Maria and her mother, Jen Loiseau of Lake in the Hills, have shared an online cooking show at www.amateurkitchen.tv for the past year and a half. The two prepare meals, snacks, desserts — pretty much anything — coming out with new recipes weekly. Jen Loiseau says she tries to use ingredients that are in season.
Below, she and Maria offer some of their suggestions for after-school treats that don’t involve processed foods.
“Most kids love the processed snacks of chips and all that,” Loiseau says. “You do have to kind of get creative to get them to eat some treats a little bit healthier.”
She says she started her cooking show after hearing from friends that they had trouble following recipes, but not videos.
“There’s nothing out there right now where kids are in the kitchen with their parents,” Loiseau says. “People like to see that. It’s refreshing.”
Originally from South Dakota, Loiseau remembers her family roots, where sitting down at the dinner table and sharing huge Sunday dinners were tradition.
“I just really think that food brings people together,” she says. “Just to experience it all with Maria is great.”A picky eater, Maria tends to try more if she’s involved in making it, Loiseau says.
“She’ll at least try a bite of everything we make, whereas some things, if I were to set it on the table, she would never think of touch[ing] it,” Loiseau says. “Now, she’s sampled the ingredients or smelled them or liked them in the raw form. She tends to like the finished recipe a bit more.”
Following are a few of their recipes:
Apple and Peanut Butter Discs
“Apples and peanut butter is probably one of the best combinations ever, right?” Loiseau asks. “This quick snack is not only healthy, but is going to be a favorite for everyone in your home.”
Prep: 5 minutes
2 apples, cored
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 ounces oats
2 ounces sliced almonds
2 ounces chocolate chips
Slice the apples thinly to make discs. Spread peanut butter evenly over all apple discs and top with peanut butter, oats, sliced almonds and chocolate chips. Enjoy!
“Refreshing and absolutely delicious,” Loiseau says. “Mix up this treat to beat the afternoon heat.”
Prep: 10 minutes, plus time to freeze
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled
1/2 lemon, juiced
In a sauce pan, over medium heat, add 1/2 cup of the orange juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the strawberries and lemon juice. Puree the strawberries until smooth.
In a large bowl, add in the strawberry puree, remaining orange juice and the orange juice simple syrup. Stir to combine.
Place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions, then serve and enjoy!
*Place into an air-tight container in the freezer for 2 hours to become more firm.
Fruit and Frozen Yogurt Waffle Cones
“The creaminess of the frozen yogurt pairs well with fresh sweet fruit,” Jen says. “Put them in a waffle cone, and you have a healthy and satisfying afternoon snack.”
Prep: 5 minutes
1 cup fresh fruit
1 teaspoon sugar
4 waffle cones
1 cup frozen yogurt, any flavor
In a bowl, stir together the fruits of your choice and sugar. Allow to macerate for 2 minutes.
After the fruit has macerated, add a little to the bottom of a waffle cone and top with frozen yogurt. Alternate again by adding fruit and then frozen yogurt. Add a couple of pieces of fresh fruit on the top. Repeat the process for the remaining cones; then serve and enjoy!
Double Chocolate Milkshake
“Chocolate ice cream and chocolate shavings make this milkshake a chocolate lover’s dream,” Loiseau says.
Prep: 10 minutes
3 cups chocolate ice cream
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces chocolate shavings
Combine chocolate ice cream, milk and vanilla extract into a blender; blend until smooth.
Use a peeler to make chocolate shavings, then add shavings into blender. Blend to combine. Serve in glasses and enjoy!