Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Breakfast: Fun, healthy, and portable!

Today is the first day of August and the official start of my back-to-school panic.  Where did the summer go?!

With our new dietary restrictions, all of our grab and go breakfast favorites are out of the rotation.  No more pre-packaged sausage biscuits, no quick and easy granola bars.  Ugh.

I started making smoothie sticks to replace the freezer pops we could no longer have and it occurred to me that they have all the makings of a fun, healthy breakfast.  Score!  I also like that I can whip up a double batch at one time and be done with the blasted blender.  (I have a love-hate relationship with this particular appliance.)

Get as creative as you want.  Variety is good - especially when it comes to smoothie sticks.  This is one of our favorite blends.  Think pina colada without the rum.  Here's how to make it:

4 bananas
32 oz. Vanilla Greek Yogurt (We like Chobani)
13.5 oz.  Coconut Milk
46 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 bag Frozen Pineapple Chunks
Freezer Pop Sleeves (I use these: )

Mix coconut milk and pineapple juice in a large container.  In blender, add half of the yogurt, two bananas, half the juice mixture, and half the bag of pineapple chunks.  Blend until smooth. Pour into freezer pop sleeves using a funnel and a steady hand.  Tie off ends.  Repeat with the remainder of the ingredients.  Makes about 20.

As I fill sleeves, sometimes I add to the mix for different flavors.  Orange juice, frozen berries, frozen mango are all tasty. We stick with the plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, but you could also add fruity flavors to mix things up.  They make great after school snacks and we even eat them for dessert - that's how yummy they are!

The cost of each stick works out to about 60 cents and each sleeve holds about one cup of wholesome smoothie goodness. For smaller children, using re-useable popsicle molds will make for better portion sizes and bring the cost-per-pop down considerably, although this recipe makes quite a lot so you'll need to adjust. 

Enjoy!  Of course, you may be compelled to explain to the other mothers why you allow your child to have popsicles for breakfast.

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