Fix Me A Snack

A blog created by a mom who got sick of feeding her kids crackers and ice cream

Meet our new favorite way to eat oatmeal. I really like it with some chopped pecans on top. The kids prefer it without.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Recipe

This is a perfect not-too-sweet and healthy way to start your family’s day. You can use maple sugar instead of brown sugar if you have it.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons brown sugar, not packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Chop up the apples and cook them until they start to get soft. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and cook for another minute and stir well.

Add the oats and water and cook on medium low heat until thick, stirring occasionally. It should take about ten minutes for the oats to thicken. Stir in the vanilla and serve. Top with chopped toasted pecans if you wish.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 15 minutes

It’s that time of year again. I’m increasingly convinced that summer is just long enough to make my brain go completely soft around the whole lunch-and-snack-packing dilemma. I could do it all blindfolded a few months ago I swear. Perhaps this little round up will help me get back into the rhythm.

I hope everyone has a semi-smooth transition into the school year. A wise teacher once told me that everything starts to seem normal sometime around Halloween.

Top Ten Countdown of Our Favorite School Snacks

10. Polka Dot Fruit Roll Ups

9. Almond Butter Balls

Send them to school frozen and they hold up perfectly. If your child’s classroom is nut-free, you could try them with sunflower seed butter. But if you do, throw in some chocolate pieces to make it yummy again.

8. Homemade Wheat Thins or Cheese Crackers

7. Kettle Corn

6. Veggie Sticks with Herb Yogurt Dip

Freeze the dip the night before.

5. Homemade Apple Chips and Dried Nectarines

4. Hummus and Pretzels

3. Granola Bars

I love these for nut-free classrooms because the store-bought version isn’t allowed, but these are completely legal.

2. Nutter Butter Rolls

Sometimes I do another version of the roll up with Cocoa Almond Butter from Trader Joe’s. Have you tried it? It’s like crack. I love it.

1. Fresh Fruit

Photo by The Kitchn

The queen of all fresh fruit snacks for school is the apple puzzle. The king is grapes, cut up or otherwise.

 

One of the best parts of being a food blogger is that I feel required to keep a well-stocked pantry. I keep a large quantity of nuts, specialty flours, and, um, chocolate in my extra fridge that lives in the garage. The likelihood of me following through with a suggestion or random idea goes way up if I have all the ingredients on hand.

Now that I think about it, all it really takes to keep my family snacking healthy is a) a tiny bit of forethought, b) a bowl full of fruit on the kitchen counter, and c) a well-stocked pantry that leans toward healthy real stuff because you know I’m going to reach for that which is salty, fatty, sweet, and easy first if it’s anywhere in the house.

There, now you know all my secrets. Now that we’ve got that all figured out, go have some fun.

Seriously, a friend suggested that I try mixing some finely chopped chocolate into nut butter over a year ago. We’ve been munching away on this fabulous little treat on a regular basis now that the apples are starting to come in. This snack is a lot like Mud Dip. But it’s even quicker to pull together.

Peanut Butter with Chopped Chocolate Recipe

Serve this concoction as a dip with thickly sliced apples. Part of me wants to top it with roasted marshmallows, sliced banana, and top it with crumbled graham crackers…But that’ll have to wait.

It’s easiest to chop chocolate if you go at it if a serrated knife at an angle shaving off a little bit at a time.

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 ounce dark chocolate, chopped fine

Mix. Serve.

Yield: one generous serving
Prep-time: 5 minutes

Recipes that produce healthy and delicious muffins are not easy to come by. But occasionally, I stumble across a winner. What I love most about this recipe is that it uses apple butter. I’ve seen plenty of muffin recipes that use applesauce. But apple butter delivers the goods when applesauce is still busy making promises.

The muffin pictured above is topped with chopped walnuts. In reaction to some unsolicited feedback from my youngest child, I have been leaving the nuts out altogether lately. I miss the crunch and texture. But it’s not all about me, right?

Morning Glory Muffins

Adapted from Eating Well’s Comfort Foods Made Healthy. Original recipe can also be found on Eating Well’s website –> Morning Glory Muffins.

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots (4 medium)
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 large eggs
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat germ, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the carrots, apple, and raisins.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple butter, oil, and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. Serve or store in an airtight container. These also freeze well.

Yield: 12
Prep-time: 30 minutes

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Honey Salad is my new favorite way to use up Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. My youngest loves it because most of it is her favorite food color, white and beige, and the dressing is sweet.

Honey Salad Recipe

This salad is great sprinkled with chopped honey roasted pecans, if you have any handy. My kids refuse the addition. But, personally, I’m a big fan.

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

For the salad:
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup chopped sharp cheddar cheese
1 heaping cup chopped cooked turkey
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and mustard until well combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together the apple, cheese, turkey, and raisins (if desired). Pour on the dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 15 minutes

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Down at the Pickin’ Patch in Avon, CT I found the darnedest thing – popcorn still on the cob! Will wonders never cease? It’s like they knew a snack-obsessed blogger was headed their way. I used to think I was special for making homemade microwave popcorn. But now look at me! Boo-ya!

Seriously, the kids were all excited. It was fun. And the popcorn truly tasted superior to the store-bought variety we usually stuff our faces with.

So, get this, all you do is put an ear of dried corn in a bag. Microwave it for 2 1/2 or 3 minutes on high with the bag folded shut.

Then, ta da, you have popcorn. And a semi-naked cob. Magic!

One ear made more than enough to feed my two growing and hungry children. Now I’m wondering how one dries an ear of corn. Anyone know?

If you haven’t eaten this little snack, you haven’t lived. Perhaps slaving over homemade applesauce makes it taste better than it really is. Probably not though. I think it is a fabulously simple, smooth, and supreme snack. Every time I cook up some homemade applesauce, a little bowl of this stuff is in order.

The applesauce is pink because a) I am rad, and b) I cook the apples with the skins on and run them through my super food mill removing said skins after they have left behind some of their color molecules.

I’m positively loopy from trying to wrap my head around back-to-school. I forget every year what a sea of paperwork there is to deal with and how many different adjustments need to be made to every aspect of our lives. It’s nuts.

How’s everyone else doing with the craziness? Or maybe I shouldn’t even be asking. I figure you were nice enough to read about my big problems, I should reciprocate. But really I wish we were all talking about amazing fiction we’ve read recently. Or the price of tea in China. Anything but School and Kids.

Oh, and here’s a picture of the applesauce waiting to go into the canner. Isn’t it lovely?

Warm Applesauce with Butter Recipe

Of course, you could easily make this recipe from store-bought applesauce that you’ve heated up. Maybe that would be cheating, but I certainly would have no problem with it.

1/2 cup warm unsweetened applesauce
1 small pat of butter
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Sprinkle of brown sugar. or a drizzle of honey, or maple syrup

In a small bowl, top the applesauce with the butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Serve.

Yield: one serving
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Here are our Hurricane Irene muffins. I’ve stopped listening to the news because I just sends me into a complete panic. I just spent the day doing load after load of laundry and baking.

By the way, my family’s new favorite dinner entree is a Tomato Tart. I’ve been using the recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook which includes a bunch of smashed roasted garlic covering the tart shell topped with lucious ripe tomatoes, olive oil, salt & pepper, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese. It is then baked for 45 minutes until the cheese is perfectly golden and tomatoes are starting to melt. Please go make yourself one right now. Holy moly.

I  just now got a call from the automated Connecticut Emergency Alert System specifically telling people in my town that Irene is going to be all up in our business starting somewhere around midnight. Time to get crackin’! Here’s hoping it’s all getting blown out of proportion and everyone out there stays super safe.

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Muffins Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Kitchen Stewardship’s Easy One-Bowl Muffins which is found in Katie’s Healthy Snacks To Go ebook. It’s extremely moist, tender, and perfectly sweet.

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup cold water
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenhiet.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter, water, eggs, and applesauce. Stir well. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

Fill greased mini muffin cups 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once cool, freeze or store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 38 mini muffins
Prep-time: 15 minutes
Bake-time: 15 minutes

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The ground cloves in this recipe, albeit a tiny amount, set these tender muffins apart.

Apple Date Muffins Recipe

1 1/2 cup white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped dates
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until well combined and smooth. Add the egg and milk and stir well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture along with the dates and apple. Stir until just combined.

Fill each cup of a greased mini muffin pan with batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack. Serve warm. Once the muffins are cooled completely, they can be stored in an airtight container or frozen.

Yield: 24 mini muffins
Prep-time: 20 minutes
Bake-time: 15 minutes

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This easy recipe for homemade apple chips is a new favorite at our house. My kids love them. I love them. Everyone’s happy. It’s been a while since I made something so simple yet brilliant. Hooray Apple Chips!

Apple Chips Recipe

I used some Macoun and Empire apples to make these and they didn’t require any measures to prevent browning. If you think your apples will brown excessively, dip them in a solution of 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice right after they have been sliced.

3 medium apples
Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and core the apples using an apple corer. Slice off the a 1/4″ of the top and bottom of the apple and discard. Slice the remaining apple using a mandolin set to 1/8″ thick.

Spread the apple rings out onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Try to avoid overlapping the rings. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for approximately 3 hours, rotating once or twice. Start checking on them around 2 hours. They may be slightly pliable out of the oven, but should crisp up when cool. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: I’ve also made these same chips using a food dehydrator set to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for around 6 -8 hours.

Yield: approximately 30 chips (not enough!)
Prep-time: 5 minutes
Bake-time: 3 hours 

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