(I'm still trying to get caught up with past published articles)
It was a pleasure to see all the ways that folks remembered 9/11. Truly was heart-stirring to see flags everywhere. Shouldn't it be that way all year long? So many lovely tributes to the fallen-it is great to know we will never forget. My family was affected directly that day as my brother, Alan, worked at the Pentagon, then and still. He had emailed me that morning to say he had a meeting at 9 AM, but I had no idea if he was in the building or not. His emotion-filled call came at 11:30. Thank the good Lord - Al had been across the street but tragically lost 2 coworkers. Our son, Dave, was in the navy and his ship was the first to leave port to head to NYC to give aid. We SHOULD always remember that fateful day that changed America, and hopefully, our families, for the better.
When kids run through the door after school, make sure they have healthy options to choose from for snacks. It was always refreshing for me to have a snack when I got home from school. How great to have things on hand that kids can mix together themselves.I found these mixes-any-kid-can-make-ideas in a Cooking Light magazine.
SWEET TOOTH MIX
2 c. pretzel sticks
2 c. multigrain cheerios
1 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. milk chocolate M & M’s
1/2 c. raisins
1-1/2 c. honey nut shredded wheat
1 c. dried mangoes or pineapple
3 c. whole wheat triscuit crackers
1/2 c. roasted almonds
WILD ANIMAL MIX
2 c. animal crackers
3/4 c. dried blueberries or craisins
3/4 c. roasted pecan halves
2-1/2 c. popcorn
1/2 c. dried cherries or cranberries
2 c. whole grain rice chex
1/2 c. roasted unsalted pistachios(or favorite nut)
3 c. crunchy flaked cereal
2 c. whole grain cheddar goldfish crackers
2-1/2 c. cheddar flavored mini pretzel twists
1 c. dried apple rings
1/2 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
GORP (Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts) is most commonly a mix of peanuts,raisins and chocolate candies. These three flavors are mixed in a bag or bowl to create an ideal salty/sweet flavor popular with adults and children the world over. In addition to great taste,it also packs a nutritional punch. There’s no real formula for GORP, the idea being that trail mix can be a mix of almost any dried fruit, grain and nut.
One egg provides a 4-year-old with almost one-third of thier protein requirements for the day. If your kids like them, keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for after school snacking.
Yogurt sundae: In a parfait glass, layer several times low-fat vanilla yogurt, berries (in season or defrosted) and a sprinkling of low-fat granola.
Fruit smoothie: Blend low-fat vanilla yogurt, cut-up fruit of your choice and ice cubes.You can also use plain yogurt and add a little pure vanilla extract. It's a great way to sneak in one or two servings of fruit and fiber in your kids into diet.
Frozen banana with whole grain crackers and a little bit of peanut butter
Homemade trail mix: Mix a medley of raisins, nuts, dried cranberries and semisweet dark chocolate chips (try not to go too heavy with the chocolate chips).
Honey graham crackers with a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (try stirring in a dash of cinnamon). Enjoy with a cup of low-fat milk.
String cheese and frozen grapes
Fruit kebabs (pieces of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries and pineapple)
Apple slices dipped in peanut butter or nutella
Carrot and zucchini sticks with ranch dip
Make fruit and vegetable desserts like carrot cake, blueberry cobbler, pumpkin muffins. Cookies and cakes are great ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables.
Black-Bottomed Banana Bread
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
3 medium-sized ripe (or overripe) bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour bottom of a 9″ loaf pan. If using an 8″pan, just bake the leftover batter in a ramekin or two. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, eggs and bananas and mix until incorporated.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the wet ingredients. Split the batter in half. Sift the cocoa powder into half the batter and mix. Pour chocolate batter into the prepared loaf pan and top with the regular banana bread batter.
Place all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until crumbly. Spread evenly over the top of the loaf pan. Bake on center rack at 350 for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before removing from pan.
I look forward to sharing some healthy muffin and favorite fall recipes in upcoming columns. HAPPY FALL