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My older daughter just turned two-years-old. Two of her favourite things are expressing herself artisticly and peanut butter.

We have tried homemade salt playdough on several occasions. Most times she plays for a few moments and then starts eating it. I don’t know how she can stand it. It doesn’t taste good. Today we made all-natural peanut butter playdough.

Using natural peanut butter (with nothing but peanuts) requires the addition of more honey than usual. This type of peanut butter also requires refrigeration, and thus it works best to chill the dough for a little while before letting your little one play with the dough.

Peanut Butter Playdough
   1 cup all-natural peanut butter
   4 tablespoons honey
   1/2 cup evaporated non-fat milk
   (more or less depending on peanut butter used)
Combine peanut butter and honey. Mix until consistency is smooth and creamy. Add dry milk slowly and mix with your hands until dough reaches desired consistency. Chill 5 minutes. Store extra playdough in the refrigerator.

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Recently I’ve had a lot of problems getting Audra to eat at meal time, but she’s always willing to snack on things.  I ran across a recipe for Animal Crackers and adapted it to Audra’s taste.  We’ve made them together a couple of times which makes the whole adventure a lot more fun.

All-Natural Animal Crackers

    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 cup almond meal*
    1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, softened
    1/4 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    A few tablespoons big-grain turbinado sugar

Whisk the flour and almond meal together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, beat the coconut oil with the sugar and salt until smooth (it should look a bit like a brown sugar frosting). Beat in the egg until everything is uniform in appearance. Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Turn the dough out onto the counter-top, knead it once or twice and gather it into a ball. Cut the dough in half, flatten each piece, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place the racks in the middle and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick. If the dough cracks, let it sit or work with palms for a couple more minutes to warm. Stamp out shapes with floured cookie cutters and place the cookies an inch apart on the baking sheets, sprinkle with a bit of the turbinado sugar (if desired). Bake until the cookie are just beginning to color at the edges 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on racks.
*Almond meal is made by food processing whole unsalted almonds until they are a fine powder (just before it becomes almond butter).  Other nuts may be substituted but may slightly change the consistency of the crackers.

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July 2018
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