Mila's Ice Pop Adventure - Bubbly Lemon Lime

It is time to add another recipe to Mila's Ice Pop Adventure series! This week we created the easiest and most refreshing ice pop ever. I think this may be my all time favorite right now. This specific ice pop is so yummy and satisfies my late night snack cravings. Also, (and this is idea is obviously for adults only) this ice pop recipe would taste pretty dang good with a few shots of tequila and a dash of agave sweetener mixed in too!! ;)

For this ice pop recipe we used one of our most favorite beverages LaCroix, plus added some real fruit juice to brighten things up. Mila loves LaCroix so much and right now she refers to it as "bubbles" which I love. This recipe and blog post are not sponsored by LaCroix, we just adore them so much! I love them mostly because its a refreshing drink that has no bad stuff in it. It is just sparkling water with subtle natural flavors which is why I let Mila have some whenever I drink it. Anyways, for this recipe we use the lemon flavor but you could use pretty much any flavor you'd like. 

This ice pop seriously takes seconds to put together and I love getting Mila involved with pouring and squeezing the lemons. As you can tell from the photos below, things can get pretty messy! Though the messes can be cleaned, the memories last a lifetime. We've loved creating ice pop recipes for you all to enjoy with your family. I'm hoping you bookmark your favorites to make when Summer fully arrives. If you've missed the last few recipes you can find them here and here. I've also linked my own popsicle cooking kit down below if you are interested! My own popsicle kit comes with five silicon popsicle molds and a few recipes as well. 

Have fun making your frozen treats! Stay Tuned next week for a brand new ice pop recipe! 

Photos by Lily Ro Photography 

BUBBLY LEMON LIME ICE POPS

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Cook time: 6 hours or overnight

  • Servings: About 6 Ice Pops

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lemons

  • 2 limes

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

  • 1 can of Lemon Flavored LaCroix Water

  • Ice Pop Mold (an ice tray if you have extra liquid left over after filling your molds)

*This makes about 2 cups of liquid so you'll be able to fill up at least 6 ice pops, thought it depends on your mold and how many it can etc. If you have left over liquid, pour it into an ice tray and use for drinks! *We use LaCroix sparkling water for this, though you can use what ever kind you prefer. I like LaCroix the best because it has just has water and natural flavors in it.

STEPS

1

You'll want to start by gathering your ice pop mold and all its parts. This way when it is time to pour your liquid you have everything ready and aren't searching for lids etc. 

2

Next you'll zest your lemon and lime. Use a microplane or the fine side of a cheese grater to rub the zest off the lemon and lime. Be sure to only zest the first layer of the lemon and lime peel. Once you see white stop immediately. The white part of the peel is really bitter. 

3

With either your hands, a handheld juicer or regular juice machine, squeeze the juice from your two lemons and limes. I like to strain the juice through a mesh strainer to get rid of any seeds and pulp. Doing this also makes for a nice smooth ice pop. 

4

In an easy to pour container add your lemon and lime juice and the LaCroix sparkling water. Next stir in the lemon and lime zest. 

5

Pour your lemon lime liquid into your ice pop molds. Be sure to leave at least a 1/4 of an inch of room in the ice pop molds! This is important because the sparkling water will expand when frozen. Also when pouring your liquid into the ice pop molds, do it very slowly so the liquid doesn't bubble up and spill out. 

6

Freeze your Bubbly Lemon Lime Ice Pops in the freezer for up to six hours or over night. 

7

Once fully frozen enjoy! These keep in your freezer for up to two weeks. 

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Mila's Ice Pop Adventure - Blackberry Cream

Mila’s Ice Pop Adventure was born really because we make homemade ice pops (or popsicles) pretty regularly. I actually first started making them when when son Ryan was a teething baby. I used to make these soothing chamomile ice pops he could suck on to sooth his gums. When my Ryan was older he became obsessed with frozen treats, as most children do, so I took to making them at home in hopes of creating healthier versions. Now with my daughter Mila I do the same thing and it brings me such joy to deliver goodness to both my children. I love how they both enjoy homemade ice pops, plus it is great way for us to get creative in the kitchen together. What I love most about the whole process though is watching Mila get so excited over wholesome ingredients. Homemade ice pops have been a go-to vehicle for me in getting more nutrients into my toddler. I even sneak some veggies into them, which I'll share soon!

I thought it would be a fun idea to share with you all one of our ice pop recipes each week. This way you can choose your favorites and get prepared to make them during the upcoming Summer months. Each week we’ll show you how to put together the most delicious and simple frozen ice pop. The best part really is you can enjoy them as a treat, but the ingredients in every single ice pop are wholesome and healthy enough to enjoy for a quick breakfast or snack. In making our homemade ice pops I only use real fruit, fresh squeezed juices, unsweetened almond milk, etc. (with the exception of yogurt) I never add sugars or sweeteners like agave or maple syrup. The reason being is simple, I wanted to make fruity ice pops that actually taste like real fruit. I want my children to understand how fruits taste and above all else, I wanted to make something fun to eat as healthy as I could. For the most part, when the kids as for a popsicle I can always say sure! 

Now with that said, I don’t hold my kids back from enjoying store bought popsicles! I believe everything is healthy in moderation. Though at home we stick to our homemade ice pops and Mila has truly learned to enjoy both. I hope you enjoy Mila’s Ice Pop Adventure and book mark your favorites. Here is the last ice pop recipe we shared - Watermelon Lime. This week we are sharing a family favorite, Blackberry Cream! This ice pop is perfect for a quick breakfast or after school snack. Take a look and enjoy! The recipe is below and on a printable recipe card. 

Photos by Lily Ro Photography 

Ice Pop Molds by Koji at Target

BLACKBERRY CREAM ICE POPS

  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cook time: 6- 12 hours

  • Servings: 6-8 Pops *Depends on your Ice Pop Mold

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup black berries

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

  • 2-3 tablespoons granola

  • You'll also need a mesh strainer

This recipe makes about 2 cups of liquid. It depends on your ice pop mold on how many you'll be able to make. If you end up with extra liquid, freeze in an ice tray and use to make smoothies. For this recipe I use Siggi's Vanilla Yogurt because it doesn't have any added sugars (other than agave) and the ingredient list is pretty "clean". For the granola I say use your favorite kind!

STEPS

1

First, always prep your ice pop molds and make sure you have all the working parts. That way when the liquid is ready to be poured everything is in place and you aren't searching around for molds, sticks or tops. 

2

Add your blackberries and almond milk to a blender. Blend until smooth. If you need to add a bit more almond milk thats ok!

3

Place a mesh strainer on top of a medium sized bowl. Pour the blended blackberries into the mesh strainer and use a spatula to push the liquid through the strainer. Doing this will rid all the berry seeds and make for a real smooth ice pop. 

4

Add the yogurt to the blackberry liquid and whisk until incorporated and smooth. 

5

Slowly pour or spoon the blackberry and yogurt mixture into your ice pop molds. Be sure to leave about half an inch of room at the top!

6

Next gently spoon a little bit of granola on top of each ice pop. Then add the sticks of lids (however your mold works) and freeze for up to six hours or over night. 

7

Enjoy when fully frozen. These keep in your freezer for up to 2 weeks.


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Our Go To Granola Bars - A Must Try

A few years ago I accidentally landed on these delicious granola bars. I was trying to make those energy bites but something went wrong, but oh so right. The mixture wasn't allowing me to form bite sized balls. I soon become frustrated and put the mixture into the freezer to try and firm them up. Once they were firm I cut a piece off to try and roll them into a ball, but first took a bit. I immediately fell in love with the taste and texture. Cut them up into bar shapes and my "candy" bars were born. I called them candy bars because they honestly taste so sweet and salty like good candy bar should. But these bars are packed with hearty things like oats and almonds. You get some good protein in with the peanut butter. I also put in two super foods, chia and cacao powder which give the bars a boost in antioxidants and omega-3s. 

I made these quite often and when I share them on my Instagram so many of you ask for the recipe. I posted the original recipe a few years back here, but below I switched some things up for the better! I also doubled the recipe so it makes more bars (per a friends request ;) 

A few of you have made the original bars I posted a while ago and added chocolate chips to the top and some other things. I give some substitute ideas in the recipe card below, please feel free to get creative with them! Enjoy Friends!

Photos By Lily Ro Photography 

THOSE "CANDY" BARS

  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cook time: 1 hour

  • Servings: 12-14 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup raw honey

  • 1 cup smooth natural peanut butter

  • 1 cup unsalted sliced almonds

  • 2 cups gluten free oats

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seed

  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder (*Not cocoa powder) You can google the difference here, but what it comes down to is the way the beans are processed. Cacao is considered a "superfood" because it is minimally processed therefore keeping its benefits intact. IT offers a subtle chocolate flavor but more so it gives the bars some added nutrients.

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

  • 2 hearty pinches of sea salt

  • You'll also need a standard baking dish 9in x 13in and some parchment paper to line it with.

Feel free to use any nut butter you'd like so long as it is smooth; almond, cashew etc. Our favorite though is natural peanut butter. You can also substitute the sliced almonds for unsweetened coconut flakes, unsalted pecans or any other crunchy ingredient so long as it is unsweetened and unsalted. If you substitute the dried cranberries try going for another tart dried fruit like cherries. I'd skip any sweet dried fruit like raisins since the base of these bars are pretty sweet to begin with. Lastly, you can substitute the raw honey for maple syrup or agave. Just know that your bars will have a different consistency than what is shown.

STEPS

1

First line a 9in x 13in baking dish with parchment paper. Also, clear a spot in your refrigerator large enough for the baking dish. Once the bars are finished and in the baking dish, they will need to firm up in the refrigerator. 

2

In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, stir together the; coconut oil, raw honey and peanut butter. Stir these until smooth. 

3

Add the cacao powder and vanilla. Stir until smooth and the cacao powder is fully incorporated. 

4

Now turn off the heat. Add in your chia seeds and sliced almonds. Stir until everything is evenly coated. 

5

Next, stir in your oats one cup at a time. Again, be sure to stir until everything is evenly coated. 

6

Last, stir in your dried cranberries. 

7

Pour your mixture into the dish lined with parchment paper. Smooth the mixture out until it is in an even layer. 

8

Add your two hearty pinches of sea salt over the top of the bars. Be sure to evenly disperse the salt so you can taste it with every bit. The bars are more on the sweet side with the honey, vanilla and peanut butter. The bit of salt on top really makes a difference and cuts through the sweetness a bit. Its honestly my favorite part when enjoying the bars. 

9

Now, store your bars in the refrigerator for up to an hour or until fully firm. I sometimes let the bars firm up in the freezer if we want to enjoy them quicker.  

10

Once the bars are firm, cut them into small rectangles. Store the bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Since the base of these bars is coconut oil they don't do well in the heat or travel that well. They are best cold. We love having them on hand for a quick breakfast, afternoon snack or to satisfy a late night sweet tooth craving. 

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Mila's Ice Pop Adventure - Watermelon Lime

One of Mila's favorite snacks is an ice pop or popsicle. I say snack rather than treat because we make them at home with no added sugars or sweeteners. Mila thinks they are treats, but really they have become a great way for me to sneak in a little extra nutrients into her diet. Much like smoothies, homemade ice pops can be stuffed with anything and healthy elements like spinach can be disguised quite deliciously. With Summer fast approaching I though it would be fun to start sharing our most made ice pop recipes. We are starting with a family favorite - Watermelon Lime! We'll share a new ice pop recipe each week so you can be fully prepared to make homemade ice pops for your little ones (and yourself ;) come Summer. Don't forget, all my recipes are featured on a printable card form! So you can print out your favorites for easy access. 

Since being back from our family vacation to Costa Rica, the three of us have been craving sunshine and swimming. Almost everyday Mila asks to go swimming or to the beach. If I thought last Summer was the best, I truly can't wait to see what this Summer will bring us. Also, now that Mila is one year older things are just so much fun! I am excited to see her learn more swimming skills and there truly isn't anything more cute than a toddler in a bathing suit! Anyways, I saw gorgeous green watermelons displayed a few weeks ago at the grocery store and had to have one. Once I brought it home I knew I had to bust out our ice pop molds. I love watermelon and lime together. The watermelon is sweet and the lime is tangy in all the right places. The two are so refreshing. I also love adding coconut water to our ice pops for a healthy kick. For this recipe I like to add a tiny bit of coconut water to each ice pop so the end result is a cool color contrast. You can see, in the photos below. Enjoy friends and stay tuned for more of Mila's Ice Pop Adventure recipes! 

Photos By Lily Ro Photography 

Mila's Dress By Little Minis

Ice Pop Mold By Zoku 

WATERMELON LIME ICE POPS

  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cook time: 6-8 hours

  • Servings: About 2 Cups Liquid - Depends On Your Popsicle Mold On How Many You Will Be Able To Make

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a medium sized water melon

  • 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup pure coconut water (Be sure to check the ingredient list on your coconut water. Make sure there are no added sugars or extracts)

  • A fine mesh strainer

This makes around 2 cups of liquid. It depends on how large your watermelon is. It also depends on how many popsciles this recipe will make, that will rely on how your popsicle molds are designed. For us we use the Zoku Mini Ice Pop Mold and any extra liquid I have left over I use for Mila's smoothies.

STEPS

1

First you will start by zesting a lime. You can do this with a microplane, regular citrus zester or the fine side of a cheese grater. When you zest a lime (or any citrus) be sure to only zest the top layer. Once you see white, STOP! The white part tastes bitter and should never be used. 

2

Next, pour about 1 teaspoon of coconut water into each popsicle mold. Then top each popsicle mold with a tiny bit of lime zest. Then place your mold into the freezer so the coconut water + lime zest begins to freeze. I like to doing this so it gives your popsicles a contrast in color, which makes it fun for your little ones! Plus adding a bit of lime zest to each popsicle this way ensures that each one gets that tangy lime zest flavor that compliments the watermelon so well. 

3

While the coconut and lime zest are freezing in the popsicle molds, slice your watermelon in half. Dice half your watermelon and remove any seeds you come across. If you need ideas on what to do with your other half of watermelon, try; dicing it up and freezing it for smoothies, cut into triangles to freeze for a cold snack, dice it up and store in the fridge for a healthy snack.

4

Add your diced watermelon into a blender. Slice your zested lime and squeeze the juice into the blender with your watermelon. 

5

Blend the watermelon and lime juice until it becomes a liquid. 

6

Place your fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Be sure to use a fine mesh strainer! This step is important because it removes any pulp or seeds you may have missed and makes for a smooth juice. 

7

Pour your blended watermelon and lime liquid into your mesh strainer and use a rubber spatula to push the liquid through. You should have a nice smooth juice in the bowl and any left over pulp/seeds will stay in the mesh strainer. Toss the left over pulp/seeds. Pour the watermelon lime juice into something you can pour easily from. 

8

At this point your coconut water and lime zest should be semi-frozen. Gently pour your watermelon lime juice into each popsicle mold, add your sticks and let freeze for at least 6 hours or over night. If you have extra watermelon juice try saving it for smoothies or drinking it over ice with a little carbonated water for a refreshing drink!

9

Enjoy once they are fully frozen and keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. 

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Citrus Shortbread Filled With Marmalade For Paddington Bear 2

This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures.

As you know, we love movies. If you follow my family and I on social media, you know we watch a movie together every Friday. It is our favorite way to unwind. Though, truthfully, I love getting lost within a movie only to escape real life for a moment. I have found that with a good family movie, one can learn quite a bit about themselves. When the credits begin to roll, and you are sitting there with a smile feeling warm inside or inspired. That is the sign of a great movie!

Our daughter is two and though a few of you may say “She is too young for movies”, I’d beg to differ. I love the way Mila’s face lights up when she gets to watch her favorite movies or the way she laughs when she sees something funny. I also think movies give us a chance to talk about things in ways we wouldn’t normally. Movies can also introduce certain emotions and open up worlds beyond that foster imagination and happiness. We can all use more happiness, right?!

There are tons of great family movies out there! When Warner Bros asked to partner with us in promoting their new film Paddington 2 I could not say yes fast enough. You see, it all started when a sweet bear found himself lost in a London train station. When a family found him, adopted him and named him Paddington. They named him so, because Paddington was the name of the train station they found him in. What ensues after finding him is heartwarming fun.

In Paddington 2, the movie re-visits the bear and his adopted family. I don’t want to give too much away, but Paddington works tenfold to find a gift for a family member and after running into a bit of trouble his whole family helps him out. This movie is one that makes you feel good and also drives home the fact that family is of course everything. We were beyond excited to take Mila to see it as she has been asking to see the “bear movie” - take a look at the movie trailer

here. Paddington 2 is in theaters everywhere now!

In partnership with Paddington 2 I have creates a delicious, Paddington (and Mila) approved recipe, and sharing it here today. If you are familiar with Paddington and his love of sticky, sweet marmalade you’d know these cookies would disappear within seconds around that fun loving bear. I love the way Mila plays with her very own Paddington bear, she feeds him cookies and marmalade. Although, she now asks for cookies every time she plays with her bear. This recipe is a citrus infused short bread cookie filled with tangy orange marmalade. These cookies are easiest to make, and I love the idea of you gathering your family to make them. Or planning a playdate for your children and their friends where they make these cookies together. (You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now, that is how easy these are to whip together!)

Family traditions are huge for us, however traditions don’t have to be centered only around holidays or birthdays. Try and make the simple of things a family tradition, like family movie night or cooking together weekly. Give you and your family something to look forward to and give it the title of a family tradition. Because coming together deserves to be done often.

Photos By Lily Ro Photography

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CITRUS SHORTBREAD COOKIES FILLED WITH MARMALADE

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup of your favorite marmalade. (Note - You can use any of your favorite jam flavors as the filling)

2/3 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon of fresh orange zest

*After mixing the batter, let the dough chill for at least 20 minutes. This will keep the cookies shape while baking!

STEPS

1

In a stand mixer (or large bowl and whisk) cream together your butter, sugar and vanilla. You'll want to cream these together until fluffy and the sugar is completely dissolved into the butter. To check if you have creamed the ingredients fully, pinch a little between your thumb and forefinger. If you still feel sugar grains then keep mixing. If it is smooth then you are ready to move on. *Tip - You must begin with softened butter to achieve the perfect consistency/texture.

2

Add flour one cup at a time until a dough has formed.

3

Add in the orange zest. Give the dough once more mix to be sure the orange zest gets mixed in well. *Tip - Be sure to chill your dough for about 20 minutes prior to baking. This will ensure your cookies keep their shape while baking.

4

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prep a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

5

Measure 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Roll each portion of dough into balls and place each one on to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch or so of space between each one.

6

Using your thumb, gently press down in the center of each cookie dough ball. Making a small well for the marmalade.

7

Fill each well with a small amount of marmalade.

8

Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Once cooled completely, enjoy! Store in air tight containers or zip top bags for up to a week.