Tuesday's Tip-Making your own popsicles

I have a new favorite kitchen gadget. It's called the Vita-Mix and I'm in love. OK, that's going overboard I know, but if you could see this thing in action you would fall head over heels yourself. It's a blender, juicer and food processor all in one. The thing is powerful, going from 11mph to 240mph in seconds. I was able to get rid of my juicer and my blender to make room for this baby on my counter.

You can make smoothies, dips, salsa, hummus, soups, almond butter and the list goes on and on. I used to juice everyday and then it dawned on me that I was throwing away so much goodness down the drain after I juiced that I just couldn't do it anymore. It seemed like such a waste of nutrients and money. With the Vita-Mix I don't throw anything away because it grinds it all up so you keep all of the vitamins in the container. Plus it is so much easier to clean than a juicer. If you have a regular juicer you know what I mean. It can take you 10 minutes or more just for clean up and who really has time for that.

My only warning for the Vita-Mix is the cost. They are not cheap, but so worth the investment. The best deal I could find was at Costco. They only stock the machine when someone from the company is there to demonstrate it so call your store to see if they know when that will be. You can also try eBay or Craig's list to find a used one. The company has been around for 90 years and they warranty their blenders for 7 years. I have a friend who said she is using the one her mom gave her and it's over 25 years old and still going. Now that's a company I can back.

OK so you are probably thinking, what does this have to do with my Tuesday's tip? I will tell you. With the weather getting warmer it is popsicle time at my house. I wanted to find an alternative for the popsicles that you buy at the store. One for ingredient reasons and the other to save money. That's where my Vita-Mix comes in. I pour all of my ingredients in the machine and start it up. Then I put it in these neat little Popsicle containers I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $2.99 and stick them into the freezer. In about a few hours, I have wonderful healthy popsicles for the girls to eat. This is a treat I don't mind if they have everyday.

This is today's smoothie I made for myself. The girls loved it too. The leftovers will go in their popsicle containers. The Vita-Mix makes a ton so watch how much of the ingredients you are putting in your machine.

My girls would never eat kale, broccoli or flax seeds by themselves, but they will drink it. They have no idea how good this is for their little bodies. I also add liquid calcium to their drink since they do not get cow's milk. I want to make sure they have enough calcium in their diets. That is what's so great about juicing is that you can sneak vitamins into your kids smoothie and they will never know it.

You need to have a liquid for the base. You can use water, yogurt, almond milk, cow's milk, whatever you have in the fridge. I love Coconut Kefir (you can get it at Whole Foods) so that's what we use. This changes from day to day for me depending on what I have in the fridge. If I have some fruit that is going to go bad I throw it in the Vita-Mix. This is also the only blender that will blend a banana. Pretty cool.

I know this may not look like the most appetizing drink in the world but believe me it's delicious. My girls are incredibly picky eaters and they drank some before nap time. The key is to use a fruit that is sweet like peaches, pineapple, apples etc.. If you need an added sweetener I suggest using some raw honey or Stevia.

This is the end result. I like these popsicle holders because they have the built in straws so there is less mess.

It's 86 degrees here today so this is perfect for treat time this afternoon. I think I might have to eat one myself.

Do you have a Vita-Mix machine? If so tell me some of your favorite things to make. I would love to try some new recipes.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I do not get paid to endorse any products that I suggest. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.


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