I’ve been soul searching a lot over the course of this Freezy-Does-It project as I blog.
Because, guys! It turns out, I lie to my kids. Like, a lot.
I make them eat what I cook for them by giving their meals names like “pizza,” or “nuggets,” or “chocolate-chip-something-or-other.” And then the poor things grow up thinking Mac and cheese is SUPPOSED to have tons of bleu cheese and celery and bell pepper in it, and “goldfish crackers” are SUPPOSED to be square-shaped and not fish-shaped, because that’s how their mother makes it, and dammitthat’showshelikesit.
I’m sure they’re going to spend lots of time in therapy one day.
But for now, why change a good thing if it’s working, amIright?
During the summer, the kids and I frequently make smoothies (and call them “milkshakes” – see what I mean? I’m a pathological liar!). We pour our favorite mixture of ripe fruit/veggies and yogurt into popsicle molds, or sometimes we skip the yogurt altogether and just blend up a watermelon or a canteloupe (we add nothing else) and pour that into the popsicle molds. It’s easier than going to the store to buy the damn popsicles, guys.
And this is where the Freezy-Does-It project comes in.
Because it turns out, this method translates VERY well into lunches. No, you can’t send popsicles to school, but you can send push-ups. These molds are made of silicone, their tops seal well, and they work beautifully to help you send your
kale/alfalfa/flax-seed concoction “ice cream” to school.
Just make your smoothie of choice (see below), pour it into the molds, and freeze. When you send them to school, pack double ice packs (more on this in my next post!). Four (or so) hours later, when the kids are having lunch, the push-up is pretty slushy – still frozen enough to be able to nibble at (as opposed to just drink), but super soft (you can slurp it in soft chunks if you prefer). And most importantly, still within the target temperature range for optimal safety (more on that in my next post!).
Alternatively, you could freeze the smoothies in silicone ice cube trays or silicone muffin liners (don’t try to go old-school with either of these, it will not work nearly as well!), and pop a couple of those suckers out of their silicone liners into a thermos the morning of the needed lunch. It will be thawed and slushy by lunch time, and can be enjoyed as a proper smoothie instead of a push-up (you wet blanket, you!).
I’ve made a super basic sample recipe here for you guys just to show how it works, but switch it out for your own favorite recipe, and go nuts
hiding those veggies making those dessert treats. And prepare to have your kids fall over each other to give you back rubs and peeled grapes because they’re the only kids who routinely bring frozen yogurt to school and they can’t believe how they lucked out by having you as their parent.
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 pint strawberrries
- 3 Tb honey
- Blend ingredients together, and pour into molds - each mold holds about 1/3 cup, and don't forget to leave a good 1/2-3/4 inch space at the top for the smoothie to expand before popping the cap on. If you're nervous, you can freeze upright, but I haven't had one leak on me yet, so don't worry if you've sealed the pops well and need to lay them on their side.
- To send to school, use a double ice pack and lay pops between packs. Enjoy, you awesome ice-cream-in-your-lunch-packer, you!
- Tomato Sauce (Round 1)
- Never-Get-Your-Hands-Dirty Pizza Dough
- “Pizza” pockets (sausage, spinach and cheese, or cheese and veggie)
- Savory Lunch Empanadas (sweet potato and black beans, or ground beef)
- Spinach-Cream Cheese turnovers
- PLUS, SNACK: Strawberry Leather (Fruit “Roll Ups”)
- And BONUS SNACK: Portable Smoothie “Push-Ups”