Saturday, September 10, 2011

A is for Apples and B is for Bananas…

Sorry for the delay my friends!  We lost power as I was writing this post and lost most of what I had written along with the pictures…grumble, grumble.  I’m back in business now and hope to stay on track this week!

We’re all about the ABC’s and 1,2,3’s this year!  And we’re all about making it fun (as fun as I can get)!  My little Cailyn is such a different learner than her older sister and she keeps me moving just as fast as she does.  Thus, school for her has to be “hopping”….she doesn’t do still! 
This has forced me to get creative and develop a lot of hands on activities.  This site has been a fabulous resource for engaging activities that keep us on our toes, along with using our local library for fun books and learning DVD’s.  Our focus this week was on the letter “A” and we used “apples” as our theme. 

We enjoyed…
Apple Tasting
Apple Printing
Applesauce Making
Letter “A” Writing
Counting & Sorting Apples (and their seeds)
Reading Books About Apples & the Letter “A”
Needless to say, we all learned A LOT about apples and Cailyn became very proficient in knowing the letter “A”!  Next, we’re moving on to “Butterflies!”

We wanted to share our delicious applesauce with you…
 Best Ever No-Cook Applesauce
4-6 medium apples, unpeeled, washed, cored and quartered
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Place all of your ingredients into a large ziploc bag.  Toss well to distribute evenly.  Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours (I recommend a bit more).  Remove bag from freezer and allow to thaw for an hour or more. 
Gently rub skin from frozen apples and place apple pulp into a large bowl.  Mash with a fork or potato masher (*some of my apples were still a bit hard so after mashing a bit I threw them in the food processor to break them up some more).  Serve cold.

We got a little ahead of ourselves and let the letter “B” join in on some of our fun this week!  Actually, I just had some VERY ripe bananas that I needed to use.  It was also a perfect opportunity to try out my “millet flour.”  I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome…moist with a little crunch!
Banana Chocolate Chip Millet Mini Bread Loaves
(inspired by Sarah @ Peas and Thank You)
Yields 5 Mini loaves (or 12 regular muffins)
2/3 cup millet
1 1/2  cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large bananas, mashed
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare mini loaf pans by lightly spraying with cooking spray (or line your muffin pan with 12 muffin cups).
Measure the millet into a food processor or blender and pulse into a fine texture.
Pour the “millet flour” into a large bowl and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum gum, cinnamon, and salt.
In a medium bowl mash bananas and add the oil, milk, brown sugar and vanilla.  Stir well to combine.
Mix the wet ingredients into dry, just until combined(be sure not to over mix when using gluten free flour!)
Spoon the batter into prepared mini loaf pans and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from pans.  Enjoy!

Oats made a comeback in a quick and easy breakfast this week.  It only took a few minutes to prepare and it was ready to go first thing in the morning!
Overnight Oatmeal Parfaits
Yields 4 servings
1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds, chopped (*toasting them is optional)
1 cup non-dairy milk (regular milk would work as well)
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt)
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tablespoons maple syrup (can sub in honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries)
To toast almonds: put almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant (about 3 minutes).  Chop them coarsely.
In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, yogurt, oats, syrup, and vanilla.  Divide the oat mixture evenly among 4 small dishes or parfait glasses.  Top each with a 1/2 cup of berries.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to eat, top each dish with 2 Tbsp almonds (you can top them the night before, but I find that they don’t stay as crunchy).  The parfaits will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nourishing Thought for Today:
Being a home schooling mom is a blessing.  Being a mom of two beautiful young girls is priceless.  Being a mom is the best job in the world…just sayin’!


No comments:

Post a Comment