Candy doesn’t have to be bad for you!

I am teaching an after school class called “Sprouting Healthy Kids” with Austin’s Sustainable Food Center. Our goal is to help pave the way for students to develop a life-long relationship with clean, local, & sustainable food. Hopefully we can better their food choices and knowledge/exposure to what real food actually is. And we WILL…I can already see it working!

I teach my class at an AISD middle school. Last week, one of the students asked me if in the next class they could make candy. Well, “candy” can be a relative term. I told her “SURE! No Problem…Candy it is!”

Of course with my passion and healthy food conscience, there would be no sugary, synthetic, & empty-nutrient candy cooking going on with these precious kids. My lesson happened to be about seeds, germination, nuts and edible seeds & nuts. Perfect! We made “candy” in the form of peanut butter and pistachio crunch balls. They loved it. One of the girls had a peanut allergy so we used sunflower seed butter for her “candy.” They could have cared less that this great snack didn’t come from a phony wrapper loaded with nasty ingredients. Plus, they made it…so they loved it.

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Healthy & whole foods based candy: Peanut butter, rolled oats, pistachio, cranberry, honey, shredded coconut & cayenne.
Peanut ball recipe:
1) First blend pistachios in food processor for 15 seconds, then add cranberries for another 10 seconds. (Dried apricots are equally delicious.) The girls loved pushing the button down for 5 seconds each.
2) In a bowl combine 1 cup of peanut butter or sun-nut butter (freshly ground nut butter in bulk sections of Whole Foods added oil/salt/sugar) and 3/4 cup rolled oats. Add 1/5 cup honey.
3) In another bowl, mix 1 cup shredded coconut with either 1/2 tsp of cinnamon or cayenne pepper. My students love heat.
4) Roll up into a tiny bite-size balls. Dust them with the shredded coconut & spice mix.
Yummy minds and bellies!

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