Monday, September 9, 2013

Homemade, No-Sugar-Added Kids' Snacks (Two Recipes!)

I have been racking my brain, trying to find some new healthy snacks for my brood of 4.  I get anxious around the 3:00 mark when I hear them start saying, "I'm hungry, do we have any snacks?"   Now, I can say "YES!" with enthusiasm :)  We do have snacks, and they are good for you!  Although, I do usually keep that last part to myself...
The first recipe I'll share with you is for a homemade Larabar.  Have you ever tasted those over-priced energy bars?  They are fantastic, but not for $1+ per bar!!  Ouch.  So, I have researched and formulated my own.  Here's what you'll need to make a batch:
1/2-1 cup nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, etc.)
1 c dates
1/2 c chocolate chips ( I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
pinch sea salt
Using a food processor, chop the dates, nuts and salt until the mix is workable consistency.  I would start with fewer nuts, then add as you go.  If you use too many nuts, the consistency will be too dry and the bars won't stick!
Remove from the processor and fold in the chocolate chips.  I formed bars by folding the mixture in wax paper and pressing them with a rolling pin, but  you could also make bite-sized balls...
Even my picky eater liked these!  They are great for snacking but packed with good energy foods. :)
The next recipe is for wheat-free, sugar-free oatmeal/banana cookies! The ingredients are so simple, too!  Here's what you need:
3 very ripe bananas
2 c organic rolled oats
1 c chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)
1/3 c coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 F
Puree bananas in a food processor and add to rest of ingredients.
Place in spoonfuls onto cookie sheet (these may or may not hold together well- don't worry!)
Let rest while oven heats.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

We enjoy these after they are chilled in the refrigerator!  They have a banana bread flavor that my youngest son loves.
So, feed your kids a healthy after-school snack.  These treats will leave them satisfied til dinner :)  Enjoy!

Homemade, Fermented Raspberry Lemonade

My husband was raving the other day about a raspberry lemonade he had tasted... so, I went to the store and looked at the ingredients label of the brand he indicated.  What a waste of lemons and raspberries!  The second ingredient was sugar, and it was (of course) pasteurized and had been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.  My solution:  make my own! 

My first thought (as I schemed while driving home) was that I would make it fermented, with very little sugar in the finished product.  I already had some organic, frozen raspberries from our local Publix and whey left over from some raw milk that had soured.  I happen to LOVE the "Punch" recipe in Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon,  so I had a good recipe to tweak.

Here's my recipe for delicious- and nutritious- homemade raspberry lemonade:

juice of 7 organic lemons
1c + fresh or frozen organic raspberries, pureed with a little filtered water **
1/2 c organic evaporated cane juice
1/4 c whey
filtered water

That's it!  Just mix the ingredients (except water) together in a 2 quart canning jar and fill with water to about 1" from the top.  Secure lid and let it ferment on the counter for 48 hours (this should not need to be "burped" as citrus ferments slower than other fruit, but you may want to check at the 24 hour mark).  Strain out the pulp and seeds when the 48 hours is up, then stick in the fridge to chill!

It has been hot around here lately, and it will probably stay that way through November. So, we will be drinking this well into fall!  Enjoy!

**UPDATE:  This also works wonderfully with blueberries or strawberries instead of raspberries :)