September marks the end of vacation for many. Schedules are often all over the place especially for parents to school going children. Back to school adverts loom around every corner and even fully-grown college-educated adults who no longer per take in studies can’t help but feel it. They are reminded of the times they went shopping for sweaters and notebooks. And of course, all the snacks they carried with them to school. Only thing is that these snacks are either all no longer on the shelves or were not really healthy to begin with. Most of the snacks parents feed their kids are often filled with thousand mystery ingredients. No one wants to feed their children foods with ingredients that they are unfamiliar with so here are four healthy snack options you can prepare for your kids this back to school:
HOMEMADE GUMMY BEARS
Welch’s fruit snacks ain’t got nothing on these super simple gummy bears. They can be made with either fruit puree or fruit juice. However, fruit puree is more preferred as gives the gummy bears a concentrated fruit flavor and makes them chewier. to make these gummies, puree berries (they have less sugar and less water) with little water in the blender and add sweeten with honey (you can replace with other sweeteners).
1/2 cup fresh blueberries or strawberries/ fruit juice
3 Tablespoons of water
1-2 Tablespoons of honey (this will depend on how sweet you want your candy and the sweetness of your fruit)
2 Tablespoons of unflavored gelatin
Add all ingredients except gelatin into a blender and blend on highest speed and blend to a smooth fruit puree. Pour puree into a small saucepan.
Sprinkle gelatin in, one tablespoon at a time, and whisking after each tablespoon so that the gelatin does not clump up.
Bring mixture to a low-medium heat and stir constantly until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not bring mixture to a boil. When gelatin is completely dissolved, turn off heat.
Use eyedropper tool to put liquid into the individual bear cavities. Place into fridge to set, about 15 minutes.
APPLE, PEANUT + HONEY GRANOLA BARS
What’s tastier than a crispy, nutty, fruity granola bar made with apple, peanut and honey? That’s right, nothing comes close. Granola bars are an amazing thing to have on hand because they keep well, pack well and can be taken pretty much anywhere. This recipe is also very customizable, so as long as you’re using the same proportions, you can totally change up the nut mixture.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded/grated apple (one large apple)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and use the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula to press it down evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are just barely browned. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
PEANUT BUTTER FRUIT DIP
A creamy nutty dip with fresh fruits is never a bad idea. It’s simple to prepare and the ingredients are readily available. All that is needed is a bowl and a whisk. It’s so simple, you kid could probably make it by themselves. This dip makes healthy eating seem awesome (because yes, it can be when done right). It’s creamy and sweet yet at the same time it is made with good for your ingredients.
2 (5.3 oz) containers Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or 1 slightly heaping cup)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Serve with fruit (recommended bananas, apples, raspberries or strawberries).
Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
QUINOA CRACKERS & HUMMUS
If you haven’t tried making crackers at home, you’re missing out! It’s so easy, it’s way healthier (i.e. much less sodium) and you can make them the exact size and flavor you want. I love using these quinoa flour-based crackers because they’re adding a bit of protein, they’re sturdy enough for dipping and they’re totally crispy. Throw some in a little baggie and stash them in your drawer/bag/lunch box!
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour or whole grain flour of choice
1/2 cup hemp seeds or seeds of choice
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
7 – 8 tablespoons cold water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the flours to a dry sauté pan and toast on low heat until golden brown, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Transfer the flour to a food processor and add the hemp seeds and seasonings.
With the food processor running, add the olive oil, honey and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the remaining water one tablespoon at a time until you have a thick, pliable dough.
Shape the dough into a rectangle and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll the dough between the two pieces of paper until it’s about ⅛” thick. Remove the top layer of paper and transfer the other piece (carefully!) to a baking sheet.
With a pizza cutter, slice the dough into squares. Make them whatever size you like, they’re your crackers after all! Prick with the fork so they don’t bubble.
Bake the crackers in the warmed oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until they start turning brown.
Remove crackers from the oven and cool completely before breaking apart. Serve with your humus and enjoy!