Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow

Back to school is almost here for my kiddos! I’ve been working on a list of snacks to make for them since I know they’ll both need something during the day and then something after school. The camp they go to provides breakfast and two snacks daily, so I’ve gotten off pretty easy this summer. Now with less than 2 weeks until school starts, I need to get back to making sure they have something nutritious and healthy to eat throughout the day.

My kids love snacks. They’d rather eat snacks instead of meals, so I need to get creative with my recipes. I decided to whip up a batch of puppy chow for them to enjoy. While it’s not the healthiest snack, it’s a little sweet treat and after a small bowl, they’re usually good. I enjoyed the snickerdoodle flavor and was a nice change from the puppy chow I’ve made in the past.

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Brownie Energy Bites

How is it already July 6th? It’s crazy that my daughter has been on summer break for a month and back to school items are popping up in stores. I know she’s not ready to start 5th grade and I’m definitely not ready since my little guy is starting kindergarten. How is my baby oldest enough to be going to school?!? I know he’s going to love it, but it’s a big change for me. There will definitely be tears on his first day.

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about school in July, well….it’s time to Fill the Cookie Jar and this month’s theme was “Back to School”. I’m going to up my after school snack game since I’ll be having two ravenous kids coming home in the afternoons. My kids love energy bites and I love that they’re easy to make and good for them. I decided to go with a brownie version for today’s reveal. They’re rich like fudge, but not too sweet and will keep my kiddos full. They’re great for moms and dads who need a 3 pm snack too! 🙂

Brownie Energy Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #FilltheCookieJar
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Peaches and Cream Fruit Gummies

Happy first day of summer! It’s finally feeling like summer here in PA and we’ve been able to go swimming already – which my kids absolutely love! Do you have any vacation plans this year? We’ll probably do a couple of day trips to the shore and my kids are begging to go to Hershey Park.

Today is also June’s Fantastical Food Fight! Each month, there will be a theme or ingredient to be featured and anyone participating the challenge will share their recipes with everyone else. Check out the blog hop below the recipe!

This month’s theme was peaches and cream. I didn’t want to make something that I would normally make and wanted to try something different. This was the first time I ever used gelatin. Add on the fact that I don’t care for foods with jello like texture – but I was surprised these gummies are good! They’re different from what my kids are used, but the peach flavor was perfect – not too strong and enough to taste it. I had a little trouble getting the gummies to release from the pan to cut into small squares, so I used a mini cookie cutter to make star shapes! These gummies don’t have a long shelf like, so I sent them to camp with my daughter for her friends to enjoy! Another thing I like about the recipe is that the flavors can be changed to whatever you like. I bet mango and strawberry would be delicious!

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Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites

My kids are eating me out of house and home. Non-stop snacking….does it ever stop? They are constantly “starving” especially after having dinner. I don’t get it? Are anyone else’s kids like this?

I decided to make some energy bites to hopefully fill them up and at least slow down the emptying of my pantry every week. These bites are tasty and my daughter loves them! My son is picky and won’t even try one…that’s another battle I need to work on. These snacks are quick and easy to make and taste delicious. The apple and cinnamon really come through and don’t worry, you’ll never know they’re made with dates. I’m going to use the base of this recipe to experiment with other dried fruit.

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Chunky Monkey Trail Mix

My kids are growing like weeds! I’ve been noticing their pants are getting shorter and they’ve been complaining their shoes are too small. It might explain all the snacking they’ve been doing! I wanted to make something that would be packed with protein, but still have a little bit of sweetness and found this delicious recipe for trail mix…. made in the crockpot! It makes a big batch and we’ve all been snacking on it all week. I love the crunchy banana chips, toasted coconut and of course the dark chocolate chips. YUM!

Chunky Monkey Trail Mix | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
2 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped)
1 cup raw cashew halves (chopped)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup coconut sugar
4-5 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup unsweetened banana chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In a slow cooker, mix the walnuts, cashews, coconut, sugar, vanilla and coconut oil. Mix together until combine. Cook on high for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the coconut doesn’t burn. Reduce heat to low for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet to allow to dry out. Add in the banana chips and chocolate chips. Store in an air-tight container.

Source: Cotter Crunch

Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars – Simple Sesame Blogger Challenge

I’m excited to share a recipe I created for the Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe 118956612Challenge!
As part of the challenge, I received three flavors of Simply Sesame to try: Vanilla with Almond Bits, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom and Pure Roasted Sesame. I immediately knew I wanted to make experiment and make a recipe for granola bars. My kids are big fans of snacks and these would make great after school snacks for them.I loved that all three were 100% natural, non GMO and low in calories, sugar and salt – and it makes a great alternative to peanut butter or hazelnut spread. It’s also gluten-free and vegan!

I love the vanilla and almond flavor of the bars and hint of sesame. The bars held up well and can be cut into whatever size you’d like. I did rectangles for my oldest and then smaller bite sized pieces for my youngest. The spread was great to use and I loved the flavor. I can’t wait to try the regular variety to make a batch of hummus! There’s so many possibilities with these products and are great substitute for those of us with food allergies.

Visit Simple Sesame over on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram  or Twitter for more delicious recipes and find out where you can get your own Simple Sesame spreads!

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Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

I’m on the hunt for new snacks for my kids. We’ve really slacked on eating healthy this summer and I know I’m paying for it now. So…needless to say, I’m on the mission to clean up our pantry again and try to minimize our the prepackaged foods in our house, especially with school starting in about a month.

I saw this recipe in the May 2015 Rachel Ray Magazine and knew Madeline would love it and she would be able to make it by herself. I did a trial run first and she’ll be making the next batch since it’s so easy. Just throw some ingredients into a food processor, add some mix-ins and roll in coconut. Super easy! I sampled one and it was really good, full of peanut butter flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness. Next time, I want to try making them with almond butter.

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