17 April 2014

Baby Pops!

pint-sized frozen yogurt pops for tiny tummies // healthy + loaded with veggies!

Since we spend a pretty lengthy amount of time discussing food on this blog, and since I spend just as much time feeding hurricane chickpea., the occasional venture into the great wide world of baby food was semi-inevitable. I've received oodles of requests to post my ankle-biter recipes, so when I actually come up with something unique amist the smashed avocados and pureed peas, I'll be sure to share it with you! If you don't have a miniature human to feed at home, don't fret, I have oodles of adult recipes for you up my sleeve as well. This baby food business will just be a little somethin' extra from time to time.

Back to the baby pops! They're pretty much our favorite thing in the world right now. As part of our attempt at baby led weaning, I let Mia feed herself. Whether she's using a spoon or her fingers, this little lady is in control! It's a huge confidence builder, helps her establish a fun and healthy relationship with food, and frees up my hands so I can stuff food in my own face while she smears food all over hers. It also helps build motor skills and all that jazz, or so I'm told. I think it's mainly practice for her future as an artist. This kid can paint the room broccoli in a matter of seconds. It's impressive.

Green Monster Baby Pops
pint-sized frozen yogurt for tiny tummies
32 ounces of whole milk organic yogurt [plain or vanilla]
one bunch of organic broccoli, tops only [green beans are great too!]
1 ripe avocado, pit removed
1 cup of organic applesauce, unsweetened
ground cinnamon, to taste

extras: Add a handful of fresh organic spinach to the mix if you have it! Frozen or fresh mango also makes a yummy addition!

tools needed: Mini pop molds [like Zoku or Munchkin], silicone ice cube trays with small easy-grip extra-wide sticks, or large pop molds for older kids. The Zoku mini silicone molds are our favorite for making cake pop sized frozen yogurt balls. They're the perfect serving size for a cool snack on a hot day. Haha and nope they're not paying me to say that, I just adore them and will most likely be buying a second one next time I find them on sale!

Zoku pop mold: perfect for healthy bite-sized snacks!

Have a favorite baby food or smoothie recipe?
Turn it into a pop!

optional tools: Cheesecloth and sieve/strainer to thicken plain yogurt into creamy, protein-packed greek yogurt. I use my sieve for everything from rinsing quinoa to straining pasta and the cheesecloth comes in handy for not only making your own cheeses but for thickening dairy products for thick and creamy dips! I store them inside one of my larger pots to save space.
notes: Since large containers of organic greek full-fat yogurt aren't available in my area, I simply make my own! It's actually really easy and saves me money too since plain yogurt is typically less expensive and comes in larger value-sizes! The brand we've been using is Stoneyfield and Mia adores it! She's also a huge fan of Siggi's strawberry yogurt but since it's fat-free, we only use it as a treat. As always, consult your pediatrician to see what's right for your baby!

The recipe, as written, makes around 4-5 cups of green monster magic. I barely have enough pop molds to contain it all! Alas, it's easier for me to make big batches of food all at once so I don't have to constantly make it. Leftovers green monster yogurt will keep for four days in the fridge and for a few months in the freezer. It also makes a great mix-in for smoothies, so treat yourself to a giant smoothie loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables! Parents need healthy fuel too! That being said, if you don't feel like dealing with leftovers, simply halve the recipe and you're good to go! xo

BABY POPS! // Pint-sized frozen yogurt pops for tiny tummies // healthy + loaded with veggies!

To thicken plain yogurt all you have to do is strain it! My favorite method is pretty no-fuss no-muss and involves topping a large bowl [a pot works too!] with a sieve and several layers of cheesecloth. Typically the cheesecloth comes in a giant roll so just fold it over itself a bunch of times, slap it in the sieve, and pour in your yogurt.  To make it air-tight and keep things fresh, wrap the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator for a few hours. Though it will thicken within 2-3 hours I will typically leave mine in overnight [or even 24 hours] to make ridiculously thick yogurt that, once frozen, resembles ice cream in texture. Mia goes ape over it. 

Blanch or steam your broccoli until bright green and tender and add it to a blender or food processor with the thickened yogurt, avocado, applesauce, and cinnamon. Have spinach handy? Toss it in! Blend until creamy and green and no large chunks of broccoli remain. Spoon into your pop molds and freeze.

They're pretty legit if I do say so myself... and totally worth the face and body painting that ensues. Throw down a blanket, slap on a bib, and watch your baby go nuts over this healthy treat!

Baby Green Monster Froyo Aftermath

Nothing beats a good broccoli beard =)

Here are a few recipes for the rest of us!
Salmon Fish Tacos Confetti Pasta Salad
Homemade Vegetarian SushiChocolate Chip Cherry Torte Laraball RecipeSausage, Pepper, and Onion Chipotle Grilled Cheese

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  1. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}Thursday, April 17, 2014

    I love it! Any food would look cute on that face! :)

  2. Oh gosh, Jenn, she's too precious!! I love it!! I'm also pinning this this so that when the time comes for my baby girl to nom some adorable ice pops that these are the ones I make. :D

  3. Oh, I bet the cold pops are great for teething too! I bet E would love this idea, though perhaps a different recipe since he's not crazy about avocado and isn't quite to yogurt yet. When did she get yogurt, btw? Just curious... :) She's a doll!!!!

  4. This just makes me wonder since my peditrician told me kids under the age of three shall never under any circumstances have cinnamon

  5. AH! I miss you guys so much! Love this post. :)

  6. Hey Emma! My pediatrician and RN both suggested it as a good first spice to add to food and also did the same for their babies when they were first trying foods years ago. We've been adding it for a few months now without incident. Maybe you could ask your peds reasoning? Maybe there's a family history of cinnamon allergy or sensitivity in your family so she advised against it? Not sure but no judging here! I just have had excellent luck with it. I pulled two articles in case you're interested. No worries and no pressure. Just tossing them up here b/c I enjoyed both articles on new baby food opinions vs. older practices. Feel free to email me too if you'd like! xo

    Baby food revolution: New rules for feeding your baby


    and then I just came across this one too: http://canigivemybaby.com/cinnamon/
    No pressure to read or even consider, just two sites I personally use and respect! xoxo

  7. Mia teethed early [started around 3-4 months] so she's had a love for cold things on her gums from the start! Shes always happier after a cold or frozen washcloth or a pop! We've been doing organic, full-fat, home-strained Greek with mia since about 4-5 months. She grabbed my spoon and shoved it in her mouth at a super young age and I just let her wean herself into it from there on since my ped was all for it.

    It might be a great way to sneak avocado in to get him used to it! Or skip it and just play around with the foods you have already tried so far and have had success with. Super flexible; I just had many requests to share this particular recipe [Mia annihilates them!] and my background is actually in infant/child nutrition education. As always, do what works for you guys! <3

  8. haha thanks! I know you must have an arsenal of photos of your babies covered in food! [I need to see those btw!]

  9. pinned for when william is old enough!!

  10. Annette@FitnessPerksThursday, April 17, 2014

    Such a good idea! Sounds pretty tasty!

  11. If only broccoli beards were as suitable for adults

  12. what a great idea! she looks like she loves them :) xo jillian

  13. OMG OMG OMG. So adorable!!! i totally want to get some of those Zoku holders. I was eyeing them up last summer, fo sheezie! Especially for baby pops like this because nothing beats a messy baby ;)

  14. Shashi @ RunninSrilankanThursday, April 17, 2014

    Aww - these pops must rock-your little "ankle biter looks like she surely does enjoy them!

  15. Thanks Jill! They're her obsession! I need to post the video omg

  16. They're AWESOME! Messy babies make fabulous teenage blackmail

  17. First of all, Mia's eyes are the most beautiful things I've ever seen. So are her cheeks.
    Secondly, I might just make these in my large pop molds for myself…. :) Or for my baby cousins, I guess.

  18. Alysia @ Slim SanityThursday, April 17, 2014

    I giggle at her broccoli beard :)

  19. gah thank you!!!! I've totally eaten them! I like mine with a metric ton of mango blended in so its part sorbet-part froyo

  20. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeetsSaturday, April 19, 2014

    While I have no children, I'm thrilled you posted a baby food recipe. One: it's a big part (read all) of your life now and you should write and share what you know. Two, I saw the demand for baby food requests on IG and you gotta keep your peeps happy. Three, someone needs to get delicious baby food recipes into the SAD and I think it should be you. You're amazing at this stuff. Go nuts, baby style.

  21. you sure do make a cute baby!! cant wait to use these tips when I have my own ankle biter within the next couple of years!

  22. I love this recipe - it sounds delish and healthy:) Wanted to let you know I linked to it from today's Hint Mama hint:) http://hintmama.com/2014/04/30/todays-hint-a-free-frozen-yogurt-fix-for-the-toddler-set/

  23. I can't get over how ADORABLE that sweet cheeks is!! *swoon*