Strawberry Creamsicles

Summer is almost over; Labor Day is right around the corner, and hopefully cooler temperatures are soon to follow. That is not the case right now, though! It is late August in Texas and we are all about ready to sleep in our freezers. Every time I walk in from outside, I literally say a little prayer thanking God for air conditioner; I can’t imagine how miserable we would be without it!

Now, as hot as it is, summer brings lots of fun things like swimming, lake trips, beach trips, and of course delicious summer produce like berries! Selah, my youngest daughter could eat her weight in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, but Zemirah, my oldest, is a bit more picky when it comes to fruit. She doesn’t really like blackberries or raspberries because of the seeds, only likes the perfectly firm yet sweet blueberries (such a pain trying to find those illusive berries in the container), and loves strawberries…dipped in honey. In general Zemirah is less of a picky eater than Selah – not so when it comes to berries! But what is a mom to do in the summer when the store has wonderful sales on berries?! I have to get them! Oftentimes I use berries in smoothies, but when I got a giant bag of frozen strawberries (for a super steal!) I decided to do something a little different with them.

While we do love to eat nice cream or drink chocolate milkshakes for a summer treat, something portable is always a nice option. When Selah started refusing bottles at 10 months old, I started making her breastmilk popsicles to have while I was away at work. Because of that I had these popsicle molds and I thought blending up a creamy strawberry popsicle would be a hit for the girls. Check out these pictures to see just how much they enjoyed them! They were a perfect treat for us all (mom, too) after playing outside in the sprinkler one hot summer morning. These are so easy, full of only real ingredients, creamy, sweet, and I bet your kids will love them as much as mine did!

Strawberry Creamsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries (stems removed), or thawed from frozen
  • 1.25 cups of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour into popsicle mold or small freezer-safe cups
  4. Insert popsicle sticks or small spoons or straws if you’re using a cup
  5. Freeze until solid – at least 3 hours
  6. Run a little warm water over the molds to easily remove popsicles
  7. Store leftover popsicles in freezer for a month.

These little frozen treats are so deliciously strawberry flavored, sweet, and so creamy thanks to the coconut milk, and they are so refreshing to have on a hot day. If your kids are crazy about strawberries, they will love these! If popsicles aren’t your thing, but you’re not trying to sweat with the oven on, check out some of my other no-bake treats like Date Cake, Cookie Dough Bites, or my coconut milk based Cheesecake; all of these desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you cool! It may be hot, but soak up these last few weeks of summer, get some sun…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Meal Plan Month: January Meal Plan 4

January is already coming to a close, which means two things:

  1. My first baby will be turning four in a few days. Four!
  2. It already looks like 2021 will be flying by. Time just doesn’t stop.

This week, I went back to work for the first time in over a month thanks to Ms. Rona hitting our home after the holidays, we also had our sweet baby in a splint after a fall, and we have not one, not two, but three birthday celebrations (to keep numbers down) coming up for Zemirah. So you could say it was…a week. With A Pinch of Crazy, as always! Enjoy some pictures of the birthday girl – four years has flown by!

Per usual, meals were kept simple and quick, and because I was buying stuff for the birthday parties, I really tried to keep costs down. Here is what I started with for the week:

Produce- spinach, mashed sweet potato, frozen broccoli, a few carrots and potatoes, apples, bananas, berries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber

Protein- frozen salmon filets, leftover black beans, nut butter, chia and flax seeds

Carbs- brown rice, oats

I was actually able to make two full dinners and prep two breakfasts with just what we already had! Doing kitchen inventory before planning meals can really save a lot of money! Here is what our meals were for the week:

Breakfasts:

Overnight Oats
  • Sweet potato muffins topped with peanut butter *This was a concoction I made up to use up those mashed sweet potatoes. I wrote it down and will test it out again to hopefully get the recipe posted here!*
  • Overnight oats with chia seeds, cinnamon, and almond butter, topped with bananas
  • Breakfast tacos with egg, cheese, salsa, and avocado

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • Sandwiches
  • For Z’s school lunch I packed: turkey/mayo roll ups (nitrate free), a green apple, seaweed snacks, broccoli, and a cookie. For her snack I packed: a fruit pouch and cheddar bunnies
  • While Z was at school, Selah and I enjoyed a quiet brunch of scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes and a side of avocado toast topped with everything bagel seasoning. It was nice to change it up from our usual microwaved leftovers!

Snacks:

  • Cliff bars for grownups/fruit bars for Z
  • Fruit leathers
  • Pouches
  • Apples/bananas with peanut butter
  • Strawberries with honey (Z’s favorite)
  • Chocolate chip lactation cookies (mostly for me, but these only lasted two days hehe)
  • Boiled eggs

Dinners:

Slow Cooker Pork Roast
  • Monday: Black bean burgers with spinach, avocado, and habanero ranch; fries and cucumber tomato salad on the side
  • Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies (this was my day at work, I got home at 6 and dinner was ready for us) with a side of bread and butter
  • Wednesday: Salmon *I just cooked in the skillet* with broccoli and brown rice on the side
  • Thursday: This was date night! Woo! The girls ate dinner at my parents’ house, and David and I got sushi 🙂
  • Friday: Pork tacos with leftover roast and sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms; guacamole and plantain chips on the side
  • Saturday: Birthday party foods – we are having a rainbow charcuterie board
  • Sunday: This is Z’s real birthday so I haven’t planned anything. We are definitely going out for breakfast, and maybe dinner, too. Or we might eat leftovers, or I might just buy some frozen pizzas. It’s up to the birthday girl!

There you have it! Because I was able to plan two meals just with what we had, plus going out one night, this week’s grocery bill was only $60! Now after I added all the birthday party foods, the total doubled, but still not too bad for multiple birthday parties. That’s a plus side of social distancing – not many kiddos get three birthday parties! We are doing a food for every color of the rainbow (red pepperoni, orange crackers, yellow cheese, etc.) and I made pink unicorn sugar cookies, confetti cupcakes (from a box mix), and will do different colored frosting using natural food dye. She is going to have a blast!

If you want to look back on the last few weeks of meal plans click here, here, and here. Maybe these posts can give you some ideas while you’re planning food for next week. Have fun cooking and feeding your family…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Constipation Cure Baby Food

Feeding babies. Who knew something as basic as feeding your kiddos could spark such controversy? But the controversy, shaming, and self-imposed mom guilt literally starts from birth. Breastfeeding versus formula feeding seems to be the hot topic of a lot of new moms and there are a lot of feelings wrapped up in it. While I do love breastfeeding and desire to see it normalized, and want more education for expecting and new moms, it is cruel to shame moms who choose to feed their babies with formula.

If a mom’s mental health is suffering and she feels better switching to formula, then that is great! She is a good mom to care about being there and being mentally healthy for her kids. If a mom is struggling to produce enough and switches to formula out of exhaustion, then that is great! She is a good mom for wanting to have more time and energy for her kids. There are a ton of different reasons a mom may want to switch to formula, and they are all okay! On the opposite side, if a mom wants to nurse and tries desperately to make it work, then that is great! She is a good mom for sticking to her guns. If a mom nurses past a year, then that is great! She is a good mom for wanting to comfort her toddler. If a mom is trying hard to feed her baby, whether through the hard work of breastfeeding or the expense of buying formula, then she. is. a. good. mom! So let’s stop the breast versus formula debate, shall we?

Now, moving onto the shame revolving around solids for Baby. There is a whole new hot topic of purees versus baby led weaning/feeding. If you start too young, that is bad, but if you start too late, that also is bad. If you use purees, that is bad, but if you give your baby table food, that is also bad. Literally. There are so many schools of thought out in the world wide web revolving around babies/children in regards to ev.er.y.thing. which drove me to the edge with my firstborn (you can read about my postpartum experience here), and this time around I really wanted to tap into my own mama instincts, and let the Lord guide me in how I raise my children.

So for right now, in regards to our preschooler, we try and discipline gently *always needing God’s help for this*, let her explore/make messes, and never have a kid’s menu – she eats what we eat. In regards to our baby, we breastfeed (well, I do) and give a little formula to help with weight gain, we gently sleep trained, and we do a mixture of purees and baby led feeding.

Yep, even at seven months old, she eats what we eat, but with modifications. However, once we introduced her to both formula and solids, we had a little blockage issue; I’m talking 48 hours without a dirty diaper. So I made this constipation cure for her dinner one night, and the next morning when I walked into her room I smelled… victory. I make one big batch per week and we give it to her every night at dinner along with some of our table food. So far, both of my girls have been big eaters and love to eat all the foods! The second Selah sits down in her highchair (our cute, wooden high chair is currently out of stock on Amazon, but this one looks so cute, too!) she starts dancing and grabbing everything on her tray! When she sees her baby food come out in her little bowl she starts whining and we can’t feed her her “dessert” fast enough!

So, however you feed your baby, there is no shame here, but if you need some help getting them *ahem* moving, this recipe is for you!

Constipation Cure Baby Food

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pear (I’ve used both red and green), sliced with skin on
  • 8 prunes
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1/3 cup fresh baby spinach
  • Optional: a pinch of ground ginger and/or ground cinnamon
  • Optional mix-ins: coconut oil, baby cereal, breastmilk, or formula

Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil
  2. Put baby carrots in the boiling water first
  3. Once carrots are softening (not quite fork tender), add in pear slices and prunes and seasoning if using
  4. Once everything is fork tender, turn off water and add baby spinach
  5. Once spinach is wilted slightly, blend using an immersion blender or carefully transfer to your blender.
  6. Add extra water to reach desired consistency
  7. Serve to your baby either cold or lukewarm with desired mix-ins
  8. Store in air tight container in the refrigerator

Sorry I got on my soap box at the start of this blog, but now you know how I feel about mom shaming and mom guilt. It’s the worst. Let me know how you feed your baby, and what their favorite food is! However you feed that little love, take care of them, snuggle your babies…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Simple Guacamole

Avocado: a delicious healthy fat that tastes good on top of or mixed into anything. Seriously. There are avocado brownies, avocado toasts, avocado ice cream, fried avocados, stuffed avocados, the list goes on. Avocados are everywhere! But one of my favorite ways to eat those delicious, fatty, green guys remains the classic guacamole. Perfect for topping salads, sandwiches, tacos, dipping, or eating with a spoon. I mean…what? Guacamole can get really fancy; you can go spicy, sweet, and with all sorts of mix-ins, but this “recipe” (I feel bad even calling it that!) is one of my favorite ways to make a flavorful yet simple guac that will go good with anything. It’s quick to make, with minimal chopping, and loved by my whole family. In fact, I left my toddler with a bowl of it in her near vicinity, and when I came back into the kitchen, she had climbed up on a chair and was licking guacamole off her hand, saying, “mmm that’s good ‘cado!” I couldn’t even be mad because it was so cute, and I was glad she was getting her healthy fats in! Anyways, let’s get to this super simple recipe that can transform any meal!

guac2
My guacamole thief 🙂 

Simple Guacamole

Serves 4-5. Definitely double this recipe if you’ll be feeding a big crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of one lime (I use this juicer to get out every last drop!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • Other possible mix-ins
    • diced tomato
    • fresh garlic (just a little!)
    • fresh or pickled jalapenos
    • a splash of your favorite salsa
    • charred corn
  • Chips to dip

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flesh of the avocado and lime juice
  • Mash until semi-smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Stir until combined
  • Dip, spread, or spoon (not just me, right?) away!
  • Store leftovers, covered, in fridge. It will turn a little brown due to oxidizing, but just give it a stir and it will be fine!

And that’s it! Easy, huh? Adding a little guacamole will seriously transform your dinner. Boring chicken breast? Top with guacamole and you have “Fiesta Chicken”! Boring salad? Nope. Add guacamole and it’s “Taco Salad”! You get the point 😉

For more delicious dips, check out my Classic Garlic HummusDairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, and Spicy Garlic Salsa. For some simple dinner ideas that would go perfectly with this guac, check out my One Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasSalmon Burgers, or Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. These are all good ideas for any March Madness parties you may be throwing, too! I know you’ll find something easy to make that the whole family finds easy to eat. Add a little guacamole, and it’s a party! Party on…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me to keep my pantry stocked! Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!