Summer is hot. And heat calls for popsicles.
We're all trying to be healthier, especially for our kids, and making homemade popsicles is one way we try in the summertime.
I have been making different concoctions in an effort to reduce the sugar in our children's diet. Let me tell, you-as a Nutritionist and Mom of three, I have tried making all sorts of popsicles and freezies with my kids. Some have been a hit, and some have been a fail. One out of three will always eat them.
This... well, this was one of those recipes that came to me by accident, when I was lazy. And those are the BEST RECIPES... especially when they turn out.
I knew my kids would want a cool snack after an especially hot soccer practice. So before we left, I put some popsicle sticks in watermelon slices and left them in the freezer. When we came back, I got SLIGHTLY more creative and VOILA... these happened.
Why did I never think of this before? These are brilliant, if I do say so myself.
Cool, refreshing watermelon in frozen form, topped wtih yogurt and "sprinkles" (chia seeds)... or chocolate chips. Devoured in an instant. Lazy and delicious. Watermelon is the ultimate snack for kids in the summertime, and now you can have a frozen option! Woohoo for Watermelon!
Watermelon, sliced into sticks or triangles, rind still on
"Sprinkles" (Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, crushed nuts, chocolate chips, etc)
Cut watermelon into desired shapes
Stab them with popsicle sticks and leave them in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or overnight
Take them out and dip them in yogurt, letting your kids choose their own "sprinkles"
Now that I’ve got your attention, imagine this:
You’re heading up to the cottage on a beautiful summer day. After lunch, the car gets packed, and everyone is excited to hit the road! You’ve just gotten past the bottle-necked traffic and you’re cruising on the highway. Not a person in sight…ahhh, just breathe in that fresh air…
Suddenly, a little voice from the backseat says: “Mom…I don’t feel so good.”
Uh oh. There’s nowhere to pull over. Not a bathroom in sight. The highway shoulder looks super sketchy and you can’t pull over fast enough….nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Barf. Everywhere. The seat, your child, the floor, the SEATBELT (That’s always the worst to clean). And now what are you going to do?
Luckily if you ARE heading to the cottage, at the very least you have a change of clothes. But what if this happens at random?
I have your solution.
Vomit Vessel. Barf Bowl. Spew Stein. Whatever you want to name it, make it, and HAVE IT ON HAND. You just never know. I always have three in my car. One for each child.
I recently gave one to a Mom-in-need at my children’s school and it saved her from having to detail her Mother’s car. It made me realize: I must share this with the world!
Here’s what you need:
1 large plastic yogurt container with lid (Preferable not clear)
1 large ziptop freezer bag
2 pieces paper towel
5 pieces baby wipes in a small plastic ziptop bag (or a travel size baby wipe container)
Also nice to have for afterwards:
1 bottle of water (to sip on…but be sure to recycle it after…no sharing!)
Hand sanitizer (for the Moms who are dealing with it all)
Kids Gravol or ginger candies.
You might be wondering: Where is the disinfectant? Why doesn’t she have cleaning products? I’ll tell you: If you have this kit and are prepared, there is nothing to clean up except your child’s face. Seriously. But if you want to be SURE, keep some disinfectant wipes and extra paper towel in the trunk. The great thing about THIS kit is everything fits in the container.
Also, if you think you can get away with just having a bag on hand…I can tell you from LOADS of experience (of my kids barfing, not me) that having a bucket to barf into is WAY easier for kids than a bag that can leak or spill. It’s easy to hold and the target is big. Plus, here's a great trick: If you have time, pull the large Ziploc bag over the yogurt container...there is NO easier cleanup than that. If you don't have time, dump everything out and just use the bucket. Still easy peasy cleanup but say goodbye to your entire kit.
It's simple, but if you read this and don't make one, you'll seriously regret that decision next time this happens to you. So finish your yogurt, make this and leave it by the front door. I guarantee you won't regret it!
Have you ever gone to the grocery store, been perusing the fruit, and put something down because it was too ugly? Be honest!
You're not alone.
Our entire society loves things to be picture perfect, and that includes our food. The brightest lemons, the most beautiful and shiny apples, that smooth and round potato, if it's deformed or misshapen-it's thrown away. And unfortunately because of our food vanity, this is what farmers have had to do for years. Throw away perfectly good food because they know people just won't buy it. Plus grocery stores won’t stock it.
But no more.
Stores like Loblaws are starting to change all that with their line called "Naturally Imperfect."
The best part? It's SOLD AT A DISCOUNT.
Let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with these fruits and vegetables...they're just not...perfect. They may not be the perfect colour, or the perfect shape, but it's what's inside that counts, right? The ugly ducking of food is coming to your grocery store...and you should be buying it.
And honestly, WHO CARES? Especially if you're about to chop it up and throw it in your dinner!
Buying ugly food is great for many reasons. First, you're saving money. That's a BIG bonus when your family goes through an amazing amount of fruit and vegetables.
Second, the farmers get a bigger cut. And they deserve it. Because they work harder than any of us, and we depend on them for FOOD. So we should be supporting them whenever and however we can.
Third, less food waste. Although the farmer's typically use this food to feed their animals or put it back into the soil, it's still perfectly good food that is being tossed aside. And that just shouldn't be happening because of how food LOOKS.
We should be focusing on nutrition. Plain and simple. That is what should matter when it comes to buying our food. And now is the time.
Go to your local farmer's market and buy in season and local fruits and veggies while they are at their peak! This is how food should taste!
So I bought some ugly fruit and I made this delicious (and nutritious) crumble. Call it what you want, it’s sweet and kind on the inside. And to me, that’s all that matters.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease an 8x8 baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together rolled oats, oat flour, ground pecans, flax seed, almond oil and maple syrup. Set aside. Oat flour is just ground up oats.
Place chopped fruit in a bowl.
Add coconut sugar, arrowroot flour and salt. Toss.
Add to baking dish.
Top with oat mixture.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and starting to brown.
The perfect summer dessert, ugly or not. No one will know. But the most important thing...is no one will care. Enjoy!
Image Source: endfoodwaste.org