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Healthy and delicious homemade spring treats for the kids

Tuesday 22 March 2016

As spring trickles in, the weather might tempt your little ones out into the sunshine. Instead of reenergising them with chocolate and sweets, why not involve them in a few healthy homemade recipe alternatives. Here are five delicious recipes that offer a substitute to shop-bought snacks and fast food.

A healthy smoothie

Colourful vegetable crisps

An alternative to sodium-rich crisp packets.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 potato
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6 (180°C fan oven)
  2. Peel the vegetables and then, using the peeler, slice them into evenly sized crisps
  3. Lay the slices on a paper towel to remove any moisture
  4. Mix the slices in a bowl with the oil and seasoning until fully coated
  5. Place on a baking tray in an oven for 20 minutes, turning at the midway point
  6. Ask the kids to help you keep an eye on the slices – they may not take the whole time
  7. They will be ready when the parsnip and sweet potato slices go golden brown

Top tip: as well as salt and pepper, you can season these crisps with paprika, chilli powder or even mustard powder!


Soft banana and peanut butter sorbet

Stop the kids running after the ice cream truck.

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 75g roasted peanuts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon peanut oil

Method:

  1. Peel and slice up the bananas into discs, then place in the freezer overnight or for a minimum of two hours
  2. When the bananas are frozen, blend the peanuts, salt and honey in a blender until crushed
  3. Scrape down the sides of the blender then continue to blend, adding the peanut oil slowly, until smooth
  4. Remove the mixture (your peanut butter) from the blender and take your bananas out of the freezer
  5. Blend the bananas in the blender until smooth
  6. Add the peanut butter and blend together until mixed

Top tip: instead of peanut butter, you can add chocolate chips or hazelnut spread to your bananas.


Sugar-free fruit gummy treats

Something for the kids to snack on instead of sugary sweets.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 120ml cold water
  • 6 tablespoons gelatine
  • 1 teaspoon of sweetener
  • 650ml fruit juice

Method:

  1. Stir the juice and sweetener together then pour into a saucepan
  2. Add the gelatine slowly until it has completely dissolved
  3. Put the pan on a medium heat stirring so that it doesn’t burn until it starts to boil
  4. Boil it for around half a minute and then take off the heat. Let it sit until still and then pour the mixture into a mould (an ice tray is ideal)
  5. Leave the mixture to cool on a counter top for around 45 minutes and then put in the fridge

Top tip: dissolve in some vitamin C powder (or crushed up tablets) to give your treats an extra healthy boost. You can also use a wide range of moulds, even Lego moulds!


Crunchy oat, fruit and nut cookies

A delicious snack to help stave off the cravings.

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 120g porridge oats
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 25g raisins
  • 25g raw mixed nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Take 50g of the porridge oats and blend until a fine powder, or flour
  3. Mix together the porridge oats flour, the remaining porridge oats, the coconut, the baking powder, the cinnamon and the salt
  4. Melt the butter in a pan then, in a different bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, honey and vanilla
  5. Add the oat mixture slowly, stirring until the entire mixture is like a dough
  6. Fold in the nuts and raisins, then place the mixture in evenly sized scoops on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
  7. Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden

Top tip: use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into funky shapes.


Refreshing blackberry, blueberry and banana smoothies

An easy-to-make smoothie full of vitamins.

Ingredients:

Serves: 2

  • 1 banana
  • 60g blackberries
  • 60g blueberries
  • 300ml apple juice

Method:

  1. Peel the skin from the banana and slice, then place into a blender with the blueberries, blackberries and apple juice
  2. Pulse the blender so the ingredients pulp and mix properly

Top tip: instead of apple juice, use milk or yoghurt to change this smoothie into a milk shake.


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