Family-Friendly Snacks and Desserts

Got a killer craving for something sweet or salty? Satisfy your hunger with these easy-to-make snacks and treats the whole family will love.

Banana Split Sundaes

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Banana Split Sundaes

Believe it or not, banana splits are a great way for children to have a well-balanced sweet treat. The secret is to go heavy on the fruit.

View Recipe: Banana Split Sundaes

Gluten-Free S’More Bars

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Gluten-Free S’More Bars

For kids with gluten intolerance, it’s important to create a few desserts that taste as good as the real thing. This one sure does. Try Cup4Cup flour and S’moreables gluten-free graham crackers for the best results.

View Recipe: Gluten-Free S’More Bars

Chewy Caramel Apple Cookies

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Chewy Caramel Apple Cookies

These chewy cookies are gluten-free but don’t be fooled, you can’t even taste the difference!

View Recipe: Chewy Caramel Apple Cookies

Frozen Vanilla Custard

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Frozen Vanilla Custard

Ice cream and sorbets are convenient go-tos when you want an easy dessert. Use this custard as a base for many flavors by adding your favorite ingredients when it’s almost frozen.

View Recipe: Frozen Vanilla Custard

Chocolate Pots de Crème

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Chocolate Pots de Crème

This no-fuss dessert requires less than 15 minutes of prep time, and the finished product is sure to draw oohs and aahs from guests of all ages. You can make it the morning of the party, and everyone will think you worked all day.

View Recipe: Chocolate Pots de Crème

My Favorite Lemon Bars

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My Favorite Lemon Bars

You need to use fresh lemon juice in this recipe. It’s not worth it without it. Substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour for a gluten-free option.

View Recipe: My Favorite Lemon Bars

Mixed Berries with Orange Mascarpone Cream

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Mixed Berries with Orange Mascarpone Cream

Summertime means berries and stone fruits. You can take advantage of the abundance and low prices of the season, and serve them for a quick and easy dessert. Any combination of berries will work; even add a sliced nectarine or two.

View Recipe: Mixed Berries with Orange Mascarpone Cream

Apple Crisp

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Apple Crisp

A good homemade piecrust is too tedious for a weeknight, so a delicious crisp is a wonderful dessert alternative. Once you’ve mastered this recipe, use it as your base to create any flavor you like. Some of my favorites include pear, nectarine, blackberry, peach, and plum. If you add 1/4 cup of fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt, keep in mind that it will add an additional 50 calories.

View Recipe: Apple Crisp

Chocolate-Butterscotch-Nut Clusters

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Chocolate-Butterscotch-Nut Clusters

For those with a terrible sweet tooth, one or two of these tasty treats will do the trick!

View Recipe: Chocolate-Butterscotch-Nut Clusters

Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies

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Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies

You can put just about anything in these cookies. Chocolate chips and walnuts are definitely some ingredients that you won’t want to leave out.

View Recipe: Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies

Mango-Lime Sorbet

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Mango-Lime Sorbet

Depending on how sweet your mangoes are, you can add more or less lime and more or less simple syrup. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and granulated sugar in a saucepan; stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool before using.

View Recipe: Mango-Lime Sorbet

 

Tart Lemon Ice with Crushed Strawberries

Oxmoor House

Tart Lemon Ice with Crushed Strawberries

Making lemon ice always feels like a fun science project. You pour cooled, sweet liquid into a shallow container and wait for ice crystals to form. Then you scrape it with a fork until you have chunky crystals of juicy ice. It’s kind of a mix between a snow cone and a fancy sorbet.

View Recipe: Tart Lemon Ice with Crushed Strawberries

Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn

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Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn

Try and buy popcorn with no added ingredients−Whole Foods is a good example. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top; it’s a yummy treat.

View Recipe: Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn

Trail Mix

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Trail Mix

The trick to get kids to eat trail mix−add just a little it of the sweet stuff to the nutritious stuff so it tastes like a treat! Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium and zinc, and the cranberries are chock-full of vitamin C and fiber.

View Recipe: Trail Mix

Creamy Garbanzo Dip with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Creamy Garbanzo Dip with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This is now my go-to party dip for adults and kids. Serve with Baked Pita Chips or fresh veggies like jicama or celery. You can even spread it on a chicken sandwich.

View Recipe: Creamy Garbanzo Dip with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Happy-Hour Hummus

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Happy-Hour Hummus

It’s a quick snack to make before dinner. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, give it a whirl, and presto−you’ve bought yourself an hour to make a meal. Healthy dippers include baby carrots, radishes, jicama, and sugar snap peas.

View Recipe: Happy-Hour Hummus

Black Bean Dip

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Black Bean Dip

Bean dips are full of protein and fiber to help you get through the afternoon. Serve this dip with baked tortilla chips, Baked Pita Chips, over scrambled eggs with salsa, or on quesadillas for a fun twist.

View Recipe: Black Bean Dip

 

Baked Pita Chips

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Baked Pita Chips

These crispy chips will complete any appetizer. Double or triple the recipe to serve to a large crowd or pack extras for lunchboxes. Serve them with Creamy Garbanzo Dip with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Happy-Hour Hummus, or Black Bean Dip.

View Recipe: Baked Pita Chips

Kale Chips

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Kale Chips

These chips are crispy, crunchy, salty, and so easy to make. Opt for them instead of potato chips next time you’re craving a salty snack. For a different flavor, try sprinkling the kale with grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, or sweet paprika before baking.

View Recipe: Kale Chips

Hot-Pink Smoothies

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Hot-Pink Smoothies

Smoothies are the perfect bases for allowing kids to add their own personality and get creative. The yogurt gives it a dose of calcium. Be sure to use frozen fruit−it eliminates the need for ice.

View Recipe: Hot-Pink Smoothies

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothies

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Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothies

The classic combination of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate is an easy sell with most kids. Parents will love that these are full of potassium, fiber, and protein.

View Recipe: Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothies

Dark Chocolate Sauce

Photo: Oxmoor House  

Dark Chocolate Sauce

Here’s a scrumptious way to dress up any simple dessert, such as ice cream, berries, or Banana Split Sundaes.

View Recipe: Dark Chocolate Sauce

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