Family Features) - School means a return to packing lunches and preparing after-school snacks. Make this school year fun with a new collection of easy-to-make snack recipes from the National Honey Board.
Instead of giving your kids the same boring sandwich, jazz up their lunch box and snacks with a few easy tips:
Update a classic
Honey gives a new twist to an old favorite. Try a PB&H by switching out the jelly for honey, and this sandwich will be a new lunch box staple.
Wrap, roll and skewer
Wrap fixings in a tortilla for a handy "to go" snack. Cut sandwiches into small, flattened, crustless squares; spread bread with honey and chopped fruit, and roll into kid-friendly rolls or fashion them into kabobs.
Prepare for snack attacks
Make a double batch of snacks and keep them on hand when hungry bellies come calling. Honey-sweetened granola bars stay fresh in tightly sealed containers and banana pops store perfectly in the freezer. Honey is also a natural preservative that will keep your snacks extra fresh.
Customize to fit cravings
Snack time is more fun with your favorite and colorful toppings. Roll a banana pop in graham cracker crumbs, dried fruit or coconut for a fun, individualized sweet treat.
Reach for a quick dip
Eating fruit is twice as fun with a naturally sweetened dip. Keep individual serving-sized packages of honey fruit dip in the refrigerator where it's ready to grab and go.
Add energy and brainpower to your kid's school day with good-for-you snacks made with pure honey. Honey is a great all-natural sweetener with no added ingredients. Read the label to make sure you purchase 100 percent, pure honey.
For more recipes using pure honey, or to find out more about the benefits of using honey, visit www.honey.com. To find a local honey producer or special honey variety, visit www.honeylocator.com.
Peanut Butter & Honey Roll-Ups
4 slices wheat bread
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds or walnuts)
1/4 cup strawberries, finely diced
4 skewers (optional)
Additional fresh fruit such as kiwi, strawberries, grapes or pineapple (optional)
Trim crusts from bread. Gently press bread or flatten with a rolling pin. Spread each slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Sprinkle 2 bread slices with 1 tablespoon nuts each. Sprinkle remaining slices with strawberries.
Cut each slice in half. Firmly roll up each slice and serve, or thread the roll-ups and fruit onto skewers and serve as kabobs.
Makes 2 servings
Honey Cherry Granola Bars
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
3 cups low-fat granola
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together honey, butter, egg whites, cinnamon and almond flavoring. Stir in granola, almonds and cherries. Spoon granola mixture into a 9-inch nonstick (or well-greased) square pan.
Using a piece of wax paper, firmly press granola mixture in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely; cut into bars.
Makes 12 to 16 bars
Frozen Honey Banana Pops
4 just-ripe bananas, peeled
8 craft sticks
1/2 cup honey
1-1/3 cups finely chopped nuts, coconut, carob chips, dried fruit, graham cracker crumbs, etc.
Cut bananas in half cross-wise. Insert a craft stick into each cut end. Freeze for at least 30 minutes on a wax paper-lined tray.
Meanwhile, spread desired toppings onto separate plates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon honey over each slightly frozen banana, rotating and smoothing honey with back of spoon to coat all sides. Roll banana in desired topping until coated on all sides, pressing with fingertips to help toppings adhere. Return pop to wax paper-lined tray and repeat with remaining bananas. Freeze pops 15 minutes or more to set toppings. Serve.
Makes 8 pops