Why you should make green smoothies?

IMG_0440Not just for yourself, but also for your loved ones.  Especially your toddlers.  Probably the biggest and best reason for this is because they are delicious.  A close second is they are super healthy.  And coming in right behind that, it’s an easy way to teach kids they like spinach!

My recipe is super easy.  And super duper delicious.  And SweetPea asks for it, on a regular basis.  And if I try to make some just for me, she won’t stand for it.  And who am I to say no when my kid asks for some of my vegetable yumminess?

If you haven’t already jumped on the green smoothie band wagon, now’s the time!

Green Smoothie Recipe

1 cup orange juice
2 bananas
2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Put the orange juice and spinach in a blender, blend until smooth.  Add bananas.  Blend.  Add chia seeds.  Blend.  Serve and enjoy.

The most important thing when making a green smoothie is blend the liquid (juice, water, milk, whatever you choose) and the greens BEFORE adding anything else.  Or you end up with confetti in your mouth.  Now this may sound like a party, but it’s not.  It’s actually awful.  However if you blend the greens before adding in banana or fruit or ice it will turn out smooth, amazing, and oh-so-good.

The second most important thing is to make enough to share.  Or you won’t get enough.  You will, however, have a kid with a pretty awesome green smoothie mustache.  Which is pretty awesome.

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Who doesn’t love exploding art?

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Not me.  I love exploding art.  I didn’t know I loved it until a couple days ago.

But then I tried it and realized that hey, if it explodes it’s probably fun.  Also, SweetPea liked it.  So that means we’ll get to do more exploding art.  Which is kind of awesome.

I might be a wee bit addicted to pinterest…but in my defense I actually use a lot of the recipes and kid activities I pin.  So I justify my time on pinterest.  It enhances my life.  And my kids’ lives.  And it’s amazing.  Hold up, I need to pin something…

Anyway, I found this activity for erupting apple sidewalk chalk paint and thought it was amazing.  So naturally I had to try it out.  Fortunately it was very easy to set up.  And it was super fun.  For both kid and Mom.

I would highly recommend you try it.  I might even go so far as to suggest that those of you with kids should definitely try it, everyone else should do it just for themselves.  Because it’s paint.  And it explodes.  And that’s kind of awesome.

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New Haircut

Somebody got her locks chopped.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

I can’t decide if I love it or if I hate it.  She’s officially a big girl.  And I love it!  Except a small part of me (ok, maybe not too small of a part) hates it.

I will definitely miss her baby mullet blowing behind her as she runs.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

Strawberries ‘n Cream Oatmeal Smoothie

toddler friendly smoothie

Strawberries ‘n Cream Oatmeal Smoothie (and yes, that’s a green smoothie in the background…gotta have it!)

What!?!

Ok.  If I’m being completely honest, this recipe was mostly just a series of mistakes.  Mistakes that turned into a gloriously tasty smoothie (if you don’t believe me, ask SweetPea).

It started with homemade yogurt.  That didn’t turn out.  Way to soupy.  But I wasn’t going to throw it away…that would have been a waste of perfectly good milk.  Besides, when I make refrigerator oatmeal I add both yogurt and milk…so soupy yogurt is the perfect combination, right?

Well, it was the first few times I made it.  Then I finished that jar of homemade yogurt and started on another jar…which was even soupier.  How does that happen?  It was from the same batch.

Whatever.  I still made my refrigerator oatmeal like I have been.  However, when I pulled it out the next morning it was still soup.  Not a nice creamy oatmeal consistency at all.  More like liquid…with oatmeal flakes floating in it.

That’s when I had to get creative.  I threw it in the blender.  Then added a handful of strawberries.  And came up with this.  Which tastes just like strawberries ‘n cream instant oatmeal packs that I ate when I was younger.

It’s super delicious.  And healthy for you.  And my toddler loved it (and the pink smoothie mustache she got from drinking it 🙂 )

Now, I can make this again with my soupy yogurt…but when I run out of that, this will be the recipe I follow (and it uses no soupy yogurt).

Ingredients:

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp honey (add more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
handful of strawberries (I used fresh, but I think frozen will work just as well)

Directions:

The night before:
Put the first four ingredients in a mason jar.  Stir, shake, roll…anything to get everything mixed together.  Put in fridge.  Leave overnight.

The morning of:
Dump all of the mason jar contents into a blender.  Add your strawberries (sans stems).  Blend until smoothie consistency (feel free to more milk if it’s too thick).

Drink and enjoy!  And if you’re feeling particularly giving, share it with a toddler or a husband…but know this makes a small smoothie…so you might need to up the ingredients if everyone wants some!

Halloween Highlights

batmobile

Batman!

We just celebrated Halloween.  And unfortunately my husband had to be out of town for work.  So the next day, when he got home he asked SweetPea, “Did you have fun trick or treating?”  She responded with a blank look.  Then he asked, “Did you have fun taking the batmobile to the mall?”  Well that elicited a very enthusiastic and excited response.  She wasn’t even aware that trick or treating or candy had been involved during her mall-o-ween experience.  All she knew was that she finally got to take her batmobile out for spin that didn’t involve going around and around our coffee table.

And let me tell you, the batmobile was a hit.  I’m not kidding when I say that every boy in the mall gave SweetPea’s batmobile a second look.  In fact, one little boy (he looked to be about 3 years old) was helping hand out candy.  He saw the batmobile and just started throwing candy into it.  Eventually he just took the bowl he was holding and dumped all its contents into the batmobile.  SweetPea didn’t notice the candy coming in.  She did, however, notice this boy all up in her grill and making it hard for to speed race off (she was not impressed).  I, however, just kept thinking “candy jackpot!”  Good thing ole Grandpa was around to return some of the sugar laden load.

Earlier in the day Nona was over and she and SweetPea made a Halloween dessert…because yes, we needed more sugar 🙂 .They made a spooky and edible graveyard.  Which was awesome because SweetPea was able to do some of the steps all by herself.

dessert graveyard

arranging tombstones

gummy worms

SweetPea did the worms and candy corn all by herself!

Trivia courtesy Grandpa: What was the original name for candy corn?

Chicken Feed…the more you know!

bear jack o lantern

jack o lantern

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Breakfast of Champions

Also known as any breakfast that includes a green smoothie.

Liquid Fuel - EmergenC, Green Smoothie, Hot Chocolate... and oatmeal!

Liquid Fuel – EmergenC, Green Smoothie, Hot Chocolate… and oatmeal!

Gotta love a breakfast chock full vitamins.

This is my favorite green smoothie recipe.  It tastes just like an orange julius.  It’s so good.  And it’s so healthy.

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup fresh spinach
1 banana
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate

Directions:

Put water and fresh spinach in blender.  Blend until smooth (this is the most important step.  You have to blend the spinach with only liquid otherwise you end up with a drink full of confetti…and that is NOT a good thing).

Add banana.  Blend.

Add orange juice concentrate.  Blend.

Be prepared for a taste bud extravaganza.

Feel free to experiment with amounts and with ingredients.  I really like adding fresh ginger to my smoothies…yum!

And I’m not the only one who enjoys a healthy breakfast.

Green Smoothie, water, milk, and oatmeal!

Green Smoothie, water, milk, and oatmeal!

SweetPea likes her “green juice” just as much as I do!

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

Toddler Approved Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Mustache!

Green Smoothie Mustache!

Have you ever seen a more fresh looking drink than this?

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Toddler Approved Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Toddler Approved Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

SweetPea is always hungry.  Seriously.  That kid never stops eating.  So it’s nice to have a couple healthy (or at least somewhat healthy) finger foods on hand.  Enter muffins.  I especially like this recipe with applesauce and oats but no oil and not too much sugar…not to mention, SweetPea loves ’em.  And I thought they were pretty tasty too.

I’m thinking of adding some chopped or grated apple to the batter next time.  Yum!

Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
sugar and cinnamon

Directions:

Let oats soak in milk for one hour.

Combine oat mixture with brown sugar, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into greased muffin pan.  Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and sugar on top of each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Toddler Approved Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Toddler Approved Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins