At the grocery store where I shop, they often have canned pineapple on special. It is usually a great deal on a great tasting and nutritious fruit. My family loves canned pineapple as a side dish for any meal, so I buy it often. My husband and son even like to drain the juice off and save it to drink later. Our April recipe is a new way to use canned pineapple – as a snack cake.
A 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple is drained and patted dry then mixed with typical muffin ingredients and baked to make Pineapple Snack Cakes. These snack cakes are versatile and can be used as a snack, side dish, or dessert. Next time you find a deal on crushed pineapple, try out this Pineapple Snack Cake recipe!
Pineapple Snack Cakes
Serving Size: 1 muffin
Cost Per Serving: $0.14
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in 100% juice
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray.
Drain juice from the pineapple into a cup or bowl. Save the juice for step 4. Dab pineapple with a paper towel to dry.
Whisk whole wheat flour, all purpose white flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Beat sugar, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the saved pineapple juice until combined. Beat in eggs. Stir in the crushed pineapple.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Divide the batter into the muffin tins.
Bake until the snack cakes are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a snack cake comes out clean, about 18–20 minutes.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Pineapple Snack Cakes are great as a side dish to any meal or as a snack.
Use pineapple tidbits or chunks instead of crushed pineapple. Drain well and finely chop.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of coconut or walnuts on top of each snack cake before baking.
Save extra pineapple juice to add to a salad dressing, fruit salad, or smoothie.
One of my family’s favorite foods is berries. I can set a bowl filled with berries on the table and in the next instant they are gone. This time of year, we do not have access to the fresh berries they love, so I often buy frozen berries at the grocery store.
My children will just eat frozen berries right out of the bag, but my husband would rather have them as part of a recipe. So, I usually make a compromise – if my children help me make a recipe with the frozen berries, we will set some of the frozen berries off to the side for them to eat as a treat after they are done helping. Our recipe of the month for November is Mini Berry Pie and this is the perfect recipe for my children to help with and get their treat at the end.
Here are some ways that children can help with Mini Berry Pies:
Spray tortillas with cooking spray,
Stir cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle it on the tortillas,
Fit the tortillas into the muffin tins,
Add berries, sugar, and cornstarch to the saucepan (mom does the cooking),
Older children can pour the berry filling into the tortilla bowls.
I enjoy having my children help out in the kitchen because it teaches them about the food they are eating, makes them more likely to taste the food, and teaches them basic cooking and safety skills. For more about including children in the kitchen, check out this video and this handout.
Mini Berry Pie
Serving Size: 1 shell with 1/4 cup filling
Cost Per Serving: $0.83
Nonstick cooking spray
5 whole wheat tortillas (6″)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed berries (2 ½ cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Lay tortillas flat. Spray one side of each tortilla with cooking spray.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture on the tortillas.
Place the tortillas in the muffin tin. Fit them into the muffin bowls. The cinnamon and sugar will be on the inside of the bowls. Bake the tortillas for 13 to 15 minutes. They will be light brown and crisp.
Put berries in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Stir sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add mixture to thawed berries.
Cook over medium heat. Mixture will start to get thick and bubble. Cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Put 1/4 cup berry filling into each tortilla bowl.
Mini pies have a great fresh taste in the middle of winter.
Make tortilla bowls ahead of time. Store in an airtight container. Do not add filling until serving.
Add a spoonful of yogurt to the top of the filling.
Recently my four-year old son and I made MmmmGood Fruit Pizza for snack time. Fruit pizza tastes good any time of the year, but we especially like to make it in the summertime when we can use fruits that are in season. This time we chose to use fresh blueberries and raspberries along with some canned pineapple and mandarin oranges.
Now that school is out and kids are home for the summer, fruit pizza is a healthy and tasty snack that everyone loves. Instead of making one large crust, consider making individual sized crusts and let each person make their own mini fruit pizza. I did this with my son’s preschool class and they enjoyed getting to spread the yogurt ‘sauce’ on and choosing which fruits to use on their pizza. Since some kids are picky about fruit, letting them choose which fruits to use and eating it on ‘pizza’ may be just the trick to get them to eat more fruit.
Kids love pizza so you know this pizza is worth making when my son says, “This pizza is the goodest pizza I’ve ever had.”
Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.
This is a great food to take to the park, on a bike ride or just for a backyard picnic. The pita pockets are great for holding in sweet juicy fruit, but whole wheat bread could be substituted to save a trip to the store or a few pennies.
This very simple recipe will be best with ripe fruit. Fruit is plentiful in the market right now, but it is not all ripe. Apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plantains and plums continue to ripen at room temperature after they’re picked. To speed their ripening, put them in a loosely closed brown paper bag. Plastic bags don’t work for ripening. Once fully ripened, fruits may be stored in the refrigerator to lengthen their storage time. Though the outside skin of a refrigerated banana will turn dark brown, the inside will remain light-colored.
Consider teaching your kids or grandkids to make this recipes. Let them choose a new fruit to try.
Warm each pita half in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make them more flexible.
Carefully open each pocket and spread about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on the inside walls of each pita half. You may need to warm the peanut butter in the microwave for a few seconds, especially if it has been in the refrigerator.
Fill each pocket with sliced fruit. Serve at room temperature.
My entire family enjoys snacking on baked taco chips and salsa for an easy snack. We usually just eat tomato salsa that I buy at the store until our home grown tomatoes are ready from the garden. But, for something a little different, I tried adding some plain yogurt to it along with some fat free sour cream. It was a big hit with my son and husband – the yogurt was cool but there was still the spiciness of the salsa for a great flavor combination. It couldn’t be any easier to make – equal parts of salsa, fat free sour cream and nonfat plain yogurt. Just a 2 tablespoon serving yields 2% of the daily value for calcium and it only costs $ .15 a serving. I also liked the fact that it tasted great with vegetables. There was just enough spice to make you keep eating and that IS what I need – ideas to keep me eating more nutrient rich vegetables. At only 25 calories for a 2 tablespoon serving of this South of the Border Dip, you can enjoy this guilt free, inexpensive snack.
Apparently, sandwiches were invented in the 18th century when the Earl of Sandwich asked for his meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game or getting his cards greasy. If the Earl were alive today he probably would have invented sandwiches so he could eat while driving, or to avoid getting his cell phone dirty!
I love sandwiches because they are so versatile and convenient. Sometimes I make sandwiches ahead and freeze them. It saves time and is a great way to use those bits of leftovers.
Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great snack for me. When I have a couple of slices of whole wheat bread at the end of the loaf, I spread a little peanut butter on both sides of the bread and put the jelly in the middle. This assembly method will help reduce sogginess.
Summer is coming! Consider adding frozen sandwiches to a cooler to keep everything colder longer.