“Peachy Pie” Smoothie Monster Pops

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With summer in full swing you will no doubt have sweaty, hot kids begging you for a cool treat. Instead of the same old store-bought, sugar laden ice pops why not give them a healthier but equally as yummy treat. Whip them up a batch of Smoothie “Monster” Pops and you’ll feel good about giving them a treat that is healthier for them.

If your kids don’t like peaches, no problem! Just change up the fruit and make a flavor combination that they will love. Try pineapple with a little shredded coconut and a splash of coconut extract for a yummy virgin Piña Colada! Lemon Strawberry and Banana Berry are other really nice combinations to try. Creating your own smoothie flavor is easy, just keep the base ingredients of yogurt and milk the same and then throw in whatever fruit and spices you desire. Enjoy and stay cool!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peaches, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavored lowfat yogurt

Instructions

Pour the milk into the blender along with the yogurt, vanilla extract and spices. Add the frozen peaches last. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared ice pop molds and freeze until hardened.

**Tip – I use a little bit of Truvia® (stevia) to sweeten my smoothies. You can use granulated sugar, agave, honey or not use anything at all.**

Edible Pudding “Slime/Dough/Oobleck”

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My kids are obsessed with slime and dough so when I came across this “Edible Pudding Slime” recipe from The Soccer Mom Blog I though we’d give it a try. It is very easy to make as it’s just cornstarch, instant pudding mix and warm water. Three simple ingredients.

The kids really enjoyed making it and I have to say, using pudding mix made the slime/dough/oobleck smell delish! My daughter decided that if vanilla would work she would try chocolate as well and although it wasn’t as visually appealing as the vanilla dough it certainly had a nice rich scent.

As with any recipe made with cornstarch it’s very easy to use too much which results in a drier, tougher dough. My son made the vanilla dough and at first it was very sticky so we added a bit more cornstarch. I thought we had the right consistency but fairly quickly his dough went from pliable to crumbly. So we added a little more water to his batch and then it took on the consistency of an “oobleck“, it would run through your fingers like a liquid but it would hold together like a dough. With my daughter’s chocolate version we got it “just right” and even the next day it still had a nice, soft, pliable texture.

The key to getting this recipe to work as a dough is in using the right ratio of cornstarch to water. I started by following the recipe exactly as written and then I added a little more of each as needed until it came together the way we wanted. Don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe until you obtain the consistency (and scent!!) that you are looking for. Make it into a slime, a dough or some oobleck. The choice is yours! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup instant pudding mix (any flavor)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup warm water, more as needed

Instructions

In a bowl, add the pudding mix and half of the cornstarch. Stir in the water until slime begins to form.

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Slowly add in the remaining cornstarch and any additional water, as needed. Begin to knead together until the dough comes together.

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Turn the dough out of the bowl and have fun! When finished playing, store the dough in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container.

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**Please Note – While this recipe is considered “edible” I would not recommend kids actually eat any of it. It is not harmful but it won’t taste good due to all of the cornstarch. Plus, it’s unsanitary to eat a dough that you’ve been playing with.**

 

 

Chef Emerson’s S’mores Truffles

Emme Truffles

My daughter and little chef-in-training, Emerson, loves to cook and bake and the other day she asked to whip up a fun dessert. She decided to make these scrumptious and super easy S’mores Truffles. Aside from a little assistance with the measuring she made these completely by herself. They are a great dessert to make with your kids as they require minimal ingredients, most of which you should have in the house. Also, depending on their age, it’s something they can make themselves with little to no help which is fantastic for building up confidence in the kitchen.

If you don’t like s’mores or don’t have any marshmallows and graham crackers on hand, feel free to change these truffles up. Use the base truffle mix, roll them into balls and then coat them in crushed cereal, cookies, sprinkles, toasted coconut or even dusted with a little cocoa powder. They are also just as delicious plain as they are coated or in this s’mores version. Let your little one experiment and see what yummy concoction they are able to think up. This recipe makes about 20-25 truffles depending on how large they are rolled. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half-n-half
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 20-25 miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers

Instructions

Combine the cream, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on high in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Pour the cream mixture into the melted chocolate and stir gently until well combined. Pour into a parchment lined 8X8 pan and refrigerate for about an hour.

Scoop out about a tablespoon of chocolate, wrap it around one marshmallow and roll into a ball. Roll the truffle ball in the crushed graham crackers and then place on a dish. Repeat until all of the chocolate has been used.

Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge, they will keep for a few days.

**Tip – A melon baller or small cookie scoop works great for scooping the chocolate.**

chef emmen

My little chef hard at work!

(Pampered Chef Glass Mixing Bowls – 3 Piece Set$35)

Pumpkin Spice Dough

Pumpkin Dough 3.jpgAs the summer begins to wind down my kids are starting to tire of the heat, sun, and outdoors and that’s when the boredom sets in. To counteract the constant whining from them that the having nothing to do I decided to whip them up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Dough to play with. It’s made with common kitchen ingredients and smells delish! They love it because it’s a change from their usual Play-Doh and because it’s a little softer, it’s easier for them to work with.

I came across this recipes a few years ago on the The Idea Room blog site, you can find the original Pumpkin Spice dough recipe here . It is super easy to make and the nice thing is you can change up the overall scent and color with a few adjustments. Another great fall smell to try is apple pie spice and for Christmas, make a batch of peppermint dough! The possibilities are endless. Because it’s such a simple recipe to pull together it is a great activity to do with your kids, they will love watching the dough change from a liquid to a nice, soft, pliable dough.

All you need to make this dough is as follows:

  • 2 cups of water
  • Orange food coloring (or combine yellow and red)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

Place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium heat and cook until the liquid mixture turns into a soft dough, this will take just a few minutes.

Pumpkin Dough 1

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Once the dough is finished, place it on the counter and knead it a few times. Be careful, the dough will be very hot. If your kids want to play with it right away, flatten it out on a flexible cutting board or pan and place it in the fridge for about 3 minutes then flip it and cool for another 3 minutes. Give it a quick knead when you remove it from the fridge and you’re good to go! Store the dough in an airtight container for later use. Have fun!