Tag Archives: healthy treats for toddlers

{3 Ingredient} Apple Fig Fruit Leather

Apple Fig Fruit Leather | Mama Papa BubbaAmidst our packing frenzy, the figs on our lovely backyard fig tree have decided that now is the time to become perfectly ripe.  This poses a problem for a few different reasons…. 1) The tree is big and old and produces a TON of fruit,  2) I’m the only one in our family that truly enjoys fresh figs, 3) Keeping up with the daily picking of the fruit is time consuming, and 4) If I don’t keep up with the picking, our backyard becomes a sticky mess filled with wasps.

In an effort to avoid a waspy sticky mess of a backyard, I’ve been giving away boxes of figs to almost every person I’ve been in contact with, I’ve been adding 3 or 4 to our green smoothie each morning, and I’ve been eating them fresh as my nightly treat, but that just wasn’t enough.  I needed a way to use up a ton of figs all at once, and preferably it would be something that the other members of my family would enjoy too.  Enter fruit leather…

IMG 0516Gracen loves fruit leather, and though it can be a little intimidating if you’ve never made it before, it’s truly one of  the easiest, most forgiving things to make.  And no special equipment is needed!  If you have some fruit, an oven, a baking pan, and some parchment paper, you can easily make your own fruit leather at home.

IMG 0515I’ve made several batches of this stuff already, and it’s getting eaten up like nobody’s business!  Plus I’ve changed my method a little bit and it’s now even easier for me to make my own fruit leather.  Here’s how to do it…

 

Apple Fig Fruit Leather

  • 10 ripe figs, washed
  • 2 apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup of water (fresh-squeezed apple or orange juice works too!)

Preheat oven to 125 degrees (or lowest setting) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (paper should cover all edges of the pan).

Place all ingredients in a covered pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer fruit {still covered} for about 30 minutes, or until super soft.

Pour everything into a food processor or good blender and purée until smooth.  

Pour fruit mixture out onto parchment-lined baking sheet and use the back of a spatula to spread the fruit purée out so it covers the entire base of the pan. Gently shake the pan make the purée as even as possible.

Pop into the oven for approximately 8 hours (I put ours in just before going to bed).  You want to remove the fruit leather from the oven when it’s still sticky to the touch, but not at all wet.  You may find that part of your fruit leather will be done earlier than the rest.  In this case,  you’ll need to remove the fruit leather from the oven, cut off the finished part, and return the still wet to the touch part to the oven for another hour or two.

When finished, simply remove the large sheet of fruit leather from the baking sheet, cut of the excess parchment paper around the edges, and cut directly through both the remaining parchment and fruit leather to create strips.  Roll strips and secure with baker’s twine or washi tape.  Store in an air-tight container or jar.

Enjoy!

 

See our other homemade fruit leather recipes here: 

Berry Banana // Apple Pear Carrot

 

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Creamy Kiwi Avocado Pops

Creamy Kiwi Avocado PopsIMG 6576A couple of weekends ago, at our local farmer’s market, we came across a Abbotsford-based farmer selling my favourite fruit… kiwi.  While I had no idea that kiwi fruit was grown locally, I did know that kiwi is delicious and lasts a long time when properly kept, so I stocked up.  When we got home, the kiwi went into the back of the crisper and I forgot about them for a while.  Oops.

IMG 6580Upon rediscovering a stash of over a dozen kiwis, I decided we had to put {at least some of} them to good use asap.  I ran a few ideas past my sous chef and she very confidently decided on popsicles.  As you do.  We gathered up a few simple ingredients – the kiwi, some plain yogurt, a little bit of honey, and some pure apple juice, and got started.  

IMG 6591While I’m sure they would have been yummy given the original line up of ingredients, at the last minute I decided to add in an avocado…  Extra creaminess and extra nutrients equals a win-win, right?

IMG 6584My little helper threw everything into the food processor…

IMG 6585Stopping to sample her first ever taste of apple juice.  When the measuring cup was four fifths empty she asked, “Dump it in now, Mama?”  Hmmm… you think she enjoyed it?

IMG 6590After replacing our missing apple juice, we processed everything until smooth.

IMG 6595This was the result.  A super smooth, super creamy mixture that Miss G wanted to drink then and there.

IMG 6596We transferred the mixture into our makeshift popsicle moulds, which are still some of my very favourites despite the fact that we now have several proper sets.

IMG 6599Grae happily placed the lids on top and inserted the wooden popsicle sticks…

IMG 6602And it was time for the freezer.

IMG 6604Several hours later, we had delicious, healthy popsicles Miss G couldn’t wait to get her little hands on.

IMG 6607
Creamy Kiwi Avocado Popsicles

  • 8 kiwi fruits
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup of plain organic yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh-pressed apple juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey (more if desired)

Pop everything into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze.

Enjoy!

See more of our healthy popsicle recipes here.

♥ 

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Healthy Chocolate Coconut Banana Muffins

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Banana MuffinsOne of the little traditions we do on Gracen’s half birthday (ohmahgerd, I have a two and a half year old) is make a fresh batch of muffins (aka ‘cupcakes’) to top with freshly whipped cream and candles later in the evening.  So today we used our usual no sugar added banana muffin recipe, tweaked it just a little bit, and came up with these delicious chocolate coconut creations.  They are super yummy and truly do feel like a cupcake instead of a healthy muffin… Especially if you add the dark chocolate chips I added to the adult half of the batch (with which I doubt they can be remain in the ‘healthy’ category, but hey – I try my best). ☺

IMG 5912Here’s the recipe…

Healthy Banana Chocolate Coconut Muffins

  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/3 cups of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut shavings
  • dark chocolate chips (optional – we used 1/3 of a cup in half the batter)
 

Preheat oven to 350° . Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan by brushing it with grapeseed oil.

Mix the bananas, other wet ingredients, and cocoa until the mixture is mostly smooth and only slightly chunky.  In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (save the coconut and chocolate chips) well. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Slowly stir in the coconut (and chocolate chips if adding them).  Fill greased muffin tin with the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Enjoy!

 

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{Heart-Shaped} Strawberry Crispy Rice Treats

I must admit, since creating our first batch of healthy{er} crispy rice treats, we’ve made several batches since. The good news is that through all of the ‘testing’, we’ve learned that they last really well in an airtight container on the counter, they can be made into fun shapes using silicon moulds and ice cube trays, and they can easily be cut into shapes with cookie cutters {all while holding their shape just as well as regular Rice Krispie treats do}.  The one lesson we’ve learned along the way is that if you overdo the cereal, they turn out crunchier, more dry, and not nearly as yummy.  Lesson learned.

Healthy Strawberry Crispy Rice TreatsWhen planning some of the treats we’d serve at our annual Valentine’s Tea, Gracen’s most enthusiastic suggestion was “Crispy treats! Valem-time ones!”  Making the treats pink came to mind first, but since I’m not crazy about feeding Miss G a bunch of unnecessary food dyes, that got nixed shortly there after. 

IMG 5456The next thing that came to mind was one of Grae’s favourite treats… Freeze-dried strawberries.  We buy ours at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen them in other stores as well.  They’re just strawberries, but the process of freeze-drying them causes them to be super crunchy and astronaut food-like.

IMG 5458I asked Grae if she’d like to experiment with making strawberry crispy rice treats, and she was on board all the way.

IMG 5460IMG 5462To get started, we took about a half a cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground them to a powder in our food processor, and added them to the wet mixture while following our usual crispy rice treat recipe.

IMG 5466Of course, Miss G licked the cashew butter spoon, because, well… That’s probably the best part about helping with this recipe.

IMG 5468Once we’d combined the cereal and the wet mixture, we took another portion of freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled half into the mixture itself, and then sprinkled the other half on top of the mixture after pressing it down firmly on a baking sheet.

IMG 5472IMG 5472We let the mixture cool completely, then used a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.  Miss G liked helping with this job, but it required some serious muscle, so I had to help out.

IMG 5477It’s a simple twist, but so far the feedback’s been great…  Strawberry crispy treat success! ☺

 

Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup (found in the all-natural aisle of most grocery stores, somewhere between the nut butters, syrups, and honeys)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (macadamia works great too)
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground into powder
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, gently crumbled

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, ground freeze-dried strawberries, and maple syrup into a large pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.  When the mixture is hot and liquidy (but not bubbling), add the vanilla, give it another quick stir, and remove the pot from the heat.

Add in the crispy rice cereal and mix well to ensure the cereal is evenly coated with the sticky mixture.  Next, add in a 1/4 cup of the crumbled strawberries and stir to distribute them evenly.

Dump the mixture onto a parchment-line baking pan and press it down firmly.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries on top of the mixture, and gently press them down into place.  

Allow the mixture to cool completely (or almost completely).  Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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{Heart-Shaped} Wholewheat Cheese Crackers

Wholewheat Cheese CrackersToday Gracen and I whipped up a batch of what is easily her most loved treat in the entire world – our homemade version of the classic ‘fishy crackers’.  Though I’ve shared this recipe before, I thought I’d share it again as we did things a teeny bit differently this time around…  Plus, this heart-shaped version would make a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

IMG 5032First off, our ingredients…  We used the usuals, but tried using a coarse stone ground wholewheat flour, replaced the cheddar with Colby and fresh parmesan, and added some basil into our spice mix.

IMG 5033Then my little helper dumped everything together.

IMG 5036Instead of mixing everything in our mixer like we have in the past, this time we did it in the food processor I got for my birthday. It definitely allowed the dough to come together more easily, and as guessed, adding a touch of water wasn’t necessary in the food processor.

DoughWith all of the ingredients well mixed, we dumped everything out onto our workspace and used our hands to form it into a large mass.

RoolThen we patted it down by hand, covered it with parchment, and rolled it out nice and thin.

IMG 5047It must be all the talk about Valentine’s Day festivities, because Grae chose a heart-shaped cookie cutter this time around.  

IMG 5048We cut out endless hearts, carefully lifted them with the flat edge of a butter knife, and transferred them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

IMG 5053We popped them in the oven, and in no time, we had crispy, tender crackers that are full of flavour and free of preservatives.

IMG 5059

See our original recipe here.

Wholewheat Cheese Crakers

  • 2 cups of Colby cheese
  • 1 cup of fresh parmesan
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne paper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of warm water (if mixing by hand or using an electric mixer – not necessary in a food processor)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients and gently form dough into a ball.

Sandwich dough between two layers of parchment and roll it out to 1/8 of an inch thick. Form shapes with a cookie cutter, dipping it in flour from time to time if needed. Gently transfer crackers to a parchment-lined baking sheet using the flat edge of a butter knife if needed.

Bake the crackers for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are just barely browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Apple Pear Carrot Fruit Leather

Homemade Carrot Pear Apple Fruit LeatherAfter getting our batch of banana berry fruit leather in the oven, Gracen and I decided to give round two a go, this time with a different combination of ingredients…

IMG 4698We had a couple of bruised pears that I really wanted to use, and while digging in the fridge for an apple, Grae suggested carrots too (sure, why not?)  We added the other half of our lemon to the mix and called it good.

IMG 4700This batch took a wee bit more prep than the last one.  Grae peeled carrots {ever so cautiously}…

IMG 4703While I prepped the apples and pears (I peeled the apple, but not the pears).

IMG 4705When everything was ready to go, my little sous chef added the produce to a big pot…

IMG 4707And attempted to squeeze the juice from the lemon.  (Her exact words just before this shot was taken were, “Com’on, lemon… Why you not working??”)

IMG 4709Then she poured in some water (quite a bit more than with our first batch because carrots don’t produce their own juice while stewing).

IMG 4712Then we popped our pot on the oven, put a lid on it, and let everything simmer for about half an hour on medium heat.

IMG 4736It looked absolutely horrible when it was done cooking (like some kind of veggie stew gone terribly wrong), but smelled delicious.

IMG 4742During the stewing process, my little girl helper was replaced by this equally cute kitty helper.  Luckily, she likes to help just as much and saw to it that our mixture was pureed perfectly.

IMG 4743Then we poured it out onto a parchment-lined sheet.

IMG 4744This time we were a little more careful to make sure the mixture was an even thickness all over the base of the pan. Then it was into the oven on the lowest temperature.

IMG 4754After eight hours, we had a lovely sheet of fruit leather.

IMG 4757Once again using kitchen scissors, I cut the sheet into strips…

IMG 4764And rolled it up using strips of parchment paper and baker’s twine. 

IMG 4816And though our berry banana version is very tasty {despite being a tad over dried}, I think these are even better.  They’re sweet and flavourful and have just the perfect bit of tartness.
IMG 4819Gracen seems to agree.  She gobbled up this entire strip in 3 minutes flat and promptly asked for another. 
 

Carrot Pear Apple Fruit Leather
  • 2 Red Anjou pears
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup of water
Peel the carrots and peel and core the apple.  Put all of the produce into a large pot along with the water and the juice from the lemon.  Cover the pot and stew the fruit/veggies on medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool a while.
 
Pour the stewed fruit and veggies into a blender or food processor and puree.
 
Pour the pureed mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a spatula to evenly distribute  the mixture over the base of the pan.  Bake at 150 degrees for about 8 hours, removing it from the overn when the leather is no longer sticky to the touch.  
 
Peel away the parchment paper and cut into strips using kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.
 
Enjoy immediately or roll using parchment strips and baker’s twine and store in an airtight jar.

♥ 

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Berry Banana Fruit Leather

Homemade Banana Berry Fruit LeatherOne of the few ready-made packaged foods I buy now and then is organic all-fruit fruit leather strips.  They’re a very special treat for Miss G and I don’t feel horrible about letting her have one once and a while (as long as her teeth are brushed extra well that day), but I’ve always known that I should probably be making them at home instead.  Recently, our local grocery store stopped restocking their organic fruit leather supply (I think they’re getting rid of the current stock and then no longer carrying them) and they were down to just two lonely strips on our last visit. It was the perfect push I needed to try making my own. 

IMG 4699Today I asked Gracen if she’d like to try making some fruit leather of our own, and she responded enthusiastically with, “Sure!  Purple ones.” so I decided we’d try  a berry variety first.  Since we don’t really buy many berries when they’re out of season, we went with what we had in the freezer – strawberries, raspberries, and wild blueberries.  Plus an apple and half a lemon for texture and a little kick.

IMG 4713As we were prepping the fruit, which really only consists of peeling and coring the apple, we decided to add a banana in the mix for sweetness.

IMG 4715With all of the ingredients ready to go, Gracen popped them into a large pot…

IMG 4720Then squeezed the lemon on top…

IMG 4722And added a little bit of water.

IMG 4724Then we popped the mixture on the stove to stew over medium heat for a while.

IMG 4725About a half hour later, this is what we had.

IMG 4727We let it cool for a little bit and then dumped it in the food processor to puree for a bit.

IMG 4728With our mixture nice and smooth, we lined a baking sheet with parchment paper…

IMG 4731And poured our berry mixture on top.

IMG 4732Using a spatula, we spread the mixture out to cover the entire base of the pan (on our next attempt, I’d spend a little more time getting it as evenly as possible) and put the pan in the oven on the lowest temperature.

IMG 4758Eight and a half hours later (yes – it takes a long time!) this is what we had.

IMG 4761We carefully peeled off the parchment paper…

IMG 4762And then I used kitchen scissors to cut it into strips.

IMG 4769A little parchment paper and baking twine later, we had our own homemade {and healthy!} version of a Fruit Roll-Up.  ☺

 

Banana Berry Fruit Leather 

  • 1 cup of raspberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup of strawberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup of blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup of water
Peel the banana and peel and core the apple.  Put all of the fruit into a large pot along with the water and the juice from the lemon.  Stew the fruit on medium heat (uncovered) for 25 to 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool a while.
 
Pour the stewed fruit into a blender or food processor and puree.  
 
Pour the pureed mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a spatula to evenly distribute the mixture over the base of the pan.  Bake at 150 degrees for 8 to 9 hours, removing it from the oven when the leather is no longer sticky to the touch.
 
Peel away the parchment paper and cut into strips using kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.
 
Enjoy immediately or roll using parchment strips and baker’s twine and store in an air-tight jar.  
 

♥ 

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Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

Healthier Crispy Rice TreatsI don’t know why, but lately I’ve had a real hankering for Rice Krispie treats…  Of course I could have easily whipped up the classic butter and marshmallow version I grew up with, but number one, I wouldn’t feel good about letting Miss G try one (which is slowly becoming the determining factor of whether or not any of us should eat particular foods), and number two, have you ever read the ingredient list on the side of a bag of marshmallows?!  It’s not good.  

So today Miss G and I set off on a little mission to create our own healthier version.

IMG 4301To be honest, I really had no idea if it was going to work.  My thought process went something like this… Hmmm… I guess I could replace the butter with a nut butter (still lots of fat, but good fat with some added nutrition mixed in). Then I could replace the marshmallows with a more natural sticky sweetener (Maybe maple syrup? Honey? Brown rice syrup?) And the regular Rice Krispies cereal could easily be swapped for a crisp brown rice cereal.  It at least sounds like an okay plan, right?

In the end, I decided to go with cashew butter… It’s light, has a mild flavour (that is almost mallowy), and is super creamy.  As for my sweetener, after a bit of online research, I decided to go with this brown rice syrup.  I haven’t used brown rice syrup a whole lot in the past, but that’s only because I hadn’t yet done my research.  What I found out is that brown rice syrup is a natural sweetener produced by fermenting cooked rice and treating it with natural enzymes from sprouted barley.  It’s about half as sweet as sugar, has a mild flavour, and is thick and syrupy (somewhere between pure maple syrup and a good honey).  The benefits are that it has a low glycemic value, and it’s a good source of minerals and minor nutrients.  Sold.  In order to add just a touch of sweetness, we added a little bit of pure maple syrup, and pure vanilla is a must in almost all baking projects in our house.  

So there you have it – crisp brown rice cereal, brown rice syrup, cashew butter, pure maple syrup, and pure vanilla – and all were available in our nearby {regular} grocery store.

IMG 4303Just for fun, we decided to make our treats in individual portions using a muffin tin, so Grae prepared the tray ahead of time by lightly brushing on some grapeseed oil.

IMG 4305Now for the actual cooking part…  First, we put our brown rice syrup to a large pot…

IMG 4307Then we added our cashew butter…

IMG 4308And a little bit of pure maple syrup for sweetness.

IMG 4310Then we transferred the pot over to the stove and stirred the mixture over medium heat until it was hot and liquidy, but not bubbling.

IMG 4313Next, we added a good amount of vanilla, gave the mixture another quick stir, and removed it from the heat.

IMG 4314While you could just as easily dump your cereal into the pot and dirty one less dish, we opted for dumping our cereal into a large bowl and pouring the mixture on top so Miss G wouldn’t have to worry about the hot pot during the mixing process.

IMG 4315Then we mixed everything up until the cereal was evenly coated with the gooey mixture.

IMG 4318Working quickly, I filled each cup with a heaping scoop of crisp rice mixture.

IMG 4319Then we placed a large sheet of parchment paper on top and pushed the mixture down firmly into the cups.

IMG 4321Voila!

IMG 4328After a little bit of time in the freezer, I used a butter knife to pop out our treats.

IMG 4325The verdict on Miss G’s first ever crispy rice treat?  She LOVED it. 

IMG 4330We all loved them in fact.  They’re soft and gooey just like regular Rice Krispie treats, with a similar flavour that is just slightly more caramely.  

The true determining factor of success?  Brad {my sometimes picky husband who doesn’t always love the ‘weird food’ G and I cook} announcing that he likes them just as much as the classic variety, only to later decide that he thinks he likes them more.  Score. ☺


Healthy Crisp Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (raw is best, but roasted is good too)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, and maple syrup into a large pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.  When the mixture is hot and liquidy (but not bubbling), add the vanilla, give it another quick stir, and remove the pot from the heat.  

Add in the crispy rice cereal and mix well to ensure the cereal is evenly coated with the sticky mixture.  

Dump the mixture into a parchment-lined baking pan or scoop into a greased muffin cups and press it down firmly.  Pop the pan into the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow the treats to set.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Healthy Trail Mix Cookies

This weekend, Gracen and I tried a new healthy cookie recipe.  Knowing how most healthy cookies turn out (good, but very healthy tasting), I didn’t have my hopes set too high.  Much to my surprise, however, these cookies turned out to be delicious.  Slightly crunchy on the outside while still soft on the inside, super sweet, and chocked full of yummy seeds and nuts.  Even Brad commented on how good they were.  So today, only a few days after making the first batch, we made another.  

Healthy Trail Mix Cookies

Here’s a quick rundown on how we like to make our new favourite cookies…

IngredientsGather the ingredients.  

IMG 1796Place the pecans on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven to toast for about 10 minutes.

IMG 1802In the meantime, put some of the oats into a blender or food processor and turn them into oat flour.

IMG 1803Pour the oat flour into a large mixing bowl.

IMG 1804Add your regular old-fashioned oats.

IMG 1806Then the ground flax and hemp hearts…

IMG 1809Plus the salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

IMG 1812Give all of the dry ingredients a good stir.

IMG 1814Next, pour in the pure maple syrup.

IMG 1817Coax the coconut oil into coming out of its bowl…

IMG 1820Add the honey…

IMG 1821And vanilla.

IMG 1824Stir the sticky mixture well.

IMG 1825At this point, it’ll be crumbly and sticky all at once and you’ll wonder how on earth it’ll ever become cookies.  Don’t fret.

IMG 1826By now, your roasting pecans will smell lovely and will be ready to come out of the oven.

IMG 1829Allow them to cool a moment and pop them into a blender or food processor, pulsing them just a handful of times to create small bits.

IMG 1831Then add them to your cookie mixture.

IMG 1832Next up, the add-ins.  Dump in your raisins…

IMG 1835Plus the sunflower seeds and almond slices…

IMG 1838And stir everything up really well.

IMG 1841Now for the tricky part…  With a bowl of warm water nearby, wet you hands, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough, and shape into a ball, pressing firmly.  Repeat for the remainder of the dough, rewetting your hands every couple of cookies.  

Now pop them in the oven…

IMG 1844And take them out approximately 10 – 13 minutes later, when the outsides are golden and crispy, but the centre is still very soft to the touch. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the pan.

IMG 1846Serve with a glass of cold milk, or if you prefer ‘the Gracen special’, with a small bowl of plain yogurt (she plops the cookie in, then smashes it into the yogurt with her spoon – I think they remind her of granola ☺).

 

Healthy Trail Mix Cookies

Adapted from this recipe from Oh She Glows

  • 1 cup of pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned oats, blended into oat flour
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp hearts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of honey
  • 1tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of sliced almonds

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spread pecans onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, use a blender or food processor to grind your oats into oat flour.  Put the flour, along with the other dry ingredients, into a large mixing bowl and stir.  Add in the wet ingredients and mix really well.  

By now, your pecans should be ready.  Remove them from the oven and crank up your oven’s temperature to 350 degrees. Pop the pecans into your blender or food processor, and give them just a few pulses to break them up into small bits.  Add the pecans, as well as the raisins, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds to the cookie mixture and stir well.  

With a bowl of warm water nearby, wet your hands and press firmly to shape approximately 1 heaping tablespoon portions of cookie mixture into a balls.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 – 13 minutes.  When you remove them from the oven, the cookies should be golden, crispy on the very top, but very soft to the touch still.  Allow them to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.

Enjoy!

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Frozen Banana Bites

Frozen Banana BitesOnly I would try to amp up the nutritional value of bananas… Haha! I kid. (Kinda.)  The truth is, Miss G has been on a two ingredient ice cream kick lately.  After asking for it for the third afternoon in a row, I decided it was time to switch things up a little bit.  Though we’ve made frozen banana pops before (which Grae loved), I wanted to try something smaller and easier to snack on this time around.  So along came the frozen banana bite.  With only 3 ingredients, they’re a breeze to make, plus, dare I say they taste like banana cream pie? I do.

IMG 0941Here’s the ingredient lineup… Bananas (ripe, but not overripe), roasted ground flax seed, and cinnamon.  

IMG 0943Start off by peeling the bananas and making sure all of the white stringy things are removed.

IMG 0946Chop them into coins (maybe about a half inch thick?) and set them aside.

IMG 0947Next, pour some roasted ground flax seed into a container with a lid (or a zip close bag).

IMG 0949Enthusiastically dump some cinnamon in too.

IMG 0950Put the lid on the container and give it a little shake.

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Next, place the banana coins on top of the cinnamon/flax mixture.

IMG 0960Place the lid on the container again and shake until all of the banana coins are well coated.

IMG 0961Next, place the coated banana pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

IMG 0962Place the tray in the freezer for at least an hour.

IMG 0966Serve them frozen to your excited toddler and watch them disappear. (Without a word of a lie, Gracen gobbled up our entire batch – and that was after a full meal!)

 

Frozen Banana Bites (that taste like banana cream pie)

  • 2-3 large ripe (but not over ripe) bananas
  • 3 tablespoons of roasted ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Peel the bananas and slice them into coins about a half inch thick, then set aside.

Put flax seed and cinnamon into a container with a lid or zip close bag and shake.  Add the banana coins to the flax mixture and shake again.  Place the coated banana pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the freezer.

After about an hour in the freezer, the banana bites will be frozen, but still a tiny bit soft, making them perfect for serving.  If you aren’t serving them right away, transfer the bites into a airtight container.  When you’re ready to eat them, you can serve them completely frozen, or let them sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes beforehand (my preference).

Enjoy!

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