Our girls are on spring break this week and next, so I’m busy keeping them busy at home! They are spread out in ages (almost 14, 10, and almost 6), so I find they rarely want to do the same things. Sometimes the older two hang out, other times the younger two play together or do projects – today they are painting birdhouses. But, the girls are at a stage where they often don’t enjoy the same activities. Anyone else have this experience with their kiddos? Have any ideas or advice to share?
One thing we did enjoy this week was a walk through Redwood Park. This park is peaceful and beautiful in its own right, with majestic trees and serene paths…
Recently, I heard about a “fairy kingdom” that has developed in the woods of the park. At some point, one or more children had the idea to put a couple of little wooden doors and wooden birdhouses on trees, where the fairies come to visit! Well, the idea caught on and now we have a wee enchanted forest with doors at the base of trees and painted birdhouses with charming personal touches. Here are a few examples, though the pictures don’t do justice to the entire scene:
We strolled through the kingdom, and all three girls were engaged with the fun. I was too! Of course, afterwards the younger girls were keen to paint their own contributions to the fairy forest. So, they started painting and decorating their little houses today. If you live in the South Surrey/White Rock area, go for a stroll in Redwood Park – the fairy fun is just beyond the treehouse.
Now, when activities fail me, there’s one thing our girls always enjoy together… homemade treats! They all love this Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl. Ok, our middle daughter opts for the pudding without the berry swirl, no surprise there.
This is a new recipe from my Plant-Powered Families cookbook. This pudding is very easy to whip together, and tastes like a PB&J sandwich – without the bread! It’s all whole-foods based, from the pudding to the swirl!
Oh, and for those of you possibly wondering… “uh-oh, is there a lot of peanut butter in this book? I’ve already preordered!”… No, there isn’t. In fact, I believe this is the only dedicated peanut butter recipe in the book. And, you can substitute a nut butter like cashew or almond if you have peanut allergies in your household.
And, if you missed my last post and don’t know about the preorder offer of a bonus ebook and special giveaway, check out my last post for details!
Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (link to print/share)
This idea came to me one day after school. I wanted to give the girls a treat, but something nutritious—and quick! This pudding came together in a flash, and their eyes sure lit up!
Peanut Butter Pudding:
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter or other nut butter (see notes)
1 tablespoon white chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2–4 teaspoons pure maple syrup for extra sweetening (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries (see note)
2–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
Pinch sea salt
In a blender, puree the dates, peanut butter, chia seeds, sea salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth (if using a high-speed blender, this will be quick; with a standard blender, you may need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times). If you’d like additional sweetener, add the maple syrup, a teaspoon or two at a time, to taste. For the swirl: Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the berries, maple syrup, and sea salt until semi-smooth. If using frozen berries, it will take a little longer. Dollop the berry mixture on the peanut-butter pudding, or “swirl” it through!
Peanut Butter Note: Peanut butters often have salt added, even the natural varieties. Check the ingredients—if it does, reduce or omit salt.
Nut Butter Note: If substituting a nut butter like almond, try adding a touch of orange zest. It pairs beautifully with almond
Berries Note: If using seasonal fresh berries, they may be sweeter than frozen. Puree with just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and add extra to taste. With frozen berries, I usually use 2 tablespoons syrup.
Pudding photo credit: Nicole Axworthy
Enjoy the pudding, friends!