They say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, so why not make eating apples fun? Apples are nutritious and delicious in their natural state, but there a bunch of easy ways to take your apple eating up a notch. These ideas are great to create with the kids and soon they’ll be asking for apple treats all the time. Hey, it’s true… the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
PB & A
Kids love the tried and true lunchtime staple of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but when you swap out the jelly for thinly sliced apples, the sandwich becomes more sophisticated and packs a ton of tasty texture. If your child has a peanut allergy, use another type of nut butter or even cream or ricotta cheese. To create the sandwich, start with 2 slices of bread of your choice. I like to use wholesome whole wheat or raisin bread for extra yumminess. Spread a thin layer of your nut butter or cheese on one slice and layer thin slices of apples right on top. For extra zest, sprinkle a light coating of cinnamon on top of the apples and top with the other slice of bread. It’s so easy to make and tastes amazing. Toasted bread makes the sandwich warm and crusty if you have time for toasting. This treat makes for a healthy breakfast too.
Apple Fruit Salad
We’ve all had a fruit salad of some sort, though many don’t make apples the star of the dish. With the crunch of apples and the varieties available from the sticky sweet to the tangy tart, an apple-based fruit salad is a healthful and tasty snack option for kids. When shopping for apples, teach your kids about the varieties available, from their colors to their tastes to their textures. Together, you can select 3 or 4 of your favorites to use in the salad. Dice the apples into ¾ inch sized cubes and toss them in a bowl with a few squeezes of lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. Add ½ cup of raisins which go well with apples. You can use grapes too. Add a few other fruits if you have some available at home, or make it an all-apple salad. Toss the fruit mixture with ¼ cup of apple juice and a dash of brown sugar and serve it up. The kids won’t be asking for cookies when they can satisfy their sweet tooth with this awesome apple salad.
A warm bowl of oatmeal is a nutritious and satisfying breakfast choice. By adding some fruit such as apples, you’ll boost the flavor factor and health benefits even more. Remind your kids that the filling fiber in apples along with the wholesome oats will keep their bellies full until lunchtime. Plus, the apples will add a juicy burst in every bite. Simply prepare the oats as you normally would, but before heating, add ¼ cup of diced apples. A dash of cinnamon will pair well with the oats, as would nutmeg or allspice. The kids will look forward to a new twist on their oatmeal. You can add apples to cold cereal too. They taste great with honey-flavored cereals or granola.
Microwave Apple Crumble
There’s no need to spend hours baking in order to create a delicious dessert. You can make individual servings of a take on the apple crumble right in your microwave! This is an easy treat to make with the kids and will teach them how to be creative with ingredients you already have in the pantry. Simply take a microwave-safe mug and layer ¼ inch slices of apples with a dash of brown sugar, cinnamon, granola, honey or maple syrup and some walnuts. Repeat the layering until you fill the mug about ¾ of the way to the top. Heat until warmed throughout and serve. For an added treat, plop a scoop of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top right before serving. Yum!
You can get all the yummy goodness of a candy or caramel apple without all the work or mess. Make dipped apple slices that are just as tasty and such fun to make with the kids. Cut your favorite type of apples into ¾ inch slices and squeeze lemon juice over them to prevent browning. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the lemon. Set out separate bowls of melted chocolate, caramel sauce and yogurt along with separate bowls of chopped nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips and granola. Let the kids make their own concoctions by first coating ½ of the apple slice into the dip of choice, then rolling into the topping. Mix and match flavors and find out which ones the kids enjoy the most. Let your kids help prepare all the ingredients and write down their favorite combinations. This is a great after-school snack idea for playdates.
Do you have a unique apple recipe? We’d love to taste it! For more articles like this, please visit All My Children.
By: Melissa A. Kay