“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.**

Brown Butter Chocolate and Vanilla Krispie Treats

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Although a super simple, age old recipe Rice Krispie Treats remain one of the easiest and yummiest desserts out there. It’s also one of my favorites!! Like most everyone, I use to default to making the traditional Rice Krispie Treat recipe that was always on the side of the box and while they were good I knew they could be better. I find the original cereal box recipe to be a little too dry and by the next day the treats were usually pretty hard.

A few years ago I came across a recipe for Brown Butter Krispie Treats and I jotted it down on a napkin and tossed it in my recipe binder. It’s since become my one and only “go to” Krispie Treat recipe and everyone always loves them. The brown butter and fresh vanilla bean is what really sets these treats apart and makes them sing!

I’ve tinkered around with the recipe over the years and this version is one that I thought would make for an interesting twist as well as a nice presentation. I used equal parts Rice Krispies and Cocoa Rice Krispies but feel free to play around with the ratios to find the balance that pleases your palate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 18 oz of large marshmallows
  • 4.5 cups Cocoa Rice Krisipies cereal
  • 4.5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. As the butter cooks it will begin to foam and then it will bubble and crack. Cook until it’s fragrant and brown, about 5-8 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and stir in the vanilla bean.

Add the marshmallows and continue to stir over low heat until completely melted.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the Rice Krispies, in three batches, to make it easier to stir and mix.

Lightly spray a 9X13 dish with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the pan. Using a piece of wax paper, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, press down the mixture into the pan.

Allow the treats to cool 1.5 – 2 hrs before cutting and serving. Do NOT place in the fridge, they will become hard and dried out. Store at room temp in a covered dish and they will keep nicely for 3-5 days.

**TIP** – Do not throw out your vanilla bean pod. Scoop 1-2 cups of granulated sugar into an air tight container, bury the vanilla pod, and in a few weeks you’ll have “vanilla sugar” which is excellent in place of plain sugar in all of your baking recipes. Every time you have a used vanilla pod, throw it into the sugar container. The more pods, the stronger the vanilla flavor that will be imparted into the sugar.