Today is Isac’s first birthday! We’ve celebrated with banana pancakes and popsicles flavoured with watermelon, his favourite thing in the world. More about the popsicle recipe at the bottom of this post. First this.
About 4 1/2 years ago we wrote a letter to his sister on her first birthday and we wanted to do the same for him. Obviously he won’t be able to read this know, but we’re hoping that he might find this 15 or 20 years from now, when he’s curiously scrolling through old internet pages and discovers the weird food blogging phenomena that his parents were involved in.
To Isac. You are sleeping right next to me in the bed so I’m typing this as quietly as I can. A few minutes ago you were lying on my chest looking up at me with your clear blue eyes and I was singing Cat Stevens songs for you until your eye lids got heavy. It was one of those moments you pack into a little box and store inside your heart. You are only one year old and we have already had so many of these moments with you. Every time we tickle your tummy you start laughing this unfiltered, contagious laugh that makes your face all wrinkly. At least a hundred times a day, you put whatever you are holding in your hand to your ear and answer ”Hallo?”, one time it was a cooked beetroot and you smudged it all over your chin and hair while pretending to be talking on the phone. It looked so hilarious and when we laughed, you started laughing even more. Whenever you see your sisters toes, you sneak up to her and bite them, like a little dog. Sometimes she gets angry at you for doing that, but you always just smile back at her (often with her toe still in your mouth). You are a funny dude.
I remember feeling a bit worried, the days before you were born. We had been such a tight family of three for many years and I guess I wasn’t sure what would happen to our close bonds now that you were about to arrive. But then you came and immediately you changed our family. You changed our relationship with each other and you changed your sister. She really hoped that you would be a girl but has loved you wholeheartedly from the second she saw you. And you have loved her back. As soon as you hear her voice in the morning, you start shouting “Ella! Ella!”. So far, it’s the only word you can say, your sister’s name. Your mom and I really hope that you two will continue to have the same beautiful relationship when you grow up.
Of course you can also scream and cry and be terribly unhappy. While learning how to walk, you have been falling a million times, banging your head into walls, floors and furniture. But even when you were bleeding from your eyebrow, you took the cloth I was holding against your cut, put it against your ear and answered… “Hallo?”, and then you started laughing again.
We love you through laughter, cuts, scrapes, beetroot and blood. Happy birthday little man!
/Mom & Dad
And now, ice pops! Watermelon is doubtless Isac’s favourite fruit so we made these popsicles as a little treat for him. Just like with Elsa, we are trying to teach him to eat proper food before introducing cookies and real sweets. So these are perfect as it’s basically just frozen smoothies. Popsicles or paletas are super simple to make and can be varied in an infinite amount of ways. Here we have blended watermelon as one layer and bananas and yogurt as the other, mixed them a bit to create a marble effect and then added a little chocolate crumble for extra birthday glamour.
Check out this Blueberry popsicle video recipe that we did last year if you want to get more visual instructions and popsicle inspiration.
Marbled Watermelon Popsicles
Makes 8-10 popsicles
See this recipe more as a starting point. Almost any type of fruit, berries, sweetener or dairy products can be frozen into popsicles. Pure watermelon popsicles is a great one ingredient recipe. Or you can do something more advanced, like a cheesecake popsicle with ricotta cheese and honey instead of yogurt. Whatever is in season and to your liking.
About a quarter medium size watermelon (2 pounds / 1 kg)
1 cup / 250 ml full-fat Turkish yogurt or vegan yogurt
2 ripe bananas (you can also add some honey if you want them to be extra sweet)
1 tsp ground vanilla or vanilla extract
10 fresh raspberries
1-2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cut the watermelon flesh in chunks and add to a high speed blender. Mix until smooth and pour the watermelon juice into a jug. Rinse the blender and add yogurt, banana, honey and vanilla to a high-speed blender. Mix until smooth. Slowly pour some of the banana yogurt into the popsicle moulds, filling about 1/3 of the mould (or whatever height you think looks pretty). Then carefully pour the mixed watermelon on top (remember to leave some space for the crumble). Check so the layers more or less stay intact (if the consistency is too loose, you can pop the moulds in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before adding the second layer). To get the marbled effect, simply use a straw or the backside of a teaspoon and stir up and down one or two strokes. Tear the raspberries in half and drop two halves into each mould, use a straw to push them down. To create the chocolate crumble, simply melt coconut oil and honey in a frying pan on low heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and toast for a few minutes while stirring. Spoon the crumble into the moulds as a top layer, then carefully insert the popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours. When you want to eat the popsicles, rinse the moulds quickly under water to get them out without any hassle.
We bought our popsicle moulds on Amazon. These are similar to ours.