Weekends are for treating ourselves. The school week is over and it’s time to have fun.
I think that sweet and salty treats are my second favorite kinds of treats, salt and fat combo might be my number one.
Today I wanted to make a little surprise for the girls and make candy. After looking around the cupboard I decided to make a nutty brittle. I will be sharing one version but you can make this with any nuts and seeds you have on hands.
Sweet & Salty Pecan Brittle (adaptation of Micheal Smith, “Spicy salty seedy nuts” recipe from “Family Meals” cookbook)
- 3 cups of Pecan (or nuts and seeds of your choice)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup water
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp butter ( vegan option : coconut oil or nut butter)
- sprinkle of sea salt (coarse)
In a large bowl, mix the Pecan and the baking soda until all the nuts are coated evenly.
In a large saucepan, add the sugar and water. Do not stir. Heat over medium heat, until the sugar is melted and the water is evaporated (about 10 minutes). The sugar will start to get syrupy and the coloration changing to golden brown.
When the coloration looks like the picture above, stir on the butter and whisk it until all incorporated. Be careful the syrup is HOT. Dump the nuts in the mixture, it is normal to have some foamy eruption. Work fast, making sure that all the nuts are coated with the caramel mixture, transfer evenly unto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt on the mixture.
Cool completely, you can speed up the process by putting the cookie sheet in the freezer for about half an hour.
When cooled, crack and break into pieces. Share and if any leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container, but the likeliness of leftovers is pretty faint.
I have to give you a fair warning they are highly addictive.
Having kids make us rethink our food choices and what we put into their little-never-full bellies. Days after days, we hear the same complaint of our little one being hungry or worse starving. Really, are we being that mean to our kids by not feeding them enough. I think not.
Beside the three square meals we feed our kids, snacks is as important as gold. Trust me, if we want to keep our sanity, quick and easy snacks are the way to go. Walking down the grocery aisle, we all have notice the abundance of ready-made convenience snacks, and they are not only marketed for kids but, plenty for adults too.
If we want healthier choices, the options are to make our snacks ourselves. Ants on a log, crackers and cheese, fruits and dips, they are kids friendly and easy to make. Most kids enjoy dips or some sorts, and hummus is not only easy to make but relatively cheap.
Basic hummus is so versatile, serve it as a dip with vegetables and bread, or as a spread into a sandwich.
Basic Hummus ingredients :
- 1 can of chickpeas (reserve a few chickpeas for decoration and about 3 tbsp of the liquid)
- 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 6 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling )
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- Paprika (optional)
In a blender, Ninja or food processor add all the ingredients and blend until creamy, add the reserve liquid of the chickpeas as needed. Pour into a dipping bowl, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle the paprika and garnish with the reserve chickpeas.
Tips: Use this basic hummus recipe and be creative with it by adding other flavors, like dill and lemon zest, roasted peppers, how about pine nuts. Let your imagination run wild.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine are hobbits. They could eat, from the time they wake up until they go to bed. For my sanity, ready-to-serve snacks are a must, but they can get a tad bit expensive.
Here is a quick and easy alternative. All you need are a few ingredients that you probably have already at home. This recipe is easier done after the kids are in bed, due to the wait period before they can dig in and eat, but can be a fun project with the little one if you can get them distracted during the cooling period.
What you will need
– 1 cup peanut butter
– 1 cup honey (or maple syrup, sugar etc)
– 1/4 cup butter
– 3 cups old fashion roll oats
– chocolate chips (optional)
Melt together the peanut butter, butter and honey in a saucepan over medium heat, until melted and forming soft liquid texture. Pour over the oats in a well-greased rectangular medium size baking dish patting the mixture down. At this point you could let it rest over night and cut into bars in the morning or do this next step
Step 2 (optional)
Cover the oats mixture with chocolate chips. Bake in the oven at 350 for 12 min. Spread the warm chocolate chips with a spatula and let it cool down for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Slice into bars or any other shapes you like. Keep in an air tight container. Can easily be frozen for later use.
Tips: For more filling and a bit healthier alternative, you could add to the oat mixture some nuts and seeds, ground flax seeds, dried fruits etc (may need to adjust the peanut butter/ honey ratio)