MINI SERIES with ‘Our Best Bites’: Healthy Snacks and Treats!


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Hooray.
It’s time for the next part of our little mini series with the fab food blog, ‘Our Best Bites’.
(Remember the intro from last week?)
Sit back and relax.  And enjoy more great ideas.
-Ashley

 

 

Hey everyone!  I’m Sara, one of the co-authors of Our Best Bites.  My friend Kate introduced us last week and told you we’d be posting about kids in the kitchen over the next few weeks.  I have 3 kids, all boys, ages 5, almost 3, and 7 months.  Everyone tells me, “Just wait until they’re teenagers” but I swear, some days it is their sole purpose in life to come up with as many ways as possible to tell me they’re starving.  How can they be starving when they seem to eat ALL DAY LONG?  I’ve noticed that my almost 3 year old, in particular, likes to just graze all day.  And if I’m not careful, he can easily consume 8 boxes of fruit snacks single handedly.  And hey, there’s nothing wrong with fruit snacks.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I keep that whole industry in business but I’ve noticed that my kids stay satisfied longer if I have some options that are fun, substantial, and somewhat healthy (and they totally don’t have to know about that last part.)  So today I wanted to show you some of our favorite snacks and treats!
See this picture below?
The bowl full of soft, smooth, sweet, delicious, ice cream?
What if I told you it was made from only one ingredient?
And it wasn’t dairy?
No joke people!
That, my friends, is made from 100% banana.
And I’m not lying when I say it actually has the creamy texture of ice cream.  I take claims like that very seriously.  I don’t know how many diet books have told me to eat my meatballs and marinara on top of spaghetti squash and I won’t even know the difference.  Um, like heck I won’t!  This one is good.  Really good.
Bananas can tend to get a bitter taste to them after freezing and it’s intensified if they’re under-ripe.  So definitely use very ripe bananas for this. They shouldn’t be brown-mushy-banana-bread-ripe, but ripe. I found the best ones to be like the ones below, where the outsides were spotty but the insides weren’t brown yet at all.
Try it with about 3 medium bananas. Slice or dice into small pieces (to make the blending part easier) and place in the freezer. Place frozen banana chunks into a food processor.
Can you guess the next step? Ya, blend those babies up. Depending on the size of your food processor, the amount of bananas, and how frozen they are, you may have to stop it a few times and scrape and mush the mixture around. I’ve had to do that every time.
The first time I tried this, I was concerned when my mixture never turned into anything resembling ice cream. It just looked like tiny little grains, much like couscous!
But all I had to do was grab a spatula and when I stirred them even the tiniest bit, ta-da!
Sure enough it was smooth, creamy, and looked just like ice cream!
Now looking like ice cream is one thing, but what about the taste and texture? I was very surprised to find that this stuff actually feels like ice cream in my mouth. It tastes like- let’s be real here, bananas. But it’s still quite delish. One of the great things you can do is add some mix-ins to the food processor along with bananas. Sure it won’t make it “one” ingredient ice cream anymore, but it’s sure yummy. I tried one batch with some cinnamon-sugar, one with a spoonful of peanut butter, and our personal favorite: a scoop of heaven.
Er…I mean,
It’s really amazing how much frozen bananas can resemble ice cream.
The true test? This one:
Not only was this kid super happy to be eating a treat, he had noooo idea it was just bananas. Muah ha ha ha ha! Total victory moment for Mommy. Plus I won super-mega-cool-Mom-points by saying, “Why, yes son. Yes, you can have ice cream for breakfast today”
Test it out at your house!
…………………………………
Here’s a few more of our favorites!
Since we’re on the topic of frozen deliciousness… my kids love these homemade pudding pops.  And I don’t mind them eating them because I make them with sugar free pudding and skim milk (which makes grown-up friendly add-ins like Oreos totally okay in my book!)  Kids can help by pouring things in the blender, and even filling the molds.
We’ve got tons of flavor combinations- Click Here to check them out!
The other day I had a major melt-down ensuing from an I-woke-up-way-too-early toddler.  I calmed him with promises of a movie and popcorn on the couch that we’re not allowed to eat popcorn on.  (Hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!)  But after I’d bribed him, I realized I was totally out of the little mini-bags of microwave popcorn I like to buy.  Then I remembered this awesome trick.  Microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag!  It’s so much healthier and it takes just minutes to make.  Plus, since the bag isn’t coated in greasy fluorescent orange goo, the kiddos can eat right from the bag.  Click here for the How-To!
I have vivid memories as a kid helping my Mom mix up a giant bowl of cheerios, butterscotch chips, fishy crackers, and other bite-sized snacks.  Choose a variety of flavors and textures.  We pick something chewy, something sweet, something crunchy, something salty, etc.  This mix of flavors and textures will keep kiddos busy- and I’m not gonna lie, it makes a great mommy snack too!  At our house, we make a huge batch and then divide into snack-size ziplock bags (partially to have them ready-to-go, and partially so I don’t go through and pick out all of the m&m’s.)  Since they’re packaged already into servings, I can grab a couple and toss them in my diaper bag, take a few to the park, use to keep kids occupied at the mall or at church,  or even as breakfast on the way to school  (chocolate is okay for breakfast, right??)
Another thing.
Kids love to dip.   And they love chips.  These homemade cinnamon chips are so super easy!  And you better make lots because I guarantee the kids will have to fight you for them!  Tortillas are brushed lightly with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  Oven baking makes them light and crisp.  Once they’re cooled, dip them in a sweet fruit salsa.  See our recipe Here!
Lastly, this one is a little more of a splurge.  But when it comes to “treats”, if I can trick my kids into making a fruit or veggie count as dessert then I consider it a success.  One of our favorite family treats is homemade Dulce de Leche, which is probably a lot easier than you think!  For a sweet after dinner treat, or even snack during the day, cut up a variety of fresh fruit and let them dip away!  And guess what?  This is another one-ingredient recipe!  Click here to get it!
At our house, frozen freezer foods are a staple.  Especially things that can be used for both snacks and meals.  Hot Pockets are perfect for that- and these homemade ones are so amazing.  Fresh baked bread?  Real melty cheese?  The best part is that you can make them totally custom for your family.  They taste great warm from the oven, and just as good at room temp, so just grab and go!  Find the recipe here.
We hope that gives you a few new ideas of things to try out in your homes!  Thanks to Ashley for having us over today- we’ll be back again next week with something fun!
~ Sara
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Comments

42 Responses to “MINI SERIES with ‘Our Best Bites’: Healthy Snacks and Treats!”
  1. 1
    Patty says:

    I will definitely be trying that banana ice cream for my husband!! I think he will love it with nutella :-). Thanks for sharing

  2. 2
    Erin says:

    These are fantastic ideas. I've heard about the banana trick before and have been skeptical, but I will definitely try it. My kids would go bonkers if I said, "How about ice cream for breakfast today?"

  3. 3
    Dawn says:

    thanks for all the great ideas! my kids are always hungry too-or they say they are-and i've been wanting to find some healthier snacks especially for when they come home from school

  4. 4
    Anja's Creations says:

    Thank you so much!
    These are all wonderful ideas!!

  5. 5
    Sisters of Grace says:

    I love bannana ice cream. We love to eat it for breakfast:)

    ♥Michelle

  6. 6
    Zaira says:

    We have banana icecream a lot. We are doing weight watchers so we made it last night to do with a berry crumble I made for a very yummy but very healthy dessert!

  7. 7
    Amanda Joy says:

    So many awesoem and easily doable idea. I am so glad that this series started:)!!!

  8. 8
    Annie says:

    I am gonna L.O.V.E. this little "Mini Series". Can I use soy milk in place of milk on these? Just found out my little lady and cow's milk don't mix well, and I'm afraid to use Soy for anything other than drinking…? It's probably okay though, right?

  9. 9
    Gosfam says:

    Oh my gosh YUM to everything!! adding to my TO MAKE list.

  10. 10
    Sarah Tolman says:

    There is only one problem with the new girls post. Which one am I gonna try first?! I'm so excited and addicted already.

  11. 11
    Alicia Andrus says:

    Love this post! Can't wait to try the banana ice cream! Thanks so much!

  12. 12
    Lil Mama Stuart says:

    haha love the – muahhaaha i tricked you into being healthy, child!

    will be trying it!

  13. 13
    Elke says:

    I'm a firm believer that kids should not be eating anything sugar-free if it has fake sugar making up the difference. Like sugar-free pudding. It's probably not good for anyone, but let them grow up and make their own decisions about jeopardizing their health. I'm just saying… Lots of other great ideas, though!

  14. 14
    The Julanders says:

    we LOVE the BANANA SOFT SERVE…as we like to call it. I add a splash of vanilla which helps with flavor. Also we warm up a bit of caramel sauce and drizzle that on….it drizzles better warm, and you use less. When we have it, we top it with a squirt of whipped topping….then it looks, and taste like a sundae.

    Love the other ideas…I'll have to pop my own corn in my own bag…sounds like a great healthy option.

    THANKS

  15. 15
    Amy says:

    Oh everything looks wonderful! I will be making all of these. Thanks for the great ideas!

  16. 16
    jamie says:

    These ideas are amazing! I can't wait to try out the banana "ice cream". I bet a handful of frozen strawberries would be great with it. Yum!

  17. 17
    jodi says:

    Love these cool snack ideas! Can't wait to try banana ice cream and the microwave popcorn.

  18. 18
    Cat says:

    Our family has a Champion juicer – if you send frozen bananas through with the blank on they come out just like soft-serve in the same swirly shape. Our kids love it! You can do the same thing with any frozen fruit – we make 'sorbet' out of frozen mixed fruit (strawberry mango pineapple peach) through the juicer in the same way. yum!

  19. 19
    medschoolmama says:

    oh. my. delicious. I want to try all of these! Especially those homemade cinnamon tortilla chips. Delish!

  20. 20
    Jen Isackson says:

    Seriously… these ideas are SO GREAT!!!!!! So great….. you are all so great! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. 21
    Nursemom says:

    Wow! I am so excited to try these out. I'm always looking for some great and EASY healthy snacks for my kids.

  22. 22
    Jo says:

    thank you for your wonderful guest post! It only took me about 2 hours to get through it – just cause I had to click on the links to your website and I immersed myself in exploration of your website – it's fantastic!

    Ashley, thank you for introducing us to Kate and Sara!

  23. 23
    Athena says:

    I used to eat frozen bananas like that every night. I would also add semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to it to give it some texture. Yummy!

  24. 24
    Cara Dickerson says:

    Wow this is amazing! My kiddos are big time snackers and little less than enthusiastic about meals. These will hopefully be a big hit at our house! What great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  25. 25
    Lindsey says:

    I am totally loving you guys!!! I have not stumbled upon your site until Make It and Love It introduced me! Thank you so much for sharing your talents with the web world.

  26. 26
    Lindsey says:

    I am bookmarking every recipe in that post and kissing the ground that "Our Best Bites" walks on. DIVINE!!!!

  27. 27
    Jo says:

    Looking forward to trying the healthy (with a tiny dash of naughtiness) banana ice cream! Do you have to eat it straight away after blending, or can you freeze it?

  28. 28
    Noelle says:

    Thanks so much for all your great ideas. Since your last post, I have been figuring all kinds of litte jobs for the kids and they love it! I will be suggesting banana ice-cream for breakfast this morning. I will also enjoy it since I am on a sugar-free diet! Thanks again!

  29. 29
    Kristina says:

    Oh my gosh. I think you guys are awesome. I don't know how to say it better than that!

  30. 30
    Alison says:

    The banana ice cream was amazing last night, I couldn't believe it! Big hit with the entire family

  31. 31
    Kimberly says:

    Thanks for a whole bunch of great snacks. I'm excited to try these!

  32. 32
    alaskafam says:

    Love your recipes!!! We tried your chicken taquitos. THey turned out great. I plan to make a large batch and freeze them for quick easy meals. I can't wait for your book to come out!

  33. 33
    lifeasdescribed says:

    Thank you!! My kids are a mere 10 months old and I'm already arming myself with interesting ways to make eating fun. They have no idea how ahead of the game I am, thanks to you! ;-)

  34. 34
    Breanna says:

    I have three boys too (4, 2, and six months) and I completely hear you on the 'how can they possibly eat all the time!!?' I love all these ideas, definitely going to have to add these recipes to my book.

  35. 35
    Jennifer says:

    I cut my bananas up right now! Then showed my 4 yr old the picture of what I was making on your site and she got super excited! We are both excited to try this and I think it will be a great substitute for regular ice cream as I am on a diet! Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

  36. 36
    hanna says:

    There is nothing I love more than bananas! I can't wait to try this out!

  37. 37
    Lunch It Punch It says:

    I am in love with this post! I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me after finding out that loose popcorn can be microwaved in a brown paper bag!! :) I also can't wait to try out the banana ice crean and the homemade hotpockets. Thanks!
    FM

  38. 38

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