Please welcome Sara Brown to MomGenerations!!
**Hello all! My name is Sara and I’m a working mom of two gorgeous girls. I tend to be a “Jill of all trades” & I enjoy sewing, crafting, woodworking, writing, reading, cooking & learning new ways to keep my family happy, healthy & as homegrown as possible. We have a small homestead on which we try to become more self-sufficient, growing together one diy adventure at a time. Come follow us at Cariad Homestead on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. Website, blog & Etsy site coming soon!**
I firmly believe that getting children involved in food sourcing, preparation and nutrition from an early age fosters positive habits and healthy eating later in life. When she was an infant, I placed my daughter Z in her bouncer or in her ring sling to watch as I cooked, talking with her the whole time about the ingredients, methods and decisions being made. This phase transitioned to Z participating in meal prep, party prep, snack prep and various other kitchen preparation tasks with her mini-size tools and with her own little jobs when she could stand on a stool and just barely reach the counter. Baking is her preferred medium but she enjoys “playing with food until we make something delicious.”
When I was on maternity leave in the fall of 2014, she and I created many delicious dishes in the kitchen with her little sister C now in the bouncer or sling. Z took the lead role in explaining the ingredients and techniques to her sister (as only a four year old can) and usually with a designation of “when you’re old enough, this will be your job…”. During one such creation session, we decided we needed a quick-bite-style snack that was easy-to-make, relatively healthy (no added sugars and such), and above all delicious. After a few test runs to get the texture and ratios right, both Z and my husband gave this version the thumbs up and I have to agree.
4 ounces shredded coconut
2 ½ ounces flaxseeds
4 ounces almonds
1 cup oatmeal
8 ounces dates
¼ cup honey
5 ounces peanut butter
4 ounces chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
We found it easiest to place the food processor bowl on the scale and zero the weight after each addition. Fewer dirty dishes and fewer steps are always good – you can add items to the food processor from the original container and don’t have to count or remember what you need to add (not easy with kiddos assisting). It’s also easier for those kiddos’ helpful little hands to pour or scoop while they watch the numbers on the scale- I’m always looking for ways to sneak a little learning into daily activities and the kitchen abounds with such opportunities.
It is possible to dump all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz all at once, but we found the texture more appealing when we chopped the coconut, flaxseeds and almonds for a few minutes first and then added the remaining ingredients to continue the process.
Depending on the moisture levels of the dates, the dough may seem a little grainy or crumbly. Test the texture by taking out a sample and squeezing it – the dough should be moist enough to hold together but not wet or sticky. If the dough seems dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, processing in between each addition, until desired consistency is met. Scoop out the dough with a tablespoon or cookie scoop – we found that a 2oz cookie scoop worked well. Form the dough into balls or patties and place in an airtight container.
The bites can be enjoyed immediately but are best allowed to set overnight. They are shelf-stable for 2 weeks in an airtight container… if they last that long. ☺ Enjoy!