Green Superhero Smoothie Bowl

Green Superhero Smoothie Bowl

Wow, it has been awhile. Not many excuses except life has become very busy with two kiddos. Our little cub is almost ready to jump into the action, but until then we are mastering ways to keep her occupied so we can make yummy dishes in the kitchen together. Like this healthy green smoothie bowl!

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The Cub loves to help in the kitchen. No task is too much for this girl. Here she helps Grandma DiDi strip the kale from the stem and places it in the blender.

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Next up, spinach! More greens! We always talk about what green vegetables do for our bodies. She’s grown to enjoy them because she knows they will make her grow. This smoothie is packed with nutrient-dense foods. In addition to the greens, there is avocado, banana and flaxseed meal – power-packed!

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Big scoop of frozen berries! The darker the berries the darker the smoothie.

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Then she slowly adds the almond milk. Any milk will do!

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She’s not a big fan of the blender, but it is ok to watch while Grandma Didi turns it on.

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All chefs must try their dishes to make sure they taste just right.

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Pour into a bowl and add whatever you fancy to the top! Make one of your own and share it with us!

 

Green Superhero Smoothie Bowl

Recipe from the Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

SMOOTHIE
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 2 medium ripe bananas (previously frozen)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries 
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • 1 small handful kale (stems removed)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (we used almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 Tbsp salted creamy almond or peanut butter (optional)

TOPPINGS (optional)

  • Seeds or nuts
  • Our crunchy Granola
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Fresh berries
  • Honey for extra sweetness!

Instructions

  1. Add all smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Add more almond milk (or water) to thin.
  2. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more ripe banana (or maple syrup) for sweetness or more almond milk or avocado for creaminess.
  3. Pour smoothie into bowl and add desired toppings!
  4. Enjoy!

 

Nut Butter Granola Bars

Nut Butter Granola Bars

After school snacks are pretty essential in our house. And because we can’t take nuts to school, it’s nice to enjoy them when we can. The cub helped Grandma DiDi make some nutty and sweet granola bars.

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In full princess attire, the Cub helped measure out the pecans. We used pecans, pistachios, walnuts and almonds.

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All the ingredients went into the blender.

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Next goes the oats.

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We blended all the nuts until they were finely ground. Careful not to blend too long as it will turn into nut butter.

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Our mixed nuts went into a large bowl where the Cub helped mix them up.

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Next, she whisked the egg while Grandma DiDi heated the honey mixture.

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In goes the warm honey mixture and the egg.

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The Cub helped Grandma DiDi quickly mix all the ingredients together. Looks yummy.

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We spread the gooey mixture into a parchment paper-lined pyrex dish and put them in the oven.

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Cub approved. Our granola bars have been quite a hit for an after school treat!

 

Nut Butter Granola Bars

(recipe from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

2 cups raw nuts (almonds, walnuts. pistachios, hazelnuts) * We used store bought roasted  nuts and skipped the roasting part of the directions.
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
2 cups old fashioned oats, divided
1 1/4 cup dried berries  (tart cherries, raisins, currants, dates, apricots, blueberries)We used wild dried blueberries from Trader Joe’s
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP. honey
1 TBSP kosher salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread nuts and pumpkin seeds in a 13×9″ baking pan and roast until darkened in color and toasty smelling, 10–12 minutes. Transfer nuts and seeds to a food processor and let sit until cool enough to handle.

  2. Reduce oven temperature to 300°. Lightly oil 13×9″ pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both long sides. Lightly oil parchment.

  3. Add 1 cup oats to nut mixture in food processor and pulse until nuts are broken down to a sandy mixture and no whole oats remain. Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Pulse any dried fruit larger than a raisin in a food processor (no need to wipe out) until finely chopped, about the size of chocolate chips. Transfer to bowl with nut mixture. Add remaining 1 cup oats and stir to combine, breaking up any fruit that is stuck together. Add 3 Tbsp. oil and stir to coat. Add peanut butter, but don’t stir it in.

  5. Bring honey, salt, and vanilla to a boil in a medium saucepan (honey will bubble up) over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until honey is foaming vigorously and smells like caramel, about 3 minutes.

  6. Immediately pour honey syrup over peanut butter in reserved bowl (it will melt the peanut butter). Stir to combine, making sure to aggressively break up any clumps of nut butter.

  7. Stir egg white with a fork or whisk in a small bowl to liquefy. Add to oat mixture and stir until egg white is no longer visible.

  8. Transfer oat mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. (Be sure to really compact the mixture into the pan—it helps to use the bottom of a heavy glass or metal measuring cup.)

  9. Bake granola bars until deep golden brown and no longer sticky or wet, 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then lightly score into 16 long rectangles (1 cut lengthwise and 8 cuts crosswise will make bars that are about 6½x1″). Let cool completely in pan, then use parchment to hoist bars out onto a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut along marks to separate bars.

Banana Pops

Banana Pops

It’s getting to be that time again… popsicle season!   We decided to make it simple and use one of the cubs favorite ingredients – Bananas!

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First, we prepared all the toppings.  The Cub peeled the bananas and cut them in half.   This step uses her fine motor skills.

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Grandma DiDi demonstrated inserting the popsicle sticks after the Cub was finished cutting the bananas.

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The Cub gave it a go although it was hard to not push the stick all the way through the banana. Patience and practice make perfect.

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Next up the cub needed to choose her toppings, but first, of course, she needed to taste them all!!

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Grandma DiDi rolled some of the bananas in peanut butter and others in greek yogurt; making sure to cover them well.

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After laying the bananas on a flat parchment lined surface, the Cub got busy decorating them with our toppings – coconut, granola and hemp seeds.

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After sitting in the freezer for an hour they are ready to eat! We let her decorate one with fancy sprinkles. Guess which one she ate first?!

Banana Pops

Ingredients

  • Bananas, cut in half
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Nut butter of your choice
  • Yogurt
  • Shredded coconut
  • Granola
  • Sprinkles
  • Hemp seeds
  • Or any topping of your choice (chocolate would be great, too)

Directions

  1. Peel and cut bananas in half
  2. Push popsicle sticks into banana (at least an inch and a half)
  3. Roll and completely cover banana in either yogurt or nut butter
  4. Lay flat on parchment paper
  5. Sprinkle or roll on topping of choice
  6. Freeze for at least 1 hour
  7. Enjoy!

*You can store in the freezer in a air-tight container.

Apple Granola Bars

Apple Granola Bars

Kids are always looking for a sweet treat, so what better way to fill that craving then with one of these yummy apple bars. Low in sugar and high in nutrients! The cub thinks they are pretty great!

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But first, a cracker! Grandma DiDi recently took a trip to Boston to walk the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk that raises money for the Dana Farber center and their fight against cancer. While enjoying the city, she stopped in to the famous Eataly and couldn’t resist this cute apron for the cub. Thanks, Grandma DiDi.

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The cub helped by chopping up the apples for the apple sauce.

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Grandma DiDi showed the cub all the spices that needed to be added to the apple mixture. In went the apples, too.

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As always, we must stop and smell the ingredients. It’s part of what makes a great cook!

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Stir it up! Then, Grandma DiDi moved it to the stove to heat until the apples become mushy and soft.

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While the apple mixture heats on the stove, the cub works on the crust. To be honest, we didn’t add enough sugar to the first recipe and it was lacking in flavor, so we upped it and now it’s delicious. Nothing wrong with a little trial and error until your recipes are just right!

The cub added all the dry ingredients, plus jarred  apple sauce to form the crust. Once it forms, we transferred it to the baking dish.

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We used parchment paper under the crust to make clean up and serving easier. Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to press the crust into the bottom of the pan in a nice even layer.

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Over on the stove, Grandma DiDi mashed up the apple mixture and poured it over the crust. Spread it thin and it’s time to add the granola.

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We used Purely Elizabeth Granola, maple flavor, but you can use any granola you wish.

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After it baked for 20-25 mins, we allowed it to cool, then pulled it out of the pan with ease thanks to the parchment paper.

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Slice into squares and Voila! Easy and healthy and perfect for a grab and go breakfast or snack.

 

Apple Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 Gala apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of cardamom
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • 1/2 cup jarred unsweetened apple sauce.
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1/2 gluten-free flour + 2 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 c. Purely Elizabeth Granola (We used maple walnut flavor)

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees and line the 8 X 8 pan with parchment paper so the bars can be easily lifted out of pan to make it a breeze to cut.
  2. Make the applesauce by washing, peeling and cutting up the apples and placing them into a saucepan.  Add the cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. cardamom and cook over low heat until soft and mash with a potato masher.  Add the lemon juice and let cool.
  3. Make the crumb crust. Mix Almond, gluten-free flour, salt, 1/2 tsp. cardamom and sugar into a bowl and mix well with 1/2 cup of jarred applesauce.
  4.  Once mixture becomes more like a dough, press into bottom of 8 X 8 pan.
  5. Pour apple mixture from pan over the crust.
  6. Sprinkle the granola over the top and cook for approximately 20 – 25 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares. Enjoy

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.