Apple “Cupcake”

healthy treat for kids

My kids are always so hungry when they get home from school. This is a great healthy snack that my girls love, holds them over until dinnertime and feels like a treat.

Credit for this idea goes to my best friend since high school Taryna, who is in possession of way too many photos involving my big 90’s rocker hair. Taryna’s a trained nutritionist from the University of Hawaii. She is a super-mom of three and is an amazing resource for healthy kid snack ideas. At her preschool they had a no sweets policy, even for birthdays, so this is what she would make for her kids’ birthday at school.

With my girls, I’ve tweaked it a little but the idea is the same. Use your favorite apple— I’m really digging the Jazz variety right now and Pink Lady is always a wonderful default. This is such a crispy, satisfying and yes, cute snack. It’s often an afternoon treat for me, too. It’s a mock cupcake complete with sprinkles on top.

healthy after school snacks

healthy family snack with almond butter

Apple “Cupcakes”

Step 1:

Two choices, either core your apple first and then slice in half or slice in half and use a melon ball tool to scoop out the seeds. If you go the melon ball route your kids will have to eat around the stem at the bottom- some kids will love that idea and others will hate it- so it’s your call.

 

Step 2:

With almond butter or peanut butter, fill the little hole and smear a layer on top of the sliced half.

 

My newest addiction is the Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (Crunchy & Salted). I love it, love it, love it. Love it.

 

Step 3:

Sprinkle top of apple with your favorite granola.

homemade granola

Val’s Granola

This is my tried and true granola recipe. Be sure to track down unsweetened dried fruit, this is sweet enough without all that added sugar. Sometimes I will use dried currants and golden berries.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)

½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (I like the kind with big flakes)

½ cup whole pecans

3 tablespoons grape seed oil

1 pinch of salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

½ cup unsweetened dried blueberries

½ cup unsweetened dried cherries

½ cup flax seed (ground coarsely in a spice grinder)


If you have a mini-measuring cup, pour your oil into the cup first, and then add the honey. This will keep the honey from sticking to the cup.

 

Toss the oatmeal, coconut, nuts, oil and honey together onto a sheet pan and bake, stirring occasionally with a metal spatula, until the mixture turns golden brown, about 20 minutes.

 

Cool and add flax and dried fruit, mix gently. I do this all in the pan after I take it out of the oven.

 

The granola keeps for a week in a sealed container.

healthy snack

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