recipes

Homemade Gummy Bears/Healthy Fruit Jello Squares

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My Pinterest friends and I decided it would be fun to try and make Gummi Bears. They ended up being more like Jello square or Knox Blox (if you remember those) or Fruit Animals, depending on the mold you use. We used strawberries for one batch and orange juice for another. You can mix and match and go crazy with any blended fruits.

Here is the fresh fruit we pureed using the immersion blender with some lemon juice, water honey. It was brought to a low boil. We whisked it constantly while adding the gelatin. We used about 3 TBS of gelatin per 1 1/2 cups of fruit or fruit juice. You could experiment to see how much you do or don’t need.

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Gelatin and honey.

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Here are the molds we used. They are cheap at Ikea.

It was pretty hard to get the fruit out of the molds. You put them in the freezer for 20 minutes, according to the recipe. You almost had to bring them back down to room temperature in order to get them out.

After this batch I made another batch with orange juice and lemon and then just put the mixture into a glass loaf pan and put it in the fridge and it set up in a few hours. Then I just cubed the jello. Ready to serve and easy to get out of the pan. It would be a good food for babies and toddlers too.

http://www.diynatural.com/healthy-snack-ideas-homemade-gummy-bears

So the website above makes it look easy and perfect. Not so much. But I do like what I learned and I will be making more fruit squares in the future, without all of the sugar of the Jello.

 

 

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Yummy, Healthy Pancakes for Kids?: No Problem!

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What’s better on a Saturday morning than a nice plate of pancakes? Nothing, I say! But, they must be healthy now that I’m raising a little body that is growing like a weed.

Typically I’ll start out with a high quality pancake mix that already has whole grains in it. Then I start adding stuff – it’s different every time, depending on what I have on hand. Here’s what this morning’s pancakes looked like.

I started out with the Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix

And went crazy from there.

Here’s all that went into my pancakes:

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix
2 frozen bananas from the freezer
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
1 container organic pureed pears
1 container organic pureed harvest veggies with grains
1 container organic pureed carrots
1 container lunch box sized apple sauce
1 Tbs whole wheat bran flakes
1 Tbs seven grain hot cereal
1 Tbs ground flaxseed
2 Tbs oil
Enough milk to bring it to pancake mix consistency. Since you’re adding all of these other wet ingredients you don’t really follow the package anymore.

I didn’t have any eggs but normally I would put one or two eggs in the mix as well.

1) The containers of fruits and veggies (except for the applesauce) were all Gerber SmartNourish Organic baby food. Besides the ones listed above I will also use squash or sweet potato. This is just what I happened to have on hand. I usually try to mix up the sweet with the savory. I have also used the pumpkin pancake mix from Target and have added in sweet potato because the flavors are so similar. They are always good.

I have actually found some of these organic baby foods at the Dollar Store (2 containers for a dollar= 1 pack). At Walgreen’s they are $1.79 a pack. Not sure about the regular grocery store. Probably somewhere in the middle.

2) When bananas start to get old I throw them in the freezer. Yes, they will get black but that’s okay. They are still good. I put them in a pitcher or bowl of warm water to thaw them out. After a few minutes of soaking the skin comes right off. They were still a little frosty when they went in the mix this morning but I was able to mash them with a fork and mix them into the pancake mix just fine.

3) Ground flaxseed, wheat bran flakes, wheat germ are all ingredients that you can keep in a tupperware or glass container in your fridge to throw into any baked goods you are making–cookies, brownies, banana bread. No one will ever know they are there and they bump up the fiber in your final product. You don’t even have to measure them. Just sprinkle about a tablespoon over your mix and stir.

4) If you have the time and feel like it, you can also chop up some nuts really fine and throw them in for a little crunch and protein. I like walnuts or pecans.

These pancakes, despite the zillion ingredients, are really super easy and quick to make. There’s nothing to measure; just throw in one or two containers of fruits and veggies, sprinkle in whatever dry goodness you have in the fridge and off you go.

Oh, and another God-send for pancake making? The electric griddle. Here’s one at Target for around $30.00. They are great because you can put six pancakes on at a time and cut your standing around in the kitchen time in half. Plus, more pancakes make it to the plate hot at the same time.

Overall, my pancakes are always a hit! They get rave reviews from both kids and adults alike and no one is the wiser as to what is in them. Today the pancakes mostly tasted like good blueberry sweetness. I was a little nervous when I threw in the carrots because they can have such a strong flavor, so then I specifically chose the pears to offset that possibility. When I realized I had pears, apples, blueberries and bananas in them, I knew I could get away with the pureed veggies, no problem. And I did.

I’m assuming I can also wrap them up and send them in the lunch box as part of a healthy lunch. They are probably still good cold.

Excuse me while I go warm up a pancake! Yum!

Related Posts:

Six Week Bran Muffin Batter 

Zucchini Pasta

I totally want to try this!

the veggie nook

Good morning all!

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Going strong after day 2 of the sugar-free challenge. No more pictures to show but my breakfast was the chia pudding I shared yesterday, lunch was leftovers from the recipe I’m going to share today and dinner was a leftover veggie burger with quinoa, arugula and a chipotle cashew sauce. Turns out as long as you do a little reading of labels and have fresh-fruit available, being sugar free isn’t so bad 😉

Today I am going to bring you a sugar-free dinner recipe! I know it’s not intuitively a problem area in terms of added sugar, but a lot of those store-bought sauces and spice mixes contain hidden added sugar, as do a lot of salad dressings and soups. So starting with a recipe that is completely homemade ensures you control every ingredient that goes into it, including being sure it’s completely free of sugar!

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Six Week Bran Muffin Batter – Yum!

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These muffins are not only yummy but you can divide the batter up into four batches and use the different batches over the course of six weeks. Of course, you can divide it into as many batches as  you want or just leave it as one batch. My little girl was gobbling these muffins right up!

Six -week Bran Muffins

Yield: 4 dozen; 1 dozen per quart jar

3 cups All-bran
3 cups Raisin Bran
2 cups boiling Water

Pour boiling water over brans.  Let soak.

Cream:

3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening

ADD: 
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk*
4 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
5 cups flour

Raisins, dates, nuts, or blueberries may also be added.

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer.  Store in a glass container with a tight cover in the refrigerator.   Can store in four,  quart canning jars, which makes it easy to pour into muffin tins.  One quart of batter makes 12 muffins. Use batter as needed; batter will keep for six weeks. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes in greased muffin tins.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand,  add a couple tsps. of apple cider vinegar to a quart of milk.

THANKS FOR THE RECIPE, CHERYL!

Aunt Valerie’s Baked Beans

My mother’s friend Cheryl made these beans for my daughter’s birthday party and everyone RAVED about them. Here’s the recipe!

Aunt Valerie’s Butter Beans                  

Wash 3 ½ cups (about two lbs.) of dry beans—Navy, Great Northern, Lima, or whatever., and soak in a gallon bowl overnight covered with water three and one half inches above the beans.

Drain beans in the morning and place in a large oven-proof pot  or roaster.

Stir in:

1 cup of brown sugar        

1 tsp. of dry mustard

½ lb. of butter, cut in one- fourth-inch slices

Cover with hot water and stir in the above ingredients.

DO NOT STIR THE BEANS AFTER THEY START COOKING!!!

Bake in 300-degree oven covered for four hours.  Remove cover and continue cooking for two to four hours until the beans are soft.  Cooking uncovered will give the beans a darker color.

Enjoy!

—-CAKiklas

–CAKiklas