‘eat your greens!’ smoothies

Yep.  That’s what I’m calling these.  Because my kids won’t eat leafy greens any other way.

They’re toddlers, they’re picky, and greens are just not on the list of ‘acceptable’ foods in their minds.

But I refuse to give up, which is where these smoothies come in.

Fresh leafy greens, yogurt, oats, fruit…  These smoothies do the trick every time.  I can fill them with as much green stuff as I want, and the kids have yet to turn them down.

And that makes this mama-heart happy!

(Especially when I am very pregnant, very tired, and really not wanting to cook…  which seems to be the case more and more these days.)

I use the oats primarily to bulk up the smoothie so I feel better about serving it to my kids as a meal.  Feel free to leave them out if you want, but you won’t even know they’re in there!

And if you think you’re kiddos (or yourself) will be turned off by the color, use mostly dark berries for a nice purple smoothie.

*By the way, these smoothies freeze great…  so if you don’t drink them all up at one sitting, throw the rest in the freezer and thaw overnight in the fridge the next time you want them!

‘Eat Your Greens!’ Smoothie Recipe
serves 3-4

Ingredients:
2-3 cups frozen fruit (strawberries, berries, banana, mango…  whatever you like!)
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2-1 cup juice or water
3-4 handfuls mixed greens or spinach

Directions:
Place the fruit, yogurt, oats and 1/2 cup of water/juice into your food processor.  Process until very smooth, streaming in more liquid if needed so it’s not too thick.

Take off the lid and add in the greens, filling the processor as full as possible…  it will blend down into nothing, don’t worry!  Puree again until as smooth as you’d like, adding more greens if you couldn’t fit them all in at first.

Taste for sweetness and thickness and add a bit more juice or water and a touch of honey if needed.

Serve to your kids and smile when they ask for more!

extra moist dark chocolate cake

I cannot believe my little baby is 1 already!

We had a small, cozy birthday celebration for him with my family.  It was nice to enjoy a quiet day celebrating him…  and of course, eating cake!

I put my brother in charge of decorating the cake.  His only rule?  ”Cover the whole thing with m&ms!”

I think he did a great job!!

Did you notice the google color-scheme?  :o)  Yeah.

This was a great, rich, very moist chocolate cake!  (I am not 100% satisfied with the frosting recipe yet, so I’m just sharing the recipe for the cake.)  

If you need a good, classic dark chocolate cake…  try this out!

extra moist dark chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot, strong brewed coffee

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour (or use a baking spray with flour in it, like I prefer!) two 9-inch round baking pans.

In a large mixer bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, butter, & vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Stir in the coffee by hand (the batter will be thin). Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then remove from the pans to a wire rack.

Frost as desired!

http://sweetannas.com/2011/12/a-dark-chocolate-mm-birthday-cake.html

adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Happy birthday Haakon!  We love you, little man!

Glad you liked your very first cake!

In case you’re wondering what I did for Bjørn’s 1st birthday cake…  click here!

slow cooker cinnamon applesauce

It’s dumping snow outside and I needed to put something in the slow cooker to warm up the house and fill it with cozy smells.

This applesauce did the trick…  filling my house with amazing smells!  And the best part?  It took all of 5 minutes to get this into the crockpot and my toddler is going to love it!!

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe

Ingredients:
6 medium apples, peeled, cored & sliced
juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Directions:
Dump eveything into the slow cooker, toss to combine and cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 5-6 hours.  Turn off the slow cooker and mash the apples with a potato masher to your desired consistency.  Serve warm  or cold!

baby breakfast…

One of Bjørn’s favorite foods, and also the easiest for us to fill him up with (he will eat a whole bowl of this stuff!) is a yogurt/fruit/oatmeal mix that I have been making for him since he started eating solids…

It’s a simple meal that packs a bunch of healthiness, and tastes great too!  (Yep, I eat it too sometimes!  Usually without the oatmeal for me, but not always!)  Store bought baby yogurt is usually chock full of sugar, just like most regular store-bought yogurts, and I like to know exactly what I’m putting in my baby’s tummy…
This is really more of a method than a recipe, and you can use any fruit you want!  We use bananas a lot (just mash up one banana with a fork!) and another favorite is homemade low-sugar applesauce.  Add a little cinnamon or nutmeg and you’ve got a great treat!!
Baby Breakfast Recipe
Ingredients:
½ cup mashed fruit
¼ cup baby oatmeal
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
Directions:
Mix together well.  Serve!  :o)

mama & baby-friendly smoothie

I am always looking for healthy toddler-friendly foods to serve my son.  And since I don’t like to make more work for myself than necessary (who does?), it’s always a plus if I can enjoy the same foods myself as well!

Now, I have spinach in this smoothie for many reasons.  One reason is that Bjørn and I are both anemic and need all the iron we can get.  But also, why not sneak more veggies in our foods (for him and for me!) as often as we can?!  I promise you won’t be able to tell that it’s in there, and you will be so much healthier for it!

I also use that V8 fruit 100% juice stuff, because again…  I like the added veggies.  But feel free to use whatever juice you have on hand!!

Oh, and if you are using something other than plain yogurt, you can leave out the additional sugar in the recipe.  You won’t need it!

Mama & Baby-Friendly Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup 100% juice
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup baby or regular oatmeal (I use baby because of the added iron!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar, any kind
2 small bananas (or 1 1/2 large), broken into big chunks
1 cup frozen berries
1 cup frozen chopped spinach

Directions:
Place ingredients in order into a blender.  Blend on high until smooth and well combined.  Serve!

This smoothie can be easily made ahead and frozen…  Defrost in the fridge overnight!