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Fruit and banana yoghurt popsiclesEarlier this year, my mom gave me popsicle molds. The same ones she used for my brother and me when we were little. Nothing fancy, just the plain Tupperware kind.

Little did I realize then that they would be in regular use. Not surprisingly, especially with the recent heat, popsicles have become Baby’s daily afternoon snack. And I’m having fun coming up with recipes and flavour combinations! I think I’ve created my keeper though.

This recipe is healthy and versatile, using whatever fruit is in season. However, it works best with fruit that pairs well with and can stand up to banana. The banana mainly adds sweetness and creaminess, but also a touch of flavour. Think strawberry, blueberry, mango, raspberry… I find that stone fruit like peaches, apricots and plums don’t work well, even when they are super fragrant, same with melon. My two favourites, so far, have been blueberry and orange (using orange juice).

Baby eating popsicle

Baby eating her first popsicle at almost 10 months.

Recipe: Fruit, Banana and Yoghurt Popsicles

Makes approx 6 quarter-cup-size (60 mL) popsicles.

1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen), cut into smallish pieces, OR 1 cup fruit juice
1 two- to three-inch piece of banana
3/4 cup yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp maple syrup (depending on the sweetness of the fruit and your personal preference)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth. Fill popsicle molds. Freeze. (Drink any remaining mix like a smoothie!)

Sometimes I add 1-2 tbsp hemp hearts to the mix before blending. They boost the protein of the finished product, and add some texture.

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Birchermüesli is a superfood! A healthy and easy-to-digest combination of fresh fruit, oatmeal, yoghurt and nuts.Birchermüesli is a combination of fresh fruit, oatmeal, yoghurt and nuts. It was created around 1900 by a Swiss physician who promoted eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains (instead of bread and meat) for maintaining health and encouraging healing.

Now that I’m eating for two – yes! 🙂 – Birchermüesli has become my pregnancy superfood. It’s full of the vitamins and minerals recommended for pregnant women. In addition, the combination provides protein and fiber, and is easy to digest. I’ve also noticed that I feel more like cooling fresh foods than I normally would, especially for this time of year, and Birchermüesli perfectly satisfies the craving. (Usually I reserve Birchermüesli for the summer when fresh fruit is plentiful, the days are hot and I don’t feel like cooking – I’ll eat it for dinner.)

The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. It’s easy to adapt it to what’s in season and to personal taste. Lately I’ve been using fresh mango and blueberries and strawberries that I froze last summer. Another nice winter version would be with raisins and/or other chopped dried fruit, ground or chopped nuts and banana (add just before serving). In fall, chopped pear and dried cranberries. In the summer, the options abound with fresh berries, melon, peaches, nectarines, apricots, …

Pregnant or not, Birchermüesli is one of those things I feel good about eating. I’d actually consider it one of my comfort foods.

Recipe: Birchermüesli (Swiss Raw Oatmeal Yoghurt “Porridge”)

The ingredients listed below are the basic combination. Seasonality and creativity can dictate the details. I have to admit that I don’t measure the ingredients, so they are approximateadjust proportion of oatmeal vs. yoghurt to suit personal preference. I often make it in the evening to eat the next morning. This method allows the oatmeal to soften. If you have issues with leaving cut fruit sit overnight, then add just before serving. Serves 2-4.

2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick cook)
2 1/2 cups yoghurt
1 apple, finely grated
1/2 orange, juiced (could also be lemon, grapefruit or a combination)
1/2 cup ground nuts or hemp hearts
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
3 cups fresh fruit, chopped if necessary (frozen berries work well too)
1/2 cup raisins, chopped nuts (toasting the nuts adds nice flavour) or dried fruit (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least one hour (or overnight) before serving.

In addition to the standard apple, orange juice, yoghurt and oatmeal, mango, blueberries, strawberries, maple syrup and hemp hearts made it into my most recent version of Birchermüesli, but this recipe is so easy to adapt to personal taste.

These ingredients made it into my most recent version of Birchermüesli, but this recipe is so easy to adapt to personal taste: switch up the fruit, add ground or chopped nuts, raisins or other chopped dried fruit. My dad likes to enhance it with a bit whipped cream! Note the special grater for the apple. It’s a special “Bircher” grater and reduces the flesh to a pulp (most likely to make it even easier to digest).

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