DIY Power Bites, Granola Bars and other healthy snacks

I‘ve been feeling like we’re in a bit of a post-holiday baking slump here. I know, that didn’t take long.

But you can hardly blame me. For most of December, Saturdays were for swirl buns and Sundays for scones. The kids and I rolled, cut and frosted dozens of shortbread cookies and gingerbread men. It was a delicious few weeks, but hardly a balanced diet.

And so, to pass the time on a bad weather snow day, Clara and I met up in the kitchen this week to make power bites. This productive activity nicely filled our holiday baking void – and topped up the freezer with a healthy snack, perfect for my teatime and her lunchbox.

In case you’re also looking for a similar kitchen project with delicious results, today’s post contains a round-up of all my nutritious and portable snacks that are easy to make with kids.

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Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)

I wish I could spin a story about feasting on molletes during our trip to Mexico with the kids, but even though we ate like kings on the local fare, I can’t recall ever coming across the traditional dish of beans and cheese melted on bolillos.

I suppose molletes (pronounced: mo-YEH-tehs, alright?) are more of a comfort food in Northern Mexico, and we were in the state of Nayarit at the time. Nope, I didn’t grow up eating them either, unlike bolillos, instead, I discovered the idea on a wonderful little corner of the web written by Lisa of Homesick Texan.

Open-faced sandwiches? Piled high with refried beans and salsa, then topped with cheese and broiled? Everything about them sounded delicious – and I knew my burrito-loving children would likely echo my sentiments.

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Roasted Rutabaga Hummus Recipe

There are some constants in life, and hummus is one of them. It’s a dip that’s not going anywhere soon, thankfully, and is still as popular as ever.

Variations on the classic chickpea appetizer abound, although for years I have enjoyed the original version with tahini, lemon, garlic and salt. Why mess with a good thing? Well, sometimes it pays to experiment, as is the case with today’s Roasted Rutabaga Hummus.

Whipped up in a food processor and served with raw rutabaga ‘chips’, it’s absolutely what you want to be snacking on this February.

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Eat like the Irish: Baked Cheese Toasties

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As we discussed last year, part of my family hails from the Emerald Isle, and as every March 17th approaches, I eagerly anticipate another chance to cook food from the country of my ancestors.

You’re probably already familiar with Guinness beef stew, Colcannon, and soda bread/biscuits, traditional and popular Irish fare, not to mention the many green dishes that take over the table at this time of year.

I love most of these dishes, I truly do, but I’ve been increasingly interested in wanting to know a little more about the meals that aren’t the most familiar or famous, but are the hearty plates that a home cook prepares for their family on a daily basis, like today’s toasties.

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Empanadas: The perfect pocket food (Recipe: Apple Pie ‘Panadas)

empanadas-with-pears-and-cucumbers

Written by Stephanie of Keeper of the Home and EntreFamily Travels.

Have you ever noticed that nearly every culture has its own variation on a “pocket” food?

Chinese gyozas, Japanese rice balls with fish inside, German bierocks (beef, onion and cabbage filling), Mexican burritos and tamales, Italian calzones,  Polish pierogies, Indian samosas, English hand pies.

Hand held “pocket” foods, filled up with whatever is seasonal, available or simply leftover, just makes sense. Excellent for sending off with hard working husbands, or when you need a quick meal for hungry children.

They’re economical, easy to eat, and filling. The perfect homemade convenience food!

Empanadas… an Argentine staple

Aside from the famous asado (BBQ beef) and alfajores (slightly crumbly cookies with creamy, sweet dulce de leche oozing in between), empanadas are one of the most loved traditional foods here in Argentina, where our family is currently located during our year-long travels around the world.

Part of the joy of engaging in and experiencing a new culture for me is to experiment with the local foods. My husband conquered BBQ asado perfectly, and I made a pretty tasty batch of alfjores cookies, if I do say so myself. Last on my list was homemade empanadas.

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