As the temperatures rise and children return to outdoor play, this simple recipe provides a healthy dose of potassium, vitamin C, folate, and dietary fiber. Adding a few tablespoons of local honey makes for a sweet and nutritious summertime treat.
If your family is anything like mine, these fruity popsicles won’t last long in the freezer!
4 Ingredient Fruit Pops
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced (frozen bananas work best)
12 strawberries, cleaned, trimmed, and halved
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons honey
Combine fruit and honey in the food processor. Purée until smooth and creamy. Fill and cap popsicle molds. Freeze for four hours. Loosen popsicle molds by briefly running under warm water. Serve immediately.
This week I had to head out of town for a business trip. When I travel, I’m often thrown off balance by the pre-selected conference meals provided as I can’t always follow my regular routine. Meal times are usually less than ideal and the meal selection is often standard fare and can be limited in variety.
So, before leaving for my trip this week, I made sure to pack quite a few of these Wholesome Granola Bars. It’s always good to travel with a stash of wholesome snacks when you’re away from the comforts of home.
On Thursday, these babies really came in handy. We had eaten an early lunch and our dinner was scheduled for 6:30 pm. Just before heading out to an evening meeting, I shared a few of the bars with my colleagues and they were thrilled to have a healthy snack on hand to tide them over until dinner. The best part… This flavorful, grainy bar provided a healthy choice over other tempting fast food favorites. The whole grains in the recipe deliver long lasting energy that really helps when you need a little something to give you a boost. Make sure to individually wrap the bars to lock in moisture and freshness.
Wholesome Granola Bars
3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup crispy rice cereal
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13×9″ baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Stir in the honey, oil, and vanilla; mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined. Evenly press mixture into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
M recently went on a cooking rampage and spent the day making healthy meals and snacks. She made several loaves of fresh zucchini bread, mini cupcake frittatas, and a load of flavorful whole grain waffles. One of her favorite go-to websites is called superhealthykids.com so M rifled through their pages to find what she thought would be a delicious breakfast recipe. She settled on the whole wheat waffle recipe. Earlier in the week, M and I had visited a local farm stand where we picked out loads of beautiful berries. She thought they could be used to add a bit of pizzaz to her breakfast accompanied by a hefty dollop of creamy Greek yogurt.
So if you’re in the mood, head on over to superhealthykids.com and check out this great recipe for waffles. Dress them up with your favorite healthy toppings. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer and pop one in the toaster for a fresh baked taste every morning. As you know, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day!
Super Healthy Kids Whole Wheat Waffles
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
3 cups fat free organic milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together, batter will be lumpy. Fill 1/4 measuring cup with batter. Pour onto hot, greased waffle iron. Cook batter until golden brown. Remove from waffle iron and top with berries, yogurt, peanut butter, or other fruit.
(Adapted from the recipe found on Superhealthykids.com
During the course of a week, I make several batches of granola bars for my family. There are a few recipes that I use quite frequently and for varying purpose. Take for instance, the Grunt Bars I make when I am looking to boost protein levels, I make Curley Power Bars when I am wanting to provide a recovery bar after a long meet or practice. This recipe for Everyday Granola Bars is one that I usually pack into lunch boxes or have waiting on the counter when kids arrive home from school hungry and looking for something to eat.
I’m a firm believer that providing the family with healthy choices will encourage children to make better food choices for life. I try to stock the fridge and pantry with lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and yogurt so that when kids come home famished, they can quickly grab something healthy to tide them over until supper time.
This recipe is easy to adapt to satisfy your family’s preference. Add dried cranberries or raisins, almonds, pecans or sunflower seeds. We just adore dried apricots in this recipe as well. Change things up as you like. Enjoy!
Everyday Granola Bars
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coat an 11X7″ baking pan with cooking spray, set aside. Place oats, almonds and dates in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly, set aside. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, warm honey and peanut butter; stir until smooth, creamy and pourable. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over oats, dates, and nuts, stir to coat completely.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Evenly pat down mixture to completely fill the pan. Cover and let stand until set; about 30 minutes. Cut into bars. For added freshness, wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in air-tight container.