When I found out I was pregnant, immediately I had poetic pictures of pushing a pram (stroller) through the park and wet, sweet kisses on my cheek flooding through my mind. Those moments definitely happen. The part I didn’t know was that these beautiful moments would often come at the exact moment I need them- the moment when I am asking.. what did I do?? My life was so simple… Then, the laughter bursts from my daughter’s mouth and all the frustrations are whisked away (at least temporarily). That’s the catch, my friend. Being a mom is hard. It’s giving up yourself and focusing every ounce of energy on that tiny, precious child. Since Madelyn turned 6 months old, I’ve found myself constantly researching, reading, asking friends, stressing over… how on earth do I feed this child food?? It seems so simple, but yet it’s been such a challenge for me! Especially now that she’s 1 and eating mainly solids. Wait?! I have to PLAN and COOK for my child to have a healthy diet now?? (sobbing cry) You don’t realize how convenient that bottle or breast is until it’s gone bye-bye. So my new culinary mission: Find recipes that are:
- Quick- 30 min or less, preferably. Start to finish. And I’ll only work longer if it yields lots of food for leftovers.
- Clean- I don’t want any of that processed, dyed stuff going in my child’s body. …At least most of the time.
- Healthy- the goal is to check off all the food groups through the day! ..just like a healthy adult diet, think COLORS! Mo’ colors = mo’ betta.
Here’s the really exciting thing.. this week, I created THE BEST SNACK EVER. Why is it the best snack ever? I’ll tell you. These delightful orange puffies are:
- Fun, because they are small and orange and crispy.
- Delish, because look at all the yummy foods in them? They have a slightly sweet taste but all from natural sources.
- Super healthy, they check all the major food groups except dairy (which I’m A-okay with, I’m minimizing dairy for our whole family, which is a convo for a later date). These Power Puffs have: Fruit, Veg, Grain, Protein ⇠ see?? Win.
- Made from all basic, simple ingredients that you probably have stocked up already.
- Loved by all- that means, one recipe that can easily feed every member of your family- no holdouts, tantrums, refusals, or need for a bag of greasy chips 🙂
- Convenient! Madelyn really likes them, warm, cold, however, so they are the perfect noms for her while I make the rest of her meal. And they travel really well! Just throw a few in a snack bag and off you go. Best of all, she can feed herself easily and without a mess!
There are two very-orange foods in these Power Puffs: Sweet Potato and Pumpkin. The power behind their hue is beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Known for its immune-boosting powers, beta-carotene is essential for eye health and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. Both foods are also great sources of protein and fiber, too!
Quinoa: officially named a food of “high nutritive value” it contains high levels of plant-based protein and tons of antioxidants and heart-healthy fats⇢ protection against cardiovascular disease. Quinoa is usually counted as a whole grain, though it’s actually a seed. It’s a ‘complete protein food’ containing all nine essential amino acids. Oh and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and contains those much sought-after Omega-3’s 😉
Cinnamon: a spice second only to black pepper in the US and Europe, it’s not only delicious and loved by almost everyone but doctors believe it has lots of positive effects on your health too!
Kale: If all the super healthy greens got in a fight, Kale would kick all their patooties. It’s one of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods you can find. It also contains powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and helps to lower cholesterol and fight off cancer. Oh and it has lots of minerals most people don’t get enough of, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Sold yet? If not, more about kale here and here. *follow links for further nutritional information from outside sources
Enough chatter, I know you are dying to make these babies whether it’s to feed your kiddo or yourself. I chose both and made this large batch that the Pilot, Madelyn, and I are all sharing for this week’s snack.
Okay, there’s an easy button for these puffs. Just get pre-chopped sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin puree, and frozen chopped kale. Got time? Start chopping and if you really want to, you can do whatever it is you do to scoop out the flesh from a pumpkin… I’ve never done it, so I won’t be much help.
Step one: Get the sweet potatoes steaming or boiling until soft and cook the quinoa in chicken or vegetable broth. Or if you’re like me and ran out of broth, you can do half stock and half water and it will be fine. We are learning flexibility, too 🙂
Step two: *Preheat oven to 400* Once the potatoes are soft, move them to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes until the lumps are gone and add in all the ingredients- cooked quinoa, kale (heat and break up if using frozen kale), pumpkin, olive oil, applesauce, and pink Himalayan salt & cinnamon to taste. Mix thoroughly.
Step three: Using a teaspoon (for toddler-size bites, or a tablespoon for larger), drop in small balls onto parchment-lined or oiled cookie sheet. Use the spoon to press the top of each ball into a more cookie-like shape.
Step four: Bake for 20 minutes, turning mid-way through cooking.
Enjoy your large batch of Sweet Potato Power Puffs! This made over a hundred puffs, so feel free to halve the batch if you don’t want so many. But you will, eventually 😉
Enjoy these convenient little puffs of joy! Great for travel, snacks, or part of a quick meal. They also freeze beautifully! Please let me know if you try it and how you like them/ how many you eat while baking them. You’ll find the 21 Day Fix breakdown and recipe card with detailed instructions below! xoxo
21 DAY FIX BREAKDOWN (snack serving: 8 puffs)
.5 YELLOW (QUINOA & SWEET POTATO) -> OR RED FOR VEGAN/VEGETARIAN DIETS
.5 GREEN (KALE & PUMPKIN)
.25 PURPLE (APPLESAUCE)
*this is one of those tricky recipes to count in the Fix because it’s a little of a lot of variety, so count how you think best! This is an example how I may count mine for the day.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen chopped kale OR 2 cups fresh kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 7 oz. pumpkin puree (half a small can)
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt, to taste
- Ground Cinnamon, to taste
- Steam or boil diced sweet potatoes until soft
- Cook quinoa in chicken or vegetable broth, follow package directions.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes until the lumps are gone and add in all the ingredients- cooked quinoa, kale (heat and break up if using frozen kale), pumpkin, olive oil, applesauce, and pink Himalayan salt & cinnamon to taste. Mix thoroughly.
- Using a teaspoon (for toddler-size bites, or a tablespoon for larger), drop in small balls onto parchment-lined or oiled cookie sheet. Use the spoon to press the top of each ball into a more cookie-like shape.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping puffs mid-way through baking.