Handstand Kids

Tag Archive for sugar

Happy Birthday Cookie Monster!

It’s important to eat your fruits and vegetables but our Handstand Kids work so hard that sometimes it’s OK for a treat. What better day to celebrate than the birthday of our cookie-loving pal from Sesame Street, Cookie Monster! Cookie will be turning a whopping 46 years old today but there’s no reason that he wouldn’t still enjoy cooking with Handstand Kids! Your children can celebrate with Cookie by making our Here Comes the Bride Cookies from our Handstand Kids Mexican Cookbook.

Here Comes the Bride, Wedding Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup butter (mantequilla), softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar (azứcar)

1 cup ground nuts (almonds or pecans)

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Tools

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Medium bowl

Nonstick baking sheet

Small bowl

Spatula

Spoon

Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mantequilla, vanilla extract and ½ cup of the confectioners’ azứcar.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt and nuts. Stir in the water to help the dough come together. Mix well until the dough is formed.
  4. Use your hands to roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies are set but not browning. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Then use the spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheet. Allow them to cool slightly.
  6. Pour the remaining ½ cup of confectioners’ azứcar into the small bowl. Roll the cookies through the azứcar so that they get coated with it. Serve.

Alternative

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 8 ounces of chocolate chips in microwave. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and let the chocolate harden before serving.

Alternative: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dough. Also, melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute and dip the ends of the cooled biscotti into the mixture. Refrigerate dipped biscotti for 1 hour and enjoy!

 

Make sure your little monster post their favorite cookies to the pages of our Facebook and Twitter!

 

We’re Thrilled to Announce our Baking Around the World Cookbook Kit

If you haven’t heard already or seen it on our website or Facebook wall, here’s your chance to hear it straight from us! We’ve just announced the newest addition to our line and fourth cookbook kit, Baking Around the World, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

We hope you all love the book as much as we do and enjoy baking together with your kids.  We’re also excited to share that our Celebrity of the Month, Arleen Scavone, from Sweet Arleen’s in Westlake Village has contributed four amazing dessert recipes to the cookbook!

Click here to find the kit in our online store and snag a copy of your own!!

Let’s get baking!

It’s Smoothie Time

We’re craving smoothies, juices and all things fruity!

Try one of our favorite smoothies from our Chinese Cookbook Kit, and add some protein to your little ones’ breakfasts!

Year of the Monkey Mango Smoothies, Level 1, Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces silken tofu, drained
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 mango
  • 1/4 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (optional)
  • 2/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ice cubes

Tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fine grater
  • Blender
  • Tall drinking glasses

Instructions:

  1. Cut the mango by placing the mango with one flat side resting on the cutting board.
  2. Slice the mango lengthwise along the flat side next to the seed.
  3. Turn mango over and repeat on the other side. You will have 2 halves of the mango with pulp inside.
  4. Carefully cut lengthwise through the mango pulp down to the skin, being careful not to cut through the skin.
  5. Turn sideways and cut lengthwise again until you have a cross-hatch pattern.
  6. Turn the mango inside out using your thumbs to press the pulp outwards.
  7. Carefully slice out the diced pulp by cutting between the cubed mango pulp and the skin.
  8. Discard the skin and seed.
  9. Place banana, mango, tofu, soy milk, and ginger, if using, into the blender. Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  10. Add the honey and ice cubes and blend again until smooth.
  11. Pour into 2 frosty tall drinking glasses. Enjoy!

Alternative

Add 2/3 cup plain yogurt if tofu is not available.

Enjoy!!

Five Healthy Dessert Alternatives

We’ve been cooking up a storm, and we’ve been making it sweet! The trouble with desserts, as you know, is that they’re typically full of unwanted calories. We’re firm believers in indulging, but believe that sweets should be eaten in moderation.

Here are five healthier alternatives to some of our favorite treats:
1. Instead of brownies try SMORES. Make them using the lower calorie version graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate!
2. Instead of a McDonald’s McFlurry, try making your own small SUNDAE with sorbert, a banana and fruit toppings!
3. Instead of regular ol’ chocolate cake, make CHOCOLATE MOUSSE using Sugar Free or Lite Cool Whip and raspberries for the topping!
4. Instead of loading up on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, make CHOCOLATE DIPPED FRUIT using whatever fruit you love most (bananas, raspberries, apples, strawberries, etc.)!
5. Instead of sugary cupcakes, make MARSHMALLOW POPS using a popsicle stick, a marshmallow that you’ve covered in chocolate and drizzle it with nuts!

Let us know if you try any of these alternatives! Enjoy!

Staying Healthy This Halloween

We read a great Huffington Post article today. According to Dina R. Rose, Halloween is the PERFECT opportunity to teach our little ones about healthy eating. Apparently, our kiddos consume 5% of their yearly candy during Halloween. WOW. That being said, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to teach children how to eat their candy the other 95% of the year!

Here are Dina’s three most important tips:

1. Eat what you love, not what’s available. – Well this is easy. Make sure your kids aren’t just scarfing down everything that’s around, but making really smart decisions about what they’re putting into their bodies.

2. Pay attention to your tummy. – Dina suggests feeding your little ones a light meal before dinner, so they have room for their Halloween candy-filled desserts. Make sure they know not to go too crazy and overeat their candy.

3. You can go easy. – A good way to limit how much candy your kids eat, is to limit how much they get in the first place. Make fewer stops along your trick-or-treat route, or make sure your children are just grabbing on piece of candy from each home you hit up, instead of a huge handful.

Happy Halloween!

Our Latest Craving

This weekend at the San Diego Gourmet Expo, we were surrounded by cupcake and cookie samples galore. This was heavenly, until we realized we had not eaten lunch at 3 pm. Hungry and short on time, we stumbled on the RISE BAR booth. They were nice enough to give us our own bar to try even though we were skeptical of energy bars that are often loaded with sugar and sometimes taste a little odd.

With RISE BAR, this was not the case. We LOVED these bars and got the protein boost we needed to finish the day. Sweetened with honey, agave, and fruit, and packed with nuts and seeds for protein and energy, RISE BARs are a great snack for moms to keep in their cars for hungry kids, keeping blood sugar levels in check between meals. And guess what, at the expo, a kid who was following us around tried one and loved it!

Check out RISE BAR’s website for ingredients, nutrition info, and more.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Cone Day!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

We all scream for ice cream.  Here are some tips on how to add some nutritional value to this classic indulgence.  (And wow your taste buds).

Typical ice cream toppings are pure sugar – rainbow sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel sauce – sugar on top of sugar. Try balancing out ice cream’s sweetness with a tangy or salty topping.

For that sweet and salty combo, try topping your favorite flavor with dry roasted peanuts, almonds, pistachios, or walnuts.

For a tangy fruity topping, use frozen mixed berries (avoid bottled “fruit” topping as it is mostly sugar and chemicals).  Add a tiny amount of sugar and lemon juice to the frozen berries, heat in a sauce pan, and serve!

Also, try mixing up textures!  Here’s a crunchy topping that compliments creamy ice cream:

Toasted Coconut Topping

Toast a cup of shredded coconut in the oven at 300 degrees until the coconut is golden brown. Grind 2 oz. of peanuts or any of your favorite nuts in a food processor. Put one cup of any multigrain flakes or plain corn flakes in a food storage bag, seal it and crush the flakes so you have very small pieces. Combine the coconut, nuts, and cereal and sprinkle on top of your favorite ice cream.

Read more here.

Finally, buy ice cream with fewer ingredients – this means less added corn syrup, chemicals and preservatives.  Try Haagen Dazs FIVE ice cream.  This series comes in has only five ingredients, and is lower in fat and sugar than a lot of ice creams without the added chemicals of typical “diet” ice creams. Haagen Daza FIVE currently has six flavors: caramel, strawberry, lemon, mint, coffee, vanilla bean, and milk chocolate.  All are amazingly creamy and flavorful.

Enjoy!

 

What’s The Deal With Sugar?

A recent post on the food blog SlashFood.com states that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of refined sugar every day.  If you picture 22 teaspoons of granulated sugar that seems nearly impossible. If you were to add up all the soda, candy bars, jam, ice cream, and cookies you consume in a single day, we’d assume the average American consumes even more.

We all know that sugar is high in calories and lacks nutritional value.  But recent studies suggest that sugar is not only physically addictive, but it can actually be harmful to our health.

The New York Times published an article in August entitled “Is Sugar Toxic?“ The article associates excessive sugar consumption with common ailments like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.  This supports recent diet trends like the Paleo Diet, which argues that the only sugars that humans are meant to consume (and that is not harmful to our health) are natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.

Handstand Kids uses natural sugar substitutes in many or our recipes (check out the Lemon Sunshine cupcakes from a recent post).  Here are some ideas for how to cut refined sugar in your cooking:

- Substitute refined granulated sugar in any recipe for honey or agave syrup. Agave has a mild taste, is even sweeter than sugar, and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels

- Cut added sugar in baked goods and substitute with apple sauce, mashed up banana, or raisins.