Saturday, August 30, 2014

School Snack Mix

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My kids are old enough to make most of their own lunches. They can reheat leftovers for their Thermos and usually make their own sandwiches. For snacks, we keep a big bowl of treats that they can choose to go along with whatever fruit or veggies they pack. The bowl has a mix of prepackaged treats like granola bars and krispie treats but we also have homemade goodies too. These homemade treats might be healthy muffins, nut-free granola or my son's homemade cereal mix. The one I'm sharing today has pumpkin seeds, cereal, dehydrated raspberries, dried cranberries and mini Hersey kisses. My 8-year old loves putting everything into a big mixing bowl, swirling it around and placing scoops of the mix into snack size bags.

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Anything could go into your version of the mix. Other ideas my kids have come up with include:
  • flax
  • chia
  • hemp seeds
  • bran buds
  • raisins
  • sunflower seeds
  • nuts (unless you have a nut free school)
  • dried apricots
  • oats
  • granola
  • your favorite cereal
This really doesn't need a recipe but here are the proportions we used for our School Snack Mix.

Ingredients

4 cups cereal (we used Chex)
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 mini Hershey Kisses (or other chip)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dehydrated raspberries (ours are from Trader Joe's)

Instructions

Place everything in a big bowl and gently mix.
Scoop into reusable containers or resealable snack bags.

How many portions you get will depend on size of scoops. Ours made 8 snack sized bags.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Fruit Salad Smoothie

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Lots of fruit along with a little plain yogurt and peach nectar makes this smoothie quick, easy and healthy. You can add whatever fruit you have on hand - fresh or frozen. At the cabin, soaking in some sun? Then maybe you want to kick it up a notch with the addition of a little tequila or vodka.

Makes one smoothie.

Ingredients

1 cup fruit - I used strawberry, orange & watermelon but any combo will do
1/2 cup peach nectar (or other juice or even water)
1/2 c plain yogurt
a handful of ice cubes if NOT using frozen fruit
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional but adds another level of flavor)

Instructions

Blend everything in blender or nutribullet until smooth. If too thick add more juice or water.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pucker Up Lemon Loaf




The heat of summer requires the refreshing taste and smell of lemons! This lemon loaf fits the bill with three layers of luscious lemon.

Ever so slightly adapted from Epicurious


Ingredients


CAKE
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 3-4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
SYRUP
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar (berry or castor sugar is preferable)
GLAZE
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more if needed
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

Serves 16 per loaf.

THE LOAVES

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder (if using) and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. In another large bowl (or stand mixer) combine the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Very slowly, pour the butter in bowl with mixer on lowest setting until combined.
  6. Add the sour cream and vanilla mix until combined.
  7. Add the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Try to not over mix. It will be a bit weird looking at my produce a few lumps – that’s ok.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpicks inserted in the centre of the loaves come out clean.
  9. On wire rack, let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
THE  SYRUP

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the lemon juice and sugar. Once dissolved, cook for 3 additional minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke all over the loaves.
  3. With half of the syrup, brush the tops and sides of the loaves. Once soaked into the cake, brush it again with rest of syrup. 
  4. Cool the cakes cool completely.
THE GLAZE

  1. Whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice. If the mixture is too thick (it should be pourable but thick), add up to another tablespoon lemon juice and mix again. 
  2. Pour the lemon glaze over the loaves. 
  3. The glaze will harden a bit.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blueberry Orange Smoothie

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We have an abundance of local blueberries in our freezer and a bag of almost too old oranges on the counter. So as an afternoon snack for the kids we made this smoothie. The ginger adds a little zing. Once peeled I throw the oranges in whole. In just a couple of minutes a healthy, sweet and delicious snack is ready!

Note: if your oranges aren't juicy enough, add 1/2 cup of water to help blend things up!

Ingredients

2 oranges, peeled
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp grated ginger or 1 tsp ginger syrup
water (if needed)

Instructions

Place everything in blender or Nutribullet.
Blend for 1 minute.
Makes 2 smoothies.