Posts Tagged ‘fruit juice’

Tasty Tuesday: Fun Kid’s Recipe Gets a Healthy Makeover

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Lately my boys (especially my 6 year old) have been enjoying the Nate the Great book series. At the end of each book are fun facts and activities related to the story. Jeremiah asked me if we could make these Octopus Pops he found in the back of one of his Nate the Great books.

Looking at the instructions I was not too eager to make them…the ingredients were juice and candy sugar and sugar. But then I thought I bet I could come up with a healthier version. So here’s what we did instead.

In place of buying fruit juice at the store we juiced 3 organic apples in our juicer.

That was simple. It was the 8 octopus arms I was unsure of how to make. I looked for organic gummy worms at our local health store. While they did actually sell some, they were very expensive and full of sugar just the same. Plus they were too short and stubby to work well for this project. Then I found these

and decided they would make perfect arms for our octopus pops! They are made of fruit and veggies with no added sugar or dyes. Plus they were only .39cents each AND were on sale “buy one, get one free”.  Total score!

The instructions are super easy:

1. Pour juice in small paper cups

2. Place 8 fruit strips in each cup, lining them around the edge

3. Place in freezer

4. After a few hours, put a popsicle stick in each cup

5. When frozen solid, remove from freezer, tear off cup, and viola…Octopus Pops!

We had fun making them together (well except for the part where the kids opened the freezer like every 5 minutes to check if they were done…that wasn’t too much fun) and of course the boys enjoyed eating them.

This project got me thinking about a few popular kids treats that could definitely use makeovers. One that immediately came to mind was “Dirt Cups“.  I am sure you know the ones I am talking about…they are made with pudding, whip cream, crushed cookies, and gummy worms….eewww! Just thinking about consuming all of that makes my tummy hurt. I definitely think I can do a Dirt Cup makeover using healthier ingredients. Actually one of the main ingredients I have in mind is mashed potatoes…yep, I am serious! I am going to play with it this week and hopefully have it ready to share by next week.

In the meantime hopefully my kidlets enjoy being my taste testers. 🙂

What recipes have you given a healthy makeover? Or what recipes would you like to see made over? Would love to hear from you! 🙂

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Popsicles

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

As the warm weather arrives so does the thought of yummy, icy cool treats! But who wants to consume all the artificial colors and flavors found in many of the popular brands of popsicles? Not to mention the high sugar content of most popsicles. There is a great alternative that offers the same cooling satisfaction, without all the junk, plus some added vitamins and nutrients…making your own!!

It’s soooo easy to do! Basically pick a fruit or combination of fruits and a liquid such as water, almond milk, coconut milk, cow’s milk, soy milk, or fruit juice (even breastmilk would work). Just throw it all in a blender and then pour the mixture into popsicles molds. Toss the molds into the freezer and a few hours later you have delicious homemade popsicles! So simple and so good. Plus they are tons cheaper than the “organic all fruit” popsicles sold at the store…and no packaging to dispose of! Additionally if your child has any allergies or food sensitivities you can make popsicles specific to their dietary needs.

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Here are a few of our favorite combinations:

  • Strawberries, bananas, and coconut milk
  • Mango, pineapple, and coconut milk
  • Banana, cacao powder, honey, and almond milk

Want to kick things up a notch and boost the nutritional content of your popsicles? Add some raw greens such as spinach, romaine, or kale into your mixture just like you would when making a green smoothie. Most fruit blends taste just fine with a handful of greens added to it. I know I was skeptical about adding greens to my smoothies but the sweetness of the fruit truly masks the flavor of the greens. Just be sure to blend it long enough to “liquify” the greens. Spirulina powder would be another fun add-in that would also turn the popsicle into a beautiful emerald green color. You might also consider adding in hemp seeds or flax seeds for some added protein and omega 3. Coconut oil, avocado, or nut butters could be blended in for some added fat and nutritionally-dense calories.

Most of the time the fruit is sweet enough all in its own and no added sweetener is needed. However if you are making “fudgsicles” with cacao powder, you’ll probably want a bit of sweetener to off-set the bitterness. Healthy options for sweeteners (besides fruit) include honey, maple syrup, stevia, or soaked/stoned dates.

The possibilities are endless which makes creating your own favorite concoctions a fun experiment! Involve your kids in the process and let them choose what fruits they want to combine together. Often when kids are involved in the food prep process it provides them with a sense of ownership and pride. They are more likely to enjoy the finished product when they are a part of the process. So if your blender has been sitting in a cupboard collecting dust, pull it out, dust if off, and start blending…so many fun, healthy foods can be made with this simple kitchen tool. Enjoy!! 🙂

What’s your favorite homemade popsicle recipe? Would love to hear from you!

-Sarah