These recipes are in conjuction with the April 2013 feature story Battling Childhood Obesity.
From Art Director Kathryne Taylor's Blog Cookies + Kate
- Honey Wheat Banana Bread
- Banana Oak Pancakes
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crispy Baked French Fries
- Simple Tortilla Pizzas
Homemade granola…just saying it makes me feel all…granola-y. I wonder if I can find my Birkentocks from college. There’s also something about it that makes me feel wholesome and healthy.
The great thing about homemade granola is you can put about any ingredient that you can imagine and it will probably be great. Well, don’t try to put something like brussels sprouts or anything crazy like that, but nearly any combination of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or some other sweet would be yum. You can make granola as plain or adventurous as you like. Whatever crazy combo you think your family will go for is a fun game to play, but be careful. Eat too much granola and the next thing you know you’ve signed up for the co-op membership to REI and only wear Teva sandals and Columbia brand pants that have the option to unzip and turn into shorts.
- 4 cups regular oats (NOT quick cook oats)
- 2 Tbs. butter, melted
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
- 1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mix oats, butter and canola oil in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. When toasted, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Combine brown sugar, honey, agave nectar, apple juice, vanilla extract and almond extract in a sauce pan. Heat until everything is melted and blended together. Set aside.
- Once oats have cooled slightly, return them to the large bowl and add sunflower seeds, almonds, Grape Nuts, wheat germ and chocolate chips. Mix well. Line the baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread oat mixture evenly on backing sheet and slightly press. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
- When done baking, allow to cool slightly then remove from baking sheet and discard foil. If you want to cut it into bars, transfer to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut to the desired bar size. If you just want loose granola for cereal, break of large chucks and transfer to a large zip lock bag. Once in the bag, continue breaking the granola up.
I’ve discovered that if I include my boys in baking or cooking then they are more likely to try it when snack time comes around. Harry is a fan of the granola bars and keeps talking about how we did this together. Addison isn’t a fan of the crunchy texture but what’s important to me is that he actually gave it a chance instead of automatically turning his nose up to something different.
Frozen Blueberry Bites
My kiddos love frozen treats. We’re no stranger to popsicles in the summer heat. Heck, it’s practically a food group for us when the temperature is 101. I’m trying to think of a little freezer variety and came up with these frozen blueberry bites.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup sweetened greek yogurt (I used honey flavor but strawberry or vanilla flavor would work just fine)
This is really easy and fun to do with the kiddos. It’s only three easy steps.
- Mix blueberries and yogurt
- Drop blueberries onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Freeze blueberries for about 1 hour. Once the yogurt is hard, transfer them to a zip lock back for storage.
I love these because when I’m tempted to get a sweet fix from a handful of M&Ms or a cookie, popping this little treat will satisfy. Although, there really isn’t any substitute for chocolate, but it’s good to make an effort.
This would also be good with other soft fruit like banana, kiwi or strawberries.
Strawberry and Almond Milk Freeze
Smoothies are the breakfast of choice at our house. In an effort to add some variety to the kiddo’s diets I bought a carton of Almond milk to see what it’s all about. Turns out it’s pretty tasty in smoothies and on granola for breakfast. Next experiment…latte.
This smoothie takes a bit of forethought because you need to freeze the almond milk so you can get a really nice icy texture. Pour vanilla almond milk into snack size zip lock baggies and store in freezer. (It kind of looks like breast milk when you first put it in the freezer. That brought back memories…good or bad I’m not quite sure.) When your ready to blend just cut baggy away and you have the perfect amount of frozen almond milk for two small glasses.
- 1 snack size baggy of frozen Vanilla Almond milk
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond milk
- 1 packet vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast
- 5-6 large strawberries
Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
You will need to pour 1/2 cup of almond milk in with the frozen milk to get everything going. It may take a few starts and stops to get the frozen milk in the blades but the frozen milk will make this so frosty and cold and super yummy. This received a thumbs up from my picky eater!
Personal Tuscan Loaf Pizza
Have you discovered the Archer Farms Tuscan Loaf at Target? Oh my gosh, it’s a revelation. I’ve been told that if you go early in the morning you can smell the loaves and rolls coming out of the oven and it’s heaven. Word of warning…if you are trying to watch your carbs then maybe you should stay away from the Tuscan Loaf. One taste of it toasted with a little butter and you might inhale the entire thing.
Last week I was feeling the call of pizza but didn’t want to go to the trouble of making my dough and wanted something a little bit healthier option than our usual go-to frozen pizza. I also opted for prosciutto ham instead of pepperoni. Because it’s sliced so thin it gives the impression of being not quite as heavy and greasy as pepperoni. I’m sure they both have the same amount of fat and salt but prosciutto seems like a better choice, plus it makes me feel all fancy.
- Sliced Tuscan loaf
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. dry Italian herb mix
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- salt & pepper
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 package prosciutto ham, cut into bite size pieces
- shredded Italian 5 cheese mix
- For the sauce: Melt 1 Tbs. butter in heavy skillet and saute shallot until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes. Add Italian season mix, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Thinly slice white parts of leek, wash and rinse. In a separate skillet, melt 1 Tbs. butter and saute leeks until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to assemble pizza.
- When ready to assemble pizza, position oven rack to top position and preheat oven to 425. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet and spread sauce on bread. Sprinkle each slice with cheese and top with leeks and prosciutto. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges of bread are toasty.