Wee snacks for kids
Posted on April 14 2016
One of my goals for this year (forever actually) is to have healthier snacks for the children. My aim is be able to make a few things easily. Snacks that aren’t filled with loads of processed junk and that are tasty, nutritious and delicious. I find the gap between the end of school and teatime a struggle. The boys are ravenous when I pick them up from school so I want something nice and healthy for them to munch on. Also something that doesn’t ruin their appetite for their tea!
Apples are always popular in our house and we literally get through bags of them in a week – we love them. They really are an amazing super food. Upping apple intake has been associated with reducing cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes and asthma. They are also full of amazing nutrients, so eating an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!
Whilst it may not be the most innovative of ideas, I thought it would be fun to incorporate apples into a few snack recipes. I hope you enjoy them. They were most certainly a hit in our house.
For a simple and very quick snack we enjoy almond butter with star apples as Evie calls them. She very sweetly thinks I am the only person in the world to cut apples this way, and the stars just appear; just like magic! It is pretty awesome though I have to admit.
Almond butter with Star Apples
The first time I made this I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I have tried several ways and the children seem to prefer it toasted beforehand.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lay your almonds on a baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes; transfer them to your food processor. This is my favourite bit, blitz away. They quickly transform into ground almonds and then after a little while into a paste. It’s up to you what consistency you would like. Once you have the consistency that you desire you may leave it completely raw or if you find it a little thick add some melted coconut oil. I find this makes it a little easy to spread and adds a nice texture. A pinch of sea salt is also yummy.
Cut the apples into discs and place on a plate with a scoop of almond butter and let the children dip and munch away.
If you haven’t got the time to make the butter there are some lovely ones available in the supermarket. We like the Meridian range.
A good squeeze of lemon juice
So simple to make and will keep for ages in an airtight container; well if you manage not to eat them all that is! Great for kid’s lunchboxes, and when you are in a rush.
Wash the apples and thinly slice into rings about 2.5mm thick. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in a little lemon juice and mix. Place the apple rings in the bowl and soak for 5 minutes. This will stop the apples turning brown.
Place some paper towel on the side and once the apples have soaked for the 5 minutes, place the apple rings onto top and pat dry. Transfer onto a couple of baking trays that have been lined with parchment paper. At this point if you like you can sprinkle with cinnamon – lovely if you like a hint of spice. Space the apple rings out on the tray, they will shrink so you can have them quite close together but not touching or they will stick together. Bake in the oven at 90C/200F for 1 hour and then turn the rings over and bake for a further hour and a half. Take out the oven and leave to cool. Place in an airtight container and snack away!
Apple & Caramel Muffins
1 ¼ cups Spelt flour
½ cup ground almond
½ cup palm sugar (coconut blossom nectar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 grated apple
½ cup coconut oil (melted)
2 large eggs
¾ cup of warm water
1 apple peeled, cored and either cut into small pieces or grated.
For the caramel:
2 apples – grated
8 medjool dates
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Line your muffin tin with your muffin cases; lightly oil each case. Set the oven to 190C
In one bowl place the flour, ground almond, palm sugar and baking powder and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the melted coconut oil, 2 eggs and ¾ cup of warm water. Pour the wet and dry ingredients into one bowl and combine. Add the grated apple and mix.
In a food processor blitz all the ingredients for the caramel sauce. Combine until it is all gooey like caramel!
Add the caramel sauce into the batter and mix together. Spoon the batter into each case, filling each one until about ¾ full. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or a skewer is inserted in the centre of the muffin and it comes out clean.
The next recipe doesn’t include apple, I wanted to include this in this snack post though as they are so good. I was introduced to them in the summer when I was fortunate enough to go on this amazing wellness retreat. It was really quite a wonderful time, rather unique to concentrate on myself for 4 days. One of my favourite bits was the food; whilst we were there we ate the most amazing fresh vegetarian food (I am not veggie but do eat a lot of vegetable dishes day to day). All freshly made and all absolutely delicious. Our little snack whilst we were there, or treat after dinner was these delicious powerballs. I didn’t get the recipe but after experimenting came up with the below recipe.
Chocolate and Apricot Powerball’s
¼ cup of organic unsulphured dried apricots (I soaked them for 5 minutes in hot water to soften them slightly).
1 cup medjool dates
½ cup cashews
2tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp. almond butter
If you remember back to my first ever post for the lovely Wee Department Store (the Easter chocolate eggs), I used cashews to create more of a milky chocolate taste, which I find is more palatable for young ones. In the same way I have used cashews nuts in this recipe to give more of a milk chocolate taste.
Place the cashews in the food processor and blitz until they are a nice and fine. If the medjool dates aren’t pitted, then remove the stones now. Add all the ingredients to the processor and blitz until everything is mixed nicely. I also added a little water, a tbsp. or so to bind the mixture together well.
Roll them into small balls. Place in the freezer for an hour to set and then roll in either cacao powder or coconut. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Thankyou Clare for another mouth-watering post! I will be trying all of the above. I find after-school/pre-dinner time very tricky too. I am so annoyed with myself if I give the boys too much to eat and then they don’t eat their dinner!