Thank you Stonyfield Organic and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums for sponsoring today’s recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.
This past weekend my family and I went to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens for the first time. Central Florida is best known for the big theme parks like Disney, Universal Studios, and Sea World. But what tourist and even locals forget about our the true gems of our region. Our local zoo’s and aquariums. I’ve lived in Central Florida for over half my life now and I can’t believe that this past weekend was the first time I’ve ever been (and the same goes for my husband). We had so much fun and I have to thank my friends at Stonyfield for sending my family and I on the trip. My son is at the age where his little mind is constantly go, go, go and he continues to impress us with the stuff he says and knows. The zoo was a fun and great place to expand his little brain and learn more about animals! Stonyfield YoKids is sponsoring the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) program; together on a mission to help save endangered species. As part of a year-long effort, Stonyfield will not only be contributing funds to field work but aiming to drive kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos, aquariums, and on the ground where the research is happening.
So you might be wondering, what does the zoo and Mini Blueberry Yogurt Muffins have to do with each other? The morning that we left for the zoo I baked up a batch of these Mini Blueberry Yogurt Muffins for us to snack on while at the zoo. I also packed some sliced apples and of course some YoKids Squeezers. Did you know that Stonyfield recently announced a sugar reduction across all their yogurt lines – and that includes YoKids! Always made with USDA organic, non-GMO ingredients, Stonyfield YoKids yogurt now features as much as 40% less sugar than the leading low-fat kids’ yogurt. Stonyfield’s efforts and advances in sugar reduction provide a better yogurt option for the entire family, starting where it matters most – with yogurt for kids.
Stonyfield YoKids yogurt is paired perfectly with my mini blueberry yogurt muffins; perfect snacks to refuel on while walking around the zoo. My son just turned 3 last month, and I swear he is all about doing everything himself and no longer wanting to sit in his stroller. Instead he wants to walk like everyone else. Since when did he get so big? He also wants to open his yogurt on his own and take the wrapper off the muffins.
And yes, I made blueberry muffins after a sleepless night with a newborn before we left for an action packed day at the zoo. A few days prior we went blueberry picking so I had an abundance of fresh plump Florida blueberries. Baking muffins just made sense! They didn’t take long at all to make. So if I can do it you can too! We had muffins to snack on while driving to the zoo, at the zoo, and for the past few days.
I decided to go with mini muffins since I wanted to make sure my son would eat them and not waste a whole large muffin. They take a few extra minutes to prepare since you are scooping more batter, but when you have little ones they are the perfect 2-3 bite muffins for them and you avoid all the waste! I added in Stonyfield Organic Smooth & Creamy Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt to the muffins. The muffins were moist and full of flavor, and because I used vanilla flavored yogurt I didn’t need to add additional vanilla extract to the batter.
Here are a few highlights from our day at the zoo. When we got to the giraffe exhibit one was sitting right where everyone was standing and then we went to take a family photo and they all started moving in towards us! Ryder loved seeing the Rhinos and he loved naming and talking about all the animals. We watch Wild Kratts on PBS and he loved seeing the cheetahs and lemurs in real life!
And then when we walked up to the otter exhibit their was one playful otter that was doing laps toward the glass. Ryder loved it and I captured some great shots from his experience. I love how the middle photo looks like he is kissing the otter! He said it was his favorite part!
In case your interested in Stonyfield’s partnership here is more information plus a fun event that is being held today on Facebook! As the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield has long been focused on conservation and sustainability. Each year they keep over 185,000 pounds of toxic pesticides out of the environment, helping to safeguard species and their eco-systems. Stonyfield YoKids’ sponsorship of AZA SAFE will support conservation efforts for 10 endangered species, including the African Penguin. Did you know April 25 is World Penguin Day? To commemorate World Penguin Day, Stonyfield and AZA are hosting a Facebook Live for kids and their parents to get a firsthand look at these majestic seabirds, as well as the conservation work being done to save them. To commemorate World Penguin Day, kids and their parents can get a firsthand look at these majestic seabirds, as well as the conservation work being done to save them, with a Facebook Live broadcast today at 12:00 PM eastern standard time, direct from Mystic Aquarium’s Penguin Encounter. During the broadcast a penguin trainer will provide insight into the care, behavior and conservation of African penguins, and viewers will also have the opportunity to see real African penguins firsthand as well as ask the trainer questions in real time.
Wondering what else you can do?
- The lovable African Penguin and most endangered AZA SAFE species will be featured prominently on Stonyfield YoKids packaging this year. Kids will be so excited to collect them all!
- Stonyfield YoKids is also featuring an on-pack offer to get families out to visit any of the 131 participating AZA accredited member zoos and aquariums in their own communities (click here for a list). Now through the end of September families who buy two specially-marked YoKids yogurt multi-packs will receive a FREE kid’s admission to their local AZA accredited zoo or aquarium when they also buy an adult ticket.
- By encouraging more kids and families to visit their local participating zoo or aquarium and experience endangered species firsthand, Stonyfield hopes to inspire a lifelong appreciation of our planet and commitment to animal conservation in the next generation.
Mini Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Stonyfield Organic Smooth & Creamy Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the egg, yogurt, oil and milk. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds until combined. Then add in the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix for 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined (the batter will be thick). Using a spatula, fold in blueberries.
- Place muffin wrappers in a mini muffin tray. Then, use a small scoop and fill each cup with batter. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin pan to a wire rack.