Healthy Snack Time

My girls and I have had fun over the past two weeks creating homemade snacks in our attempt to eat all natural healthy ingredients as often as we can.  I quickly realized that I couldn’t keep this up every week, but every now and then when I have a few extra hours on a weekend I will make a big batch of homemade granola bars or Kale chips so we can snack all week and feel good about it.  My kids (and their friends) voted against the homemade “goldfish” but my husband and I thought they were pretty good.  I made several different varieties of the cheese crackers trying to find ingredients that matched the flavor of cheezits or goldfish, I don’t think I ever really found that but I did realize that the Whole Wheat White Flour was better than the quinoa flour or brown rice flour and that they were best right out of the oven.  We love the granola bars and they are really easy to make.  So here are few of our homemade healthy snacks…

 

Homemade Cheese Crackers
Homemade Cheese Crackers 3

 

Ingredients:

8 oz package of cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
2 cups Whole Wheat White Flour
6 Tablespoons Butter cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons Ice Water

Homemade Cheese Crackers 2
Directions:
In a food processor combine the cheese, flour and butter and pulse for several seconds, gradually add the water, the cheese mixture should form a ball as you mix, add more water if it doesn’t come together with the 2 tablespoons. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refridgerator for at least one hour. Lightly flour your counter and roll out 1/3-1/2 of the dough (leaving the rest in the fridge) with a floured rolling pin until the dough is about 1/8-1/16 inches thick. Using a small cookie cutter cut out the crackers and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending on how thin you cut them.
Let them cool completely and then place them in an airtight container.
**the first two times I made these I was trying to use a gluten free healthy flour such as Oat and Brown Rice, both didn’t turn out as well as the Whole Wheat White Flour. I’m still working on this recipe because they are still not as good as we’d all like them to be. I hope I can get close to what my kids are used to!

Homemade Granola Bars
We have been buying organic bars for several years, and they are okay but still have a lot of processed ingredients. So since I know how incredibly easy it can be to make your own granola and granola bars I have begun trying different ingredients in several different bars to create something my kids will eat that is also healthy.

My Girls Favorite Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars:

Ingredients:
1 Cup Quick Cook Oats
1 Cup Super Oats (Love Grown Super Oats)
2/3 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Organic Natural Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Rice Cereal
1 Cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp. Hemp Seeds
2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

Directions:
Line a 8 x 8 square pan with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray. In a large microwave safe bowl combine the honey, brown sugar, peanut butter and microwave one minute. If the mixture isn’t melted and well combined after you stir microwave a little longer. Mix in the oats, cocoa, vanilla, sees, and 3/4 of the mini chocolate chips. Fold in the rice cereal carefully. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the remaining chips. Cover and store in the refridgerator for 3-4 hours or in the freezer for an hour before cutting into bars.
Homemade Granola Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cranberry Granola Bars:

I thought these were pretty good, they didn’t hold up as well as the chocolate peanut butter bars, but they were crunchy and would actually make a really good homemade granola.

Ingredients:
1 Cup Super Oats
1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
1 Cup Chopped Nuts (of your choice)
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries (substitute any dried fruit)
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp. Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Almond Butter
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 Tsp. Salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper and spread the oats, seeds and nuts evenly on the pan and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes (keep a close eye so that you don’t burn anything, you may need to mix it half way through).
Mix the Almond Butter, Honey, almond extract and Salt in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 minute in the microwave or until the mixture is melted down. Mix in the toasted oats, cranberry and dark chocolate chips. Spread the mixture onto a 8×8 inch lined pan that you have prayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and let cook completely then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into bars. Some of my bars fell apart so I saved the crumbled pieces for granola cereal.
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kale Chips:
My older daughter and husband love these. They are easy to make and you can substitute spinach leaves if you prefer.

Ingredients:
Baby Kale
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Preheat Oven to 300 degrees. Spread the Kale on a foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle lightly with the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook in the oven about 15 minutes or until the kale is crisp.

Homemade Potato Chips
Ingredients:
2-3 Large Russet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
(season with other seasoning if you want to spice things up)

Directions:
Using a Mandoline Slicer (OxO-Good Grips-Mandoline Slicer. Slice the potatoes about 1/4 inch think. Place in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt or seasonings of your choice. Line two sheet pans with foil and lightly spray. Place the potatoes about 1/4 inch a part in a single layer and cook for about 25 minutes turning the pan 1/2 way through. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn, you may have to flip them if they are cooking unevenly.

This week we are going to try Healthy Homemade muffins and cookies, stay tuned ….

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