Much emphasis is now being placed on the growing problem of overweight kids in our society. Packing school lunches or fixing after-school treats can be a real trick when young people are constantly faced with TV commercials featuring snacks high in fat. But healthy food doesn't have to be dull. Start kids out early on healthy alternatives and your chances of success are much greater.
CEREAL SNACK MERINGUES
Nonstick cooking spray
3 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups healthy cereal (I use Total)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium cold bowl, beat egg whites and sugar together until glossy; fold in cereal and chocolate chips. Drop by Tablespoonful onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely; store in airtight container. Makes 12 to 15.
1-1/2 cups frozen, unsweetened, sliced peaches
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
6 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in electric blender and place cover on top. Process until smooth and serve immediately. Or make up batches and freeze in Styrofoam cups, let sit out for 15 minutes at room temperature, and they're ready to eat. Serves 4.
VANILLA COCONUT POPS
1 (8-oz.) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 (3-oz.) paper cups
4 wooden sticks
Combine yogurt, milk, coconut, and vanilla in small bowl. Stir well. Pour into paper cups and cover with aluminum foil. Insert a stick through foil in center of each cup. Freeze until firm. Serve by removing foil and peeling paper cups away from pops. Serves 4.
ZUCCHINI OATMEAL BARS
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/4 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Cover raisins with boiling water in small bowl. Soak 15 minutes and drain. Cream margarine and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and stir in zucchini. Add spices and lemon peel and mix well. Add mixture of flour, oats, and baking powder. Beat well until blended. Add vanilla and mix well. Stir in raisins. Spread into greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 24 bars.
PINEAPPLE TOAST SNACK
1-1/2 Tablespoons light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons crushed pineapple in its own juice,
1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
Combine first three ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Combine with pineapple. Spread mixture on toast and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon. Cut toast into 4 triangles.
BLACK BEAN SALSA
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons dried cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh,
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Let stand in refrigerator 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve with baked tortilla-style chips. Makes 3-1/2 cups.
QUICK GRAHAM CRACKER TREATS
2 whole graham crackers
2 Tablespoons fat-free milk or skimmed
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons reduced-calorie margarine
2 Tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 Tablespoon unsweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Separate graham crackers into fourths. Place in a single layer on ungreased baking sheet. Combine milk, brown sugar, and margarine in small pan and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add wheat germ, coconut, and cinnamon. Spread over graham crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Serves 1-2.
Coming Next Month: Fall Vegetables