(Family Features) Hectic mornings, busy schedules and afternoon snack cravings can make it difficult to eat foods that are tasty, healthy and satisfying. Instead of grabbing a bag of packaged cookies or vending machine chips, have a healthy alternative available for you and your family that's delicious and satisfying.
"Better food options keep energy levels high in-between meals," said Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. "By planning ahead with healthy snacks or mini meals, you'll have great choices available, even with a chaotic schedule."
Try these tips from Wilton for healthier, tasty treats:
- Think Greek. With more protein and richness than other yogurt varieties, Greek yogurt can be used in many different ways. Try it in fruit dips or as an alternative for mayo or sour cream. You can even substitute it for some of the butter in baking recipes to reduce calories and fat.
- Make it fun. Let kids get creative by using cookie cutters on low-fat cheese slices and whole grain bread or tortillas to build their own snacks. Or, have them make funny faces using natural peanut butter, raisins and fruit, like sliced bananas, apples or pears.
- Sneak in veggies. Bakers are using veggies more than ever before in new, inspirational baked treats. Many vegetables have a natural sweetness, so your family won't taste the difference during snack time. Try sweet potato cupcakes or carrot and zucchini cookies.
Make this recipe for Squash and Banana Mini Muffins for a quick and healthy snack that's delicious whether after school or while at work. For more healthy recipes ideas, baking tips and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.
Recipe: Squash and Banana Mini Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick oats (uncooked)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/4 cups thawed frozen pureed winter squash
- 3/4 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare mini muffin pan with vegetable pan spray.
- In large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- In medium bowl, whisk together squash, sugar, banana, egg and oil. Make a well in center of flour mixture; whisk in squash mixture until just combined. Stir in cranberries.
- Fill cavities 2/3 full with batter. Bake 12-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
Makes about 48 mini muffins