treats for kids

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Move over nut butters and raspberry, there’s a new Queen in town!

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Blueberries and chocolate go together beautifully, and it’s time the two share the spotlight with these delicious mini Blueberry Chocolate Cups! With just 7 ingredients and under 30 minutes to make, gather the kids into the kitchen and watch how quickly the magic of this easy recipe comes together!

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

I love these because they’re naturally sweet, quick to make and perfect for little hands. I designed them to be a frozen treat, but you can keep them in the fridge if you prefer. The chia seeds make the inside a bit jammy, and because dates don’t harden when they freeze, you’ll always have a soft middle on these cups. Did I mention that there’s no added sugar? Score!

I’ve made this recipe with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. My personal preference is dark chocolate, but you’ll have to try them all to see what works best for you!

If you make these and post them, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and use hashtag #lalalunchbox!

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cup

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Ingredients

2 cups chocolate chips

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon neutral oil, divided

1 6 ounce container of blueberries

2 dates

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon chia

Flake salt for the top (optional)


Method

Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler with 1 tablespoon neutral oil and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Line a mini muffin tin with liners and place a small amount of chocolate in the bottom of each. This will be the bottom of the chocolate cups. Place in the freezer while you complete the next step.  

Soak the dates in warm water for 5 minutes. Remove them from the water, cut them into chunks and add to a food processor.

Add blueberries to the food processor and blend together until the large chunks have become small. Add 1 teaspoon neutral oil, vanilla and salt and process again. 

Place contents into a bowl and add chia seeds. Stir and let that rest for 5 minutes. 

Take the muffin tin out of the freezer. The chocolate should be relatively hard. Spoon some of the blueberry date mixture into each cup and top with remaining melted chocolate. Sprinkle with flake salt (optional). Place in the freezer again to set. 

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Because dates don’t freeze, the inside texture will remain soft. Makes 15 mini cups. If you’d like to keep it at 12, use the leftover blueberry date sauce on sandwiches. 

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Blueberry Chocolate Cups

Dairy Free S'mores Parfaits

campfire for s'mores

We kick off the start of summer every year with s'mores around a campfire on Memorial Day weekend. And though my kids absolutely love s'mores, we usually never have them after that. 

It's kind of a shame really. S'mores are basically the unofficial summer dessert, so why do we limit it to just once? I'll tell you why: campfires are a rare treat for us. No campfire, no s'mores. 

Until now. 

This year on Memorial Day weekend, I did something unexpected: I bought a container of fluff. My kids were flummoxed. I've never bought fluff in all my years as a parent. But somehow in the grocery store, I got the idea to combine fluff with brownies, and this recipe came into existence.  

Everyone cheered. But I still had a ton of fluff leftover. What to do? I set out to create a s'mores recipe that didn't require a campfire. It worked! My kids have been happily having s'mores parfaits all summer for the first time ever. Do they have that toasted marshmallow flavor? Nope. But no one seems to be complaining. 

sharing s'mores

The first step to making these s'mores parfaits is to make the chocolate pudding. I've used Ghirardelli 72% cocoa squares, which have a deep cocoa flavor and are dairy free. I added avocado to make it super creamy and plant-based milk to keep it dairy free. Because fluff is so sweet, and graham crackers are also usually sweet, I didn't want to overdo it and add sugar. I wanted the chocolate flavor to ground this dessert. The creaminess of the avocado tempers the bite of the cocoa, and lightens the flavor overall, making this a universally loved dessert around here. 

s'mores parfait ingredients

As an aside, I've been loving a yogurt called White Moustache recently, and they come in little 8 ounce glass jars. I keep the jars and use them for a million things, and these s'mores parfaits are just one example. An 8 ounce jar makes this dessert perfect for sharing, as it's quite large for just one person. Of course, you can modify the size of the container that you use. 

You can also use chocolate chips in place of the chocolate squares. Be sure to use chips that are high in cocoa content - I recommend 60% or more - to maintain the balance. I've also used the ghirardelli 60% cocoa squares with great success here, which yields a lighter cocoa flavor. 

All you'll need to make this parfait is a blender. If you don't have a microwave to melt the chocolate, use a double boiler and melt it old school on the stove top. 

The trickiest part of putting it all together is layering the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate pudding and fluff. The fluff is the hardest part, because quite frankly, it's sticky, so you'll be either rinsing your hands a lot, or licking them! And even if you don't master the layering on your first go, I guarantee that you'll have a good time licking your fingers! 

Dairy free s'mores parfaits

Dairy free s'mores parfaits

Ingredients
10 ghirardelli 72% cocoa squares, melted (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips, at least 60% cocoa)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup milk or plant milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup (heaping) marshmallow fluff

8 full rectangles of graham crackers, crushed into crumbs

2 8 oz glass jars

Berries, for garnish

Makes 2 8 oz parfaits, (serves 4 total)

Method
1. Melt the chocolate. I used my microwave on high for about one minute and stirred until everything was melted and uniform. 

2. Combine melted chocolate, avocado, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt in a blender. Purée on high for about 30-60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides to make sure all ingredients are included. 

3. Crush graham crackers, either with a cuisinart or the old fashioned way (like I did) in a bag using a rolling pin. Make sure the bag is closed so that crumbs don't go flying everywhere! 

4. Separate the graham crackers into four approximately equal amounts. Use the first two piles to line the bottom of the two glass jars. Use the back of a spoon to pat down. 

5. Carefully spoon in some chocolate pudding on top of the graham cracker layer. Pat down. 

6. Next add about a heaping 1/8 cup of marshmallow fluff to each cup and use your fingers to pat down as much as possible. 

7. Repeat each of those layers until the cup is filled and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

8. Garnish with berries (and/or flake salt) and serve. 

These lasted beautifully in my refrigerator (covered) for two days, and I was happy to see that the fluff stayed ooey and gooey, just like in a s'more. 

You can pretend it's summer all year round with this recipe, so when it's the dark of winter and you need a little sprinkling of summer, whip these up! 

s'mores parfaits