by Judy Mullican
Welcome spring with some healthy, refreshing treats! 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.)
1 cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats
1¼ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
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.
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.
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.
The adult can place the pan in the hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes; then remove to add the toppings. (Keep the oven hot.)
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
While 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.)
8 oz. light cream cheese
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
green food coloring
thin bread slices
Place cream cheese, mayonnaise, and a few drops of green food coloring in a bowl. Blend well.
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.
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.
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.
Transfer to a shallow dish and freeze. Stir every 15 minutes until you reach a thick, smooth consistency.
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!