EASY Snack Squares

I don’t know about your house but we’ve been doing our part and staying home and it seems like part of that process is constant snacking! I usually buy granola bars to stick in my kids lunches for school but now that I’m not packing a lunch and our routine varies from day to day the granola bars were constantly being asked for and it was a battle I just wasn’t willing to fight. My philosophy is that if you don’t want your kids to eat it then don’t buy it at the grocery store. If you buy it then brace yourself for the ensuring battles of “can we have it?”, “can we just have one?”, “can we have it after we eat?”, “but you said yes yesterday so why can’t we have it today?” Maybe this is just me but I like saying “YES go ahead and snack away kids!”

…but I have to feel good about what they’ve put into their little bodies throughout the day.

As many of you parents know, the snack has to be delicious enough for them to ask for it, want to eat it, and consume it happily.

These snack bars are so easy, sweet and convenient there really is no reason not to make them. I’m going to throw in economical too! There are many of us during these uncertain times keeping track of our pennies and when it comes to pre-packaged snacks “healthy” and “cheap” are never in the same sentence.

Method:

  • take the bag of nut & dried fruit mix and dump it into your food processor.
  • if your kids are like mine and prefer to eat everything with chocolate then add some non-dairy chocolate chips
  • blend the mixture until it’s crumbly
  • add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • blend again to mix in the maple syrup
  • press the mixture into a pan (use a silicon sheet or grease the pan with a little coconut oil first) – the size of pan you use will depend on how thin you would like the squares to be
  • place the pan into the freezer for about 30 mins, cut into squares and let the snacking begin

We chose to keep the pan in the freezer and eat them straight out of there, it doesn’t actually freeze it just keeps them firm and chilled. I pre-cut all the squares and just let the kids go for it whenever the snack attack hits 🙂

This recipe is full of iron, healthy fats and fibre. The sugars are natural and are in whole food form. This is a great granola bar alternative because you don’t have the waste, you don’t have the processed sugars, it’s free from preservatives and the kids can even help to make it!

Enjoy – Stay Safe

Fusion Noodles

Another leftover creation that turned out so delish, that I will just make it on purpose and not wait for leftovers!  A little Italian, a little Asian – win win!

Of course I had sprinkled everything on top, really pretty, to take an appetizing Insta-pic but then I stirred it and started eating it before I remembered to take the PICTURE!!

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We like the really thin spaghettini or vermicelli noodles when we are eating pasta.  I  love to have just a little taste of noodle and mostly taste the veggies and sauce that I’ve dressed it with.

Since, I was starting with leftover spaghettini that had been in the fridge, it was cold and I decided to roll with it and make a cold noodle ‘salad’.

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I added my seed mix. This SUPERFOOD mix I’m trying for the first time.  Usually I just add hemp hearts and the “salad topper” from Costco that has pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries in it.  Either way these seeds are a healthy source of fat, great fibre and add a nice crunch.  I also sprinkled some chili powder, S&P and chopped up fresh basil.  For a little moisture and some salty asian flavour (because that is what I love, give me heat and salt and I’m a happy girl!) I added a splash of tamari. Tamari is fermented soy sauce.  Because of the fermentation, the salt doesn’t effect your blood pressure the same way that it would with other salty products and it is gluten-free if you need that.

 

If you decide to give it a try I hope you like it as much as I did!

Not your average OATMEAL

OATMEAL: 28grams (1 small bowl) per day = 5% lower death risk (because the leading causes of death involve your heart and oatmeal is great for your heart)

Oatmeal has many health benefits and is quick and easy to prepare in the morning before work and school. You can also add a variety of fruits (both fresh and dried), nuts, seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin, sunflower) and spices (cinnamon) to the oatmeal to give it different flavours and boost it’s nutritional value even more!

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This boosted version of oatmeal that I made for my kids before school took about 5 mins:

  • quick oats & boiling water (protein and vitamins)
  • hemp hearts (protein)
  • ground flax (healthy fibre and anti-inflammatory)
  • cinnamon (anti-inflammatory)
  • chopped banana (vitamin C, fibre, protein)
  • rasins (protein, antioxidants)
  • dried cranberries (fibre, antioxidants)
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds (good fats for the brain!)
  • a heaping scoop of coconut mango whip (healthy fat and vitamins)
  • a small blob of maple syrup since my kids like it on the sweeter side (they are kids after all!)
  • scoop of peanut butter (healthy fats, protein)

 

Some of the health benefits of oatmeal are:

– BETA GLUCAN (which is an extremely helpful sugar) – reduces absorption of cholesterol reducing LDL 7% (similar to a statin drug but without side effects)

– beta glucan also increases the production of bile salts which are critical for the digestion and absorption of fats (prevention of gall stones)

– it contains vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, iron, b vitamins

– oats are a source of soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol (lowering the risk of heart disease)

– oats are anti-inflammatory; lowering your blood pressure; reducing arthritis 

– they help control your body weight

– improve liver function (fatty liver disease is now the most common cause of liver disease, even more than alcohol)

– increase positive gut flora (beneficial bacteria in your stomach and intestines)

With all these health benefits and so many ways to make it delicious I hope you consider making oatmeal a part of your morning!

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