Dessert for kids is not always the icing on the, ahem, cake. Sometimes it is pure strategy.
By that I mean a vehicle for extra nutrition that’s delicious and won’t have them climbing the walls at bedtime.
Think chocolate and spinach smoothie, or raspberry chia pudding.
When it comes to new foods kids can be cautious. But throw in dates, banana and thicken with chia seeds and they’re proud to share their special pud with their friends.
Keeping dessert natural cuts down on unwanted sugars, dairy products, colours and other unpronounceable ingredients. Heaven knows bedtimes can be challenging enough without extra stimulants!
Here are a couple of family favourites for busy parents who want to give their kids a healthy alternative to what the supermarket has to offer.
Be sure to serve your new treats in fabulous dessert glasses. Secondhand shops are full of them.
ONE: DESSERT SMOOTHIE
Blend non dairy milk, a banana or two, a few leafy greens and a dessertspoon of cocoa/cacoa powder.
Serve with homework.
Pour the leftover into a dessert glass. Mix in 1 tsp chia seeds. Chill.
Serve with chopped fresh fruit, coconut, freeze dried fruit sprinkles.
TWO: FRUIT CREAMS
Peach & banana blended with almond milk, 1 tsp ground flaxseed and a few cashews.
Mix n’ match fruit that’s in season and have fun with presentation.
THREE: CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE
1-2 large, ripe bananas
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl water
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
Pinch of chilli (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve in a pretty glass and top with berries.
FOUR: TINY TARTS WITH BLUEBERRY CREAM
Makes about eight shells
1 cup oats
1 cup prunes (you can use dates but you’ll have to soak them)
¼ cup cranberries
Process oats. Add prunes and cranberries. Process until the mixture sticks together.
Press into lined tart tins or similar shape. The lining helps you get them out in one piece. Chill until you need them. Carefully peel back the lining.
Fill with blueberry cream, any of the above creams or simply blend frozen berries and banana. Have fun decorating!
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of coconut water or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom
FIVE: PEACH RASPBERRY CRISP
5-6 peaches, sliced
Drizzle of maple syrup (apple syrup)
1 cup raspberries
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Bring the peaches & a little water to boil and simmer until tender ~10 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with a little maple/apple syrup to taste. Transfer to a ovenproof dish. Mix in the raspberries.
Combine oats, cinnamon, maple syrup & water together. Sprinkle on top of fruit and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt.
SIX: BERRIES N’ CREAM
11/4 cups coconut meat
½ cup macadamia nuts
1 Tbl coconut sugar/maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend until smooth.
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup maple syrup
In a small pot heat all the ingredients just until the berries are hot enough to start bursting. Allow to cool before spooning on top of coconut cream. Garnish with a few fresh berries and mint.
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