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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column:  Healthy Summer Snacks For All Ages

By Sherrie Norris

There is always concern for the kids and seniors during the summer months, not only for their safety from the heat, but also for their nutritional needs. We are blessed in these mountains, especially, to have churches, organizations, schools and various agencies always prepared  to lend a hand when needs arise. Whether it’s for a fan or a box of food, folks in our High Country area can usually find what they need to get through a time of personal crisis. But if not, please let your local departments of social services know if you or someone you know is suffering from heat of hunger.

In the meantime, hopefully this week’s selection of quick, easy recipes and ideas will help provide a few (mostly) healthy snacks for kids of all ages to stay nourished without too much trouble or expense.  

Fruit Kabobs 

1 apple

1 banana

1/3 cup red seedless grapes

1/3 cup green seedless grapes

2/3 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup nonfat yogurt

¼ cup dried coconut, shredded

Prepare fruit by washing the grapes and apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the banana and cutting it into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it’s fresh. Spread coconut onto a large plate. Slide pieces of fruit onto a wooden skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want. Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut. Repeat these steps with each skewer.

Scrambled Breakfast Melts

4 eggs

¼ cup milk

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. margarine or butter

2 English muffins, split and toasted

4 slices Canadian bacon

4 slices American cheese

In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Beat until well blended. Melt margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture, cook 3 to 4 minutes or until eggs are set, stirring occasionally. Place English muffins split side up on small cookie sheet. Place 1 slice Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Spoon scrambled eggs evenly over bacon. Top with cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 1 minutes or until cheese is melted, or toast in toaster oven.

Peanut Butter Dip with Pretzels And Fruit

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup vanilla yogurt

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup raisins

2 cups miniature pretzel twists

Apple slices and banana chunks

In small bowl, combine first four ingredients. Mix well. Keep refrigerated. Serve with pretzels and fruit.

Ham and Cheese Roll-ups

1 cup diced ham

¾  cup shredded  cheese

1 small onions, chopped

1 ½  tsp. prepared mustard

1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls

1 Tbsp. water

1 egg, beaten

½  tsp. poppy seed

Combine ham, cheese, onion and mustard; mix well. Separate rolls into 8 triangles. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of ham mixture in center of each triangle. Bring tips of triangle together in center of ham mixture. Press edges together to seal. Place on greased baking sheet.

Combine egg and water; brush over rolls. Sprinkle with poppy seed. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden. 

Oven-Fried Apple Pies

1 Tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 large can Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Biscuits

1 cup apple pie filling

4 Tsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 375. Spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 5-inch rounds. Place on sprayed cookie sheets. Place 2 Tbsp. pie filling slightly off center each biscuit round on one cookie sheet. Fold biscuits over filling, press edges with fork to seal. Prick top of each 3 times with fork. Brush each with melted butter; sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown, noting that some of the filling may bubble out at edges. Repeat with biscuit rounds on second cookie sheet. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Cool Fruit Salad

1  carton cottage cheese

1 (6 oz.) pkg. apricot, strawberry or orange Jell-O

1 small tub Cool Whip

2 small cans crushed pineapple, drained

2 small or 1 large can Mandarin oranges, drained

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until set.

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

1 pkg. yellow cake mix 

1 cup peanut butter

½  cup cooking oil

2 Tbsp. water

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop from teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Press a crisscross design on each cookie with a fork prongs that have been dipped in water or a little sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute. Remove to rack to finish cooling.