Yoghurt Polar Bear

Yoghurt Polar Bear

 

Yoghurt has always been a firm favourite in our house and gets used in smoothies, in dips and a variety of savoury recipes. It is also our substitution for ice cream and the thick, creamy texture makes it decadently delicious.

When the boys were small I realised how expensive it was to buy the good stuff produced without all the sugars and additives so we took a brave step and decided to make our own. It turned out to be ridiculously simple and cost effective to make and so now Roy is chief yoghurt manufacturer. Friday morning he impressed even me by making it before heading off to work (apparently he can streamline the process by using the bar mix – I reckon he just likes creating washing up …..).

I used a mold for this design but then made some adjustments after previous criticism from the mini chefs. The result is cute and fun.

Recipe

– Yoghurt (I used Greek style)
– Apple (or pear)
– Raisins (for details). Could be substituted for any dark fruit
– Polar Bear mold. (Any white animal could be used but I loved the whole Arctic feel)

Method

1. Place yoghurt in mold. If you are using runny yoghurt you could freeze for a little while to thicken up.

 Polar Bear 2 - Mold

You may have to wipe around the mold if there is a little leakage.

2. Make the sun using the flesh from an apple. Cut a slice from the cheek and cut into a rough circle. Take strips from the side where the apple is longest and cut to a point for the rays.

Polar Bear 2 - Mold + sun

3. Put eyes, nose and claws onto the bear. I used very thinly sliced pieces from a raisin.

Polar Bear 2 - Bear + sun

Take him out of the mold.
I put a blob of yoghurt onto his bottom to round it out as I’ve had criticism that it’s not the “right” shape before! I also made a knife stroke down the centre of each of the two big “legs” to make into four.

4. Use small pieces of the apple to make the ice he is standing on.

Polar Bear 2 - Finished

This is a very versatile design as it could do for breakfast, snack, dessert or even as a party piece.

The Art of Nutrition – Healthy, creative, fun food for kids (big and small)..

Fun Meat Pie Cup-Cakes

Meat Pie Cup-Cakes

This was one of my first designs and way before I discovered a healthy pastry recipe. Prior to this I used to cheat and use wholemeal bread. The advantage of this is its simplicity and the speed with which you can put together a recipe. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of supermarket bread but I arrived late at the bakery and all the wholegrain was sold out. 
So I decided to pop across the road and buy some regular, sliced wholemeal and use for this fun food recipe as it is one shown on my front page.

(The bread “pastry” works really well for mini quiches.)

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Pie filling. I have used some left-over chilli.

– Mashed potato

– Wholemeal bread

– Cherry tomatoes

– Veggies/herbs for decoration

 

Method

1. Flatten the bread as best you can with a rolling pin (or clean bottle).

Mince Cup Cakes - flattened bread

It will stretch out and give you a larger surface area. This is also one of the few circumstances where I would trim off the crusts too.

2. Grease a bowl/patty tin (muffin tins work well for cup-cake sized pies) and cover with the bread. Cover well but try not to overlap too much. Use your fingers to squish it all down!

Mince Cup Cakes - Bread in bowl

Brush a little olive oil over the bread to stop it drying too much.

Mince Cup Cakes - Bread in bowls

3. Blind bake at 180 degrees for approx. 15 mins (will be crispy to the touch).

4. Make mashed potato.

5. Fill bread shell with filling.

Mince Cup Cakes - Mince in bowl

6. Bake pie with filling until warm (may pay to cover loosely to stop filling drying).

7. I have used a bar mix (stick blender) to whip the potato so it looks more “icing-like”.
Use a spoon to dollop mash on top and a knife to swirl it around to look like icing.

Mince Cup Cakes - Mince+ mash

8. Cut the end off a cherry tomato to make the “cherry”.

Mince Cup Cakes - 2nd Cake

9. Decorate with other veggies and herbs. I have used peas, corn, rosemary, thyme and paprika.

Healthy meals for kids

These got scoffed very quickly last night …….

Healthy food for children

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small..

Fun Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake

The ultimate substitution, swapping fresh fruit filled with vitamins and minerals for the standard party cake. Watermelon cake is delicious, light and refreshing. It is a great summer party food, especially when it’s hot and is very versatile. You can use any fruit for filling and its good fun to have people create their own individual slice. In fact, building your own cake is a fabulous fun food activity for all age groups.

When I serve at a party I will pre-cut the melon and then have bowls of other fruit to choose from to build a personalised slice, which doubles the fun & the delight.

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Other fruit

Method

1. Cut a whole watermelon into wedges (pre-cut quarter or eigth pieces from the market/store work perfectly).

2. Cut slices to use for the cake. These must be approx. the same size so take from the same section of the melon. Slices work best if approx. 2cms thick.

Waterm Cake - Waterm Cutting

3. The skin can be cut off or left on.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices

4. Place other fruit on the slice. A light fruit like banana/pear/apple works well as “icing”. For best effect have a slight overhang so the cake looks as though it is “oozing” its filling once put together.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices + banana

5. Layer as many other fruits inside as you wish. Contrasting colours give visual appeal and of course different fruits yield different vitamins and minerals.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi

6. Add another slice of watermelon and repeat.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi + top

7. Finish with toppings and it’s ready to eat.

Healthy party food for kids

8. And there are so many variations …..

Healthy party food for children

(If you are not partial to watermelon or would like smaller portions see “Petit Fours”.)

The Art of Nutrition

Fun,  healthy, creative food for kids big and small..

Healthy Pastry

Pastry

Pastry is such a good medium for the creative and a great crowd pleaser at the table. I have to admit though I avoided it for years as it’s also not top of the “healthy foods” list.

Then I decided to see if I could make a substitute that would work for the family, and satisfy the husband taste test. I looked at alternatives on the internet and then experimented at home and have come up with something that works for us. Admittedly it’s not the uber flaky, melt in the mouth type of pastry found at a top deli but it does hold a healthy pie/quiche filling capably and its crispiness has won over many a party goer.

Great fun to create with and not unhealthy to boot ….

Recipe

1 ½ cups wholemeal flour
¾ cup wholegrain oats (or rolled)
1 cup of cold water

Method

– Pour flour and oats into a bowl
– Add cold water gradually (you may not need a full cup)
– Stir until the mixture forms a dough (should not be wet)
– Bring together with the hands (it will be quite stiff)

Pastry Mix

– Roll out on a board using a rolling pin (this needs a bit of muscle)

Pastry - rolling

– Roll as thin as possible. If it gets too thin holes will appear.
– Place into greased pan or bowl for baking. It does shrink a little so be generous.
– Cook at 180 for approx. 25-30 mins (it will get crunchier and browner the longer it is cooked for).
– If you are using with a filling then pre-bake for 15-20 mins before adding the mixture.
– If you want to make a pastry lid add once the mixture has been added. Egg washing gives a lovely shiny, appealing finish.
– This quantity would easily fill a large pie tin and make cover.

It’s great to work with as there is no resting in the fridge and it’s very forgiving as holes/tears can be patched effectively.
I have used in many designs which I will share as we go. Today I will post “Two in the Bed”.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small..