I can remember begging my parents to buy me fruit roll-ups fruit snack when I was in elementary school. My mom usually said, “No, those are too full of sugar”, but my Dad usually caved and got them for me. There was something about the fruity chewy goodness that I enjoyed. Now, 20 years later, there are some better options for fruit snacks and fruit leather, ones containing just real fruit. I recently made some fruit leather because I was curious as to how homemade would taste; it turned out delicious!
Much better than the fruit roll ups which I remember tasting artificial overly sweet fruit. I know if my mom knew how to make these when I was in school, she definitely would have let me have them. After all, they are real fruit! The best part is you can choose what flavor to make. This time I made peach raspberry, and the fruit was so flavorful and ripe that it needed very little additional sweetening.
All you moms add these to your kiddos lunches, and your kids will love them just as much as store-bought fruit roll ups. It’s a great way to get one of their fruit servings for the day! Feel free to substitute their favorite fruits in the recipe!
To continue what I started (see Homemade Peanut Butter recipe blog), no peanut butter is complete without the proper jam. As far as the jam goes, I prefer the quick non-sugary method sweetened with honey or agave nectar. It only requires a clean jar and a pot, no special equipment. My favorite is strawberry vanilla, but of course you can use whichever organic fruit you prefer. No fruit in season? Frozen works just fine.
So, if you want to make yourself a special peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you should combine my Homemade Peanut Butter blog recipe with my Vanilla Scented Strawberry Jam! If you have kids, even better for them because they can help you choose the flavors to make.
Note: You can substitute the strawberries for other fruits such as raspberries, peaches, blueberries or mangoes.
Sometimes it’s a chore to think of what to make for dinner. Everyone is busy. We are all looking for quick, delicious recipes that the kids will like. When I was little, one thing that my mom would make that would always go over well was noodles. Whether spaghetti, pasta salad, or macaroni, it didn’t matter I cleaned my plate. In recent years, I have come to appreciate a quick noodle dish called Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles. It always is a crowd pleaser. I have served this to guests and even children, and they were all raving about the sauce. I personally add chicken style seitan for extra protein, but if you prefer add chicken instead or just omit it all together. The great thing about this entree is you can use whichever veggies you have on hand. I list carrots, peas, radishes and scallions here, but broccoli and bell peppers are also great choices too. It is very versatile. Leftovers keep well until lunch the next day. It is perfect to bring to work or school lunches!
Peanut butter and jelly. It is a staple for many school lunches, or at least for those little opinionated eaters. I was one of those kids; my mother tried to get me to eat a bologna or turkey sandwich, but if it wasn’t a PB&J, I would end up just throwing it away. There was just something about the sweet jelly (or jam in my case) that was comforting and delicious. My mother always bought the fruit sweetened jam and natural peanut butter from the health food store rather than the overly sweet stuff, which I can now appriciate as an adult. She really cared about our health.
Now, as an adult, I still love peanut butter and jam, but I now make my own. It is really pretty simple, especially the peanut butter. All you need is a good food processor and voila! The best part is you can add your own flavorings if you wish like vanilla, cinnamon, or even maple extract! But if you prefer the classic, I will tell you that this is some of the best peanut butter you will ever eat. If peanut butter isn’t your forte, almond butter or any other nut butter can be made in the same fashion.
See my Vanilla Scented Strawberry Jam blog recipe to complete this creation!
When I was a kid, dip was only option veggies were served with in my house. Of course, as with many kids, I had little veggies with my dip (if you know what I am saying). Now, there is nothing wrong with a little dip with your veggies, after all, you do need a little fat to absorb the nutrients in them. But if I had been offered a flavorful healthier option, I know I would have taken it.
Hummus is my current favorite; I love it with raw veggies of any sort. It packs protein, so it really is a win win! If I had been offered this as a veggie dip, I would like to think I would have given up regular old dip long ago. I consider it a staple now in my fridge, and keep a big batch of it on hand as a sandwich spread and veggie dip. Although I have many different recipes that I enjoy making, this is my favorite for the fall months!