We all want what’s best for our kids. We do our best to make sure they get what their bodies need to grow and develop. One place I notice I find myself struggling is with my daughter’s snacks. I really don’t want her eating cheddar bunnies and sugar snacks even if they are organic! So this recipes from Emilie Raffa from The Clever Carrot provides  innovative and healthy recipes that are easy to make during snack time during social distancing and quarantine. My kids love them and I’m sure your little ones will too!

1. Fig + Cherry Paleo Bites

  • 14 dried kalamata figs
  • 1 c. dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 1 c. chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts)
  • ⅓ c. dark chocolate chips*
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup + more to taste
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
* Try Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips (gluten, dairy, soy & nut free)
  1. -Before you begin, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Add the coconut flakes to a large bowl for rolling. *Note: if using large coconut flakes (instead of shreds), pulse them 1-2 times in a food processor for smaller pieces. They will be easier to roll this way.
  2. -In a large food processor, add the cherries and hazelnuts. Pulse 2 or 3 times until roughly chopped. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. -Now add the figs, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup to the food processor. Run the machine until the figs form a sticky paste. If your mixture is not quite sticky enough, add a teaspoon of water or juice to bring everything together.
  4. -Add back the cherries, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine the mixture. Taste and add more maple syrup if necessary. Remove the blade and get ready to start rolling.
  5. -Using a small cookie scoop (or 1 tbsp. measuring spoon) form the mixture into balls and transfer right into the bowl of coconut flakes. Roll them around to coat and place onto your lined cookie sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the mixture.
  6. -Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to use.
* Store in an air tight container (refrigerated) for up to 2 weeks.

2. Nut + Seed Breakfast Cookies

2. Nut + Seed Breakfast Cookies

  • 2 cups quick oats (not instant or old fashioned)
  • ½ cup almond meal or almond meal*
  • 1 heaped tbsp. mixed seeds and grains (i.e. flax seed, hemp seeds, quinoa etc.)
  • ½ cup pecan halves (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 capfuls of pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp water**
  • ½ heaped cup dried cranberries
*Note: In the grocery store, you’ll find both almond meal & almond flour. Almond flour is made with blanched, skinless almonds and is pale yellow in color. Almond meal is processed with the skins and is darker in color (think: white sugar vs. brown sugar). You can use either one for this recipe. I chose almond meal because it’s less expensive.
** Because quick oats and almond meal vary from brand to brand, they will absorb liquid at different rates. I run into this issue all the time when I make homemade bread. To get your cookies to spread, add water (1 tbsp at a time) to loosen up the batter.
  1. -Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  2. -Add the quick oats, almond flour, mixed seeds, pecans (if using) cinnamon, and baking soda to a food processor. -Pulse until the oats look like ‘flour.’ It’s okay to have a few big pieces in the mix.
  3. -Add the egg, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of water. Process to combine. If the dough is too stiff, add the remaining 1 tbsp of water to loosen up the batter. This way, the cookies will spread when baked. Repeat this step as needed. Alternatively, if the batter is too runny, just add a sprinkle of almond flour or oats to combine.
  4. -Add the cranberries and pulse a few more times.
  5. -Using a mini ice cream scoop about 1-inch in diameter (or with 2 spoons), portion the cookies onto your lined baking sheets.
  6. -Bake for about 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. -Store cookies in an air-tight container for up to one week (if they last that long).

3. Crispy Zucchini + Potato Pancakes

  • 2 c. shredded zucchini
  • 4 c. shredded yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 small onion or ½ large onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp. flour*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
Marbled yogurt
  • ½ c. low-fat yogurt or sour cream
  • ½ c. applesauce
  • fresh chives
* Use rice flour for gluten free
  1. -Peel the potatoes.
  2. -Line a large bowl with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. -Fit your food processor with the shredder blade. Process the zucchini, potatoes, and the onion togehter. -Transfer the mixture to the bowl. Wrap the towel around the vegetables and gently squeeze to release excess moisture. You want this as dry as possible for crispy pancakes. Remove the towel.
  4. -To the bowl, add the egg, flour, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. -Begin your test batch: In a non-stick pan, warm 1 tbsp. of olive oil over moderate heat. Using a ¼ c. measure, scoop out some of the mixture and place into the pan. Flatten gently with the bottom of the cup. Fry on both sides until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt if desired. When cool enough to handle, give it a taste. If it needs more seasoning, adjust the rest of your mixture.
  6. -Repeat this process until you have fried all of the pancakes.
  7. -To make the marbled yogurt, add the yogurt (or sour cream if using) to a bowl. Add the applesauce. Swirl with a spoon.
  8. -To serve, arrange the pancakes onto a plater. Garnish with fresh chives and yogurt sauce on the side.

  9. For these recipes and more be sure to check out Emilie Raffa’s website: www.theclevercarrot.com. You can also purchase her cookbook, The Clever Cookbook, at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million, and The Book Depository! From Emilie Raffa herself, “Inside, you’ll learn how to create simple and delicious meals for the busy home cook. You’ll find realistic get-ahead strategies, time-saving tips, and clever shortcuts to make cooking more approachable with less stress. My philosophy is simple and straight forward. It’s an extension of how I cook at home, tested with you in mind.”