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 tummiesingredients:
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!
Have a favorite baby food or smoothie recipe?
Turn it into a pop!
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
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!
Nothing beats a good broccoli beard =)
Here are a few recipes for the rest of us!