Fruit & Yogurt Teething Pops (plus a bonus kitchen tip!)

It’s been a little while since I checked in, I’ve been working hard on some projects lately and had to take a break from something to make it all work. Even though everything in the works is a positive development I’ve still missed you all! So I’m popping in today with a new recipe – I hope you enjoy!

Fruit & Yogurt Teething Pops

PJ has been teething like a fiend lately, which has not been fun for any of us, to put it mildly. Teeth Are Not For Biting is now required bedtime reading. He finds it hilarious.

IMG_0023.JPG

I’m trying to keep cold things on hand, so I made up a batch of these babies today. Start with plain, low fat yogurt. Add a little coconut water to thin it, frozen fruit for flavor, and a teaspoon of extract to round it out.

IMG_0072.JPG

Then I blend it all up to the consistency of a smoothie and pour it into Popsicle molds. I have two sets now, one that is soft and squeezy and one traditional type with a stick. PJ prefers the squeeze kind because he can (mostly) feed himself with them.

IMG_0074.JPG

At this point, he realized what I was doing and insisted on a taste test – how pitiful is this face?!

IMG_0075.JPG

It’s probably a good idea that he did, because he let me know very quickly that I forgot to add a sweetener – oops! I use honey if I’m making these and not freezing them, or organic cane sugar if they’re going in the freezer like this batch. So after I added the sugar and poured them into the molds, I had the dreaded blender cleanup ahead of me, ugh!

IMG_0077.JPG

Bonus Kitchen Tip!

With all the blending I do for my morning shakes and these pops, I got really sick and tired of all that blender cleaning. Then I found this tip and it changed my life. I really wish I remembered which site I saw it on to give them credit, but it was months ago and I forget – sorry! If anyone knows, please tag them in a comment!

IMG_0081.JPG

After a quick rinse in hot water, I fill the blender about halfway with hot water, add a teaspoon of baking soda, and a squirt of dish soap. Then zhuzh it up like this…

IMG_0085.JPG

I don’t have to tell you to keep the lid on while zhuzhing right? Anyway, afterwards I dip out some of the foam to clean the lid and the counters, and when I dump it out I wipe out the sink too for good measure. It takes way longer to write all this out than it does to make, and Mommy and Daddy have been known to sneak a “teething pop” or two for a snack – they’re delicious!

Teething Pop Recipe

3/4 container of plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp flavored extract
1-1/2 cups frozen fruit
4 oz coconut water
Sweetener to taste (honey for smoothies, sugar if freezing)

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Freeze for 2-3 hours.

12 Things I Do Buy Now (That I Never Thought I Would)

Last week I shared a few things that I have started pushing my cart straight past in the grocery store. But of course clean eating is about more than eliminating processed foods, it’s also about eating more of the good stuff.

I’ve found this to be a gradual process, which started for me when I first began making PJ’s baby food. As I looked for new foods for him to try, I made that fruit or vegetable part of my regular meals for the week as well. I have since started buying baby food for him because I could never master the consistency of meats especially, but he usually prefers to eat off of my plate now, and that is my biggest motivation to keep honest about my clean eating – it’s kind of like being pregnant or breastfeeding again without all of the pain and suffering. Win win!

Here are 12 of my favorite “discoveries” that will be on the menu for this week:

From the Produce Aisle

image

Collard greens – A lot of people told me that Napa cabbage makes a good substitute taco shell. Sorry to say, I did not find this to be the case lol. But I found this recipe for a chickpea avocado taco in a collard wrap, and am going to give the leafy shell thing another try!

Turnips – These are surprisingly good substitutes for white potatoes in soups. They have a similar texture and absorb the flavor of the broth, and I really like using them this way.

Brussels Sprouts – This is my new veggie to try this week. I’m going to see how they turn out roasted, which is one of my favorite ways to prepare almost any vegetable.

Avocados – I used to buy one or two for a specific recipe, and now I find myself wailing “Oh noooooo, I ran out of avocados!” on a fairly regular basis. Salads, wraps, sauces, dips, everything is better with an avocado or two. And PJ’s favorite – blend one with a banana for a creamy, yummy treat! (Don’t tell him, but I’ll be making him Popsicles out of this mix later today!)

image

Bok Choy – I mentioned last week what a delicious soup this makes, but it’s also a great sir fry ingredient for a super fast and healthy dinner.

Squashes – I’ve always loved zucchini, but am discovering a whole world of delicious squashes now. Spaghetti squash, and spiral cut zucchinis are helping me get through my love of pasta. This little Acorn squash is going to get roasted up with some olive oil and parmesan – yum-O!

Tomatoes – Wait, what? Yes, tomatoes. I’m sure you don’t need serving suggestions for these, but I have personally always hated them and am just starting to cook with them regularly. I figured if I’m brave enough to try Bok Choy and Brussels Sprouts, I can try eating more tomatoes too, right?

In The Pantry
image

PB2 – Another new thing to try this week, I hear it is amazing especially when added to a protein shake!

Black Beans – These fall into a category of things I have bought before but never really knew how to use. But now I add them to soups more often, and have a couple of good, quick taco recipes to throw them in. Yay for protein!

Quinoa – I’m still not fond of this on its own, I prefer the texture of couscous honestly. But where I’ve really come to use it is in recipes that call for ground beef (like chili or meatballs), I substitute half the beef with quinoa to cut down the fat and still have a nice hearty meal.

Bulk Nuts – These are some of my favorites. I used to just buy the package of overly salted, greasy, roasted nuts. But the bulk aisle had much better options available at pretty reasonable prices.

Tahini – Check the organic or international foods aisle for this one. It’s the main ingredient in hummus, and other sauces. It kind of tastes like unsalted peanut butter in my opinion, and one small tub lasts a good long time in the pantry.

What About Drinks?
image

Of course sodas are the first thing to go when you’re eating clean. And lucky for me, I love coffee, tea, and water. But that does get boring sometimes and processed powder drink additives are not in my clean eating plan! I also notice myself becoming more sensitive to dairy now that I eat and drink less of it, so I’ve started buying almond milk for my coffee and love it.

My Shakeology gets a mention on both lists because I really never thought I would become a daily shake kind of girl, but I am a convert for sure. I confess that I kept a container of my grocery store brand, which has now been completely untouched in my pantry for several weeks! I find that coconut water mixes better with the shakes than the plain, and doesn’t have a very strong coconut flavor. I made a shake this morning with the vanilla powder, coconut water, blueberries, and couple of basil leaves – it was totally amazing. And the best part is that if I hadn’t thought so, there’s a 30 day, bottom of the bag money back guarantee on the Shakeology.

So there you have it – 12 of my personal favorite new staples on our clean eating adventure. What new foods have you discovered lately? Please tell, I am always looking for new ones!

PJ’s Diary: Babies Against Clean Eating

Mommy says we are “eating clean” this week. I think this is a terrible idea. The best part about eating is getting real dirty!

image

I don’t mind all the good, fresh veggies, I even made her give me a yummy scallion to munch on – it went real nice with my peanut butter and banana sandwich!

image

And the eggs with tomatoes, fresh basil, and turkey bacon – deeeeeeelicious!

image

But how am I supposed to enjoy my food if I have to keep it clean all the time?!

image

I think I’m gonna go to Great Grandma’s house for the week. She understands me.

image

So how about it Mommy? Pack me up some yummy veggies and fruit, and I will go where they appreciate a good mess and aren’t stingy with the ice cream!

image

But …You’re coming with me, right?