Emoji Ice Cubes

Emoji Ice Cubes

Who doesn’t love an Emoji?! And better yet, when they are used to add wholesome ingredients to your little one’s diet.  The cub loves juice (preferably the extra sugary kind), so we thought it would be fun to make juice ice cubes that she could add to her water that didn’t have all the added preservatives and sugar!

Engaging a child’s senses is the key to discovery. Drawing a child’s attention to the five senses and discussing them increases their understanding of, and communication about, the world around them. These ice cubes engage four of the five senses. They smell like fresh fruit, they look fun with funny faces and turn her clear water different colors, they feel cold (brrr!), and taste delicious.

We made two kinds of ice cubes. Apple cucumber and beet strawberry.

Ice cube

The cub started by washing the apple and the beet.

ice cube 1

Next up, we started chopping and prepping all the ingredients for the blender. She soon discovered how fun an apple corer can be and pushed extra hard to finish the job.

Ice cube 2

Surprise! Look what’s left!

Ice cubes 3

With her Curious Chef (kid safe) knife, the cub cut up the cucumber. We’ve been practicing and it shows! She’s really getting the hang of it.

ice cube 4

We added the cucumber and the apple to the blender to mix. Puree until smooth.

Ice Cube 5

We decided to fill half the Koji Cool Moji ice cube mold with the cucumber and apple mixture and the other half with the beet and strawberry mixture.

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The cub couldn’t wait to drink the leftover cucumber apple puree. She left Grandma DiDi to cut the strawberries.

ice cube 7

Back to work! After gulping down her juice, the cub is ready to do her part by cutting the strawberries. Grandma DiDi peeled and chopped the beet and added it to the blender. Emery added the strawberries and they were ready to mix.

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Into the ice cube mold it goes!

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Leftover beet and strawberry mixture didn’t stand a chance with this girl! Gulp, gulp, gone! We popped the ice cube mold into the freezer and let them set for 2 hours.

ice cube 11

Once frozen, the cub picked her favorite faces to add to her water. Healthy and fun water – it’s a win/win!

 

Emoji Ice Cubes

 

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Strawberry
  • Water

Directions

  1. Wash all fruit and vegetables well
  2. Apple and cucumber blend:
    1. Cube equal portions of apple and cucumber and place into the blender
    2. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    3. Add water, if necessary
    4. Note: Cute ice cube shapes and designs will enhance the taste!
  3. Strawberry and beet blend:
    1. Peel and chop beet and add to blender
    2. Slice the strawberries into quarters and add to the blender
    3. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    4. Add water, if necessary
  4. Freeze for two hours and enjoy!

NOTES:

Use the proportion of each fruit or vegetable that you feel will entice your child to consume it. For example, we used about 1/3 of the medium-sized beet (raw) with about 1 1/2 cups of strawberries. Beet is a strong flavor and we wanted the strawberry taste to be up front. Possibilities are endless when thinking up new combinations.

Other optional additions: Honey, agave, spices or herbs of your choice

 

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Granola, also known as crunchies in our household, is a cub favorite. We top it on yogurt (plain Greek), a smoothie bowl, fruit or as cereal with milk.

We feel like granola has a bad rap. Many granolas in the grocery store are full of fat and calories because they are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Making your own gives you the control to remove all the added sugar and stick to the good stuff – protein and fiber.

Grandma DiDi has been making her own granola for ages, oftentimes gifting it to friends and family. This recipe is not only great for kids, it’s also great for parents, and even better packed in a jar and given to a friend.

Granola 1

We started by having Emery help measure out the dry ingredients and pouring them onto a baking sheet. This was extra exciting because we usually pour ingredients into a bowl. While she did that, we mixed together the oil, honey and vanilla and placed on the stove over low heat.

Granola 2

After we poured the oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ and dry milk on the backing sheet, we had to pause for a “Hooray” on our Learning Tower. This tower has completely changed the way we interact with the cub in the kitchen. It allows her to feel involved and in return, she’s grown confidence and a palate in our kitchen. We HIGHLY recommend you get one!

Granola 3

Back to cooking… hand your little cub a spoon and have them gently stir the ingredients. While they are stirring, gather the spices to add to the mix. The Kitchen Cub takes this step very seriously.

Granola 4Children learn about the world through their senses, so don’t forget to stop and smell the spices.

Granola 5After all the dry ingredients are stirred together, stir the wet ingredients from the stove over the dry ingredients. Talk your cub through this step and remind them that what’s on the stove is hot and shouldn’t be touched. They can watch, but can’t touch. Ouch, HOT! Grandma DiDi mixes it all together and pops it in the oven to toast! Yum!

Granola 7

Golden and delicious. After it has cooked for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total.

Granola 10It’s still hot, but Grandma DiDi added the dried fruit and mixed it together. Remember to tell your cub they can’t touch. They will burn their paws on the baking sheet!

Granola 11We poured it over some plain Greek yogurt and added blueberries. Bon Appetite! Speaking of Bon Appetit, this recipe was adapted from their granola recipe.

 

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Ingredients

¼  cup canola oil/or coconut oil
¼  cup maple syrup(pure)*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats(not instant)
1/3  cup Pepitas*
1/3  cup  walnuts chopped*
½ cup raw almonds* – sliced or slivered
¼ cup wheat germ/or flax meal
¼  cup nonfat dry milk
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of cloves
1 cup dried fruit *

Optional add ins: sweetened or unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 325 F.  
  2. In a small saucepan combine oil, syrup, honey and vanilla.  Stir over low heat until combined, about 1 – 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ, dry milk, and spices directly on a large baking sheet.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry mix and mix until uniform.   Spread evenly in pan.
  4. Bake for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. Repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total. WATCH it closely, it can burn easily.
  5. Remove from oven and mix in fruit and any of the other optional ingredients you’d like to add. Let cool.

*Nuts – substitute any you like  

*Fruit – I prefer orange flavored cranberries but anything works

* Sweetening agents can be changed or eliminated – experiment what works for you.   Original recipe had both honey and maple. 

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Hello there – if you are reading this, thanks for checking out our new blog – The Kitchen Cub. Our hopes are to share kid-friendly recipes, cooked with love by our little cub. We have found that getting her into the kitchen has helped expand her palate and makes prepping meals a little easier. We’ve all had the stage-5 clinger right when you begin to prep dinner. Giving your little cub a task like smashing, washing or stirring will keep them busy while you prepare the rest of the meal.

These Quinoa cookies have been a family favorite for years. We keep them in the freezer at all times (They stay fresh longer in the freezer). They are the perfect way to give your kids a wholesome meal or snack packed with protein. Let’s dive in to the recipe.

 

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For starters, we had her smash the bananas with a potato masher on a plastic plate. The flat surface made it easer for her rather than putting it in a bowl. She really enjoyed this task! While she smashed, we prepped the rest of the ingredients.

Quinoa 6

After mixing all the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another, we had her help up stir the two together. We took turns and she appreciated watching how we did it and then tried to master her stir when it was her turn.

Quinoa 5

Meet the Cub’s Grandmother, DiDi. She’s been cooking in the kitchen since she was a little girl. From generation to generation, our family has always had a love of cooking. Grandma DiDi is a fantastic cook and we know with her love and guidance, the Cub will be too!

Quinoa 4

After all the wet and dry ingredients were blended, she added dried blueberries. Most went in the bowl, but some went in her mouth! All good chefs must taste their creations. If you don’t like blueberries, you can try any dried fruit!

Quinoa 3

Next came the slivered almonds. Measuring out the amount in her easy-to-hold measuring cups and pouring them in was lots of fun. Stir them all together and it’s time to bake the cookies.

Quinoa 2

Any large handle spoon will help your cub scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet. This step will not be pretty, but guide them and take turns when needed. We talk about how the cookies are going to bake in the hot oven and come out as perfect delicious cookies! It always brings so much excitement to her face.

Quinoa 1 Last but not least, eat one! These yummy breakfast cookies are the perfect on-the-go meal or snack, packed with protein and are free of refined sugar. Enjoy!

 

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup quinoa flour
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 very ripe bananas (freeze old ones and thaw before use)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped fresh dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried blueberries or or any dried fruit
½ cup slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook one cup quinoa and let cool – see quinoa box for directions.
  3. While quinoa cools, whisk wheat and quinoa flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut oil, maple syrup and bananas until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts, stir until pale.
  5. Mix flour mixture into wet ingredients, half at a time.
  6. Once all the flour is blended, stir in quinoa, oats, blueberries, dates and almonds.
  7. Spoon 2 tbsp portions of the dough onto a non-stick cookie sheet.
  8. Bake cookies 15– 20 minutes.
  9. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.
  10. Keep cookies fresh in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.