How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds (Week 40, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on October 15, 2012 1 Comment
how to bake pumpkin seeds


Savory or sweet, pumpkin seeds are a delicious, easy and nutritious fall treat. A fun weekend project to share with your kids.    


A visit to the local pumpkin patch is always high on our list of fall activities. After hours of searching, we head home with a fantastic family of pumpkins that will become our resident jack-o-lanterns. But the fun doesn’t end with carving our Halloween friends – the seeds make a delicious and nutritious fall snack.

How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 30 minutes
Makes about ½ cup of toasted seeds

sugar pie pumpkin


Ingredients:

1 medium sugar pie pumpkin
1 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
Cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

1. Cut the pumpkin in half.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 1


2. Using a strong metal spoon, scoop out the insides. Place the stringy core and seeds in a bowl.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 2


3. Add water to your pumpkin seed mixture. The seeds will float to the top. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and place in a sieve to drain.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 3

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 4


4. Wash and drain the seeds thoroughly, removing all of the remaining stringy core.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 5


5. Add the seeds (about ½ cup) into 2 cups of water and boil gently for 10 minutes.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 6


6. Drain the seeds, toss in olive oil, then place on a lined baking sheet. I like to use my Silpat liner for easy cleanup!

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 7


7. Bake until the seeds begin to brown, about 10 to 20 minutes depending on their size.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 8


8. Let the seeds cool completely, then toss in a little kosher salt for a savory treat. For a sweet treat, toss with a dash cinnamon and nutmeg.

how to bake pumpkin seeds step 9


9. Enjoy with friends!

how to bake pumpkin seeds


Crunch a Color Kids Vote:
Toasty!

What we Liked: This easy toasted pumpkin seeds recipe is a great way to show your kids how to enjoy every part of the pumpkin. Tune in next week when we share how to make pumpkin puree and turn it into a delicious pumpkin pie.  

* What is your favorite way to bake pumpkin seeds? Sweet or savory?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Savory apple soup!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Savory Apple Soup with Pears and Walnuts (Week 39, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on October 08, 2012 0 Comments
apple soup


Simple, savory apple soup is the best way to warm your kiddos from head to toe on a chilly fall day. Easy and fun to make, this tasty recipe brings together our favorite fall flavors for a cozy dish the whole family loves.

Apples, pumpkins and pears herald the start of fall at our local market. It is my favorite time of year – not only because of the wonderful family holidays and traditions but also because of the delicious fall flavors. This year I’ve been searching for new recipes to add to our collection of family favorites, and my good friend Melissa Lanz of The Fresh20 came to the rescue. She’s got the easy weeknight dinner routine nailed with her simple, tasty recipes. When she shared her savory apple soup recipe with us, I knew we had a winner.

Savory Apple Soup with Pears and Walnuts

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Makes about 6 to 8 servings

apple soup ingredients


Ingredients:

3 tart apples (e.g., granny smith)
6 pears
1 small yellow onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup water
A handful of walnuts
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Wash, peel, and slice the apples, pears and onion into large wedges. Right on the baking sheet, toss with olive oil, fresh rosemary (stems removed and finely chopped), salt and pepper.

apple soup toss


2. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

apple soup bake


3. Cool slightly. Working in small batches, add the roasted apples, pears, onion, chicken broth, and water to a blender and puree gently. Transfer to a large soup pot.

apple soup puree


4. Simmer over low heat, adding salt and pepper to taste.

apple soup simmer


5. Garnish with chopped walnuts. Serve warm and enjoy with family and friends!

apple soup


Recipe inspired by The Fresh 20.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Cozy!

What we Liked: This easy recipe was equally great as a simple weeknight dinner dish or after school snack. We served our savory apple soup with a side of cheddar and apple quesadillas. Delish!

* What is your favorite fall soup recipe? Share your ideas!

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Cinnamon Apples!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Cinnamon Apples (Week 37, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 24, 2012 1 Comment
cinnamon apples


Cinnamon apples are a favorite fall treat for my kids. This easy recipe brings together the best of what goes into making a cozy apple pie, but without refined sugar.

The crisp fall air has arrived in California, and so have farm fresh apples. Bushels were brimming over with red beauties at our local farmers’ market this weekend, so we decided to reinvent one of our favorite fall treats. Apple pie, with its sweet and warm filling, is a must on our fall table. Could we create a recipe easy enough to make on a busy school morning that brings together those delicious fall flavors without the sugar? You bet!

Cinnamon Apples

Prep time: 5 minutes
Assembly time: 5 minutes
Makes about 4 to 6 servings

cinnamon apples ingredients


Ingredients:

5 medium apples, granny smith or empire
½ lemon
½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Leaving the skins on, slice the apples into ¼” cubes.

cinnamon apples slice


2. Load the apples into a bowl and add the juice from ½ of a lemon.

cinnamon apples lemon


3. Add the cinnamon to the apples and stir.

cinnamon apples mix


4. Enjoy!

cinnamon apples


Crunch a Color Kids Vote:
An apple a day…

What we Liked: This easy recipe has all of the wonderful flavors of apple pie filling, without any refined sugar. We served our cinnamon apples with a side of butterscotch no bake cookies. The lemon keeps the apples from browning, which makes this recipe a perfect lunchbox snack!

* What are your favorite ways to serve apples? Share your ideas!

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Sandwich Pops!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com. 

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Healthy Lunch Ideas: Sandwich Pops (Week 36, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 19, 2012 1 Comment
healthy lunch ideas sandwich pops


Need healthy lunch ideas? Sandwich Pops to the rescue! But watch out: you may find that friends are lining up to sneak a bite of these fun and easy sandwiches on a stick. Be sure to pack enough to share!


Two weeks into the school year and I’m bored. I find myself leaning on the two to three lunch recipes that my kids will reliably eat. So together we set out to reinvent a classic healthy lunch idea: the basic cheese sandwich. With a little chop here, and a tear of lettuce there, my kids came up with a fun and healthy lunch idea: sandwich pops!

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Sandwich Pops

Prep time: 5 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Makes about 4 to 6 servings

healthy lunch ideas ingredients


Ingredients:
4 large romaine lettuce leaves
2 cups red grapes
1 cup cheddar, diced into ½” cubes
½ French baguette, cut into ½” cubes
12 wooden skewers

Directions:

1. Start by adding a piece of baguette to your skewer.

healthy lunch ideas veggie sandwich skewers


2. Tear a small piece of romaine lettuce and fold it into a square. Add to your skewer.

healthy lunch ideas lettuce


3. Pop on a piece of cheese, then a grape. Then reverse the pattern.

healthy lunch ideas fruit skewers


4. Top with another square of lettuce, and a piece of baguette.

healthy lunch ideas kids


5. Share and enjoy!

healthy lunch ideas sandwich skewers


What we Liked:
My kids gobbled up these delicious sandwiches on a stick. Funny how just a simple change can make an otherwise boring lunch much more fun!

* What are your go-to healthy lunch recipes? Share them with us!

Craving more healthy lunch ideas? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Tomato Pops!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Tomato Pops: Pint-sized Tomato Mozzarella Skewers (52 Foods, Week 34)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 10, 2012 1 Comment
tomato mozzarella skewers


Tomato mozzarella skewers with a kid-friendly twist, this easy recipe for Tomato Pops makes the seasonal bounty of fresh picked cherry tomatoes even more fun to enjoy with your kids!

Our local farmers’ market continues to be a wonderful inspiration for getting my kids to try new foods. Like a scavenger hunt, my kids weave through the market stalls searching for treasures the season has uncovered. Riding the wave into the peak of tomato season in California, my new food explorers decided that beautiful, blushing cherry tomatoes would top our list of new foods to try this week. Baskets overflowing, we headed home with a few simple ingredients to make our fun and easy recipe of the week: Tomato Pops!

Tomato Pops: Pint-Sized Tomato Mozzarella Skewers

Prep time: 5 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Makes about 4 to 6 servings

tomato mozzarella skewers ingredients


Ingredients:

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella balls or cubes of your favorite cheese
¼ cup olive oil
A handful of fresh basil
¼ tsp kosher salt
12 wooden skewers

Directions:
1. Wash the tomatoes and remove the green tops. Load the tomatoes into a large mixing bowl as you go.

tomato mozzarella skewers step 1


2. Add the mozzarella balls to the tomatoes.

tomato mozzarella skewers step 2


3. Add the olive oil and salt to the tomatoes and mozzarella. Stir gently.

tomato mozzarella skewers step 3


4. Alternating between the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves, add to your skewers. Let the kids decide on the pattern they like most.

tomato mozzarella skewers step 4


5. Serve in a small glass vase or cup, like a bouquet. Mix together the remaining ingredients into a fresh caprese salad.

tomato mozzarella skewers

tomato mozzarella skewers vertical


Crunch a Color Kids Vote:
Pop!

What we Liked: This kid-friendly twist on tomato mozzarella skewers was a fun addition to our farmers’ market fresh family table. They make a great lunchbox snack too! For more food fun, we served up our pops with a side of nut free basil pesto and healthy Caesar salad dressing and let everyone enjoy giving their pops a dip!

* What is your favorite way to serve fresh cherry tomatoes?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Homemade Granola Bars.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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