Petit Appetit

Lisa Barnes, owner of Petit Appetit, wondered why so many children were eating strange colored, mass produced food from a jar.   Two books later  Barnes’  company, Petit Appetit, offers a convenient and healthy  approach to those parents who want to feed their children fresh, organic healthy foods from first purees, to toddler snacks, to school lunches, to party foods, and  family meals.  Barnes shares her experience, research, cooking and food packing tips, and of course, recipes in her cookbooks, as they focus on creating easy, tasty, everyday foods for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.  Her books: The Petit Appetit Cookbook and Eat, Drink and be Merry.

Nesting Trio Featuring Stainless Steel Mini Food Containers

Mini Madness
My kids and I love the mini stainless steel containers.  They are super versatile and small enough to pack in a backpack or even stash in my purse (always have to have something when hunger strikes).  I use the minis to pack both dry (crackers, pretzels, raisins) and wet items (yogurt, dip, sauce, mustard), because the seal is so tight.

Here are a few examples of some tasty treats to pack in the Kids Konserve Minis for your kids to enjoy at camp, the park, the beach, school, and anywhere else your days take you.

Curry Chickpeas
(pg. 85, Petit Appetit: Eat Drink and Be Merry, Easy Organic Snacks, Beverages and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages)
Aromatic, spicy, and crunchy all in one, it’s surprising how many children like and accept the taste of curry. If they like crunch too, this should become an instant favorite.
1 (16-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups if cooking fresh)
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place chickpeas in a strainer and rinse with water. Drain and blot excess water with paper towels or kitchen towel. Add chickpeas to a small, dry skillet. Season with curry powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Stove-top method:  Cook over medium-heat about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes with a rubber spatula, so they cook evenly but don’t stick to pan. They will be deep golden brown in color and crispy.
Oven method:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Roast about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a rubber spatula, so they cook evenly and don’t stick to pan. They will be deep golden brown in color and crispy.

Let cool.  
Makes 1½ cups

Cherry Almond Granola
(pg. 55-56, Petit Appetit: Eat Drink and Be Merry, Easy Organic Snacks, Beverages and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages)
This recipe comes from my “healthy baking” friend and food blogger, Amy Andrews. Once I tested and tasted this, I knew I was hooked, as was my son. It’s become one of his favorite treats to eat dry with a glass of milk on the side.  To create more variety, substitute other fried fruits such as cranberries, raisins or blueberries for the cherries.  This crunchy treat packs and travels well for an on-the-go snack and can be gifted to teachers and neighbors in a glass mason jar.

2 cups rolled oats
1 cups sliced almonds
½ cup unsweetened grated coconut
3 tablespoons flax meal
¼ cup cacao nibs (optional)
Granola Syrup
2 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
3 tablespoons agave nectar*
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut, flax meal and cacao nibs (if using).

Make the Granola Syrup
:  In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil, agave nectar and maple syrup. Add the vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread to an even layer. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden in color, stirring twice during the baking.

Remove pan from oven and add the dried cherries. Stir to combine and let cool. Enjoy as a topping to organic yogurt or as a cereal with your favorite milk or nut milk. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

(*do not give agave syrup or honey to children under 1 year)
Makes about 13 servings
Flax Facts.   Flaxseed is a great source of heart-protective alpha-linoleic acid. Besides using the whole seed for this granola, buy ground flaxseed for sprinkling on yogurt, pancakes and mixing into smoothies.

No Nuts Trail Mix
(pg. 53, Petit Appetit: Eat Drink and Be Merry, Easy Organic Snacks, Beverages and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages)
This mix is nut-free for taking to school (many have nut policies) as well as for on-the-go snacks. This is so easy; just choose your child’s favorite ingredients and the entire mix will be eaten. Dried fruits have just as much fiber and nutrients as fresh fruits. In fact, dried fruits such as prunes and raisins have even higher nutrient concentration than fresh fruit. Check ingredients in dried fruits as some such as pineapple and banana chips have added sugars and fats.

1 cup toasted oats or favorite cereal
½ cup chopped unsweetened dried pineapple
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried unsweetened banana chips
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 3 cups; 10 servings

Thank you for reading our Resident Chef’s Recipe. To place an order and receive 15% off the Stainless Steel Mini Food Containers go to http://store.kidskonserve.com and enter coupon code “minichef” upon checkout. Valid through August 2010 or while supplies last!

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