Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day treats for kids with allergies

Life is Good: chocolate is love

Thanks to my mom, one of my love languages is food. She learned it from her mom and so on. Every special occasion, since I an remember, has been marked by a cake that was decorated to look like a hamburger or a pizza or even the big bad wolf & the three pigs (and don't forget their houses of straw, sticks, and bricks). If it isn't a cake, it's cookies in the shape of ice cream cones or baseball bats & hats, or Ninja Turtles. Or it's homemade caramels or toffee or decadent chocolate fudge. Oh, it is a wonder we don't all weigh 500, 000 pounds!

So it isn't surprising that food is one of my love languages. And though I find Valentine's Day to be a bit silly, (Shouldn't we show our love for one another EVERY day?) I do like making it a wee bit special for our kiddos. Today, I marked chocolate-covered strawberries off of the list (for surprises in their lunch bags tomorrow) and a new, healthier version of a crunch bar heart.

In the past when I've made homemade crunch bars, I melt Enjoy Life chocolate chips and mix them with Rice Krispies cereal in some kind of shaped mold. Last week, I saw a great idea on Instagram from Well Plated. She puffed quinoa and used that as the "crunch". So this morning, I melted my Enjoy Life chocolate chips (from Target) and added puffed red quinoa. I haven't tried it out, but the puffed quinoa itself was AMAZINGGGGGG! Yummy! I am a sucker for quinoa in all forms!

I didn't measure the quinoa or the chocolate. If you want measurements, post a comment here or on Facebook. I poured the quinoa in my cast iron pan and put my heat on low so as not to scorch the quinoa. I knew it was done when I heard quiet "pops" like a super quieter version of popcorn popping. I tried this two ways...A layer of chocolate, a layer of quinoa, and a layer of chocolate over it and then secondly, mixing the quinoa in the melted chocolate and pouring it into the mold. I used cookie cutters and a sandwich cutter as my "molds". I will report back if either worked better.

Happy almost Valentine's Day!