Tag Archives: snacks

These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

Cheese, meet your new BFF: sourdough discard crackers. With just a few ingredients, you can turn your sourdough discard into crispy, buttery, delicious crackers to enjoy with literally everything. Make these crackers, throw together a cheeseboard, you can thank me later.

Sourdough Discard Crackers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 1 cup crackers

Ingredients:

½ cup sourdough discard
2 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the sourdough discard, melted butter, salt and pepper.

3. Spread the discard onto the parchment paper in one thin layer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, pull out the pan and cut into pieces with a knife or pizza cutter. Continue to bake in the oven for another 20 to 24 minutes until golden on the edges.

5. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

5 Tips to Help Your Kids Pack Their Own Lunches

If you’re tired of making lunches your kids won’t eat, getting them to build their own lunches can help streamline your morning routine and increase the odds their lunchbox comes home empty. From shopping for the right ingredients to choosing the right lunchbox, there are many strategies that can set your family up for lunchtime success.

Take Them Shopping

The first step in getting your kids to help pack their own lunch starts at the grocery store. Have your child make a list of their favourite lunch foods, and then let them navigate the grocery store with you for those items. Commit to trying one new item from the produce department each week and talk to them about what makes a balanced meal. Knowledge is power, and this is true for food and meal prepping.

Make Packing Fun

If you think packing lunches is a boring chore, chances are your little one will too. One way to shake this stereotype is to make packing lunches fun. Pick up some cute and colourful reusable containers and bags, pop on your little one’s favourite songs, and make an assembly line where you can all pitch in together packing their midday meal.

Use a Bento Box/Snack Box

One way to get your kids to pack and eat their lunch is to stop calling it lunch! For whatever reason, kids seem to balk at the concept of eating a proper meal, but fully embrace a snack situation. The snacks-as-a-meal trend is having its moment right now, with parents using everything from muffin tins to plastic craft boxes to hold a variety of tasty eats for their kiddos. Have your child fill Bento box compartments with foods they enjoy – such as crackers, dried fruit and add some cheese, a hardboiled egg, and cucumber or apple slices for a balanced meal. Don’t forget a dip or two like hummus or seed butter for even more kid-friendly fun.

Keep Items Accessible

If kids can’t reach it, they can’t pack it, so leave ample supplies of storage containers and food options where your kids can access them. Once they know where everything is, get them into the routine of putting their lunch together at the same time every day – before bed the night before or after breakfast on the day of are both good options.

Shake up Lunch with New Recipes

Another way to get kids excited about packing their own lunch is to try making a new recipe together. Research shows that children are more likely to eat food that they’ve taken a role in preparing, so let them practice their measuring and mixing skills with a kid-friendly recipe. A medley of sweet, dried strawberries, apples and yogurt-covered raisins are right at home with crunchy crackers, roasted pumpkin seeds and puffed rice cereal. Make a double batch, because this snack will be popular on the playground.

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Snacking Just Got a Little More Canadian with Butter Tart Trail Mix

Cottage canoe rides, road trips, relaxed barbecues and outdoor summer concerts all have one thing in common: they’re better with snacks! We’ve come up with a healthy staple trail mix that takes less than 5 minutes to make, along with a few fun Canadian twists to tickle your fancy and tantalize those taste buds, no matter where the summer takes you. Get out there and hike, paddle, cruise, grill and sway to your heart’s content – we’ll bring the snacks

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Basic Canadian Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 3½ cups

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted salted or unsalted almonds
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
½ cup dried cherries

Directions:

1. Mix together almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and cherries. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month.  

nanaimo-bar-trail-mix

Take all your favourite flavours of Nanaimo bars into the woods with you by making some chocolatey trail mix. Not a fan of coconut? Our original trail mix is simply satisfying.

Nanaimo Bar Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted  walnuts halves
1 cup toasted, shaved coconut
¾ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
¼ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
¼ cup dried cherries   

Directions:

1. Mix together walnuts, coconut, chocolate, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and cherries. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month.  

butter-tart-trail-mix

The choice is yours: candied pecans or candied bacon? There’s no wrong answer! Both our tasty butter tart trail mix and sweet and savoury bacon mix are satisfying.

Butter Tart Trail Mix Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3½ cups

Ingredients:

¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
2 tsp salted or unsalted butter
1 cup pecans
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
½ cup raisins

Directions:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

2. Melt brown sugar, water and butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture foams and the pan starts to look dry, about 5 minutes. Spoon onto prepared sheet and cool completely, about 10 minutes.

3. Mix together candied pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas and raisins. Serve. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 1 month. 

Candied Bacon Trail Mix Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients:

6 strips bacon
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted almonds
1 cup roasted salted or unsalted cashews
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted salted or unsalted pepitas
½ cup dried cherries   

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack. Spray rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Place bacon in a shallow dish and sprinkle with brown sugar, turn to coat, pressing sugar onto bacon to adhere. Place on prepared cooling rack on baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 min, or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, crumble or roughly chop.

3. Mix together almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cherries and bacon. Serve immediately.

More bites this way with our Best Road Trip Snacks made for traffic jams and car singalongs.

ketchup-chips-history

The Crunchy History of Ketchup Chips

It’s no secret that Canadians love their ketchup chips. The crunchy, thinly sliced fried potatoes, doused in a tangy reddish powder, have been a favourite flavour since the early 1980s, sparking snack attacks and staining fingers across the nation. It’s bewildering that a Heritage Minute hasn’t been created for Canada’s signature snack.

But what’s the story behind ketchup chips? French fries and ketchup have gone hand-in-hand since the early 1800s, but the duo really became BFFs in the 1940s with the rise of fast food and drive-ins at the time.

Ketchup Chips

Inspired by this classic combo, adding ketchup-flavoured seasoning to potato chips came to be sometime in the 1970s. Each chip was dusted with tomato powder, garlic, onion and spices, infusing smoky, salty and sweet flavours with a tart bite into every crunch. Since then, millions of chip bags have been torn open and devoured by hungry hordes of Canadians, who can’t get enough of this quirky and addictive ketchup-y flavour.

Although a quintessential Canadian snack, the origins of ketchup chips are mired in mystery, with no one stepping forward to officially take the credit. At its simplest, it’s believed that this red-powdered snack was first invented by Hostess Potato Chips in the early 1970s, and sold exclusively to the Canadian market. The newfangled flavour was a huge hit in the Great White North, triggering a ketchup chip craze to erupt from coast-to-coast.

Digging deeper, it appears that the story could be more complicated. An American company in Pennsylvania, Herr’s Snacks, has reportedly been making ketchup-flavoured chips since the early 1980s. A decade later, the Heinz Ketchup company got on board with Herr’s, realizing that potato chips and ketchup seasoning makes a killer combo. They’ve since blended the brands to create Herr’s Heinz Ketchup Flavoured Potato Chips.

The bottom line? Although ketchup chips likely hold dual citizenship, it’s definitely a Canadian classic to the core. While the flavour tends to be scarce south of the border, Canadian store shelves are almost always well-stocked with bags of this favourite Canuck snack. Plus, smaller Canadian-owned companies are jumping on the ketchup wagon and making their own versions.

Ketchup Chip Seasoning

Featured on Food Network Canada’s Food Factory, the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Factory in New Brunswick uses their grandmother’s recipe to make their chips, but revamped the recipe to include Homestyle Ketchup Chips. Made with Russet Potatoes, these ultra crunchy chips are dusted with tomato powder and other goodness, making it a favourite Canadian brand.

Nowadays, Canadians can do more than rip open a bag, as chip lovers are taking ketchup-style snacking to the next level. For one, the ketchup-y powder makes a sensational seasoning for many other tasty snacks, and it’s easy to make in your home kitchen. With this homemade ketchup chip flavouring, you can spice up everything from popcorn to roasted potatoes to squash, without adding artificial flavours and colours.

Short on time? You can also buy ready-to-go ketchup seasoning from the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Factory (along with bags of chips too!). Or just crush up some ketchup chips and use the bits as a crunchy topping for hot dogs or other mains. For more adventurous home chefs, why not try making a batch of Ketchup Chips Chicken Strips? The crispy batter of crushed ketchup chips transforms routine pub grub into a tangy and sweet dish.

The verdict? Ketchup chips hold a special place in the history and hearts of our delicious nation — but we’re still waiting on that Heritage Minute!

For more Canuck eats, check out these 45 Canadian Comfort Food Recipes.

Doubles

5 Must-Try Snacks at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Caribana weekend is around the corner! As we get ready to come together in Toronto to jump and wave at one of the largest street festivals in North America, it’s only right we fuel ourselves with flavour-packed Caribbean foods! We’ve rounded up some of the best Caribbean street foods and treats that make for the perfect Caribana snack.

Doubles

Doubles
Doubles are a delicious, filling snack that are oozing with curried chickpea goodness! This snack is a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago but luckily for us, it is readily available in Toronto. It consists of channa (curried chickpeas) surrounded by two round pieces of bara (fried dough). It’s then wrapped up tightly in wax paper and ready to enjoy. It’s often topped with a tangy cucumber chutney and tamarind sauce. The tart sauce, spicy chutney and hot channa blend perfectly together to create a unique burst of flavor with every bite. If you like your snacks with an extra kick then be sure to add a touch of Caribbean hot sauce on top. Grab doubles while you watch the Grande Parade from one of the many vendors nearby. Just be sure to save your dance moves for after you eat because this tasty snack can get messy!

Jamaican Patty

Jamaican Patties
Jamaican patties are flaky, golden pockets that make a perfect snack on the go. It’s no surprise that these hand-held snacks are available at almost every corner store and major subway stop in the city. Patties can be filled with anything from spicy beef to jerk chicken or curried vegetables. If you want an exceptionally flaky patty then head on over to Randy’s Take Out on Eglinton Avenue West. If you’ve graduated from the spicy beef patty and want to try something new, seek out ComeNyam’s unique patties. Their patties are filled with everything from oxtail to pumpkin. You can find their patties at specialty food stores throughout the city.

Fishcakes and Bakes

Fish Cakes and Bakes
You can never go wrong with saltfish fritters. They are easy to carry on the road at Caribana and extra filling too. Although there are many variations of fried dough packed with flavor and saltfish across the islands, I suggest the Bajan fish cakes and bakes. Bakes are a sweet fried dough that go perfectly with any treat. Street Shak Caribbean Kitchen offers their own spin on these Bajan snacks that are sure to please.

Corn Soup

Corn Soup
You may be wondering why soup made the list. It isn’t what you typically think of as a snack, but this hearty Caribbean soup can be found across the city outside of the major Caribana parties. Served extra hot and filled with ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, scallion, coconut milk and thyme, you’ll find several vendors at the parade with a big pot of this delicious dish. You can also grab the corn soup late night outside of the many fetes. After a fun filled day of carnival parade and parties, a nice big bowl of corn soup will help you re-charge.

5 Tasty Ways to Use Hummus (That Aren’t Dip)

Nutritious, filling and most importantly, tasty, hummus is so easy and inexpensive to make that there’s no excuse not to make it from scratch. We all know that hummus is everyone’s go-to dip for vegetables and pita, but how else can you use this popular Middle Eastern condiment? Here are five delicious ideas to hummus-ify your meals.

Basic Hummus Recipe
Traditional hummus contains tahini, a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds. However, I tend to skip the tahini since I don’t use it in much else. You can make your own tahini by simply grinding sesame seeds and olive oil together in a food processor—and this version is tasty as is.

Ingredients:
1 591 mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced*
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste

Directions:
1. Combine chickpeas, garlic and olive oil in a blender, food processor, or a bowl if you’re using a hand blender.
2. Purée the ingredients until everything becomes a smooth and velvety texture, with all the lumps gone. If the mix is too thick, thin it out with a bit of water.
3. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Continue blending until everything is well incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

*If the taste of raw garlic is too strong, use one clove or opt for roasted garlic, which yields a milder, sweeter taste.

Hummus_sandwiches

1. Sandwich Spread

Skip the mayonnaise and use hummus to beef up and boost flavour in your sandwiches and wraps. The nutty taste goes especially well with turkey slices, and the creamy texture adds a good contrast to crunchy toppings like cucumber and carrots. In the picture below, I made a vegetarian breakfast sandwich with thinly-sliced mini cucumbers and chunks of leftover, roasted butternut squash from the fridge.

Hummus_PastaSalad

2. Pasta Salad Dressing

Thin out the hummus with olive oil and a bit of water until the consistency is similar to a creamy salad dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing in a big bowl of fusilli, penne, or any pasta shape that has crevices to hold on to the hummus. Bonus: if you’re using hummus from the fridge, the cold dressing will help cool down the cooked pasta quicker. Here, I added chopped cucumbers, sliced chicken breast, and roasted corn and onions for a summery weekend lunch with the family.

Hummus_Chicken

3. Chicken Topping

Jazz up a piece of grilled chicken breast by smearing hummus and sprinkling crushed raw almonds on top for some added texture. Bake the chicken at 400ºF for 12-15 minutes until it is well done.

Hummus_SaladDressing

4. Salad Dressing

The strong, garlicky taste of hummus goes especially well with the bitter taste of dark greens. Similar to the pasta salad, dilute the hummus with olive oil and water until it reaches Thousand Island-like consistency. Add a bit more lemon juice and salt, and mix with the greens.

Hummus_Soup

5. Hearty Soup

This soup is so thick and creamy (not to mention protein-filled) that this pot can feed four people, especially when you add in the vegetables. Speaking of, you’ll have to sauté the veggies (or better yet, roast for at about 30 minutes at 400ºF) until they’re soft, before you dump them into the pot. If you have any leftover roasted carrots and potatoes in the fridge, use them in this recipe to skip the first step and save time. Save this soup recipe for the cold, winter months when you’ll be craving a hot bowl of soup with a big punch of nutty, garlicky taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups hummus
2 1/2 cups no-salt added chicken broth, plus more for vegetables
2 cups carrots, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cups potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped green onion, to garnish
Grated Parmesan, to garnish

Directions:
1. Bring a splash of chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and let cook until they begin to soften. Add more broth if the pan starts to dry up.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the hummus and stir until well incorporated. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally.
3. Using the same pan used to cook the vegetables, add a bit of oil and fry up the pancetta until it starts to brown. Add it to the soup pot, along with the cooked vegetables. Stir and bring to a simmer.
4. Pour the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped green onion and parmesan. Serve immediately.

super bowl menu roger mooking

Roger Mooking’s Ultimate Super Bowl Menu

Maybe you like football, maybe you don’t. But if a snack-centred event featuring classic comfort foods sounds like your idea of fun, then it’s time to add Super Bowl Sunday to your annual calendar of delicious events. Here, chef and Chopped Canada judge Roger Mooking shares his tips for hosting a superb Super Bowl Party.

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Pass the snacks
One of Chef Roger’s favourite Super Bowl memories was watching the 2016 game at his cousin’s place, while his cousin screamed and jumped around the TV. “The whole family knows he is a Broncos fanatic so we all went there to watch him,” he says. “It was one of the most hilarious things I did last year and will never forget it.” That energy is what makes the day, so don’t quash it by asking fanatics to sit down for dinner. “Finger foods and hand-held foods are always good because people tend to get excited, and want to nibble through the stress and excitement throughout the game,” says Roger.

Honey-Glazed Ham

Roger recommends:
Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Sauce
Honey-Glazed Ham
Red Cabbage and Green Apple Slaw
Mini Apple Pie Pockets

Prepare for a thirsty crowd
A mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic brews and caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks, will allow guests of all ages to cater to their own energy and entertainment requirements. If you’re serving booze, Roger recommends taking everyone’s keys as they come in the door. “Call a cab if people get too tipsy or are too worked up to drive,” he says.

Ginger Beer

Roger recommends serving:
Chocolate Malted Milkshakes
Ice cold light beer with lime wedges
Ginger beer
Iced coffee with condensed milk

“Make a coffee, add ice and drizzle some sweetened condensed milk in it,” says Rogers. “Stir it all up just before you drink and there will be enough sugar and caffeine in there to turn the most docile sports fan into Mike Tyson backed into a corner.”

iced coffee

Game day plan
Stock up on side plates and serviettes, since guests will invariably go back for seconds (and thirds), and some of the tastiest game day treats the messiest. Avoid a post-season house slump by keeping a garbage nearby so it’s easy to tidy up during commercial breaks.

Looking for more Super Bowl ideas? Try Patricia Heaton’s Best Game Day Recipes.

How to Pack a Cooler Like a Pro

People who claim that travelling is more about the journey than the destination have one thing in common: they’re not hangry. Enjoy your travels with fewer stops using these tips for packing the perfect road trip cooler — the one that helps you stave off snack attacks so you can enjoy a delicious trip.

Watermelon Lemonade

Tip: Freeze water bottles and juice boxes for drinks that double as ice packs.

Once the frozen drinks thaw a little, you’ll have refreshing treats worth their weight in cooling energy. For maximum savings and nutrition, pack reusable water bottles with your favourite smoothie recipe and freeze it the night before your trip.

Whether you pack store-bought drinks or make your own lemonade, juice or smoothies, be sure to leave a few unfrozen — ideally grouped to one side of the cooler — so your car crew can hydrate whenever they need.

Frozen treats can work as snacks, too. Toss your favourite frozen fruits into a container full of yogurt for a quick and refreshing dairy treat that will keep all day in the cooler.

Get the recipe for Watermelon Lemonade.

cooler

Tip: Pack frozen drinks and heavy freezer packs on the bottom, and toss a few light frozen gel packs on the top.

Pack your cooler like this: heavy stuff on the bottom, sturdily packaged items like jars and plastic containers in the middle, and anything that shouldn’t be squished or bruised (bread, sandwiches, fruits and veggies) on top. Toss a few light gel packs on top of it all, and maintain the cooler’s temperature by opening it as little as possible.

Foods that bruise easily fare best at the top, but more importantly, you’ll have the healthiest option at first reach whenever you search the cooler for a quick snack.

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 Tip: Jarred salads are perfectly portable and make delicious travel meals.

You’ll likely want to pull over to enjoy your salads safely, but layered mason jar salads rival the flavours at any roadside fast food chain or gas station diner. Whatever you put in your jars, pack the dressing first, then add in order of weight, with the heaviest ingredients at the bottom: pasta or grains first, then proteins, then chopped veggies and lettuces or sprouts. Shake to mix when you’re ready to eat.

Get the recipe for Stacked Salad Niçoise.

anna-olson-granola-bars

Tip: Keep your cooler within reach during the drive.

As long as you’ve got a passenger capable of reaching in to dole out treats, you can fend off hanger without having to stop. If you’ve got little ones in the back with the cooler, and don’t trust them to keep it closed, consider putting them in charge of a secondary bag filled with non-perishables treats like granola bars, crackers, energy balls and sturdier, whole fruits like bananas and apples.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Granola Bars.

Tip: Don’t forget utensils and napkins. 

Hand sanitizer, wet wipes or a wet washcloth packed in a plastic baggie will ensure clean hands before and after meals. Keep these items in or near the cooler and store utensils in a separate bag. If you’re including a knife or scissors in your kit, wrap them in a tea towel and secure with elastic bands to prevent unwanted pokings.

Looking for car snack ideas? Try one of our 18 Best Foods to Pack for a Road Trip.

5 Gorgeous and Easy to Prepare Holiday Nibbles

Whether you’re hosting the office party or a neighbourhood drop-in, our superb spread of holiday bites has got you covered. From Thai-spiced chicken satays to Michael Smith’s famous shrimp cocktail, satisfy your guests in style.

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Crostini with Sweet Pea Mash
Spinach and Prosciutto Party Wheels

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Chicken Satays 
Michael Smith’s Shrimp Cocktail

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Bal Anerson’s Spiced Eggplant Dip with Crudites and Flatbread

Photography: James Tse. Food Stylist: Adele Shaw. Prop Stylist: Carolyn Souch. Creative Direction: Jessica Hotson

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

5 clever ways to use frozen puff pastry

5 Clever Ways to Use Frozen Puff Pastry

Store-bought puff pastry is the ultimate freezer staple to have on hand to whip up quick and impressive treats in a pinch. And now that it’s sold in pre-rolled sheets, you don’t need flour or a rolling pin to get baking.

From savoury snacks to guest-worthy treats, puff pastry can do it all! So try one of these 5 clever ways to use it next time guests drop by.

Savoury Tarts

Thin Mint and Dark Chocolate Pastries
Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Beat 1 egg with 1 Tbsp water in a small bowl until combined. Slice 9 thin dark chocolate mints, such as After Eight, diagonally in half. Unroll 450-g pkg thawed puff pastry sheets. Using a 2 ½-in. round cookie cutter, cut out 9 rounds per sheet. Arrange rounds on baking sheets.

Brush each round evenly with egg wash, then arrange 1 piece chocolate mint on one half of each round. Fold other half over chocolate mint, pressing edges down to seal well. Brush tops with remaining egg wash.

Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, switching halfway through, until golden and puffed, 20 min. Dust generously with icing sugar before serving.

Mini Cinnamon Rolls
Brush thawed puff pastry sheets generously with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll tightly from the bottom to the top to form a log. Freeze until slightly firm. Slice each log into 1-inch rounds. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut-side down, and bake, following package directions, until golden and puffed. Drizzle with a glaze or top with cream cheese frosting.

Buttery Cheese Straws
Brush thawed puff pastry sheets with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyère or Parmesan, gently pressing down to adhere. Cut into ¾-inch strips, then twist both ends in the opposite direction to form a straw. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, following package directions, until golden and puffed.

Cheaters Gingerbread Men
Using a small gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out men from thawed puff pastry sheets. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, following package directions, until golden and puffed. Whisk icing sugar with a touch of milk and ground ginger to make a glaze. Drizzle over cooled gingerbread men and let stand until dry to the touch.

Savoury Tarts
Brush thawed puff pastry sheets with egg wash. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, such as sliced mozzarella or crumbled goats cheese, then top with vegetables, such as caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms or spinach. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Fold over edges, creating a 1-in. border. Brush border with additional egg wash. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, according to package directions, until puffed and golden.

10 Treats to Enjoy with Your Morning Coffee

It’s tough to resist a piping hot cup of Joe and freshly baked muffin on your way to work in the morning. But it’s time to look beyond the typical grab-and-go fare and indulge in one of these sweet and savoury breakfast treats.

Broaden your morning palette with these satisfying, make-ahead recipes:

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1. Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Tyler Florence shares his recipes for these heavenly blueberry scones topped with a sweet and citrusy lemon glaze for a decadent breakfast.

2. Green Eggs and Ham

Take one bite of these mini ham and egg pies and you’ll feel like you’re sitting down to a delicious afternoon brunch.

3. Pesto Goat Cheese Croissants

Surprisingly simple, these tasty croissants filled with your favourite flavoured pesto and creamy goat cheese are delicious morning, noon or night.

4. Cherry Danish Twists

Anna Olson delivers a mouth-watering pastry filled with fresh cherries and cherry jam, and glazed with apricot jam for a glossy presentation you won’t be able to resist.

5. Easy Poppyseed Bagel Bites

When you’re on the way out the door, grab a couple of these slightly sweet bagel bites from Anna Olson and you’ll be all set for a delicious morning meal.

6. Morning Glory Yogurt Loaf

Chock full of fruit, yogurt and shredded coconut, this light and delicious breakfast loaf can double as breakfast and a snack for later.

7. Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls scream decadence: light and fluffy pastry is rolled with a gooey cinnamon sugar filling laced with toasted hazelnuts, and topped with sweet mascarpone icing.

8. Ham and Scallion Scones with Lemon Herb Chèvre

Top these savoury ham and scallion scones with some lemon and herb-infused chèvre, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying and hearty morning meal.

9. Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Bake a batch of these delectable strawberry oatmeal bars on Sunday so you have enjoy them all week long for breakfast, dessert or as an afternoon treat.

10. Mini Spinach Quiches

Filled with spinach, onion and cheddar cheese, a few these mini quiches are super versatile and are sure to tide you over until lunch.

movie-snack-recipes

10 Creative Snacks for Movie Night

creative movie snacks
Pictured: Super Easy S’mores Popcorn

There’s only one rule to getting your movie snack situation sorted — make lots. Whether you crave salty, sweet, spicy or cheesy, we’ve got all your movie munchie cravings covered.

Salted Maple Sriracha Peanut Popcorn
Is there anything more satisfying than a snack that mixes both salty and sweet? How about salty, sweet and spicy. We love this movie-viewing friendly concoction of popcorn, salted pretzels, cashews and peanuts stewed together with maple syrup and Sriracha.

Jamie Oliver’s Mini Vegan Doughnuts
Nothing warms the soul quite like hot, sugar-dusted doughnuts fresh from the fryer. And this Jamie Oliver recipe just happens to be vegan.

Bacon Cheese Puffs
Be sure to make a double batch of these bite-sized bacon and cheese bites because we promise once you’ve tasted this bacon and shredded Pepper Jack cheese rolled into homemade choux pastry, you’re going to need more. A lot more.

Super Easy S’mores Popcorn
Get all the flavours of your favourite campfire dessert in one super snackable bowl. Simply mix a bag of sea salted popcorn with butter, sugar, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and broken graham crackers and you’re set. Bonfire not included.

Double Hit Smoked Nuts
Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pecans seasoned with smoky cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, thyme and sugar make for the ultimate movie-watching snack.

Holiday Party Mix
Crunchy, roasted green peas and red root vegetable chips give this classic party mix a decidedly holiday vibe while the mix of textures and flavours means there’s something for everyone in each bite.

Chipotle-Ranch Popcorn
Ranch seasoning lovers, be prepared to satisfy your deepest desires for dunking — without all the mess. This chipotle pepper-flavoured popcorn is bound to become a favourite movie watching snack, especially if you crave a little kick.

Roasted Sweet and Salty Chickpeas
Pat yourself on the back for stocking up on canned chickpeas; because now you can make all the brown sugar and chili powder dusted snack bites you can handle.

Roasted Spiced Almonds
Leave your manners at the door. These crunchy cayenne pepper-spiced almonds are meant to be eaten by the fistful.

White Chocolate Pretzels
Don’t be fooled by the gorgeousness of these white chocolate pretzel sticks. They are just as easy to make as they are to eat.

5 Halloween Party Recipes Inspired by Scary Movies

Alright, so making cute party snacks isn’t your strong suit— that’s OK! Not everyone has a steady hand (or patience) to make immaculate marshmallow jack o’ lanterns or a five-layer tombstone cake. Here are five Halloween recipes that are meant to look messy and gross, but actually taste delicious. Bonus: you can do this while already half in the bag over a witches’ brew (gin) and still impress your friends.

Halloween smoothie recipe

Camp Crystal Lake Waters, inspired by Friday the 13th
Makes about 4 cups

Welcome your guests with a shot glass filled with some murky brew.

Ingredients:
4 cups kale leaves, stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
2 cups sweetened almond milk
1 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until everything is evenly blended. Pour into shot glasses and serve.

Halloween recipe red pepper hummus pita pockets

Puss-filled Wounds, inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street
Yields: about 2 cups of hummus, enough for about 30 pitas plus leftovers.

A snack of roasted red pepper hummus served in mini pita pockets. Make things less hectic by making the hummus the night before.

Ingredients:
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or one 591ml can)
2 whole roasted red peppers
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and lemon juice, to taste
Two bags of bite-sized pitas

Directions:
1. Combine chickpeas, roasted peppers, garlic and olive oil in a blender, food processor, or a bowl if you’re using a hand blender.
2. Purée the ingredients until everything becomes a smooth and velvety texture and all the lumps gone. If the mix is too thick, thin it out with a bit of water.
3. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Continue blending until everything is well incorporated. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. To serve, cut open a hole in the middle of the pita and stuff a spoonful of hummus inside.

Halloween recipe pea soup shot glass

Regan’s Demon Vomit Shots, inspired by The Exorcist
Yields about 12 cups of soup.

Make this chilled pea soup the night before and reheat just before serving, or serve chilled with mint or basil leaves as garnish.

Ingredients:
4 cups frozen green peas
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cups whole milk or cream
1 cup potato, chopped and peeled
1/2 cup white onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pats butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Mint or basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer.
3. Add the peas and potato.
4. Continue to simmer. Blend the mixture until smooth. Add in the parmesan and stir until it’s all melted. Let cool completely before refrigerating in an airtight container.
5. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan before serving.

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Bloodied Campfire Marshmallows, inspired by Cabin in the Woods
Yields about 36 bloodied marshmallows.

A sweet spread of marshmallow skewers, drizzled with coloured chocolate for your hungry guests to enjoy. This is meant to look messy and splattered, so don’t spend too much time trying to get the “blood” to drip just right. You can also make this the night before.

Ingredients:
1 bag large size marshmallows
1/2 pound red chocolate wafers (available at bulk food stores)
1 Tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate wafers and chips into a microwave-proof bowl that’s been wiped completely dry.
2. In intervals of 15 to 20 seconds microwave the chocolate on med/high, stirring the chocolate in between as it melts. Continue until the chocolate has completely melted and there aren’t any lumps.
3. Over a sheet of parchment paper, drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the marshmallows using a spatula, allowing it to run down the sides of the marshmallows. Allow the chocolate to harden and dry before skewering them.

Halloween party recipe LeatherfaceJerky

Leatherface Fruit Jerky, inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

This fruit leather with licorice strings is gooey, sticky and slightly slimy, perfect to gross out your guests while they pick at it.

Ingredients:
1 package thin red or black shoelace licorice
2 cups fruit gummies of various colours and flavours

Directions:
1. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the top bowl.
2. Pour in the gummies and stir occasionally with a rubber spatula until the gummies have melted and melded into one gooey blob.
3. In a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pour in the melted candy mixture. Using the spatula, spread the candy evenly in a rectangular shape about 1/2cm thick. Let the candy cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for a few minutes. This will harden the candy so that it’ll be easier to peel off the parchment.
4. Remove from fridge and peel the candy off the paper. Using a pair of scissors to cut the candy into uneven, haphazard shapes.
5. Cut the licorice into short strands and place on top to replicate stitches.

Spooky Eyes Chocolate Bark

When I was a kid, I stretched trick or treating for as many years as I could. It wasn’t until I was verging on my late teens before I finally felt too old. There was nothing better than getting free candy, munching on it all night long, and having a huge stash at your disposal to enjoy for weeks to come.

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Now that I’ve grown way past the acceptable age of trick or treating, I look for other ways to get my candy fix.

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This year, I’m making Halloween chocolate bark, combining my love for Halloween treats and chocolate into one delicious treat. The tiny eyes are super easy to make and add a touch of spookiness to this tasty chocolate bark.

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Ingredients:

The chocolate:
3 cups chocolate chips
½ cup–1 cup assorted Halloween chocolates (depending on size)

The eyes:
1 egg white
1 ½ cups icing sugar
Black gel food colouring

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Directions:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Place bowl over top of pot of simmering water to create a double broiler. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.
2. Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly into a large rectangle of even thickness. Place Halloween candy all over melted chocolate.
3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in icing sugar until a smooth, white icing is formed. Place half of icing into a Ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag or tip of the piping bag. Pipe two dots, for eyes all over the Halloween chocolate bark. Dip a q-tip into black gel food colouring and dot eyes on the white dots of icing.
4. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Break bark into small pieces for eating, sharing or giving as gifts for Halloween!

Quick and Easy Back-to-School Granola Bars

Granola bars never get old. If you’re back to school this week or just plain old back to work on Monday, granola bars are a great pick-me-up snack. Packed with nuts, seeds and oats these will help anyone get through their first week back to school.

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These granola bars are easily customizable—feel free to play with the fruit and nut combinations. Try chopped dried apricots or figs. Make your favourite combination of trail mix or try using almond butter instead.

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Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
3 cups trail mix
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp  ground ginger

GranolaBars_1

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, shredded coconut, and trail mix. In a small pot combine coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, peanut butter, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil, let bubble for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour over oat mixture and mix to coat evenly.
3. Pour mixture into a lined 9×13” baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

Easy Fruit Nachos

This playful and healthy twist on nachos uses fresh pear slices instead of chips. Take advantage of fresh in-season fruit with this sweet nutritious snack.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
4 pears, cored and sliced
1/2 mango, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp shaved coconut
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 Tbsp melted chocolate
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

Directions:
1. Arrange pear slices on a platter. Sprinkle mango, strawberries, coconut and almonds over top.
2. Drizzle evenly with melted chocolate.
3. Serve with vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping.

Notes:
– Substitute caramel sauce for the melted chocolate if desired.

12 Best Late-Night Eats to Try Across Canada

As much as we all love a 3-course, refined dinner out with friends, sometimes we find ourselves out pretty late at night with those same friends — and once the night starts winding down, you just may find yourself getting hungry again. From shabby to chic, here are 12 places from coast to coast that will keep you well fed, well after midnight.

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416 Snack Bar 

416 Snack Bar (Toronto, ON)

Open ‘til 2 AM every night of the week, this popular eatery serves up all kinds of small plates like Korean-fried chicken, spicy tuna cones, steak tartare and even foie torchon. Start off with a plate of oysters and some bubbly, and then see where the (late) night takes you.

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Bar Isabel via BlogTO

Bar Isabel (Toronto, ON)

It’s pretty rare that you’re able to be served some of the best food in the city after midnight, but Bar Isabel is happy to do so. Their Spanish plates from patatas bravas to their signature grilled octopus will leave you happily full before you decide to turn in for the night.

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Blackfoot Truckstop Diner via Elsie Hui

Blackfoot Truckstop Diner (Calgary, AB)

Probably the most classic diner you’ll find in the prairies, this kitschy Calgary gem serves up classic fare 24/7. For me, it’s hard not to order a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a perfectly greasy after-bar sort of dish, but no one leaves this place without a slice of the lemon meringue pie.

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Blackfoot Truckstop Diner via Elsie Hui

The Diamond (Vancouver, BC)

This upper-level spot in Gastown is a popular go-to for many in the food and beverage industry, as they serve food and well-made cocktails until 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on weekends. Sip on a michelada (tequila, mezcal, clamato and lager), while you’re grabbing a late-night bite, to cure that hangover before it even starts.

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Freeman’s Pizza via Eat This Town

Freeman’s Pizza (Halifax, NS)

Once the famous Halifax donair shops have closed their doors, you can look to Freeman’s for something tasty to eat. As the name implies, pizza is the highlight of their menu, but there’s no shortage of other options like burgers, all-day breakfast dishes, fish and chips and even salads. Though, I think we can all agree that a salad is not quite as fulfilling as a typical midnight snack. If you’re not in the mood to go out, all three locations offer pizza delivery until 5 AM as well.

Johnny G’s (Winnipeg, MB)

While it may not be the most sophisticated place to eat at in Winnipeg, it’s certainly one that most people flock to once the bars stop serving drinks after last call. The menu is has a little bit of everything, with options like spring rolls or French onion soup to chicken fingers, burgers and barbecue ribs. Don’t overthink it.

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La Banquise via Our Toronto Life

La Banquise (Montreal, QC)

If there’s ever a time to bastardize a classic poutine, it’s after midnight. Of course, you can opt for the standard fries, cheese curds and gravy option, but you’ll feel so much more content stepping outside the box and going for a poutine topped with sliced hot dogs or ground beef, pepperoni and bacon or maybe even pulled pork, slaw and sour cream. If only they delivered across the country…

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Lucy’s Eastside Diner

Lucy’s Eastside Diner (Vancouver, BC)

Walking into to Lucy’s, it’s hard not to be transported back to the 1950s with the baby pink and turquoise interior. The diner is a step above other average diners in the country, opting for things like handmade patties for their burgers, fresh baked goods and much more.

Recently, Lucy’s was noted for having some of the best milkshakes in the city, which is great because if a big ol’ milkshake can’t knock you out before bed, nothing will.

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St. Viateur Bagel via Meals with D

St. Viateur Bagel (Montreal, QC)

There’s never a bad time of day for an authentic Montreal-style bagel. St. Viateur’s flagship location is open all day and all night, every day. If you’re stopping by to get your fix of carbs, don’t forget to snag a container of Liberté cream cheese from the cooler to slather on those warm, doughy cirlces of goodness.

Thompson Hotel (Toronto, ON)

This diner inside the Thompson hotel saves Torontonians from fast food binges every day of the week. Start off with their signature poutine, made with peking duck, crispy duck skin and a hoisin gravy, before diving into something even more calorie-ridden, like the grilled cheese burger that’s every bit over-the-top as it sounds.

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Tubby Dog

Tubby Dog (Calgary, AB)

After 10 years of business and still going strong, this establishment has clearly staked its claim in the city’s restaurant scene, with their gourmet (occasionally outrageous) hot dog offerings. You can never go wrong with their namesake dog, topped with chili, bacon, onions, mustard and cheese, but if you’re feeling a little crazy, then the PBJ dog with peanut butter, jelly and captain crunch cereal will surely be a memorable meal. Don’t forget a side order of their gigantic onion rings, either.

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Union 613 via Instagram

Union 613 (Ottawa, ON)

Serving until 2 AM from Wednesday to Sunday, you can always get your fix of Southern-inspired fare here. Fried chicken, cheddar grits and cast iron corn bread are just a few of the dishes you can dig into to calm that early morning appetite. The best part? If you head downstairs, find the right book on the bookshelf to the left and pull on it to enter into their underground speakeasy. It’s pretty darn cool!

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Easy No-Bake Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

These simple and easy no-bake granola bars are guaranteed to win over every family member. Eat them as a snack, breakfast on the go, or after workouts. It’s best to make granola bars from scratch rather than opting for store-bought versions because then you know you’re only eating the good stuff!

nobake-fruit-nut-granolabar-recipe

Makes: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes (if using melted chocolate)

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup raw walnuts
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup mixed dried fruits
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp  ground cinnamon
1 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, or sunflower)
2 Tbsp unsulphured molasses
1 Tbsp maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Optional Topping:
¼ cup (1.5 oz) dark dairy-free chocolate or vegan chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a food processor, add walnuts and almonds, and pulse on low until they are roughly chopped.
2. Add rolled oats and continue running the food processor just until the oats are broken up.
3. Place oats, walnuts, and almonds into a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
4. Line a 9” x 9” baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan, spreading out evenly to the edges with your hands.
5. If adding drizzled chocolate on top, melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate on top.
6. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting into individual bars. Store bars in the fridge in an airtight container.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Healthy Sweets to Satisfy Your Sugar Craving

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m forever doomed with the irresistible need for sugar as soon as 4 pm comes around. Figures of sugary sweets dance in my head and it’s almost impossible to concentrate on any task at hand, until I get my hands on a treat to satisfy that darn sweet tooth.

To help you fulfill your sugary needs without interfering with your healthy lifestyle, we’re sharing three of our favourite late afternoon snacks that are easy, inexpensive and totally delicious. With only four ingredients or less, these simple treats can be quickly prepped early in the morning before work and enjoyed as an end-of-day power boost.

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Cinnamon Sprinkled Apples and Cocoa Sprinkled Pears 

Ingredients (serves two):
1 apple
1 pear
2 lemon wedges
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cocoa powder

Directions: 
1. Slice fruits in eights and if not eating right away, squeeze the juice from two lemon wedges on the slices to prevent browning.
2. When ready to eat, sprinkle cinnamon on apple slices, and cocoa on pear slices.

Maple Glazed Walnuts with Sea Salt 

Ingredients (serves two):
2/3 cup walnuts chopped in half
8 Tbsp 100% maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat pan on medium-high heat, and then add walnuts and maple syrup.
2. Cook for about 3 minutes until syrup is caramelized, and sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool.

Banana & Vanilla Cream Graham Cracker Pie 

Ingredients:
2 graham crackers split in fours
4 Tbsp vanilla Greek yogurt
1 banana, sliced
Pinch of flax seed powder

Directions:
Spread vanilla Greek yogurt onto graham crackers then top with banana slices and sprinkle on flax seed powder.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

8 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks Kids Will Love

An action-packed schedule can mean big gaps between meals. Resist the lure of the fast food drive-through and fuel after school practice with these belly-filling, good-for-you snacks that are packed with fresh ingredients and loads of nutrition.

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1. Kid-Friendly Sammies on a Stick
Just one of these protein-packed sticks is enough to satiate a hungry belly. Get your kids to help make them ahead of time by letting them pick and choose which ingredients they like from the items of your choosing. Nothing beats a homemade snack that they’ve helped make themselves!

2. Rolled Turkey and Apple Quesadillas
Turkey roll-ups get a bit of crunch when thinly-sliced apples are tossed in the mix. These protein-rich, nutritious snacks will keep energy levels up and little tummies satisfied.

3. Veggies with Creamy Chick Pea Onion Dip
Sliced peppers, carrots and celery get an added dose of nutrition with this creamy chickpea dipper you can pack in a container.

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4. Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins
Bake a large batch of these on Sunday and use as breakfast on the move or as a brown-bag snack the whole week. Stuffed with banana, fibre-rich bran and a hint of chocolate, these yummy muffins will be a hit with kids.

5. Grape and Cheese Bites
These fruit and cheese snacks make the perfect on-the-go munchable kids can eat anywhere — whether they’re in the car, at the park or on the bench before practice.

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6. Easy Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so easy to whip up and can be ready to eat in under 10 minutes. Try different variations from week to week. Some combos that kids love, include almond butter and bananas, tuna and cheddar cheese, and chicken and salsa.

7. Warm Banana Roll-Ups
For breakfast or dessert, sweet banana rolls have the built-in bonus of keeping little fingers clean during the chaos of the weekday rush. Just spread cream cheese on to a warm tortilla, place a whole banana on top then roll it up and grill until golden brown. The result? Crispy and warm on the outside and gooey and sweet on the inside.

8. Apple, Carrot and Flax Muffins with Streusel Topping
Kick up the nutritional value of carrot muffins by adding apple and a whack of flax seeds for a hearty and portable snack.