February 14, 2014

St. Valentine's Day

I big ole puffy heart this holiday!
I know it's a "money maker" for Hallmark, but I've been making handmade valentines since I was barely old enough to hold a crayon. I like to think I've passed that tradition down to my own kids.

Here's my youngest munchkin creating some Valentines for his grandma and his dad.

He is using my simple tutorial of folding a heart into an envelope and writing on the inside:) And I love that he decided to "nest" them inside each other and make it super interactive for the recipients too! 

See here for a full tutorial.

And here are the school valentines we made for his class this year. 
He was so excited and would not stop gushing about them *smile*

The back of the glow bracelet "Light Saber" is simply adhered with a piece of washi tape!

Now, I have a recipe for you today but in the interest of full disclosure...
I am THAT mom. 

You know which one I mean.

The health nut freak who doesn't allow her kids HFCS, synthetic food dyes, preservatives, GMO ingredients, processed sugars, white bleached flours, and hormone filled dairy. 

That mom.

Yep, that's me!
(I can hear your eyes rolling)

So I usually opt for an alternative "treat" when it comes to school functions and gatherings of any kind. I mean, the other kids get plenty of "crap" on a regular basis, and a school Valentine Party is no exception, so I like to have an alternative to all the sweet, red dyed, junk that I KNOW will be present.
We've done fruit kebabs, mini boxes of organic raisins, veggies and dip, homemade cheese crackers, etc.
This year it's healthy Granola Bites!

(please excuse the terrible photos. They were taken in my kitchen last night around 9 pm.)

These mini treats are loved by anyone who makes them, and they take less than 5 minutes to make. They are also incredibly adaptable to your individual tastes. 
Don't like cherries? Use cranberries!
Don't like almond butter? Use peanut butter!

Granola Bites

1/3 cup raw honey
1/3 cup organic nut butter (I use almond)
2 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
1 cup of crisp rice cereal (or whatever other cereal floats your boat)
1 cup old fashioned organic oats
1/3 cup chopped dried fruit 
(cherries, cranberries and blueberries were used here, but we've done raisins, dried apples, dried apricots, currants, dried pineapple, etc)
1/4 cup of any other add-in
 (this time I used mini chocolate chips, but shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, flax seed, mini marshmallows, protein powder, etc. all work)

1. Over very low heat, melt the honey, nut butter and coconut oil together just until combined. Do not "cook" the ingredients, merely warm them up enough that they meld together. 

2. Pour this over the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

3. Pack tightly into balls and chill for about an hour to set. (sometimes we eat them seconds after they have been rolled into balls with no waiting time:)

I'm wishing all of you a very happy St. Valentine's Day! 

Thanks for stopping by,


Emily Keaton said...

I puffy heart this holiday, too, Dana! LOVED seeing your son busy at work making Valentines, and the Star Wars ones the two of you made are STELLAR!! Your treats look mighty scrumptious--almond butter and dried cherries? Yes, please!! The treats I made for my family for today are decidedly less healthy. (There's plenty to roll your eyes at on my blog today, so in the interest of promoting eye health and preventing associated eye-rolling strain, don't feel obligated to visit!!!)

Thanks for a fun post! I hope you enjoy lots of Valentine fun with your family today!

Karen Haman said...

Love those valentines - very clever, and I love that they don't accompany sugar. I try to keep away from all the junk, but only at home. One year I was in charge of the party and had a variety of healthy snacks...it didn't go over well, so I just avoid them now and hope my girls (11 & 13) make good choices. Thanks for the granola recipe - those sound yummy!

Lisa said...

Dana the beautiful smile on your son's face says it all!! You can tell he is having a GREAT time. And the light saber Valentine idea is out of this world..haha no pun intended!!! Really cute cute idea. Happy Valentine's Day ;)

Caryn said...

Oh Dana - what an awesome post! LOVE the idea with the glowsticks - fantastic!! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day with your gorgeous family xxx

Lisa Petrella said...

Your son has THE BEST smile!!! Can't help but smile right back at those photos of him!!! And how creative of him to nest those folded hearts!! Love his school Valentines too---so fun and super cool!!! And thanks for sharing this recipe! Sounds and looks yummy!

Greta said...

Oh I love that your son used your tutorial--these are darling & bet his friends were thrilled! Thanks for the recipe--looks & sounds delicious!