Snacks make the world go ’round when you have little kids. Snacks can diffuse a tense moment or stop a tantrum in its tracks. Hungry kids are grumpy kids, and if you don’t keep feeding them kids can be hungry pretty much most of the time. The conventional wisdom that all of the parenting books share is to keep the fridge stocked with healthy snacks at all times, so that you always have something to feed the grumbling masses. Which totally makes sense, in theory anyway.
I am going to admit that for most of my parenting career I haven’t really been a snack superstar. I relied on breastfeeding to see me through for the longest time. And even after that became insufficient, I somehow didn’t pick up the slack. Muffins aren’t my strong suit, I don’t like most of the widely-available pre-packaged snack foods and I am often pressed for time when I’m heading out the door. I keep lots of fruit and cheese on hand, but I am nowhere like some of the moms I know who always have 5 different options at all times, as well as water, napkins and unbreakable plates.
It was with some gladness, therefore, that I recently discovered a snack that the kids and I will all eat. It’s loosely based on the Power Bites from Micaela Preston’s book Practically Green, with some modifications of my own to create a chocolate and coconut version. Because I heart chocolate and coconut, especially together. I make a batch, I keep them in the fridge, and when fruit stops hitting the spot I have something ready-made to pull out. I feel like quite the domestic goddess, in fact.
If you would like to attempt to duplicate my snack glory you’re in luck, my recipe is just below this photo.
Mmm, chocolate and coconut
Amber’s Chocolate Coconut Snacks
* This recipe has always been gluten-free!
1 cup packed dates, whole or chopped
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Put dates and cashews into the food processor, and process until the nuts are broken down into small pieces and the ingredients cling together easily. Add coconut and cocoa, and process briefly to combine.
Form the mixture into balls approximately 1 1/2 inch across. If you want the balls to hold together better, you can refrigerate, but it’s not necessary.
Do you have any sure-fire tricks for keeping the children full and happy at all times? I now have one weapon in the war against hunger, but I could certainly use more. Especially of the non-muffin variety.