Love is in the air at Clean Little Tummies
February is here! Hurrah! That means we can pretend it is almost Spring, and February is also a kind month to us foodies, with Valentine's Day and Pancake Day to keep us interested. We'll get to pancakes later in the month...but for now, let's focus on Valentine's Day.
Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of the crazy Valentine takeover that seems to happen these days. Mr J and I are card-only people for Valentine's day, but I couldn't let this opportunity pass by for some loving with my Clean Little Tummies. Over Christmas we made some white chocolate unicorn bark (I know, I know, not exactly Clean Little Tummies material, but it was Christmas!) and since then I've seen some fun, healthy takes on the bark using natural yoghurt and fruit.
This recipe is born out of a few of these I've seen and has a little Valentine's twist. It will also make a lovely gift for your Clean Little Tummy Loved Ones on Valentine's Day too. Mould some of the mixture into hearts and there's all the love you need for Happy Valentine's Day! It is a great dessert, snack or perfect baby-led weaning aid for poor little teething Clean Little Tummies. The coolness helps soothe those painful gums. With so few ingredients it is an easy recipe to make.
The best thing about this recipe is it such a fun activity to do together with your Clean Little Tummies. Getting them involved always means they're happy to try it and, as long as you can cope with some mess, then it's such good fun. The best thing to do is prepare the fruit and yoghurt ready for them to make the bark. Older children may be more patient (I'm hoping so), but my Clean Little Tummies aren't great at waiting for the fruit to cool down so with young ones my advice is to have everything prepped in advance.
250g Frozen Strawberries (this will make more than you need but it makes a great puree to pour over porridge, yoghurt or to add to smoothies)
300g Natural Greek Yoghurt
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
I tablespoon of milk
Choose your fruit to flavour your bark with. We were looking for pink as it is Valentine's day so we've gone with strawberries but blueberries or raspberries work well. Use frozen strawberries if you can as they are much cheaper and cook up so nicely into a puree.
Place the strawberries into a saucepan with a tablespoon of water, simmer gently until the berries are soft and cooked. (Or do this quickly in a microwave).
Blitz the strawberries in a blender (cue Nutribullet!)
Leave to cool.
Mix the Natural Greek Yoghurt with one tablespoon of milk and one tablespoon of maple syrup until it is a runny consistency. Add more milk if it is too stiff but be careful as you don't want it too runny so it won't set! Adjust the maple syrup according to your taste buds. Leave it out if you'd like it completely sugar free or want to use it is as a baby teething soother.
To make the Valentine's Bark
Line a baking tray (one that will fit in your freezer) with baking parchment.
Put spoonfuls of the yoghurt mix onto the baking parchment and spread out into a nice smooth layer.
Add small spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture in different places.
Use a cocktail stick to mix the strawberry through the yoghurt through making pretty patterns as you go.
It is then ready to place in the freezer or you can add some pretty toppings to make it even more beautiful. Freeze dried strawberries look pretty as do other berries or pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts. I'll leave it up to you how much jazz you want your Valentine's bark to have. For ours we used chopped fresh strawberries and halved blueberries.
Leave in the freezer until it's set. Once set, break into pieces and serve as a dessert or snack.
Alternatively you can swirl the strawberry mixture into the yoghurt and pop it into ice cube moulds to make little frozen yoghurt drops. Ours just happened to be heart shaped ones just in time for Valentine's day!
This will make one baking tray's worth of bark and will keep in the freezer for up to a month.
Sending you and your Clean Little Tummies lots of love on Valentine's Day xx