Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Strawberry Protein Chia Pops

This simple dessert or snack recipe for Strawberry Protein Chia Pops is made from chia pudding and perfect for summer.

Sponsored Post: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Naked Nutrition. All opinions and text are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I feel like a broken record talking about the weather this week but it is HOT. The temperature rose to 89 degrees yesterday which equaled 79 degrees inside our house. I wasn't expecting to turn on the air conditioning in mid-May but here we are. In typical Midwest fashion, it's supposed to be back in the 50s by Friday. Until then, it's a good thing I have icy popsicles to snack on that happen to be healthy and made from chia pudding!

Naked Nutrition reached out to me recently about trying their protein powder and hosting a giveaway. Naked's protein powder includes pure ingredients and no artificial sweeteners or colors. Naked sent me a 5 pound {!!} container of their Naked Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder to give away to one lucky winner - scroll to the end of this post to enter.

I also tried one of the Naked Nutrition sample packs - mine included strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavored powders.

I used strawberry protein powder for this recipe for Strawberry Protein Chia Pops. This is a two step process - first you need to make a large batch of chia pudding and let it chill for at least 4 hours. Second, you need to freeze the pudding in popsicle molds for at least 8 hours. I chilled my pudding during the workday and froze my popsicles overnight.

These popsicles turned out perfect with a nice strawberry flavor! I used a combination of light coconut milk and almond milk, but any milk product will work.

I'm looking forward to trying more popsicle ideas this summer.

Strawberry Protein Chia Pops
Yields: 6 popicles

1 scoop Naked Strawberry Protein Powder
10-12 strawberries
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
10 Tablespoons chia seeds

*Add protein powder, strawberries, coconut milk, almond milk, and maple syrup to a food processor. Process until the ingredients are combined {I used the pulse function for 1 minute}.
*Add 12 Tablespoons chia seeds to the pureed mixture and whisk until combined.
*Chill in a covered container for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
*Add pudding mixture to pudding pops. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
*Follow package instructions to remove pops from the popsicle mold {I ran each frozen popsicle under hot water for ~20 seconds to remove the plastic mold}.

Giveaway Time!

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Letter to My Son on My First Mother's Day

A letter to my son on my first Mother's Day:

Last year on Mother's Day I was 9 weeks pregnant and only a few days past our first ultrasound. We waited for you for a long time and I held my breath as the weeks passed, hoping everything was going well and we would have a baby in our arms in time for Christmas. You joined us earlier than expected the week before Thanksgiving and everything about you was perfect.

A few days ago when I picked you up from the end of your second week of child care, your teacher handed me a homemade clay ornament with your tiny hand print pressed into a misshapen circle. A little note was attached about how your hand will never be this small again - your baby teacher commented that yours was the smallest in the nursery room {you are the youngest after all}. I'm not usually someone who gets emotional about crafts, but I cried a few tears on my walk home.

I'm overwhelmed by how much I love you - it hits me like a ton of bricks at random moments: hearing you laugh for the time for my off-key rendition of "My Girl"; feeling you snuggle up when it's time for a nap and you want to be rocked to sleep; watching you learn to turn the pages on your baby books; staring in wonder at where your very long eyelashes came from while you sleep.

Here are my hopes for you little one on my first Mother's Day:

I hope you grow up to be humble and kind to everyone around you.

I hope you inherit your daddy's sense of humor, friendliness, and cooking skills.  

I hope you learn to love the earth and respect the environment.

I hope you turn into a 'foodie baby' when the time is right.

I hope you learn to keep a 2 foot radius from the cat - she tolerates you now, but she might change her mind when you can grab tufts of her white fur.

I hope you appreciate wide open fields as much as living in an urban area.

I hope you realize how much your family loves you.

I hope your first word is Mama :)