The amazing Spring weather has had me daydreaming about Summer & I thought what’s a better warm weather snack than popsicles??? They’re a super easy & healthy snack idea perfect on days when you need to cool off (bonus idea: sneak in some kale or spinach for a nutritional punch). They also make a fun little foodie project to do with the kids. I recently discovered kefir (a fermented milk drink, like liquid yogurt) and have been enjoying it with Ari. (Because it’s like yogurt, even those with dairy sensitivities can eat it on occasion since the fermentation breaks down the lactose).
Fresh fruit of your choice (I used strawberries, kiwis, & pineapples for these)
Coconut milk, yogurt, or kefir
For fruit slice popsicles:
1. Slice up the fruits you’re using into pieces small enough to fit your popsicle molds.
2. Layer the fruits as desired
3. Pour in enough coconut milk/ yogurt/ kefir to fill the mold & cover the tops of the fruit; tap the mold to get out any air bubbles
4. Freeze & enjoy!
For fruit smoothie popsicles:
1. Pop your desired fruit & coconut milk/ yogurt/ kefir into blender until fruit is pureed (this is a great chance to sneak in some greens!)
2. Pour mixture into mold & tap it to remove any air bubbles
Next time you have a craving for popcorn this is a fun idea to try. Skip the store- bought versions with their artificial flavourings and try making your own microwave popcorn. It’s super simple and a fun idea for movie nights and sleepovers. Now all you have to decide is what movie to watch. 😉
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 tbsp olive oil or butter (we tried a dairy- free/ vegan butter- style spread made with coconut oil and it was delish)
1/2 tsp salt
1 brown paper bag
1. Scoop the popcorn kernels into the bag followed by the oil/ butter and salt.
2. Roll the bag down about 1- 2″, leaving a small opening for steam to escape and plenty of space for the popcorn to expand .
3. Put in the microwave for approx. 2 minutes (the timing took some trial and error to figure out and can vary by microwave, so if you’re unsure how long start at 1 minute 30 seconds and add time as needed).
4. Remove bag from microwave, sprinkle with any additional seasonings & enjoy!
Pasta has always been a favourite meal in our house and probably gets made at least once a week. Over the years I’ve found that store bought sauces are good in a pinch but I’m not a fan of how much salt and funky sounding ingredients there are in some of them. I also have to read the labels carefully to make sure there’s no gluten in the seasonings and/ or cheese added to the sauce. Will and I have also been spoiled because his Mom makes the best sauce from scratch and we haven’t found a store- bought option that even comes close. Luckily she’s happy to share her recipes (see this post for her amazing ribs- a great slow cooker meal) and we enjoy making the stuff up in double batches & freezing it. I’ll admit we have never got ours to taste quite as good as hers, but we’ve come pretty close! Skip the beef if you want a marina that’s more versatile or add in another protein (chorizo sausage is fantastic) to mix it up a little. Buon appetito!
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Homemade Pasta Sauce
Makes enough sauce for approx. 4- 6 full meals
2- 3 lbs regular ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 yellow onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
2 zucchini, diced
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (add more to taste)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
4 tins crushed tomatoes (796mL)
1 tin diced tomatoes (796mL) Add your other favourite veggies and/ or protein
1. On medium heat brown the ground beef & then drain out the fat. Add the garlic and onion; saute until onion is cooked.
2. Follow with green peppers & zucchini and any other veggies and/ or meat you’re adding, cook for a few minutes to soften.
3. Add seasonings & mix well, then add all 5 tins of tomatoes, stirring well as you add each tin.
4. Turn up to high heat and stir until sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 minutes.
5. Once sauce is bubbling and has been stirred well, reduce to low heat & simmer covered for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Stir & check the taste occasionally and add additional seasoning based on your taste preferences.
6. When ready, remove from heat & serve. Or allow to cool & scoop into freezer bags and freeze for an easy dinner for busy nights (we’ve cooked this sauce from frozen on many a lazy meal night). This sauce is great when enjoyed fresh and just as delish when frozen & thawed.
Have you ever made your own sauce? I’d love to hear what you put in yours! 🙂
It always seems to be a hot topic with Moms: how do you get your kids to eat more veggies??? The answer that many of us seem to agree on: sneak ’em in! 😉 What I find hilarious/ frustrating with Ari is that one day she’ll be all over bell peppers, carrots, and celery sticks and the next turn her nose up at them. Ah, yes the joys of appealing to a toddler’s palette. 😉 When I was chatting about this with one of my girlfriends recently she told me about this recipe she’s using with her little one to get more veggies into her diet and kindly sent it my way to try out & share on TPB. I hope this helps you sneak in some good stuff with your littles!
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Sneaky Veggie Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 c white whole wheat flour (or gluten free)
3/4 cup grated zucchini
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 medium apple, cored and quartered
¼ c honey
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or line muffin tins.
2. Grate zucchini, apple, & carrots (or use a food processor). Place in a towel and wring out the excess water. You should have just over 2 cups shredded fruits and veggies.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, honey, applesauce, oil, and grated fruits and veggies.
4. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda until just combined.
5. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
What are some of your sneaky tricks to get your kids to eat more veggies??? Let the scheming begin! 😉
Thank you Bronwyn for sharing this recipe! (Make sure you check out the many baking talents of this lady on her Facebook page: Mama B’s Treats!).
With baby #2 just weeks away from making their debut, I’ve been getting our freezer stocked up and have been trying to pick a variety of dishes that can be popped out of the freezer and into the slow cooker. Easy peasy. These are hands- down some of the best ribs I’ve ever tasted. Ah- mazing. And before you start thinking my ego has got the better of me I’ll let you know that this is my mama- in- law’s recipe. 😉
I love these ribs. When I was telling one of my girl friends about this recipe, she mentioned how she would love to make them, but with a pre- teen and a hubby in the house this can be a bit of a pricey meal. If you’ve got a similar scenario where you’ve got some family members (ahem, men) that could eat half a pig in a sitting, you could pick up another cut of pork (or even some turkey or chicken) and make this as pulled pork. I’m drooling just thinking about all the delicious versions you could make with the sauce in this recipe. So on that note…
Yummy Mummy Recipe: BBQ Ribs
1 rack of pork ribs (again, you could try this as a pulled pork/ chicken/ turkey recipe too)
For the Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup brown sugar (or try 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup honey)
2 tbsp corn starch
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the rack into the individual ribs & pop in water.
2. Boil ribs for 45 minutes, then remove from heat & drain (this is important to help reduce the fat and make these fall- off- the- bone tender).
3. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl or crock pot, stirring to reduce lumps.
4. Toss in ribs & coat well.
5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or in a slow cooker* (low 4- 6 hours, high 2- 4 hours)
6. Serve with rice & your favourite sides.
If you want to freeze these for later, allow to cool & transfer to a freezer bag or container. You can slow cook these from frozen- just add 2 hours to the crock pot cook time- or allow to thaw first.
*To make pulled pork, etc, just pop your meat in the slow cooker and cook in the sauce from raw, but keep in mind that you may want to cut up the meat to help it cook faster and more evenly.
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