I was at the dollar store the other day, picking up some wrapping paper and tape, and the lady ahead of me in line had her buggy FULL of convenience foods. She let me go ahead of her, as I only had the 2 items, and while talking, informed me that all the foods in her basket were for her kids ages 4-12 for after school snacks.
I had to shutter. Most of the foodstuffs were very high in sugar or salt, or both! Not to mention unpronounceable ingredients and chemicals! And she was complaining how addicted they are to the products, and how out of control they were if they didn't get them.
So when she saw my look of
horror concern, she asked what I gave my child, and I knew I had the perfect opportunity to:
She was shocked when I told her I could spend almost the same amount, that she was spending, but get healthy, organic snacks by shopping Wild Oats instead! And that was my first conversion of the week!
Sometimes you just have to help people on the first step on the path to a healthier eating plan!
It thrills me that Miss Grace reaches for healthy snacks 90% of the time, and shares them with her friends at school. She is as much a healthy eating ambassador as a 8 year old can be! People might tell me she has weird tastes, but I'm just thrilled that she will reach for veggies and fruit, most of the time! But sometimes she needs a little more.
With Fall upon us, she is back to apple season, and this year she took it upon herself to come up with a yummy apple snack, that incorporates Wild Oats products, and is perfect for after school munchies, or for dessert!
It is SO simple and EASY to make, the kids can be involved and their is NOTHING like the smell of an apple pie baking is there? But these crumbles give you a combination of apple pie filling and crumble bottoms, for a sweet treat that kids will adore. And as you will see by looking at the ingredients, it can be made with Wild Oats Organics and some healthy ingredients you have on hand.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then butter a muffin tin.
Place 3 packs of Honey Nut Granola Bars into a large plastic bag, and roll/crush, until reduced to crumbs (see pic- kids adore this part), and then pour into mixing bowl. Add 2 packets of Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal to the bowl, along with a pinch of Coconut Sugar (if you have it, or you could add a teaspoon or two of flaked coconut), and then add 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter. You may need less, or more. You want mixture to stick together and form little shells in your muffin tins. If you want the shell to come all the way up, then you may need to double the recipe. We like it partially up.
Place muffin tin in oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile move on to Step 2:
We were out of apples, when I went to grab what we had ran out of, for this post, and I didn't feel like buying it all and making from scratch, so I opted for canned apple pie filing, for this time. We do use the low sugar, healthier version, as Wild Oats doesn't make one yet! But feel free to make your own, you will need about 18 ounces. Add it into a bowl (Miss Grace cut up the apples so they were more bite size pieces), with a handful of cranberries, Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup and Cinammon (the last 3 all to your taste, we used about a teaspoon each). Combine well.
Remove your shells from the oven. And add about 2 tbsp of the apple filling to each shell. Miss Grace likes to go back and then sprinkle them with Coconut Sugar, but that's her taste buds, and totally optional. You could use brown sugar, or cinnamon, instead as well.At this point you could actually place the pan in the fridge and save for the next day/later to cook. We've found doing 6 and 6 is a good idea, as we can freeze the pan, and then pop the crumbles into a plastic container, and only cook 2 at a time, as 6 usually are gone in 2 days!
Place pan back in oven (or place frozen crumbles in muffin pan) and cook for about 15 minutes (20-25 if frozen). You'll know by the smell that they are done, trust me! Note- we have taken them out of the freezer and microwaved them too. They're JUST as yummy, but it's just not quite the same...
When the pan comes out you may have a hard time keeping the kids (and adults) out of it! Miss Grace always want to scoop one out right away and eat it warm and gooey, with the crumbles in every bite. Store the pan in the fridge for an hour, and your crumbles should come out of the pan in perfect mini pie shapes, for easier storage.
She likes to mix up ingredients for her snacks too, for a new taste for old standbys.
Did I mention the kid has become addicted to Chia seeds recently? No? Yup- she LOVES to add them to everything, like her applesauce, raspberry fruit spread, peanut butter toast, soup, and smoothies! I really can't complain, as they are the richest plant source of Omega 3s (better than salmon!) and a great source of protein. Which means your food tastes better, you get a health boost, and they help fill you up (which means the kid won't be endlessly snacking til dinner!).
These healthy snacks are actually ones I sneak now and then too! They have so much flavor, yet are filling! For the snack above, Miss Grace takes on a pack of the Wild Oats Honey Nut Granola Bars, adds a layer of honey pecan cream cheese I make for her, and then tops with what ever is handy for the day, like dried cranberries or apricots, Chia seeds (told you),and even some stray chocolate chips. It is a super filling treat, that satisfies sweet and salty cravings!
Another way she likes to mix up breakfast and after school snack is to toast a cinnamon raisin muffin and mix some of the cream cheese with the Wild Oats Raspberry Fruit spread, and then top with Chia seeds (she got a bit heavy handed because she said they weren't showing enough in the first photo I took, everybody's a critic, right?-LOL) and dried cranberries. These are also great for Saturday morning breakfast on the go meals too!
If your kids aren't so much into fruit as Miss Grace, she has another after school snack to share with you, that she has really gotten into this past week!
Miss Grace loves to make her own chips too!
Getting homemade tortillas from our local Mexican restaurant, means I can keep a better watch on quality control and what they are made of, and by baking the chips, I can cut down on the trans fats for Miss Grace. Plus they're FUN to make!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Coat your tortillas with olive oil. Then sprinkle your choice of seasonings. Miss Grace prefers a certain Cajun blend, but you could use Italian, Mexican, Ranch, or your own special blend. Miss Grace added Chia seeds too (I told you she was addicted!).
Then it gets fun. You can either cut up your tortillas into triangles, or do as usually do and tear them into different sizes and shapes, and then layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with some more olive oil and spices. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes- keep an eye on them and you'll know when they're done!
Yum! Even the pieces that are a bit brown are actually quite flavorable, especially with the Salsa! Miss Grace likes to dip the Cajun spiced chips into Ranch dressing too. She says it's like a cool-hot experience. She likes to eat them with cut celery and carrots too, as she can dip them into both condiments as well.
So head on over to Walmart and pick up the same ingredients we did for this weeks snacks, or find some of the other great Wil Oats products, and have your kids think outside the prepackaged box too, for some great after school snacks!
And be sure to tell YOUR friends and family to rethink their idea of high priced organic food, and how they can make healthy organic after school snacks for their family too!