I have so much trouble getting my kids to eat fruits and vegetables – do you have any suggestions? Evelyn B., Morehead City, NC
It’s all about making it fun when it comes to feeding children! You’re smart to help them start eating fruit and vegetables when they are young. They might not know it now but I bet they will thank you when they’re older 🙂 I have a really fun recipe that is perfect for getting the kids in the kitchen too. It will have even the pickest of eaters wanting more … called Bearymelon “Cookies”! from The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook.
Let’s face it, kids (big and small) love cookies. By calling these adorable slices of watermelon “cookies” and decorating them a bit, your kids and their friends are a lot more likely to accept them as an after-school snack. Heck, it’s possible word will even get out that you’re the cool mom, dad, aunt or uncle on the block, and you’ll have kids flocking to your house for these cookies, especially in the summer.
6 small or 3 large 1/2″-thick slices seedless watermelon
6 teaspoons frozen “Cut the Crap” Whipped Topping
Press a 4″ x 3″ bear-shaped cookie cutter** into the watermelon. If your cookie cutter isn’t thick enough, simply press the cookie cutter into the watermelon as far as it will go. Then, using a paring knife, carefully cut around the bear, if it’s not completely “free.”
Place a very small, round pastry tip in a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with a small triangle cut out of one of the bottom corners (if using a plastic bag, be sure that the pastry tip fits very tightly in the hole). Then decorate the “cookie” with the whipped topping by adding ears, a face, a bow tie, hands, and feet, as shown in the photo, or as desired. Repeat with the remaining watermelon and whipped topping. Serve immediately.
Note: Each bear only requires about 1 teaspoon of whipped topping to decorate it as pictured. You might want to have more on hand to make it easy to pipe from your pastry bag.
**You can use any size or shape of cookie cutter. Just note that the nutritional information below is based on a 2 1/2-ounce piece of watermelon.
Makes 6 cookies
Per cookie: 22 calories, trace protein, 6 g carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, trace sodium
“CUT THE CRAP” WHIPPED TOPPING
Though you may be tempted to use a double boiler for this recipe, I would highly recommend using a saucepan and a large metal or heavy-duty glass mixing bowl that sits on top of the pan (and isn’t too much larger than the pan). For maximum results, you need a large bowl so that a lot of air whips into the egg whites, creating volume. I’ve found that most double boiler inserts aren’t quite big enough to allow that.
Please note that every time I’ve made this recipe, it yields a different amount of whipped topping, ranging from as few as 6 cups to as much as 8 1/2 cups. Even slight variations in the size and temperature of the egg whites, the type of beaters you use, and the size of the bowl can make a difference. I’ve calculated the nutritional information based on 6 cups. Store any excess whipped topping in the freezer for up to a couple of weeks.
3/4 cup light agave nectar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Add water to a medium saucepan until it is about one-quarter full. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Off the heat, combine the agave, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a large metal or heavy-duty glass mixing bowl (one that will fit onto the top of your saucepan). Beat on medium-high with an electric mixer fitted with beaters until well blended.
Place the bowl over the pot of boiling water. (For safety, be sure to wear an oven mitt while holding the bowl over the heat, as it will get very hot.) Beat for 7 minutes, or until stiff peaks form, occasionally running the beaters around the sides of the bowl to scrape any of the mixture. Remove the bowl from the water and continue beating, rotating the bowl and scraping down the sides with the beaters as you do, for 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until the mixture is thick, very fluffy, and has very stiff peaks.
Makes about 6 cups – Per serving (1 tablespoon): 8 calories, trace protein, 2 g carbohydrates (2 g sugar), 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 2 mg sodium
Recipe Credit: Reprinted from The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook by Devin Alexander © 2010 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM) and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold. www.devinalexander.com
Photo Credit: Mitch Mandel