Easy & Simple Watermelon Ice Pops

Something my family and I enjoy all summer long is eating watermelon. My memories of enjoying a chilled slice on a hot day go back to when I was about ten at my grandmother’s house. As a youngster I remember the joys of spitting out the seeds although today most, if not all, watermelons you find are seedless. I remember how messy yet refreshing it was to enjoy something so sweet. My husband is not a fan at all so I wasn’t sure who the kids would take after. Well the verdict is both of them enjoy watermelon.

813881_m4259589930846879293.jpg

The summer may be quickly coming to a close so we are enjoying homemade ice pops as much as we can. I know as a mom when you discover something the kids love, you look for different ways to incorporate it . My children and I enjoy fresh watermelon cut up, we drink it as juice and we also make ice pops. Below are two easy and simple recipes for our summer watermelon ice pops.

Watermelon Ice Pops

Serving size: 6 [depending on size of molds]
3 cups of watermelon
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1 tbsp of honey

2018-09-04-23-16-081632022233698891668.jpg

Watermelon & Blueberry Ice Pops

Serving size: 6 [depending on size of molds]
3 cups of watermelon
1/4 cup blueberries
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1 tbsp of honey

Fruit and Veggie Smoothies for the Entire Family

In my house, we love to drink smoothies. We drink them for lunch. We drink them as a snack. We basically drink them all year-round, any time of day. It is my go-to when looking for something simple and easy to make. It is my go-to when the picky eater makes an appearance. It is my go-to when I want to get the daily servings of fruit and vegetables in. It is also my go-to when I am craving a sweet snack. Therefore, I decided to share three popular smoothies that my entire family loves.

Please note, all smoothies listed contain milk but you can use a dairy-free alternative. I know some smoothies call for juice or coconut water. However, milk is my preferred liquid base because it adds a little extra protein for my growing toddlers.

2243369_m2858395405229973075.jpg

Before listing some of the smoothie options I often make, I wanted to point out some tips that work well for me.

Smoothie Tip #1 – Substitute the ice for frozen fruits.

You can purchase frozen fruit or freeze your own. I often do this with ripe bananas so they don’t go to waste. Another option for skipping the ice is to freeze your leafy greens. You can put kale or spinach in a freezer-safe bag and then add them straight to the blender when you are ready. Of course you want to make sure your leafy greens are washed and ready to eat before freezing.

Smoothie Tip #2 – Add oatmeal for a nutritional boost.

The first time I tried a smoothie with oats was on vacation. It contained a thicker texture but was tasty and filling. My husband and I started adding it to our smoothies when we got home and that was it. The nutritional bonus to including oatmeal is more fiber, protein and iron for the day. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Smoothie Tip #3 – Save what you don’t drink.

One final bonus to making smoothies is that they can be frozen into ice pops. I know sometimes I have more liquid than I can fit into my cup. So the leftover becomes a great frozen treat for all.

img_20180205_1130364907873938428734934.jpg

Berry and Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:
1  1/2 cups milk (12 oz)
1/2 cup frozen berry blend
1/2 cup frozen spinach
half an avocado
1 tbsp almond butter
1 teaspoon honey
2 tbsp yogurt (optional)

Directions:
Pour milk in first then add all other ingredients.

Blend until smooth. If too thick, add more milk.

Pour into cups and serve.

Banana, Blueberry & Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup frozen spinach
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

Pour milk in first then add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. If too thick, add more milk.

Pour into cups and serve.

Berry, Kale & Oatmeal Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk (12 oz)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup kale
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 cup frozen berry blend
1/3 cup rolled oats

Directions:

Pour milk in first then add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. If too thick, add more milk.

Pour into cups and serve.

Note: This is a household favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, with most of the smoothies listed the yogurt and oats are optional. I often swap them in and out based on the time of day we are drinking them. If I am using this as a meal replacement for my picky eater, I definitely include both. Just have fun and try different combos until you find what the family loves.

Spinach Muffins Toddlers Will Love

If you have a picky eater on your hands like I do, then you are constantly trying to find meals they will enjoy. Food that won’t end up on the floor. Food that won’t be smushed by little hands. Food that is nutritional and also healthy.

Lately, I’ve been focused on ways to squeeze veggies into their diet. During the warmer months, I relied on smoothies. Smoothies with spinach, kale or lettuce. Then I decided to try some spinach muffins and the whole family ate them. That’s a win in my book.

img_20180116_174941

Spinach Muffins For Toddlers

prep time: 8
cook time: 
yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2-2 ½ – ripe bananas
  • 5 oz – frozen spinach
  • 5 ½ oz – milk
  • 3 tbsp – maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup – rolled oats
  • 1 cup – whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp – baking powder
  • 1 tsp – vanilla extract
  • butter or oil for muffin tray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease the muffin pan with butter
  2. Blend the banana, spinach and milk in a blender or food processor until completely pureed. It will resemble a smoothie.
  3. Pour the smoothie mix into a large bowl. Add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract then whisk.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients into the large mixing bowl. Gently mix with a wooden spoon.
    Dry ingredients includes: rolled oats, flour and baking powder.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the muffins are firm to the touch on top.
  6. Cool and serve
  7. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze.

Notes

This recipe has a large component of bananas. When combined with the mild taste of spinach, your toddler will barely taste the veggies.  This also means the bananas will keep the muffins from being dry but more on the moist side.

Keep in mind these muffins will not be super sweet or fluffy like a cake due to the ingredients used. With this recipe, a few items can be substituted. For example, honey for maple syrup. A milk alternative can be used or a different flour.

 

Hope you enjoy this recipe and share your thoughts!