion: Serve meatballs with brown rice, edamame and steamed broccoli, drizzled with remaining Apricot-Soy Sauce.