Summertime sounds are at full volume. The birds chirping. The wind in the leaves. And kids everywhere saying, “Can I have a snack?”
It’s a question that every parent hears multiple times a day during the summer. So how do you answer?
While reaching for the chips or cookies can be a quick fix, there are better-for-you options that you can offer. And they can be just as quick and tasty. Here are 5 recipes that you and your kids will be sure to love.
1) Three-bean Roasted Garlic Hummus
This makes a lot. It’s enough to share, and is a great option for a potluck or party. It can also be stored in the freezer for about 6 months.
Serve it with whole-grain crackers or cut raw veggies like carrots, zucchini, or red, green and yellow bell peppers.
Makes 4 1/2 Cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Put the pan on the stove and turn the heat to low. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and the garlic cloves. Let them cook slowly until they are dark brown all over, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Put the beans, garlic cloves and the oil they were cooked in, plus the remaining oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or a blender) and put the top on tightly. Process the mixture until smooth, about 1 minute. Add a little water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) if the mixture is too thick. Taste the hummus. Does it need more salt? If so, add some remembering that a little goes a long way, and taste again.
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl using the rubber spatula and serve.
2) Mango Lassi
This sweet-tart treat from India and Pakistan is the perfect way to cool off in the summer heat.
- ½ cup mango puree or chopped fresh or frozen mango
- ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Put all the ingredients into the blender or food processor. Put the top on tightly.
- Turn the blender or processor to medium and blend or process until the mixture is smooth and frothy.
3) Fruit + Nut Energy Bars
These bars are super easy to make and adapt to your own tastes. Keep trying these bars with different ingredients. We’re not sure why, but every now and then these don’t turn out quite right-they’re crumbly instead of firm. If this happens, use it as a fruit or yogurt topping, and call it “granola!”
- ½ cup lightly toasted nuts (one kind or a combination of almonds, walnuts and pecans). To toast nuts, put them on a small baking sheet in a 350ºF oven until they are fragrant and look a shade darker. That usually takes around 5 minutes.
- ¾ cup dried fruit (one kind or a combination of raisins, currants, dried cranberries or chopped dates, prunes, apricots and peaches)
- ¾ cup quick-cooking oats
- ¾ cup crispy-rice cereal
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut (if you like)
- ½ cup almond or peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line the pan with parchment paper and leave enough hanging so that you can use it to cover the bars later. (You will need a piece a little more than twice the size of the bottom of the pan.)
- Put the nuts or seeds, dried fruit, oats, rice cereal and coconut in the bowl and toss well.
- Put the nut or sunflower seed butter and honey in the small bowl and microwave until it is softened, about 30 seconds (depending on your microwave). Stir until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir again.
- Pour the nut butter mixture into the large bowl and mix with a spoon until well-combined.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down as hard as you can. You want to make the bars solid (rather than airy). Using the overhanging parchment paper, cover the bars completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Using a knife, cut into 16 pieces.
4) Summer Salsa
Salsa is delicious and easy to make. Plus, it tastes great on many foods – not just chips. Use it to top omelets, burgers, tacos, chili…the list is endless. Don’t like spicy salsa? Don’t worry – when you make your own, you control the flavor.
- 5 tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 bell pepper of any color, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped (if you like spicy) Be very careful NOT to touch your eyes!
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (if you like spicy)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
This is a fun and easy snack that can be made as a family. It’s a treat that is great for a quick bite at home, or for a long car ride.
- ½ cup roasted, lightly salted whole almonds or other nuts
- ½ cup raisins or dried currants
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit
- ¼ cup corn or wheat squares cereal, toasted corn snacks or pretzels
- ¼ cup toasted green pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and toss until well mixed.
- Put ¼ cup of the mixture in 7 snack-size zipper lock bags. Keep at room temperature up to 1 week.
Looking for more recipes and ideas? Visit yumPower.com and PowerUp4Kids.org for more great tips.
All recipes reprinted with permission from Chop Chop© Magazine.