Summer vacations are on and my two little monkeys are jumping on the bed and all over the house. To keep them happy and not hungry I need quick, easy and healthy snack ideas. I am sure there are many mothers like me looking for easy to make recipes for their kids. So I will be posting a series of summer vacation special recipes ( or at least that is the resolution).
For the first post, I have chosen peanut. The reason is not just my love for peanuts.
Peanut is an excellent source of plant-based protein, dietary fiber and micronutrients like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E( for that shiny skin) and vitamin B3 ( reducing risk of heart diseases).
In short humble Peanuts are nutrient bombs.
I am a peanut nut. Does that make me a monkey? Hope not. I also love peanut butter. I like my peanut butter a little chunky but you don’t get it often in India. So I decided to make it at home and it turned out to be super easy. But why should you make peanut butter at home when you can buy it at a store ?
Here is the case for making Peanut Butter at home
- Dry roast the peanuts in a gas oven for 10 – 15 mins. If using an oven roast peanuts Place peanuts in a mixer/food processor. Turn the food processor on and let it run for 4-5 minutes.
- Peanuts will go in stages from crumbs to a dry ball to a smooth and creamy “liquid” peanut butter. Stir in the sugar, honey, or salt, if you want.
- If you are not happy with the consistency you might add olive oil and process for a minute again
- Store in the fridge in a clean air tight container.
Storing Homemade Peanut Butter
As no preservatives are added and given the heat and humidity in most parts of India it is advisable to store the peanut butter in an airtight container. And finish within 2 months or so.
I have always loved Granola bars. Honestly whats there not to love? Sweet, chewy and healthy (well depends on the ingredients) . So I wanted to introduce these bars to my kids. Both kids love sweet things (takes after their parents I guess). Summer vacations are on and healthy snacks need to be kept handy.
The main ingredients for this Granola bar are Oats, Dates, honey, peanut butter, and almonds. All ingredients are healthy. If you are making this for your kids remember to chop the almonds finely and dry roast them. I would generally store these granola bars in a fridge in an air tight container. These bars store well for more than a week and very handy for snacking.
After I made this quick no bake oats and dates bar the fussy eater loved it. The older monkey does not like peanut butter and did not like the granola bar as well. She wrinkled her face and asked, “you have used peanut butter?”
- Oats – 125 g
- Dates (deseeded) – 125 g
- Honey – 6 tbsp
- Almonds – 50 g
- Peanut butter – 6 tbsp
- De-seed the dates. If the dates are dry soak them in water for 5 mins and then de-seed them.
- Once deseeded, put the dates in mixer/food processor. Dates will be reduced to small pieces and into a lump
- Dry roast the almond and then chop them into smaller pieces
- Dry roast the oats on the gas oven for about 5 – 10 mins
- Now place almonds, dates and oats in a mixing bowl
- Next, warm the honey and peanut butter in a microwave for 30 seconds. You can also warm in a saucepan over a gas oven.
- Stir the honey and peanut butter and pour over the oats mixture. Mix thoroughly and break up the dates
- After mixing thoroughly transfer to a baking dish or frying pan greased or lined with parchment paper.
- Flatten uniformly using a spoon or a glass. Make sure that the bars are packed tightly.
- Keep it in the fridge for 20 – 30 mins to firm up.
- Remove from fridge and chop into bars. If your kids like it round make them into balls before putting them in the fridge.
Peanut Butter and Jam Pinwheels are a fun easy to make. All you need are Peanut Butter, Jam, and Bread
- Peanut Butter – 2 tbsp
- Jam (any flavour ) – 2 tbsp
- Bread – 2
- With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices as much as you can. Cut off crusts.
- Spread one tablespoon of peanut butter and one tablespoon of strawberry jelly on each slice.
- Carefully roll each slice into a spiral. Slice into four pieces and insert appetizer pick to fasten the pinwheels closed.
- If your appetizer picks are made out of wood, clip the sharp end with scissors. Serve and enjoy!
Til Gur laddoo or sesame-jaggery balls are a traditional Indian sweet made with sesame seed, jaggery, and ghee (optional) . Served on special occasions and festivals like Makar Sankranti. This is a healthy snack option for kids above 3 years.
- Sesame Seeds/Til – 150 g
- Jaggery – Sugarcane – 130 g
- Peanuts – 40 g
- Ghee – Clarified Butter – 1 tbsp
- Dry roast the sesame seeds till they are light golden in color. Cool and keep aside
- Dry roast the peanuts. Cool and keep aside.
- Heat the ghee in a pan or if you do not want to use ghee just heat a heavy bottom pan and add the jaggery.
- Simmer over a slow flame till jaggery melts and caramelises.
- Add the roasted til and peanuts and mix it thoroughly with the melted jaggery. You may need to put out the flame during this process.
- Grease your palms with a little ghee/butter, divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and shape the til/sesame mixture in round balls