Thursday, February 21, 2013

I is for Ice Pop

He knows a good thing when he tastes it.

I know it's winter, but ice pops are Becker's absolute favorite thing.  If you can make a healthy snack taste like a treat then go for it right?  Well last spring and summer when Becker was getting the bulk of his teeth he was in need of something to gnaw on that was cold and could reach to the back of his mouth.  I didn't think his love of chomping ice cubes was all that safe.  I ordered these ice pop molds on Amazon.  These pop molds have easy to peel off covers, comfortable handles for little hands, are a good size, and have a drip guard.  They rock.  The ONLY downside to these pop molds is that there are only 4.  You will see that 4 just doesn't cut when you make something so good.  When I was little my mom would freeze apple juice in little Tupperware pop molds.  We would suck out the juice and be left with an ice cube on a stick.  I remember wanting more of a creamy texture, or some way to make them easier to bite.  Browsing recipes on Pinterest led me to a recipe that used yogurt.  Genius!  Basically you make a fruit smoothie and freeze it.  No sugar, no colors, none of the bad stuff that is in commercial popsicles.  I've mixed different fruits and tried coconut yogurt over the year.  I even took the left over fruit salad from Becker's birthday party and blended it up with some yogurt to make some pops and a smoothie.  We don't waste food around here!  I don't really measure anything, but I always have enough for the pops and some extra for eating right away.  Our favorite combination is as follows:

  1. Around 1/4 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt (Organic is best, I have a hard time finding organic full fat Greek yogurt)
  2. Frozen mango chunks
  3. 1 banana
  4. 1 dash of OJ
  5. 1 Tsp of Real Vanilla Extract

Our Vita-Mix is a real workhorse and purees things so well there are no chunks or granuals whatsoever.  I toss everything into the machine with the mangos on the bottom and let her whirl.  I add a bit of OJ to thin it out as needed.  The Vita-Mix is VERY loud, so Becker does not like to be in the kitchen while it is on.  Look at that beauty!

Pour the delicious smoothie mixture into ice pop molds and tap them lightly to release any air bubbles. Then pop them in the freezer and wait a few hours for them to harden.  Try not to eat them all in one day.

The banana and yogurt give these pops the smoothest texture and they are pretty sweet as well.  Blueberries, pineapple, strawberries and grapes all work well too.  I haven't added kale for a green ice pop yet, but I am feeling daring so that might be next.  I always have a little left over smoothie and
Becker devours it with a straw.

When we have pops, I let Becker have one a day, usually after his afternoon nap.  Lately, he wakes up in the morning and starts asking for an ice pop right away.  When I tell him he can have it later, after his nap, he says "Becker nap now." and heads upstairs.  He thinks he's got it all figured out!  That's how good they are.  Good enough for a toddler who just woke up to want to go back to sleep in order to have one.  I am probably going to pick up a second set of pop molds becuase 4 pops go way too fast in this household.  A set of 6 would have been nice, but I'll have 8 soon enough.

Make these.  They are delicious even if you are not teething.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Trim

I had the full intention of never cutting Becker's hair.  Ok, not never, but not anytime soon.  I loved his curls and the whispy, pureness of his baby hair.  It seemed to take so long for him to really grow a substantial amount of hair.  I wanted to see how long it would grow.  Yes, he was often referred to as a girl at the grocery store or park.  Even in very mascuiline clothes people would often comment about how cute or verbal "she" was.  I'm sure his amber necklace confirmed their word choice.  Depending on my mood I would correct them.  I was proud of his curls and called it "surfer chic."  Then, the week after he turned 2, Becker became a little boy with a very clear wish.  He wanted a hair cut.  From the back seat I heard him scolding his hair, "don't get in Becker's eyes HAIR!" he yelled in frustration, tearing out strands hear and there and handing them to me.  I couldn't see him as he faces backwards, but I could hear him slapping at his face and hair.  I told him how to brush his bangs to the side, but this was not a permanent solution and just would not do.  I asked him if he wanted me to get it cut and was greeted with an enthusiastic YES.  I explained that I couldn't cut it that day, but I would call someone who could.  I asked my hair stylist if she had done children and if she would be willing to give Becker his first trim.  The appointment was set for a couple of days later, and Becker was looking forward to the trim. 

The whole thing was harder on me than him.  It was like watching him transform into a boy.  Kenna came over after his nap and Becker told her how his hair was in his eyes and he did not like that.  She said after the trim his hair will grow in fuller and less like a mullet.  Ok, I can live with that.  He sat on Mark's lap and watched as skillful hands moved about his head, snipping here and there.  He did not have to sit perfectly still, he did not have to look a certain way, she just worked around his movements fluidly as we chatted and I took too many pictures.  At one point we gave him a piece of his hair to hold and he looked at it proudly.  Mark commented on how he looked older immidiately.  We saved a curl from the back for his baby book and he helped vacuum the hair from the kitchen floor afterward.  He was so happy to be getting his hair cut.  Even though I had hoped to wait longer, I was thrilled to see him enjoy the process since it was his idea.

the finished product