Monday, August 30, 2010

Mommy and Me Monday: Sticks and Stones Snack Mix

Hello, MOPS moms! Today I am sharing a quick and easy recipe for a snack mix that I “discovered” recently. This recipe is from the September 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine.

I don’t know about you, but my boys are STARVING after school. Instead of spending money on pre-packaged snacks, this year I’m going to try to save money and the environment by making up a batch of snack mix on Sundays that the boys can have after school throughout the week. Of course I will also have other healthy choices on hand such as fresh fruit, yogurt, etc. I agree with what Jacque wrote a few weeks back. If you only make healthy choices available to your children, then that’s what they will eat. It’s worked pretty well in our house. If we happen to bring chips or cookies into the house, that is what they want to eat. So........we really try to limit how often we buy those items.

What I love about this snack mix (aside from the fact that it tastes really, really good!) is that it’s not too sweet, I know exactly what is in it, and the ingredients are pretty good from a nutritional standpoint. My boys love to make this with me. Here is the recipe:

Sticks and Stones

4 T. butter
¼ cup frozen orange or apple juice concentrate
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups Quaker Oatmeal Squares
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 ½ c. whole almonds
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place the butter, juice concentrate, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds to melt the butter. Stir in the cinnamon.

Place the oatmeal squares, pretzels, and almonds in a large bowl. Pour the melted-butter mixture over it and stir to coat.

Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the mixture is dry to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir in the dried fruit. Let mix cool completely before storing it in airtight container. Makes about 7 cups.

My cooking notes: Obviously you can substitute ingredients in or out depending on your family’s preferences. The first time I made this all the Craisins were left in the bottom, so I omitted those in my second batch. Also, the second time I made it I didn’t have juice concentrate and I also didn’t even have any juice in the house! I just added some water to the butter/brown sugar mixture and it worked fine. Other cereals could easily be substituted for the Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

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