Super simple no-added-sugar jam, cherry today. Take a bunch of frozen cherries and toss ’em into a blender. Add enough water that they purée. Add about a tablespoon of tapioca powder for 2 cups of fruit/water mixture. Transfer to saucepan and simmer until it starts to thicken a bit. Cool and pour into glass container. Add lid & refrigerate overnight. Voila, jam without heaps of sugar.
I used it to make cutout heart not-peanut-butter and not-jelly sandwiches for Anya’s preschool Valentine’s Day party “healthy snack”. We cut 48 large hearts (using a cookie cutter) from bread, then used a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter to create an opening in the centre of 24 of the hearts. Take a big heart, smear on a little sunflower butter (or some nut butter if you’re making them for home), dollop on some jam and spread it out, then align a cut heart on top.
Anya took the little heart cutouts and made “jam sandwiches” (two hearts with a little of the jam in the middle) and “jam pies” (one heart with jam on top).
We volunteered to make the ‘healthy snack’ for the preschool class Halloween party again this year. We made pumpkin-shaped flat breads with carrot hummus.
Flat Bread Recipe:
4t active dry yeast
1t Penzey’s roast garlic powder
2t Penzey’s italian herbs
1t sea salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2T olive oil
1.5 cups water
1 large carrot, shredded finely
Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix, then add in water and oil. Kneed until it becomes a smooth and stretchy dough. Add carrot shreds and kneed to distribute throughout dough. Allow dough to rise until doubled (at least an hour).
Heat electric griddle to 375 F. Roll pieces of dough to ~1/8″ thick and cut with pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Carrot Hummus Recipe:
1c dried garbanzo beans – in a pressure cooker, add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and water. Cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Add about a pound of carrots and cook for another 15 minutes.
In a food processor, combine 1/4c fresh lemon juice and 1/4c tahini. Pulse to combine. Fill with garbanzo beans and carrots, and blend until smooth.
We topped the flatbreads with the orange-coloured hummus to make pumpkin flatbreads:
I made the heart cut-out PBJ sandwiches – with no peanut butter. Or jelly. But the same idea — you need two heart-shaped cookie cutters. The pair I have leaves about 1/2″ between the two cutters.
We made our own strawberry compote – a pound of strawberries sprinkled with one tablespoon of tapioca powder (to thicken the sauce). This was heated on low until the strawberries got mushy and the tapioca started to thicken. I used an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce, then refrigerated it for a few hours to allow the tapioca to set.
We used two different loaves of bread — a white bread and a whole wheat with sunflower seeds. Use the large cookie cutter and cut out 2 hearts for each sandwich you are making (e.g. we have eighteen people in the class so cut thirty six large hearts). In half of the hearts, center the smaller cookie cutter and punch out the center.
To assemble, take an uncut heart. Spread with ‘butter’ of your choice — we used sunflower butter because the school forbids nuts of any sort. Then spread with strawberry compote. Top with a cut-out heart.
Instead of pre-staging all of the components, Anya helped me make them. She cut one large heart, and while she cut a second heart, I got it spread with butter and compote. As she cut another heart (the back of the next sandwich), I took the one she just made, stamped out the centre, and put it on top. Anya removed the small heart from the cookie cutter, then got her big cookie cutter and started all over again.
You now have a little heart shaped sandwich with a red heart in the middle.
No one has volunteered to make a healthy snack for the Valentine’s Day party at Anya’s preschool. We’ve come up with something cute for all of the other parties … thought we’d make a thing of it. Now we’re trying to decide what to make.
My mom found these cute gelatin desserts, but that’s still a dessert.
I would love to make this caprese salad, but anything with a balsamic drizzle is going to be messy. I found a coconut cream fruit tart that is both too dessert-y and too messy. I think I’ll make both of these for home!
Heart pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus (to get some red) or heart shaped whole wheat soft pretzels (the recipe provided isn’t whole wheat, but King Arthur Flour has a good recipe using their white whole wheat but I’ve also seen a good recipe for ‘normal’ whole wheat pretzels too) are good options.
My favorite option right now is cut-out sandwiches with sunflower butter and raspberry compote to make something that looks like these peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s potentially messy, though … so not great for the teachers. I think the soft pretzels are going to be the easiest to serve & eat. Pita chips and hummus have the advantage of including some vegetables.