Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cinnamon-Cashew Butter and MORE

I've posted a couple snack/lunch ideas on the Facebook page lately, but wanted to take the time to share them on here for those of you who may not see them there. These are a couple of our favorite snacks, or tips, that have helped my family maintain good nutrition, and maybe they will help you as well. I would also love to hear your ideas when it comes to getting the whole family eating healthy.

But first, I will share my super yummy, crazy simple, recipe for Cinnamon-Cashew Butter, mmmm! This stuff is delicious, and you will never want to purchase the store bought stuff again!

Cinnamon-Cashew Butter
2 C Unsalted Cashews
1/2 C Melted Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil
2 tsp Cinnamon

Place the nuts and coconut oil in the food processor.
Allow them to process till smooth. Add in the cinnamon and process till it is incorporated nicely.

We eat this primarily as a dip for veggies,  but it would be awesome on the THIS bread as a snack for the kids as well.

I have mentioned before how much better my kids eat when there is fun involved. Well here you go, more fun!

I took one of their favorite books (Bill Martin Jr/ Eric Carle's book 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See') and used the color cues to fill the ice cube trays.

Homemade Sausage (Brown Bear), Tomatoes (Red Bird), Cheddar Cheese (Yellow Duck), Frozen Blueberries (Blue Horse), Celery w/ Sunflower Seed Butter (Green Frog), Blackberries (Purple Cat), Turkey (White Dog), Raisins (Black Sheep), and Orange Slices (Goldfish).
We first read the book, and then I would give fun promptings like, 'Who can find the White Dog and take a bite?' 
They absolutely loved it! It is a great learning tool and made eating real food FUN!

I also use the ice cube trays and allow each kid to pick out different food. They each get to pick out one protein, one veggie and one fruit, and then I fill in the leftover holes as I see fit. It gets them invested in the meal, and makes it fun. Loralei said to Colton the other day as they were eating, something to the effect of, 'Thanks for picking blackberries, I forgot we had those'. It was very cute!

Another way I get the kids involved is by letting them 'invent' their own snacks. They know what they can and can not have for snacks in general, but it is fun to let them create their versions with what we have. This is Loralei's favorite snack of all time. Our fridge is rarely without a cucumber for this snack alone! She called them 'Super-Dooper-Noodle-Doodle Sandwiches', and the name has stuck. Nut/Seed Butter (Sunflower Seed, Almond, Cashew), sandwiched between slices of cucumber with cinnamon sprinkled on top. 

And lastly, I will share with you my favorite 'go-to' snack when I need a little something sweet. On days I am not hungry for lunch I will sometimes eat this in the afternoon before I head to Rain City Crossfit for my WOD. It is simply a couple Tbsp of melted Gold Label Coconut Oil  with lots of Cinnamon and Tropical Traditions Coconut Chips mixed in. On nights when I want a bit of sweet I will add about a tsp of Pure Maple Syrup to the mix and it totally meets my sweet craving without going crazy!

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