Festive Popcorn

It’s that time of year when everything is starting to feel festive and Christmas spirit starts to take over. Will and I are still big kids at heart and get into the mood early with things like festive cocktails, decorating, and lots of Christmas tunes (I don’t think it gets any better than doing holiday baking while pumping your favourites in the background). If you’ve got some parties coming up or need some festive stocking stuffer/ teacher gift ideas, this popcorn is perfect. I made mine minty- what’s more Christmas-y than candy canes?- but you can choose whatever holiday treats you like for your mix, and if you’re looking to get a big variety of candy you could look into wholesale candy outlets online and choose a selection of different treats you’d like to add to your popcorn! It’s simple to make and looks super cute when finished off with some Christmas wrapping or served in cute paper cups at a party. Just try not to eat it as you go or you won’t have any left! 😉
Ingredients:
4 cups popped popcorn
1 cup mint chocolate chips
1 cup mint candies (this will equal approx 1/4 cup when crushed)

 

Directions:
1. Once your popcorn is popped and cooled (you don’t want it to melt your candies), separate your various ingredients into bowls.
2. Unwrap your candies and place on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the candies and using a rolling pin crush them into small pieces.

 

 

 

3. Now for the fun part! In a bowl or jar, begin mixing your ingredients together in layers starting with popcorn at the bottom. Do this until you’ve mixed everything up together and your container is full. It looks super cute stored in a mason jar with a lid or…

 

 

… wrapped up in a cute container like a Chinese take- out box to give as a gift!

 

 

… finish it off with some pretty ribbon or twine and some Christmas greens for an easy party favour or teacher’s gift.

 

Like it? Share it!

Easy Candy Bark

Who else always gets to the day after Halloween and wonders what to do with all the candy they’ve got kicking around the house? I know a few parents who trade their kid’s candy for money or a toy but if you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, you don’t mind the extra treats in the house (should I mention here that I do ration the candy/ hide it so the sugar rushes are somewhat avoided?).
Now that the trick- or- treating is behind us, why not do something fun with all that candy? Have you ever made chocolate bark? It’s pretty much the simplest thing you can make and it’s a great way to use up some of those sweets (and not that I want to bring up Christmas the day after Halloween, but this would be cute to make for the holidays- just wrap it up in cellophane). You can use melting chocolate like I did or chop up a bunch of those mini bars and melt them for the bark. The options for this are endless- you just have to pick your favourites to use and try not to eat them all as you go!
Ingredients:
– melting chocolate (you can also chop up mini chocolate bars & use them instead)
– assorted candy
– sprinkles


Directions:

1. Begin by brining a pot of water to a boil & melting the chocolate in a double boiler (I use a Pyrex jug to make it easier to grab/ hold onto to pour out the melted chocolate).
2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

3. Take all your candy out of the wrappers (and try not to eat too much while you do! 😉 )

4. When the chocolate has melted, pour it onto your baking sheet and use a spatula to spread it out until it’s about 1/8″ thick (I totally failed on getting out the lumps/ air bubbles 😉 ).

5. Now for the best part! Toss on your candies & sprinkles to your heart’s content. Allow to cool- pop in the fridge for about half an hour to help it set/ solidify faster.

6. When the chocolate has cooled/ hardened, break the bark into pieces and enjoy!


Yummy Mummy Recipe: Strawberry Chia Banana Bread

OK- how many of you have a) a freezer full of ripe bananas just waiting to be made into something delicious and b) are digging the cooler weather because it means you can turn on your oven for baking without feeling like you’ll melt like a human popsicle?
How’s that for a recipe post intro (insert teary- eyed laughing emoji here!)? But seriously- how many times do you buy bananas and end up tossing them in the freezer because they get to that ‘too ripe I don’t want to eat them’ stage? This recipe is perfect for this exact situation. Whether you go for it and make a whole yummy loaf or opt to make muffins, the strawberries and chia seeds are a yummy addition to this oh- so- classic of recipes. There’s also a secret ingredient that I love including in a lot of my baking for some added flavour/ moisture/ nutrition, but you’ll have to scroll down to see what that is. Happy baking all!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour (I used a combination of a gluten free flour blend and brown rice flour)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2- 3 bananas)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of apple sauce (my secret ingredient instead of an egg! I’ll tell you why after the directions…)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (for a dairy- free version, swap in 1/4 coconut yogurt or another 1/4 cup of apple sauce)
2 tbsp coconut milk
3/4 cup strawberries, diced
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
2 tbsp chia seeds

For garnish:
Fresh strawberry slices
Unsweetened dried coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line a 9″ loaf pan with parchment paper
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients; in a separate, larger bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, including the mashed banana & strawberries (remember to keep some for garnish!)
3. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mix- about 1/2- 1 cup at a time to avoid lumps
4. Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with strawberry slices and unsweetened dried coconut
5. Bake for 50 minutes- to 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (I find with my oven it’s always closer to an hour or just over an hour)
6. Allow to cool for a few minutes & enjoy the loaf fresh with your favourite toppings or slice it up & put it in an airtight container for snacking and lunches throughout the week

And as for that secret ingredient: why apple sauce? 
When I first started baking gluten and dairy free recipes, I also tried some alternatives for eggs out of curiosity and apple sauce has become a staple in some of my sweet recipes as an egg substitute: simply swap in 1/2 cup of apple sauce for each egg the recipe calls for. And if you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that our family is a fan of Love Child Organics and their awesome organic food options for littles. Well, guess what I used in this recipe? A pouch of their apple puree! One pouch is equal to almost half a cup, so they work perfectly as a pre- measured ingredient (lol can I consider that a #momwin? 😉 )

I love that I can trust the quality of their ingredients and that their pouches are an allergy- friendly option, free from dairy, gluten, nuts, and absolutely no additives/ fillers. If you look on the back of the pouch I’m talking about there is one ingredient: organic apples. Don’t you wish more food labels were simple like that? And if you have a hard time getting your kids to eat fruits and veggies, their pouches are a great option for babies just starting out on solids and for older kids as well (Ari & Liam practically pounced on the pouches I had on hand for these photos- safe to say they’re a hit with the kids!). If you want to learn more about this awesome company, I’ll share more at the end of this post, but for now let’s get back to baking!!!


A little about Love Child Organics
Love Child Organics was started by a husband & wife team who were frustrated with the food options available for little ones when they became parents. Foods that were labelled ‘organic’ and natural contained added ingredients and fillers that offered no nutritional benefit, so Leah and John set to work creating healthy meals for their kids from organic ingredients and superfoods for an added boost of nutrition. From these efforts, the company was born, with the goal to make pure organic food accessible for all kids. Since then, LCO has grown to offer a variety of food and snack options and will be introducing an organic infant cereal soon. The company also partners with First Book Canada as part of their Spreading the Love Campaign, to provide new books to children in need. From nutrition to overall well- being, LCO is committed to helping kids get the best start in life possible.

To see the full selection of products from LCO & learn more about the company, visit their website

For the latest product announcementss, giveaways & more make sure you follow Love Child Organics on social media:
Facebook: Love Child Organics 
Instagram: @lovechildorganics
Twitter: @lc_organics

PROMO CODE:

LCOMOM01. Up to Dec. 31, your friends and followers can receive 15% off on a one time LCO order (no limit on order size.)

Yummy Mummy Recipe: No Bake Oat Balls with nutriFoodie

Who’s doesn’t love a good, easy- to- make snack idea? How about a no- bake one (especially on hot Summer days when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven!)? Aaaaand how about one you can customize to suit what your kids like? Yes please! When Ari and I got the chance to get together for a (non) baking day with Cristel from nutriFoodie and make some healthy allergy- friendly snacks I was looking forward to chatting with her about all things food and nutrition. As a Registered Dietician, Cristel helps families with their nutritional needs through consultations, cooking classes, and- to help get kids interested in cooking and nutrition- her annual Spring Break and Summer cooking camps. Learning how to cook is a skill that is very useful, not only for yourself but for other people too, it can be a relaxing way to unwind after a long day or it can be there to help you on a healthy jounrey. If you are not able to get to these cooking classes offered, you may want to check out cooking classes seattle or ones that are nearer to your area to be in with a chance of gaining a new skill.

While my kids are still too young for her camps, I was excited to learn about what she is doing to teach families and kids about food and nutrition. Her goal is to get everyone in the family interested and engaged with food while teaching them about how food can contribute to improved overall health. And if this wasn’t cool enough, as part of her goal to make good food accessible to everyone, Cristel donates a portion of cooking camp proceeds to a food- related organization every year (learn more about that here). 

When Cristel arrived for our culinary collab, Ari was spoiled with an apron and cooking utensils from her, plus some other fun activities to keep her occupied while we chatted and set up the ingredients. Then it was time to make the snacks! Before getting together, Cristel and I discussed the food restrictions in our family and she created a simple recipe based on the information I gave her. Since I like to involve Ari in meal prep and baking whenever I can (ie when she’s in a cooperative mood! 😉 ) we thought it would be fun to adapt what Cristel offers in her cooking camps to include Ari in the process.

While Cristel and Ari measured and mixed ingredients, I snapped away to get some photos of the them working on their tasty creations. The recipe Cristel made with Ari is below (thanks to Cristel for sharing!) along with some info about Cristel’s nutritional services. And I couldn’t wrap up my intro without making this final note: I had been looking forward to this collaboration given our family’s relationship with food, but meeting Cristel got me even more excited and pumped up. Her warmth and passion are contagious. It’s obvious she genuinely loves what she does and sharing her knowledge to help others brings her a joy that comes with loving what you do. It was a real pleasure working with her and I hope there will be more chances to work together to share about food and nutrition with TPB readers. I hope you enjoy this post as much as we did working on it. Thank you again Cristel for such a fun foodie experience!

No- Bake Oat Balls

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup nut or non- nut smooth butter (we made ours with sunflower seed butter)
1/4 cup applesauce
4 tbsp honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla

Choose 3 add- ons of the following (add 1/2 cup of each)
mini chocolate chips: can be dark, milk, or white)
chopped dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, apricots, or dates
nuts or seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
ground flax seed
unsweetened coconut (ground or shredded)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and roll into mini balls.
That’s it!
– if the mixture is too sticky, add more of the nut/ non- nut butter and/ or cocoa powder
– if it’s not holding together, add nut/ non- nut butter, applesauce, and/ or honey


Tip: prior to adding a sticky ingredient such as honey, spray the measuring cups/ spoons with oil to prevent from sticking


Optional other add- ons
 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp of another extract of choice
3 tbsp of wheat germ
3 tbsp of chia seeds
spices of choice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger

About nutriFoodie
Cristel’s goal with nutriFoodie is to bring basics back into the kitchen with meals the whole family will enjoy that are nutritious and delicious; to get everyone in the family involved with cooking and improve their relationship with food to help positively impact overall health and wellbeing. She is passionate about helping people make healthy choices and educating kids about nutrition. To help families enjoy cooking and food, Cristel offers a range of services from nutrition assessments and cooking demos to kid’s cooking camps. To see the full list of services available such as family cooking classes and grocery tours, visit the nutriFoodie website.

Find nutriFoodie on social media for recipe ideas and updates:

Facebook: NutriFoodie
Instagram: @nutrifoodie_org
Twiter: @nutriFoodie_org

Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten Free Rice Crispy Treats

I don’t think these sweet treats really need an intro. They’re a classic. And after making them with Ari, I have a new understanding and appreciation for why they’re such a staple for bake sales and class parties- they’re super simple and quick to make! The only changes I made to the classic version were to make them gluten & dairy free: swapping coconut oil for the butter and using gluten- free cereal. These are great if you want to whip something sweet up but don’t have a lot of time and they’ll be gone in even less time. 

Ingredients
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
8 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy cereal (we used gluten free)
Optional: 1 tbsp beet juice or red food colouring

Directions
1. In a large pot over low heat melt coconut oil. Once melted toss in mini marshmallows, stirring continuously
2. Once melted, remove from heat and add in rice crispy cereal. Stir until combined (I let Ari help with this part, but if you’re nervous about burns you can quickly transfer the mix into a bowl so little ones can help)
3. If you want to make the treats pink, you can add food colouring or reduced beet juice for colour. To make the beet juice reduction: dice up a small beet and pop into a pot and fill with water until pieces are just covered. Bring to a boil for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce until the beet juice has mixed with the water and the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Pour into a glass pyrex jug and set aside until ready to use.
4. Add in colouring and stir until mixed through
5. Transfer mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. Use the sides of the parchment to shape the mixture into a ball (don’t worry if it isn’t a perfect shape, this step is more to compress the mixture for rolling ). Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll the mixture until it is 1/2″ thick (if you like thicker treats, don’t roll them as long/ apply as much pressure)
6. When you’ve reached your desired thickness, remove the top piece of parchment and fold in half (sticky sides in) to place the shapes on
7. Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes you like and place on the folded piece of parchment

9. Once you’ve cut out all the shapes you can fit, you can either try re- rolling the mixture or takes pieces that are roughly the same size and roll into balls

10. You can serve the treats like this or insert cute straws to make pops. For the balls, you can leave them as- is or add cute cupcake toppers like the sparkly ones I used from Grace Miller & Co– see below)

11. … for added fun, dip in sprinkles!

February posts sponsored by

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close