Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frugal snacks for hungry kids (or anyone else!)

I have 3 kids who always seem to want to eat. (I guess they get that from me.:P) Since we are a 1 income family, that means I have to come up with frugal, yet healthy snacks (So I don't get as big as a house!). I could resort to prepackaged snacks, but they cost a ton of money and offer pretty much no nutrition. It always boggles my mind when I see low income people like myself, buying single serving packages of chips and cookies and gummy candy. Those snacks are not just outrageously overpriced, they are also bad for you! You're much better off making your own snacks that will benefit your body and your wallet. Here are some of my favorites.

Plain yogurt with maple syrup and berries
2C plain whole milk or low fat yogurt
1C fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries or mulberries are best)
4Tbsp maple syrup

Put 1/2C yogurt in each of 4 bowls. Drizzle 1Tbsp maple syrup over yogurt and scatter 1/4C berries over top. Enjoy!

Strawberry almond milk shake
2C almond milk (You can buy this or make it fresh. I prefer to make it myself. The recipe will follow) Or cow or soy milk
12 fresh strawberries
1 or 2 frozen bananas (To freeze bananas, simply peel and place in a zip lock bag)
1 peeled mango (optional)
1Tbsp maple syrup

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. I can't even describe how good these are.

Almond milk
1C almonds, soaked for at least 4 hours
4C cold water
Place almonds and water in a blender and blend for 3-4 minutes. Strain through a clean dish towel into a bowl or pitcher. Almond milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Apple banana pops
1C apple juice (I prefer freshly squeezed, but bottled is just fine.)
2 bananas
1C almond milk (Or cow or soy milk)
1 tsp cinnamon

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into pop molds and freeze for 8 hours or overnight. You can drink any leftover smoothie for a delicious treat. My kids go crazy for these pops!

Mashed avocado salad with corn chips
1 ripe avocado, mashed with 1/2 tsp spike seasoning or 1/4 tsp salt and 1Tbsp lemon juice
1 pickling cucumber, peeled and diced
1 handful grape tomatoes, halved or 1 regular tomato, diced
small handful of sprouts (optional)

Add cucumber, tomato and sprouts (if using) to mashed avocado and mix very well. Serve with corn chips. Avocados and grape tomatoes can be purchased very cheap at sams club.

Ants on a log
Several stalks celery, washed and dried
peanut butter

spread peanut butter inside celery and line ants up along the top. It's that easy!

Mango with almond milk and brown sugar
1 ripe mango
splash of almond milk (Or cow or soy)
1 tsp brown sugar

Peel mango and cut into chunks. Place mango into a bowl and pour a splash of milk over it. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Mango is delicious by itself, but this just takes it up a notch.

4C old fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick oats!!!!)
1/2 C flour
1/2C dry milk
2C shelled pecans
1/4C canola or corn oil
3/4C maple syrup

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour oil and syrup into bowl and mix ingredients VERY well. Spread onto two greased cookie sheets and bake @325 for 20 minutes. Remove cookie sheets and stir granola around. Place cookie sheets back in oven, switching their positions and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove cookie sheets from oven and cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. This granola makes a tasty topping for yogurt.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I'm going to try the mashed avocado dip with corn chips. I really like avocados!