Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Quest for Homemade Snacks

Since the new year began, I've been attempting new recipes in hopes of finding ones that jive with the kids and are fairly simple to make. I'm tired of buying all the boxed stuff - you know, Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, Nutrigrain bars and the likes. At first, I was very motivated to accomplish this. I found some great *looking* recipes and was confident they would work out and be a hit! (Can you tell I'm an optimist?!)

My first endevour was to make my own fruit leather. I had come across a recipe at Weelicious that gave me the idea. I happily bought some strawberries, added honey to them, pureed them, spread them on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven. No problemo! The smell was glorious and I couldn't wait to try this all natural, sure to be fabulous snack! The kids would be over the moon!

As you might guess, it didn't turn out that way. 4 hours later, the outside edges of my fruit leather was burnt and the middle was soft and mushy. Sigh. I pulled it out and cut out the small portion that was perfectly done. It tasted fantastic and the kids did love it...but it was enough for about a quarter of a snack. I tried to pop the mushy part back in the oven, hoping it would turn out just like the pieces we'd just eaten. No such luck...it burnt to a crisp!

In that same week, I had a go at making cracker type sticks - Carrot Snack Sticks to be exact, also from Weelicious. To make a long story short, it was a FAIL!

I was slowly feeling like perhaps I was a little dissillusioned with the idea that I could make my own snacks for the kids. Sure, I could just make chocolate chip cookies every day but thats desset in my mind, not a snack! I reverted to some ol' faithful muffin recipes and baked them in the mini muffin tin I got for Christmas. I needed some kind of victory albeit a small one!

Then today I decided that maybe I'd try my hand at another snack idea - granola bars. I didn't get my hopes up. In fact, I even put chocoalte chips in them rather than raisins or something more wholesome like that figuring that if they were a total flop at least they would have one redeeming quality. The kids will eat anything if there is chocolate in it!

To my surprise, they turned out great, tasted just like a granola bar should and they passed the kid test! WAHOOOOO!

So give them a try! You won't be disappointed! My only issue with them was that I did substitute the coconut oil for olive oil. I think the coconut oil would have added a really nice flavour to it plus I can smell the olive oil and I don't like it. (Weird, right?!)

Lastly, don't let my bad experiences discourage you from checking out Weelicious. There are some worthwhile recipes on there. I've started making Veggie Pancakes and both the kids and I love them! I'm even considering trying the fruit leather again someday when I stop being angry about the last batch!

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