Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chill Out with Homemade Popsicles

Over the summer months Dylan has asking for popsicles everyday (he calls them bicycles...but I know what he means).  It's been pretty hot, so homemade popsicles are a great way to beat the summer heat without all the sugar and artificial colors.  Two of our favorite flavors are Coconut Pineapple and Strawberry Banana Yogurt.  I found some affordable popsicle molds (under $5) at Target.  Now is a great time to look for them because it is the end of the season!  You don't need any fancy equipment, all you need is a blender and a freezer.  If you don't have popsicle molds, just use Dixie cups with a wooden stick. 

If you are worried about your little one using the wooden stick, just freeze your purees in the Dixie cups without the stick and cut the popsicle into bite-size cubes once it is frozen.  Mesh feeders work great for this too!

The possibilities for flavor combinations are endless!  Here are a couple recipes to get you started.

Coconut Pineapple Popsicle
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup fresh pineapple

Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth and creamy. Divide mixture into four (4-ounce) Popsicle molds. Freeze for 4-6 hours and serve.

Strawberry Banana Yogurt-sicles 
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
3-4 strawberries
1 banana
3/4 cup milk (any milk of your choice...breast, soy, rice)

Combine all ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds.  Freeze for 4-6 hours.  Drink the left over as a smoothie!  Yummy! 

*If you have trouble removing your popsicle from the molds, just run mold under warm water for 5-10 seconds and the popsicle will slide out easily.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Get The Scoop: Baby Bullet Product Review

With all of the choices these days for homemade baby food making equipment, it's easy to get overwhelmed when selecting a baby food appliance.  Personally, I am a fan of any pureeing and steaming appliances you already have in your kitchen.  There has been a lot of buzz lately about the Magic Baby Bullet by Baby Bullet.

The "As Seen on TV" type of advertisement may be a little off putting.  And the promo video boasts that it purees "organic baby food"...well that is true only if you are using organic produce.  It's storage containers are BPA free, and it retails for about $59 on most sites.   

Online reviews seemed to be relatively positive with the main complaints being that there is no fill max line printed on the storage cups.  Others mentioned that if the base of the blender is not screwed on tightly it leaks making the "push down mechanism" sticky.  Pros appeared that it was easy to use and clean and came with 2 blades that made pulverizing grains easy.

Here is what Suzy B. from Scottsdale, AZ had to say about her experience with the Baby Bullet.

Q: Which factors were most important to you when choosing this product?
A:  How easy it would be to use and clean, and how well it would work overall.

Q: What features of this product work well for making baby food?
A: The Baby Bullet purees food very quickly and the amounts made seem to be perfect, not too much and not too little.  The storage system, which comes with the product, is very easy to use and has a dial system that enables the user to indicate on the jar when the food was made.

Q: What would you change about this product or what improvements could be made to this product?
A: I would like to see ounce measurement lines on the storage jars because I don't always know how much food I am feeding my baby.

Q: Does this product have any special attachments?
A: The product comes with small batch jars and a large batch jar as well as a milling blade for cereals and a regular blade for purees.  In addition, it comes with a complete storage system and nutrition information and recipes for the various stages.

Q: Is this item dishwasher safe?
A: Yes

Thanks for your input Suzy!

This product can be purchased online at,, and  It can also be purchased in stores at Bed Bath & Beyond.  You can use the Bed Bath & Beyond 25% off coupon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crunchy Munchies: Yummy Snacks That Your Toddler Will Love

Are you sick of giving your toddler animal crackers and cheerios as a snack?  Wish that you could get him/her to eat veggies like kale, and Brussels sprouts?  Sound too good to be true?  That's what I thought but I tried the following recipes and Dylan ate them fact I had to make a second batch for myself.

Kale Chips
  • 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried 
  • olive oil
  • season to taste
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss lightly with olive oil (if you have a Misto sprayer, just spray a tiny bit of EVOO on the leaves). Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food. 

Brussels Sprout Chips
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and spun dry
  • olive oil
  • season to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
Trim stem end of Brussels sprouts high enough to loosen most of the leaves. Remove and discard yellow or damaged leaves. Separate as many leaves as will pull away from the center easily. Halve the remaining sprout centers. Place loose leaves and sprout halves in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle (or spray) olive oil over Brussels sprouts; sprinkle coarse salt and pepper over. Coat evenly and spread leaves in a single layer on baking sheet  

Place baking sheet in 425 degree F oven and let roast for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven. Pick out leaves that are dark and crispy and place in a serving bowl. Use a spatula to flip the remaining leaves and sprout halves. Return to oven.  Repeat this process until the majority of the leaves have been crisped. The halved sprouts remaining on the baking sheet should be browned and fork-tender. Place them in the serving bowl along with the leaves and serve warm or at room temperature.