Persimmons: Trail Mix Recipe

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Trail Mix

Trail mix has been around for awhile. It is called trail mix because it’s the perfect food for hiking, a day-long  journey or traveling on vacation. It is said that California surfers ‘invented’ trail mix in the 1960s  when they mixed peanuts and raisins to pack for the beach.  It provided a mixture of protein and carbs that would provide plenty of energy without spoiling in the hot sun.

Trail mix was mentioned a decade earlier, though, in a novel by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac was a mid-1950’s beat generation author. The beat generation, with their far out ideas, preceded the hippie culture of the 1960s. Kerouac had the two main characters in his 1958  novel, The Dharma Bums,  packing trail mix for a marathon hiking trip.

From Trail Mix to Granola

Regardless of who gets credit for the invention, trail mix grew to include additional ingredients. Gorp or good ole’ raisins and peanuts turned into granola, oats,raisins and peanuts. Sometimes a few M&Ms were thrown in.

Trail Mix and Dried Fruit

Today, trail mix recipes have been customized, but all of them include dried fruit. Dried fruit  retains all of  the  nutrition of when it was fresh. Fruit can be dried in a few days in the sun or in a few hours in a food dehydrator.

Persimmons dry in a food dehydrator overnight.

Honey and vegetable oil can be added to turn trail mix into more of a cereal-like granola. It can be eaten alone or used as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.

Persimmons and Trail Mix

 

Fuyu persimmons are sweet when still firm.

 

Persimmon Granola-Trail Mix

Fall is a good time to try a trail mix made with dried persimmons. There are several different types of persimmons. Some are astringent and others are non-astringent. An astringent is an agent that shrinks bodily tissues. That is why astringent persimmons make your mouth pucker unless they are so ripe they are almost rotten. The small American persimmons and the Hachiya persimmon are astringent. The American persimmon is good for making a tangy persimmon salsa that goes well with fish.

Fuyu persimmons are sweet when still firm. Unlike the American persimmon, they are not full of seeds. These two reasons make Fuyu persimmons good for drying in a food dehydrator.

Persimmons are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrition. They have antioxidants that fight free radicals.  They are an excellent source of vitamins A & C, potassium, manganese, copper and folic acid.

Try the recipe in the amounts I used or tweak to your own taste.

Ingredients for Trail Mix

Ingredients for persimmon granola-trail mix
  1. 2 cups quick oats
  2. 1 cup dried persimmons
  3. 1 cup chopped walnuts
  4. 1 cup coconut
  5. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. cinnamon

Putting the persimmon trail mix together

Toast the oats just a few minutes in a warm oven. Mix the cinnamon in with the oats. Warm the oil and honey together. Place oats in a large bowl. Now add the walnuts, and coconut and chopped dried persimmons. Stir and coat ingredients with the honey and oil mixture. Spread with spatula on a baking sheet and bake about 30 minutes in a 150-degree oven.

 

Coat Ingredients with Oil and Honey

Coat all dry ingredients with oil and honey.

 

 


Fruit Kabob Turkey With Chocolate Dip Body

Fruit Kabob Turkey

Thanksgiving Snacks For Kids

Fruit  kabobs are a fun way for kids to eat fruit.  Fruit is an extremely important part of anyone’s diet but  especially for kids’ diets.  Fruit kabobs make it more likely that kids will eat fruit. Anything that is fun is better!

Kids love food that looks like animals and other objects. Food that looks like other things is a great way to encourage picky eaters. Even kids that don’t really relish fruit will be begging for a “turkey feather”!

Turkey Table Centerpiece

Do you need a centerpiece idea for your Thanksgiving table?  This clever rainbow fruit kabob that looks like a turkey is sure to be a winner.  It is a fun project to do with the kids for Thanksgiving. Getting them involved in preparing a holiday meal is lots of fun and a good way to spend quality time together.

It’s never too soon to help kids become aware of the health benefits of fruit and other healthy foods. Getting them into the habit of eating healthy foods now is a benefit that will pay off for them later in life. Even young children can become aware of how each food helps certain parts of the body.

Use the information after the post  for a quick reference. While making rainbow fruit kabob turkeys, discuss with the kids how each fruit helps us stay healthy.

An Edible Centerpiece

Guests will love this fruit kabob edible centerpiece. An easy-to-make, delicious chocolate fruit dip in a bowl is the turkey’s body.  Dip in some “fruity feathers” for a tasty appetizer. The turkey’s head is a crunchy pear. His beady eyes are blueberries skewered into mini marshmallows with toothpicks.  His beak is an orange wedge, his snood is the pointy end of strawberries and his wattle is a slice of crispy red apple. Attach these parts to the pear with halves of toothpicks. Give the turkey two carrot strip legs and orange wedge feet. He will be almost too cute to eat!

How To Make A Rainbow Fruit Kabob Turkey

Materials And Ingredients:

  • assorted fruit (grapes, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe)
  • wooden skewers
  • toothpicks
  • one pear
  • two blueberries
  • two mini marshmallows
  • one orange
  • carrot strips
  • one pear
  • endive (optional, for grass)
  • small glass bowl
  • chocolate dip (easy recipe below)
Use 10-12 skewers for the fruit kabobs.

Assembling The  Fruit Kabob Turkey

  1. Skewer three grapes and push to about one inch from the end.
  2. Add pineapple chunks, kiwi and strawberry slices, and cantaloupe chunks.
  3. Top with three grapes in a smaller size for the “feather tips”.
(10-12 skewers of fruit will make a turkey with a full spread of feathers.)

Attach the turkey’s features to the pear with toothpicks.  Now attach the turkey’s head to the bottom of  a skewer of fruit near the middle.

Attach the head to the middle skewer on the make. This skewer will need less fruit.

 

Easy Chocolate Fruit Dip Recipe

This easy recipe uses only three ingredients!

Melt 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels. Mix with a package of softened cream cheese and two cups Cool Whip.

 

Grapes,

  • Antioxidants, copper, iron, manganese, vitamins C & K, carotenes, B-complex,
    • Protects against  certain cancers, fights heart disease and Alzheimer’s later in life.
  • Antioxidants, copper, iron, manganese, vitamins C & K, carotenes, B-complex.
  • Protects against  certain cancers, fights heart disease and Alzheimer’s later in life.

Strawberries

  • Anthocyanis, ellagic acid, quercetin,  vitamin C
  • Helps to have a healthy brain,  reduces forgetfulness, protects against cancer and heart disease.

 Cantaloupe

  • Folate, carotenoids,
  • Helps promote healthy growth and cell maintenance, prevents anemia

Kiwi Fruit

  • Rich in vitamin C, potassium, prebiotics, 
  • Helps muscle contract, prevents “charlie horse”, helps the body fight germs and aids in the digestion of food.

Pineapple

  • Vitamins C & A, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese
  • Helps to have strong bones and healthy gums. Fights off colds and flu,  fights against eye disease when older.


 


Dirt Pudding Cups: Dirty, Sandy And Yummy!

Spooky props like gummy worms, bone candy and Vienna finger tombstones make dirt pudding into cool Halloween treats.
Spooky props like gummy worms, bone candy and Vienna finger tombstones make dirt pudding into cool Halloween treats.

There are dozens of cute ways to use Oreo dirt cups and Nilla sand cups for kid’s parties and events.  Likewise, there are several variations of the recipe for them. Dirt cups are basically chocolate pudding and crushed Oreo cookies, while sand cups are made of vanilla pudding and crushed vanilla wafers.

I found that the simplest recipe with the fewest ingredients for dirt and sand pudding is a combination of pudding, crushed cookies and Cool Whip.  The trick is in how much of each to use.  Dirt pudding turns out quite well by using the following recipe.

Dirt Pudding

1 large box choc. instant pudding

20 Oreo cookies, crushed

8 ounces Cool Whip

For sand pudding, use vanilla pudding and vanilla wafers.

Ways  to use Dirt  Cups

Dirt and sand cups make fun snacks for learning activities as well as childrens’ parties. Make dirt cups when studying earth science. Young children will relate the dirt cups to soil, earth worms and plant life.

Dirt pudding can even be served out of a Terra Cotta planter! This would be a great idea for everything from the classroom to gardening club events.

Gummy worms are a must for dirt pudding!  Kids love gummy worms; some adults do too. Have a discussion about how worms help aerate  the soil.  This is important to plant life and the food chain. Kids need to know these basic science concepts. Cute ideas like these make those concepts stick.

Halloween

Add  spooky props on Halloween for graveyard pudding cups.

 

Sunflower cookies and grassy dirt pudding cups.

Sunflower cookies and grassy dirt pudding cups.

Fresh Picked Sunflowers

In the early fall, when the Halloween candy corn is in the stores, sunflower cookies served with dirt cups are good for lessons on plants for young children at school. They would also be great for a child’s September or October birthday party. Use the basic dirt pudding recipe.

Bake sugar cookies and ice them with lemon icing. A few drops of yellow food coloring will give the icing a deeper color. Tint a little royal icing yellow to attach the candy corn around the cookie. Chocolate sprinkles make “seeds” in the middle.

Using more royal icing, attach halves of green apple Trizzlers to the cookies. The dirt pudding in these dirt cups is topped with lime jello. Green tinted flaky coconut makes the grass!

This is a surprisingly tasty treat. Lime, lemon and green apple flavors are tamed with the candy corn and cookies for a sweet and sour taste experience.

Ways to Use Sand Cups

Sand cups can be dressed up with props to create really cute pool party treats.  Add a few tanned Teddy Grahams, a peppermint striped ball and perhaps a cocktail umbrella for an adorable creation.

Plain, undecorated sand cups could culminate a unit on erosion and how rocks are broken down into sand. Leave some of the crushed wafers as larger pieces to represent the rocks.

Cute Sand Cup Desserts for Kid Pool Parties

Get creative and see what you can do with dirt and sand cups. No matter how you serve them up, these cute treats are sure to please!