Spring Treats

by Judy Mullican

FunShine® curriculum users start off the month of March with a focus on healthy eating. The first Buttercups theme in March is Yummy in My Tummy and the Fireflies curriculum offers You Are What You Eat. With this in mind, here are some nutritious and tasty recipes to offer. Some would be perfect if you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! (Caution: Always check for allergies before serving any food.)

Spring Garden PizzaSpring-Garden-Pizza

Crust:
1 cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats
1¼ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ milk
2 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425°. Spray a 12″ round pizza pan with no stick cooking spray. The adult should place the oats in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high until the oats are ground. This should take about a minute.

Spring Treats-Pizza1

Place the ground oats in a large bowl. The children can help measure the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then add them to the ground oats. The children can also help add the milk and oil. Take turns stirring with a fork to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface.

Spring Treats-Pizza2

Rub a little vegetable oil on your hands and knead about ten times. Rub more oil on your fingers, if necessary, and press the dough into the pizza pan. Shape the edge to make a raised rim.

Spring Treats-Pizza3

The adult can place the pan in the hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes; then remove to add the toppings. (Keep the oven hot.)

Toppings:
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash
½ cup chopped sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or other vegetable oil
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
8 oz. can tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano
6 oz. (1½ cups) shredded low-fat Italian cheese blend
½­–1 teaspoon oregano

Spring Treats-Pizza4While the crust begins baking, the adult can heat the oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables to the hot pan and sauté for about 3 minutes. When the crust is ready, spread the tomato sauce over it and evenly distribute the vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Sprinkle with oregano to taste.

Return to the oven for about 15 minutes. Cool to a safe temperature and cut into slices.

(Note: You can substitute other vegetables if you prefer. Some possibilities include sliced tomatoes, fresh spinach, or green peas.)

 

Shamrock SandwichesShamrock-Sandwiches

8 oz. light cream cheese
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
green food coloring
seedless cucumber
thin bread slices
bell pepper

Place cream cheese, mayonnaise, and a few drops of green food coloring in a bowl. Blend well.

Spring Treats-Sandwich1

Spread the mixture on sliced bread. Cut thin slices from a seedless cucumber. Cut narrow strips of bell pepper. Arrange three slices of cucumber and on strip of bell pepper on each slice of bread. Serve immediately.

 

Banana Kiwi Frozen DessertBanana-Kiwi-Frozen-Dessert

3 ripe bananas
3 very ripe kiwifruit
1­–3 tablespoons water or apple juice
Optional: green food coloring

Peel the fruit. The children can help slice it with dull plastic knives. Place the fruit in a container, cover, and freeze. Place the frozen fruit in food processor.

Spring Treats-Frozen Dessert1

Process on high. Stop and scrape the sides frequently. Add water or juice 1 teaspoonful at a time until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. (The amount of liquid you need will depend on how juicy the fruit is.) The natural color is very pale. If you want a brighter green, add a few drops of green food coloring.

Spring Treats-Frozen Dessert2

Transfer to a shallow dish and freeze. Stir every 15 minutes until you reach a thick, smooth consistency.

Spring Treats-Frozen Dessert3

Scoop and serve. (If you need to store the dessert longer, remove from the freezer and soften before scooping.) If you are feeling indulgent, you can even top with a little chocolate syrup!

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