Avocado Pudding

I adapted this one from Jezwyn over at Girl Gone Primal:

1 ripe avocado
1 T pure cocoa powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 T pure maple syrup or honey (to taste)

Mash the avocado in a bowl, then thoroughly mix in the spices and sweetener. I use my potato masher in a flat-bottomed bowl when I am in a hurry (hence the green bits). If you are inclined, throw it all in the food processor and whiz until smooth.

The texture and appearance is similar to chocolate pudding and I heartily market it as such.

I always serve this dip in a small dish for dipping with apple slices, pear or berries. My kids generally will not touch avocado, but they love this stuff! For little ones who cannot yet do apple pieces, I will spoon-feed this with a side of apple sauce or grated raw apple, or banana pieces.

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M.I.A.

So… I’ve been absent for over a month and expect to be for a few more weeks. A quick summary of our summer bedlam:

Six kids. All day. Every day. We are outside as much as humanly possible and visit the playground frequently. Very little in the house gets done.

We escaped on a family holiday for a week to the lovely Okanagan Valley. We swam, played, drank wine and spent time with my 92 year old Grandma, who I have not seen in three years. It was valuable beyond measure.

Den Dad and I snuck away ‘sans enfants’ for three days of backcountry hiking. The weather was chilly and the mosquitoes were thick, but the weekend alone was gloriously quiet. On Day 2, at 2400 m, we hunkered down above a snowbank to make some fresh coffee. There were wildflowers blooming around our feet. If that doesn’t rejuvenate a soul….

The first haul from the garden produced two gallons each of fingerling carrots and beets from thinning, three gallons of green beans for blanching, a gallon of sugar snap peas and a five gallon pail of turnips. The greenhouse is spitting out long English cucumbers by the dozen and the tomatoes are an impending tsunami of goodness.

We are embracing the desperate fervor of an eight-week summer with all we have. I will reflect more in September when I’m down to only four little friends during the day. Much is percolating…

Coconut Flour Bacon Biscuits

These are scrumptious served with hearty soup or saucy crock-pot dinner.  They taste like bacon and eggs – try adding mushrooms or peppers (spinach?) to the onion when you sauté… Decadent breakfast on the go.  Oh my.

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Fish Cakes

Okay, I am done griping and back at the helm, even though I have no voice and Kleenex is still my best friend…

This was our lunch with a side of raw veggies. Super-healthy and tasty… even for those who will not eat fish in any other form! I prep the mixture early in the morning, then fry them up at lunchtime.

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Almond Butter Makes It Better

Almond butter is tasty stuff, especially when combined with the sweet tang of fruit.  Though it is a less than perfect protein source (higher in Omega 6, for example), almond butter is far superior to peanut butter in that it is less toxic, allergenic and promotes a lower insulin response when eaten.  In moderate doses, I send it down tiny gullets with a clear conscience.

There are three super-simple ways I vary this item on our day home menu:

  • Apple slices with a small cup of almond butter for dipping.
  • Strawberry slices or blueberries atop a rice cracker spread with a generous smoosh of almond butter.  (The cracker is a bit of a nasty, but the wee ladies especially like these with a tea party.)
  • A half banana, sliced lengthwise, then filled with a layer of almond butter or cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Not exactly rocket science, but all three are always incredibly popular and fairly quick and easy to prep!

If you are looking for more pack-and-go, check out over 70 lunchbox ideas for preschoolers over at Primal Kitchen.  Good stuff!

Music Month Activities

Our recent music month included some good crafting time and more play with rhythm and tone.  Even if you are not very musical, a little bravery is probably all you need.  Our music time was expanded by the “play” we incorporated with our new instruments. Continue reading

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I thought of this great activity.  It took so much prep but it was so fun to do.  AND it was supremely educational.  AND it lasted all week!

We made key chains that re-tell the story of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Which is, in my opinion, one of the most fabulous preschool books out there.  It has all the essential elements of a pre-literacy book, it is beautiful and it has a great little dig about eating what you are supposed to eat.

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Music in the Den

I love music: listening to it, playing it, dancing to it, singing it.  I am doing my  best to be sure that the children in my care will be inspired to groove when the music starts and wail along in grand style until it stops.

“Music” conjures up a million different sounds.   Continue reading