Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Banana Shake (healthy I promise)

This is without a doubt my favorite recipe creation!  It honestly tasted too good to be healthy, but I promise it is.  Bebe B and I made these as a special treat the other day.  We saved some for Bebe I too, who couldn't get enough.  Two words people: guilt free!

Chocolate Banana Shake - 10 Months+
2 RIPE Bananas (peeled sliced and frozen for at least a few hours)
1/2 cup-1 cup Ice Cubes
1 tsp pure Maple Syrup
1 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Blend all the ingredients together until you have a frothy, creamy shake consistency!  We enjoyed ours with dye-free sprinkles and bendy straws (made from corn, cool huh?)  For a yummy frozen treat pour the shake in into popsicle molds and freeze for 24 hrs!  Feel free to substitute with your favorite unsweetened milk but I love the nutty taste of almond milk in this recipe.

About to be blended


Mama & Kid Shakes

Bebe B in "milk" shake heaven

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tropical Chia Pudding

Here is another Chia pudding recipe, my Cinnamon Chia Pudding is still very popular in this house but both girls had no problem licking their little bowls clean and asking for seconds of this recipe.  I liked it too (despite the fact I have had an aversion to mangoes since an untimely mango smoothy collided with my severe morning sickness when I was pregnant with Bebe I, it wasn't pretty) and it was just the right amount of sweet for us but a little more honey would sweeten it up even more if desired.

Tropical Chia Pudding - 12 Months+
1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) Mango
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp raw Honey
1 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/2 tsp Cardamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Puree the mango, coconut milk, honey and spices until well combined. Combine the puree with the chia seeds in a small bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (this gives the chia seed time to absorb the liquid and give it a pudding consistency).  Enjoy!  A healthy treat that just might make you feel like you're relaxing in the Caribbean, well at least for a few minutes until reality sets in again.  It also packs great in a lunch.

This recipe is vegan, nut-free and gluten-free.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pesto Party Hummus

As promised, the second hummus recipe we made for Family Fun Night at Bebe B's preschool.  The first recipe Sunshine Hummus was a huge hit at my Petite Chefs class this past weekend and I can't wait to hear what other kiddos think of this one. (Bebe B and Bebe I have yet to meet a hummus they didn't love).

Pesto Party Hummus - 11 Months +

1 (15 oz) can Navy Beans (no salt added)
1/3 cup fresh Basil
1/3 cup fresh Spinach
2 tbsp fresh Goat Cheese
clove Garlic
tsp Sea Salt
Juice from ½ a small Lemon
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil

Add all of the ingredients (except Olive Oil) to a food processor and begin to blend, stream in the oil till a creamy consistency is reached and the hummus is well mixed.  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and for 3 months in the freezer.  A creamy and fresh dip for veggies or pretzels!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunshine Hummus

We love hummus, in all shapes and sizes.  Recently we signed up to bring a dish to share for Family Fun Night at Bebe B's preschool.  We were assigned the nut-free protein group so hummus was the perfect solution!  I created Sunshine Hummus and Pesto Party Hummus (a recipe I'll be sharing this week).  Bebe B named both of these recipes and I think she did an awesome job.  We served them with celery sticks, eight grain pretzels and broccoli pops (broccoli florets stuck on paper straws).  I love this recipe because its bright and warm and the taste is light and fresh.

Sunshine Hummus - 11 Months +

1 (15 oz) cans Chickpeas
1 small Yellow Pepper (mild)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
½ tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp ground Cardamom
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Sea Salt
Juice from ½ a small Lemon
Juice from ½ a small Orange

Roast the pepper in a 350 oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Warm in a small sauce pan olive oil, turmeric and cardamom for a few minutes on low heat. Add the cooled yellow pepper and the rest of the ingredients and begin to blend, stream in the spiced oil till a creamy consistency is reached and the hummus is well mixed.  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and for 3 months in the freezer.  A bright and creamy dip for veggies or pretzels!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Puree Monday - Sweet Potato Spinach Stew

This recipe is a wonderful baby food recipe incorporating raw fruit and veggies into a puree.  I also like how it can be as smooth or as chunky as you like, depending on what's right for your little one.  Bebe I loved this puree last summer, Her and her older sister could both live on sweet potatoes if I let them.  This is also a great mix in for pasta for toddlers and older babies! 

Sweet Potato Spinach Stew - 8 Months+
1 large sweet potato
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup raw spinach, washed & chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
water, breast milk or formula for thinning

Roast a large sweet potato on a lightly oiled (to prevent sticking) pan in a 350F degree oven for about 50-65 minutes.  Make sure you poke a few holes in the potato with a fork before roasting.  Cut into the potato to ensure it is soft inside.  Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes then scoop the insides out of the skin and puree with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or in the Beaba babycook until desired consistency is reached. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. This recipe will fill about 2 ice cube trays (10-20 servings).  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cranberry Carrot Salad

We eat a lot of carrots at our house, really A LOT.  We love them cut as sticks or coins and dipped in plain greek yogurt, in smoothies or mixed with nut butter and grapes on pita but sometimes we get bored and I think of new ways to jazz them up. This recipe is simple with only four ingredients but your kids will love it.  And the best part is they can help you make it.  Kid's are so much more likely to try food they have helped prepare and when you get them in the kitchen helping you it sets up the foundation for a positive relationship with food. 

Cranberry Carrot Salad - 12 Months +
1 cup shredded/ grated carrot (I use the grate attachment on my food processor)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I use THESE sweetened with apple juice)

Mix all of the ingredients together and pat your self on the back, it's that easy.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  This is a great recipe to for toddlers learning to use silverware or to pack in a lunch box.  

Only 4 Ingredients!


Packed in a Lunch

Monday, April 8, 2013

Savory Spinach Mini Muffins

When I'm baking the first question my husband asks is "sweet or salty?" with his breath held, hoping i'll say salty.  He is much more of a savory person than I am, although he does enjoy the occasional sweet.  I decided to create a savory muffin recipe (and use up the excess spinach I had monopolizing my crisper drawer).  The result was wonderful...a healthy and delicious muffin all of us loved. 

Savory Spinach Mini Muffins - 12 Months +
2 cups baby spinach (washed & chopped) 
1/2 a RIPE avocado
1 1/2 cups plain kefir
1 egg
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp garam masala or cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).  In either a food processor or blender puree the spinach, avocado, kefir, egg, honey, and spice, set aside.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, flax, salt, powder and soda until well combined (If you have have whole flax seed you can grind it in a food processor or blender and store in the fridge like I do).  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until combined.  If the batter appears too thick you can thin it out with a little more kefir.  Lightly oil or line mini muffin tins.  I used spray olive oil and wiped the excess off.  Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full.  I like to fill mine almost full to get big puffy tops.  Slice the fresh mozzarella into small thin slices and place one on top of each muffin firmly.  Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool on a rack (this prevents soggy muffins).  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up 3-4 days.  Makes 24 mini muffins.

note: If you don't have fresh mozzarella top each muffin with a sprinkle of any shredded cheese.  Garam masala is an Indian spice mix containing cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper but simple cinnamon will work fine in this recipe.  Omit the honey and this recipe is 9 Months+.

Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:
-Spinach is packed full of iron and dietary fiber.  Plus it's loaded with vitamins and minerals. 

-Avocados are a wonderful "good fat" food for brain and physical development. They contain valuable nutrients including folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin E; and iron.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bianca's Chocolate Pudding

Most kids love chocolate pudding.  What's not to love??  But Chocolate pudding is usually full of un-needed (icky) ingredients (see below for a list of ingredients in commonly found brands).  Here is a recipe Bebe B and I created with only 5 ingredients.  My first batch was not nearly sweet enough or chocolaty enough and all I could taste was avocado.  A few more tests and we have a winner.  A healthy treat.  ps. I promised Bebe B I would name it after her.

Bianca's Chocolate Pudding-10 Months +
12 Dates (pitted)
3/4 cup Water
3-4 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 RIPE Avocados
pinch Sea Salt (optional)

In either a food processor or high powered blender puree the dates, water and cocoa powder until smooth (this may take a few minutes).  Add a little more water if needed.  Cut open, remove seeds and scoop the green goodness from the flesh of the avocados.  Puree with salt on low into the date cocoa mixture until you have a smooth pudding consistency.  Top with crush pretzels if desired (my girls like it this way).  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.  Makes about 8-10 small servings.

Some of the Awesome Health Benefits:
Avocados- a wonderful "good fat" food for brain and physical development. They contain valuable nutrients including folate, fiber, potassium, vitamin E; and iron.
Cocoa Powder- Packed with anti-oxidents and minerals
Dates- rich in vitamins and minerals, protein, dietary fiber, and amino acids.

Ingredients of commercial chocolate puddings:

Swiss Miss Brand Pudding Cup Ingredients:
Nonfat MilkSugar, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Less than 2% of: Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), SaltColor Added, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Coffee Powder, Artificial Flavors.

Hunts Chocolate Pudding Cup Ingredients: 

Non Fat Milk, Water, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following: Palm Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Less than 2% of: Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Artificial Flavors, Color Added. CONTAINS: MILK

Jello Brand Pudding Cup Ingredients:


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easy Egg Salad

Every year we seem to over estimate how many hard boiled eggs we should color for Easter and a day or two later even my (certified eggaholic) husband is saying "no more hard boiled eggs".  Here is my favorite easy egg salad recipe to help use up your extra hard boiled eggs.  I love this recipe because it tastes rich and creamy without all the fat and salt in traditional egg salad. 

Easy Egg Salad -12 Months +
Hard Boiled Eggs (about 4)
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt 
1 tbsp Olive Oil Mayo (I like using Spectrum)
1 tsp dye-free Dijon Mustard  (I like using Annie's)
1 tbsp fresh Dill (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Peel, rinse and chop the eggs.  In a medium bowl fold all of the ingredients together until well combined.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Serve on a sandwich, in a pita, in a wrap!  

Our Egg Stash


All in