Why Every Parent Needs a Mini Fridge in Their Room

Four AM Mom thought, “I wish we had a mini fridge in our bedroom.”

I’d have bottles of water, juice boxes, oh my goodness and my favourite snack – energy bites!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites

1 1/2c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2c peanut butter
1/3c pure maple syrup
1/3c semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_3258.JPG


It's honestly not that my kitchen is super far away, but I wouldn’t have to walk up and down all those stairs, I wouldn’t have to worry about making any extra noise that could wake either of my daughters, dogs or husband. Plus, I’m also sore from my caesarean and would rather not have to leave my room in the middle of the night.

Oh, and how could I have not thought about bottles? I could store my breast milk for the hubby to do a night feed.

Genius! Pure genius!

Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

And what else is brilliant? Trading your night side table for a mini fridge for the first few months postpartum! Everything is within reach, right when you need it!

xoxo

Amanda

Rhubarb Peach Oatmeal Baby Food Recipe

If you have a friend with rhubarb growing in their garden, you'll want to scoop some up this summer for this awesome and nutritious oatmeal recipe for your babies and toddlers.



If you are just starting out with solids for your little one, adding a cube of pureed rhubarb and a cube of pureed peach to their oatmeal is definitely a treat!

I like to roast my rhubarb. It's a super easy way to cook it down, without having to add any additional sugar. I tend to mix the rhubarb with things like apples, peaches and pears to add a bit of sweetness since it is often rather tart on its own.

For older children, diced bits of soft cooked rhubarb and peaches are easily mixed with a bowl of oatmeal and enjoyed as a hearty breakfast before school or even in the evening as a substantial snack.

In terms of nutrition, peaches are an excellent stonefruit that can help with tummy troubles and constipation. Lots of fibre, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and it is easily digested and enjoyed by little ones. Rhubarb is high in calcium and potassium, important for growing bones and bodies!

Nutty Oatmeal for New Mom's #recipe

For every new mom, we make a few packs of wholesome oatmeal to take to their first postpartum appointment. Why?

Well, because oatmeal is an awesome whole crain that lowers cholesterol. It is a super food, so while you may or may not be breastfeeding, it is just really healthy to incorporate into your every day routine.

Add in spices, nuts, seeds and a bit of sweetness...it's the perfect breakfast for a new mom who may have been up all night cluster feeding a growing newborn, tending to older children, trying to remember to sleep.

And, oh yeah...eat to fuel her body. Being a mom is exhausting, so if we can help by bringing breakfast...by all means we will!


1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hemp seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp walnuts

Add boiling water or steamed milk (or almond milk if you are dairy free), and let stand for 2-5minutes. Mix together...and enjoy!

xoxo
Shannon

Beginner Juice #Recipe for Moms

One thing that I really love to bring to a new mom's home following childbirth is some fresh juice. There's a lot to be said for prepping a massive jug of juice that they can pour themselves a glass from!


A photo posted by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei (@sweetstellas) on
This juice has just four simple ingredients, but is great for breastfeeding mama's and gets a kick from some fresh lime!

To make a large 42oz jug, juice...

10 large kale leaves and stalks
10 apples, seeds and core removed
1.5 limes, green rind removed but white pith let on
8 medium carrots

Start with juicing a few of your kale leaves with an apple wedge or a carrot. You always want to follow your leafy or soft fruits with a harder fruit to ensure they get totally juiced.

With your remaining half lime, cut it into wedges and add to your juice jug.

Keep your juice in the fridge and consume within 72 hours.

Enjoy!

Green Beans, Squash and Oatmeal Baby Food Recipe

I know, I know...super weird combination but it's one of those ones that is sweet from the acorn squash, hearty because of the oats and rich in vitamins with the green beans. It's sort of a super food meal for baby, packed into one serving.



3 cubes green beans
2 cubes squash
1-2 tbsp prepared oatmeal

I like to defrost my cubes in a dish overnight in the fridge, then add freshly made oatmeal to the puree mix. It makes the mixture creamy and warm, very hearty for your little ones' tummy!


I introduced this recipe when our baby was 8 months old, but you could certainly do it closer to 6 months. As you can tell from the pictures, my mixture is chunky however you can make it the appropriate consistency for your own child.


signature

Lactation Granola Bars #recipe

This Spring when prepping food for a postpartum client, I developed a recipe for a delicious lactation granola bar. After testing out a few versions, I finally settled on one that I was really happy with and one that my clients really enjoy.


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together...

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (no substitutes here!)

When those are combined, you can opt to add 1 cup of chocolate chips (dark for added health benefits) or you can move on to adding the dry ingredients.

Add to your saucepan....

 2.5 cups oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Mix together well and then pour into a 9"x11" pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until firm, about an hour or two. When they are firm and you are ready to cut them, let them sit out for 10-15 minutes to make cutting them into bars a bit easier.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container, or freeze in a bag. Enjoy these cold, as they will get a bit melty when they're sitting out for a bit.

Toddler approved! These bars also make a great after school snack, or a hearty brain-boosting breakfast on rushed mornings.


signature

Stuffed Mushrooms for Breastfeeding Moms

This recipe is nutrient packed for breastfeeding moms, and it probably one of the yummiest, heartiest and healthiest dinners that I made all winter. I have two variations of it: dinner with large portobello caps, and appetizer with minis!


Mushrooms and spinach are fantastic for breastmilk supply, and bacon....well....it's bacon. It should be in everything.

4 large portobello mushroom caps
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups of spinach, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 cups of goat cheesse
shredded cheese for topping

Preheat your oven to 400F

Chop your bacon into small pieces, then brown in a hot skillet. Remove and drain away the excess grease, then return to the pan. Add in your chopped garlic and spinach, cooking just long enough to heat up and wilt the spinach.

Remove and mix well with your goat cheese, then fill your mushroom caps. Top with  shredded cheese and place the caps on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then broil for 2-3 minutes to make the cheese nice and bubbly.

These stuffed mushrooms are amazing and hearty. We each had two for our dinner one night in February, and it was definitely enough to fill us up, without feeling guilt about what we ate.

To make mini versions, simply fill mini portobello mushroom caps with a half tablespoon of your filling, top with a little bit of cheese and bake for 5 minutes, until tender.

signature

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bread #recipe

This is a super easy and yummy bread recipe that will support breastfeeding moms, and is great for the whole family! Warm up a slice in the toaster and smother with butter or honey...mmmm! So good!



The recipe works best on the French setting for your bread maker. Select your crust color preference, and then add to your baking pan

1 cup + 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cooking oil (I use canola)
6oz applesauce (I used homemade applesauce, 6 cubes of baby food puree)
3 cups flour
5 tsp flax seed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup oats

Now you need to add the yeast to your bread pan. Make a small well in the centre, and add 1tsp of quick rise yeast. Make sure that the yeast doesn't touch any of the wet ingredients!

Press start and watch the dough get kneaded. I usually monitor this process fairly closely to ensure that the dough ball forms properly. If your dough isn't coming together and seems to be fairly dry, just add a bit of water (one teaspoon or drizzle at a time) until it does. Similarly, if it is too wet, sprinkle flour on the top of your dough ball until it tightens up.

At the end of the baking cycle, unplug your bread maker and prop the lid up with an oven mit to let the steam out. Allow your bread to cool for a few minutes in the bread maker, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best enjoyed fresh, but certainly can be frozen (sliced or whole). If you are enjoying it fresh, once it has cooled completely, pop your loaf into a plastic bag and lightly tie it up to prevent the loaf from drying out.

Yield: one 1.5 lb loaf of delicious bread!

signature

Individual Apple Crisp Recipe

If you're set to host Easter or another gathering, here is a quick and easy dessert recipe that take only moments to prepare, and will leave your house smelling absolutely delicious.



Preheat your oven to 350F

Prepare your bowls or ramekins with a bit of butter, then add chopped apples. If you're using soup or cereal bowls, one apple is all you will need for each bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon, stir and set to the side.

For each cereal bowl, mix together

1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp cold butter

If you're using smaller ramekins, the above topping mixture will fill about four ramekins.

I find it easier to mix the topping with your fingers, but a pastry fork would work well also. Top your apples with the mixture, then bake for 15 minutes, until the topping is crunchy on the top.

Caution! The dish you used to bake your apple crisp in will be extremely hot, as will the contents! Let it cool for a couple of minutes before eating. Best served with vanilla ice cream or a large dollop of whip cream!


signature

Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin #recipe

Need a wholesome after school snack, addition to your kiddos lunch, or just something yummy to have on hand? Whip up a batch of these Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins!

I like to have a few different kids of peanut free muffins in the freezer so that our four year old, Owen, can choose his muffins the night before school when we are packing his lunch bag.

 
Preheat your oven to 400F

1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Once you have mixed all of those lovely ingredients together, add in...

1/2 an apple, finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried cherries

Mix well, then put in your prepared muffin tin using a cookie scoop or spoon.

Bake for 18 minutes, then allow to cool in the muffin tin.

If your child has an issue with textures, you could bake your apples first with a bit of water and the dried cranberries and cherries, then puree. If you add a puree, keep in mind that the batter will turn whatever color your puree is. When this happens, I usually tell my son that is is something cool. This is how we came up with Dinosaur Juice for any juice that is green, and Tiger Juice for orange ones. Since these ones would turn a pinky red color, we would probably call them something like MacQueen Muffins.

No matter what you call them, they are wholesome and delicious!

signature

Homemade Oatmeal Baby Food #Recipe

If you have a spice or coffee grinder at home, making your own homemade oatmeal or rice baby food is super easy!



Simply add rice or oatmeal into your grinder, and pulverize until it is a powder. This takes about 10-20 seconds.

Once you've ground your oats into oat powder, you're ready to make baby oatmeal.

Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, then add in 2tbsp of oat powder, and whisk continuously for 30 seconds. Turn the heat down to medium low, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occaisionally.

To thin, use breastmilk or formula. For older babies, add fruit or vegetable puree, and experiment with spices such a ginger (great for digestion!), nutmeg and cinnamon!

Notes:

The type of oats that you choose doesn't really matter. We had large flake oats in the house at the time, so that's what I used. For added nutrients, use steel cut! In a pinch? Minute oats are just fine!

The recipe above provides one serving of baby oatmeal. You can make a larger batch and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

signature

Post Vacation Recovery Juice #recipe

Chocolate
Brownies
Three birthday dinners
Carbs carbs carbs
Red meat

One thing that I couldn't wait to do when we got home from our extended Christmas Vacation was put my juicer to work and get rid of all of the junk I had put into my body. We ate out alot on vacation, and being at Disney for a few days didn't exactly help (but boy were those cherry danishes after my 10km race good! mmmm!)


1 lemon, cut in half and yellow rind removed
1 peach, cut in quarters
2 apples, cut in quarters and seeds removed
1" knob of peeled ginger
1 large handful of spinach

Start off with a chunk of apple, then alternate your spinach with apple pieces, ginger, and peach. Finish with your lemon and your last pieces of apple.

Now...this juice is crazy tart. It's kind of like drinking the healthiest, sourest lemonade ever. But! Think about the benefits! That lemon is flushing out toxins in your body. The apple is loaded with fibre and vitamin C. The peach is sweet and balances the other flavours. The ginger is great for digestion. And the spinach? Hello, Popeye! Iron!

This is a super nutrient rich juice to get you back on track after vacation has bloated your belly and added weight that you weren't exactly looking to find!

signature

Cherry Berry Carrot Apple Flax Waffle Recipe

Last fall, I noticed that one thing was consistent with my son's lunches: the containers of applesauce+veggies were coming home. He ate it the first day, even picked out more varieties at the grocery store, and then....they came home.

So, waste not...want not! I developed a recipe that incorporates them and gets some added goodness from ground flax.


Preheat your waffle iron so it is nice and hot when you need to drop your batter.

2 cups flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
5 tbsp ground flax

Once you have blended your dry ingredients together, mix in your wet ingredients.

1 1/2 cups milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup cherry berry carrot applesauce

Mix well and ensure all of your dry ingredients are combined into the batter.

I like using an ice cream scoop to drop my batter. This makes the waffles a little smaller, which is perfect for school lunches and small hands. Let cook for 4.5-5mins

And here's a bonus...all of the ingredients are lactation boosting and breastfeeding friendly! Make a batch and pop them in the freezer, then when you're in a pinch for breakfast for yourself or your kids, reheat in the toaster!


signature

Lactation Boosting Fresh Juice Recipe

Last fall, I was supporting an amazing mama duo with their breastfeeding efforts, and when I found out that they enjoy freshly pressed juice, I started doing my homework on lactation boosting fruits and vegetables, then employed my experience in juicing during pregnancy to come up with some awesome combinations.


3 beets
1 large bunch of spinach
5 apples
2 pears
1 lemon
1 small fennel bulb

Before you begin, a word of caution. This recipe makes a lot of juice. I'm talking about 30oz. of juice, so be prepared with a pitcher that you can pour the juice from your juicer into.

Alternate fennel, apple, spinach, beets, beet greens, pear, lemon and finish everything off with two apples.

Store in a tightly sealed pitcher in the fridge for 24-48 hours (72 hours at the absolute maximum). As this is as fresh as juice can get with no preservatives, it can go bad quickly.

In terms of breastfeeding support and lactation boosting ingredients, there is goodness in each and every one of the fruits and vegetables in this juice recipe, however the most impactful is the fennel and the beets. The apples and lemon balance out all of the strong flavors.

Serve cold over ice!

signature

No Bake Energy Bites #recipe

While you're running around and around this holiday season, whip up a batch of these easy no bake energy bites and store them in your fridge or freezer. Then, when you're feeling a bit low of energy, grab a snack!


Combine in a large mixing bowl

2 cups oats
1 cup ground flax
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Then, with an electric mixer, blend in

2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cup peanut butter

Now you are ready to roll your energy bites by hand. You could also use a cookie scoop, but I find it easier to just pinch some of the dough and roll into a ball in your hands.

Once you've formed all of the bites, about 30, put them in an air tight container and pop them in the fridge or freezer.

These energy bites are also great for breastfeeding moms, too! They're full of whole grains, fibre, protein and healthy fats, and are certainly easy to eat with one hand!



signature

Strawberry Surprise #Christmas Morning #juice #recipe

Happy holidays and merry Christmas everyone!! If your family is like mine, you're likely gearing up to tear through gifts and then settle into a yummy breakfast with your kiddos.

Growing up, that means cinnabons and orange juice. Now, I'm a fan of juicing, but not specifically orange juice so I thought I would come up with an alternative that the whole family could enjoy on Christmas morning...and would be lovely with some champagne too!



2 apples
1 pear
1 handful of strawberries

That's it! This recipe is so easy. Start with half an apple, half your pear, then toss in your strawberries and follow with the rest of your apple and pears.

Like I said, a really simple recipe and one that my four year old enjoys...and mommy likes to turn into a Strawberry Mimosa for special occasions.

Enjoy! and Merry Christmas!
signature

Peachy Keen #fruit #juice #recipe

I was so excited this Spring when I saw peaches in the produce section, and I knew that they would make for a great, sweet and light juice; perfect for a weekend brunch!


1 large peach
2 apples
1 pear

Core your apples and pear, and pit your peach. The prep for this recipe is super easy, and all you need to do is run everything through your juicer. Easy peasy and super yummy!

Enjoy!

Yield: approx 16oz.
signature

The Easiest Trifle You Will Ever Make...Ever #recipe #holiday #dessert

This Spring, we were invited to the first BBQ potluck of the season and I was assigned dessert. More specifically, "cookies, dessert or ju jubes"

So I did what any good guest would do and tried to make a dessert that was super yummy and would be a home run.


Ingredients

1 pkg of Oreo cookies
1 pkg of Two Bite Brownies
11 Reese Peanut Butter Cups
2 large tubs of Cool Whip
1 small tub of Cool Whip

Layer 1: Cool Whip
Layer 2: chopped Reese Peanut Butter Cups
Layer 3: Cool Whip
Layer 4: crushed Oreo cookies
Layer 5: Cool Whip
Layer 6: chopped Two Bite Brownies, chopped Reese Peanut Butter cups, crushed Oreo cookies
Layer 7: Cool Whip
Layer 8: chopped Reese Peanut Butter Cups

Garnish with a whole Oreo and halved Two Bite Brownie


Seriously...that's it. Pretty much the easiest trifle recipe ever, and it was incredibly delicious.

Set in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour prior to serving. 

Variations

Add some chocolate pudding to your cool whip and alternate layers of regular cool whip with chocolate pudding whip
Add pound cake instead of brownies
Drizzle melted chocolate over the top before setting in the fridge.

Enjoy!

(and PS: there's no shame in licking the bowl or your plate when you are finished your portion)
signature

A Little Bit Of Everything #juice #recipe

So what do you do when you're at the end of your juicing supplies? Throw them all through your juicer and see what you get!


I call this my Kitchen Sink juice, and here's why...

1 tangerine
1 apple
1 pear
1 cup blueberries
2 cups carrots
1/2 lemon

Uhm...yep! All of that in one juice! Start with your softer fruits and follow with the hard ones...so, tangerine, apple, pear, blueberries and carrots. Finish off with your lemon, and then swirl!

With so many fruits and vegetables, there are just so many incredible health properties in this glass. Oh! And get a big glass...this makes about 15oz of juice!
signature

Oatmeal Peach Cookie Bar #Recipe for your next cookie exchange

Headed to a cookie exchange this holiday season? Here is a super yummy, rather impressive, yet simple and easy recipe to get you through your next cookie exchange


Preheat your oven to 350F

1.5 cups flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup peach puree
dash of vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter

Start out by greasing a 9x11 baking dish. Once greased, set aside.

Combine all of the above ingredients, then separate your dough into two parts. Take half, and press it into the bottom of your pan. Now, spoon on and spread out your jam. I chose a wildberry jam, but you could certainly use an orange marmalade, or standard strawberry jam.

Next, press the second half of your dough to make the top crust. The dough may be a bit sticky, so flour your fingers as necessary, or use the back of a slightly greased metal spoon.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Here's a trick to make getting the bars out of the pan super easy. When you take them out of the oven, cut them immediately, then allow them to cool completely in the pan.

These bars make a great school snack, are perfect for cookie exchanges and holiday parties.

Yield: 20 bars


Looking for more Christmas ideas? Over the next week, 25 bloggers will be sharing their creative ideas with you for recipes, decor, crafts, printables, and holiday traditions. Each day 5 new posts will go live so make sure you come back to check them out! At the end of our 25 Blogs of Christmas, we will be hosting a HUGE giveaway for a $250 Amazon Gift Card!
signature