D.I.Y. Kitchen: Energy Nuggets
pina-colada energy nuggets
almond-joy energy nuggets
Last week, prepping for camping, I asked Col what meals we should pack.
“Um, beans, tortillas, noodles, bread, apples, carrots, peanut butter and…” he stopped, shrugged and said “lets just pick acorns and Daddy can shoot a squirrel.”*
I know what he’s talking about. All this shopping and cooking and swiping peanut butter across bread; all this cheering the kids on to eat vegetables, and then sliding the dregs of those uneaten vegetables into the bucket of chicken scraps; all this washing of breakfast dishes while the kids are already lobbying for a morning snack. Sometimes it seems our life occurs in the brief recesses between eating, or maybe our life is the eating.
Last week the kids and I made a couple gallons of granola and it was so beautiful and satisfying to look at that when everyone tore into it, I caught myself thinking–in a Eeyore-ish way–“Oh, now everyone’s just going to eat it?”
I don’t recall any parenting books mentioning the sheer number of snacks kids require. It’s like day trading on Wall Street, getting a group of kids together at the park with their snacks. We just returned from a wonderful camping trip with four families and every time a parent brought out a new snack it was like feeding frenzy at the fish hatchery with every child edging closer, circling a container of strawberries.
Col and Rose love these energy nuggets, they really do, but I won’t lie and pretend they wouldn’t love them ten times more if they came in a wrapper. I’m the worst at making food appealing for kids. If I can’t find the gumption to shave my legs, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be shaping carrots into flowers. I’ve been known to pack a jar of peanut butter and honey with three spoons and head out to the park because sometimes it’s just about cramming the kids with calories so they can go play and we can stop talking about food.
But these energy nuggets are so good, and crazy-healthy. Dates, almonds, walnuts, coconut, chocolate, pineapple and apricots are all listed in the book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, and those are the ingredients I use, although you could swap many things in or out.
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried pineapple (cut and soaked in water for 10 minutes to soften)
3/4 cup nuts (I use walnuts or almond meal; any nut/seed combo would work)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup powdered dark, unsweetened chocolate
Mix in food processor (try half batches first to see what your food processor can handle). Shape into balls.
* if your mixture is too dry to shape, add extra dates, honey, coconut oil, or the water the pineapples soaked in.
* if your mixture is too moist, add more nuts or shredded coconut.
* we store these in the fridge if we’re going to eat them in the next 1-2 weeks, any longer, store in freezer.
* although these are the only two flavors I’ve made, I’m sure the combinations are endless.
Pitting dates is a good task for a child.
dates, almonds, coconut and pineapple – still a little dry. I’d add more dates here.
*Almond Joy* – which taste just like an almond joy… if you haven’t actually eaten one since 1998.
That’s a good-looking consistency.
Kati’s beautiful, goo-ball shaping hands.
Break for hugs! And yes, Kati *did* cut off her dreads, and looks fabulous.
Nugs in a jar.
*Dan’s never shot a squirrel, but there was this squirrel supper.
*Parenting E-Course winner announced on original post. I hate that I can’t pick everyone, because I can hear how interested everyone is. But, good news: Natalie is offering 10% off the course for any 6512 reader who signs up by Wednesday, May 16th 8pm. Just put “6512” in the message section during check out. Natalie will refund you the 10% after check out. Go here to sign up!
* Linking with Simple Lives Thursday