Tis the season to slice open everyone’s favorite squash!! While pumpkins are very cute in their reincarnation as a spooky lighting device, they are also extremely good for you! So, to celebrate the pumpkin harvest and the Halloween season, this week I will be featuring recipes all to do with pumpkin!
First off, lets start off with something really easy and at hand. Most households this week will be carving a pumpkin for Halloween. So, why not reserve the seeds and make a tasty, healthful snack?!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1.Preheat the oven to 260*F (130*C). Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and separate all of the thready bits.
2. Place seeds in a colander and rinse in cold running water.
3. Place a dish towel on a baking tray. Pour the seeds on top and pat them dry, removing as much water as possible.
4. Remove the dish towel, spreading the seeds out on the tray. Season with sea salt and bake for about 20-30 minutes, stirring twice during. The seeds should be crunchy, but not brown.
5. Allow the seeds to cool before storing.
Well….really they are more like savory cookies.
But, my are these tasty! They have a really nice cheesy flavor and a good crispiness to them, especially the thinner ones. Myles had a blast “forking” the dough…his are not pictured, for obvious reasons! 😛
Though it is hard to eyeball exactly, try to make these crackers on the small side. The flatter, the better as the thick ones are almost too rich.
Homemade Cheese Crackers
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F (160*C).
2. Cream together butter and cheese.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry into the wet, stirring until you have a nice dough.
4. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork in a criss-cross fashion.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe slightly adapted from the fabulous: http://onehungrymama.com/2009/02/let-them-play-with-food-the-value-of-self-feeding-homemade-cheese-crackers/
I am constantly on a quest to find healthy, scrummy snacks for my active little boy. And if they are cheap, all the better. This definitely falls into all catagories! All of the ingredients are staples in our cupboards, so it is very easy to mix all this up! It is almost a bit too sweet, so if you want, substitute the raisins for some salty nuts and you will have gold. 🙂
Peanut Butter Granola Balls
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup crunchy organic peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup cheerios
1 cup oats
1/4 cup raisins or nuts
1. Melt together butter, peanut butter and honey in a medium pan.
2. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix.
3. Spoon 1 Tbsp of granola into individual cups of a muffin tin. Refridgerate for at least 20 minutes, then roll into balls. Keep in the fridge until served.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/336732/peanut-butter-granola-balls
Greens are a hard one to get little kids to eat, for some reason. Which is a shame, as they are extremely nutrient dense! Some of the benefits of kale is that is provides an excellent source of vitamin A, iron, fiber, calcium and B vitamins. While I prefer my kale to be lightly steamed, Myles won’t go near ’em unless they are baked as chips.
It’s quick, easy and delicious. 🙂
Kale, washed and trimmed
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1.Preheat oven to 350*F (160*C).
2. Place kale on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, then use your hands to spread the love.
3. Bake on the middle rack for 7-10 minutes. They should be crisp, yet not brown.
My two year old Myles is like a dog – he needs a walk every day or he goes crazy. So, I have been on the hunt for a healthy snack that we could take on the go. This started out as a granola bar recipe, but it was just too sweet for us! (Add a cup of brown sugar to the below recipe and press firmly into all corners of a lightly greased baking sheet for bars) So, I started experimenting with making the bars sans sugar. They taste great but just don’t stick together the way that they should. Rather than throw away the failed attempts, I stored them for later use as granola!
Add this to a cup of plain yoghurt, a handful of fresh berries or bananas, and some crushed nuts. It makes for a delicious breakfast, a nice mid morning snack or a healthy dessert. 🙂
Cinnamon Raisin Granola
3 cups porridge oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 350*F (160*C)
2.Mix together all ingredients. Use your hands to make sure that the honey covers everything. ( the texture is crumbly and dry)
3. Crumble mix onto lightly greased baking sheets.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.superhealthykids.com/granolabars.html
Have you ever had someone send you a fruit bouquet? There is something so appealing about eating fruit that is cut into pretty shapes!! Fun and fanciful, it is the perfect way to get your little ones to try new fruits. I made this fruit bouquet for Myles’s second birthday party. It was the first time I’ve ever tried this, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make the different shapes. And, as it only took about an hour from start to finish, even super busy moms can bust this out for a special event. 🙂
1 honeydew melon
1 lb red grapes
2 pints strawberries
skewers, flower styrofoam, and a pretty container
1. Use a melon baller to make small balls of cantaloupe melon. Peel and slice pineapple and cut into flower shapes. Skewer.
2. Hull strawberries. Skewer.
3. Wash grapes. Skewer4-5 per stick.
4. Cut honeydew into leaf shapes. Skewer.
5. Arrange by sticking ends of skewers into the styrofoam filled container.