young indian girl feeding her sibling

Healthy Homemade Snacks

fruit slices frozen in an ice popsicle

1. DIY Fruit Popsicles

Fruit popsicles are versatile snacks and can be made with a variety of fruits to suit your child’s preferences. This recipe calls for freshly squeezed juice and should not be replaced with fruit concentrates or syrups.

Ingredients: ¾ cup strawberries (hulled and halved), ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup oranges (peeled and quartered) and a 1½-2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice

Serving size: Makes enough for four molds

Equipment: Popsicle mold and ice cream sticks

Instructions: Arrange cut fruit in each mold and make sure the pieces fit snugly. Pour juice into each mold to just cover fruit. Insert ice cream sticks and freeze until solid (about six hours or more, up to two weeks).

Related: A Healthier Way to Feast

bowl of popcorn

2. DIY Popcorn

Forget about sugar-and-fat-laden popcorn sold at the cinema. Here’s how you can easily whip up nutritious popcorn at home. Compared with other common snacks, popcorn is low in calories and high in fibre when air-popped and eaten plain. Did you know that the popcorn kernels are wholegrain? When eaten plain (with a small amount of healthier oil), popcorn can be eaten as part of a healthy diet.

Ingredients: ½ cup plain popcorn kernels

Ingredients (optional): 2 tablespoons healthier oil and salt to taste

Equipment: Heavy-bottomed pot with lid, or flat-bottomed wok with lid

Serving size: Makes 6 to 12 cups of popcorn

Instructions: Pour oil and a few popcorn kernels into your wok or pot, cover, and place over medium heat until they begin to pop. Then quickly open the lid just enough to pour in the remaining kernels. Cover immediately and reduce heat to medium. Place a towel from one handle of the wok or pot to the other, firmly holding the lid in place, and shake until the kernels stop popping. Once done, pour popcorn into serving bowl and sprinkle with salt to taste. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Tip: Instead of salt, you can use pure maple syrup to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Related: Sneak Tweaks for Healthy Baked Treats

jars of peanut butter

3. DIY Natural Peanut Butter

This natural peanut butter recipe only uses fresh, unprocessed ingredients and zero preservatives and certainly packs a nutritional punch! Peanut butter contains protein as well as potassium among other essential nutrients that are needed to build strong bones and muscles. This natural peanut butter will go well with a slice of wholemeal bread/muffin, vegetable sticks (as a dip) or even on its own.

Ingredients: 2 cups raw, shelled peanuts

Ingredients (optional): ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1-2 tablespoons healthier oil

Serving size: Makes about 1½ cup

Equipment: Oven, baking sheet, food processor/blender, spatula, jar with lid

Instructions: Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and toast peanuts* for 10 minutes on baking sheet until lightly golden and glossy with oil. Immediately transfer peanuts to food processor/blender and pulse until just chopped (for chunky peanut butter, remove ½ cup of chopped nuts and set aside). Process the nuts for one minute, then scrape down the sides of the processor. Process for another minute and scrape again. Process for one more minute and your butter should look glossy and soft, like very thick peanut butter. Now add the salt, oil, and maple syrup. Process again for 1-2 minutes until butter becomes smooth. If you reserved some nuts for chunky peanut butter, add them now and pulse to just combine. Taste and add more flavour if required. Transfer butter to jar and refrigerate. Keeps for a month or so in the fridge.

Tip: *Roasting nuts gives the butter a deeper flavour and helps loosen the oils and makes it easier to blend into a butter. Raw peanuts work just as well, and so do other types of nuts like almonds or pistachios.


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References

  1. Christensen, E. (2014, Jan 15). How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-peanut-butter-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-199110

  2. Healthy Kids Association. (n.d.) Grains, breads & cereals [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from https://healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/5-food-groups/breads-cereals/

  3. Organic Facts. (n.d.). Health Benefits Of Popcorn [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/popcorn.html

  4. Organic Facts. (n.d.). Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

  5. Herrington, D. (n.d.). 8 Health Benefits of Peanut Butter [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-peanut-butter.html

  6. Nightingale, A. (2012, Jul 11). Fun Food For Kids: 10 Cool and Healthy Snacks! [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from http://www.forkly.com/food/fun-food-for-kids-10-cool-and-healthy-snacks/6/

  7. Young, G. (2011, Jan 18). Perfect Popcorn [Website].
    Retrieved September 2016 from http://leitesculinaria.com/43869/recipes-perfect-popcorn.html