NORTHWOODS COOKS: Healthy snacks for little ghosts and goblins

With Halloween just around the corner, here are some recipes from the University of Minnesota Extension that kids can make to counteract the sugary treats.

A peanut butter smoothie is a refreshing and nutritious treat to serve before or after trick or treating. Garnish with a swirl of peanut butter and chopped nuts.
Jenifoto -

Peanut Butter Smoothie

2 small bananas (ripe, frozen)

1 cup skim milk

1-1/2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter


1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt

1-1/2 cups ice

Peel bananas and chop into small pieces. Place bananas in the freezer until hard. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve right away. Makes 2 servings.

Ants on a Log

4 celery stalks

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese


1/8 cup raisins or shelled sunflower seeds

Wash and dry celery and cut into 3-inch long pieces. Fill the inside of the celery with cottage cheese or any nut butter. Place raisins or sunflower seeds on top of the cottage cheese.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

8 12-inch wooden skewers

2 cups cantaloupe, cubed

2 cups pineapple chunks, canned or fresh


2 kiwis, peeled and cut into eight chunks

16 strawberries, hulled

16 ounces part-skim mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Wash, peel, and prepare the fruit. Cut the cheese into 32 cubes. Slide pieces of fruit and cheese onto the skewer, alternating between the fruit and cheese. Use 4 pieces of cheese per skewer. Begin and end with strawberries. Serve chilled.

Tips and Variations:

Children under 4 should not be served food on wooden skewers. For these younger children, serve the fruit and cheese in a bowl or cup or create mini-skewers on pretzels. Try different kinds of fruit such as watermelon or apple chunks.

Peanut butter bread

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups 1% milk

1/3 cup sugar (granulated)

1 cup peanut butter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan or spray with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, sugar and peanut butter and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix only enough to moisten all ingredients.

Pour into the prepared pan. Pan will be half full. Bake for 1 hour.

Colorful Fruit Salad

1 cup red fruit (strawberries, watermelon, red grapes or red apple)

1 cup green fruit (honeydew melon, green grapes or kiwi)

1 cup blue or purple fruit (blueberries, plums or blackberries)

1 cup orange or yellow fruit (cantaloupe, pineapple or mandarin oranges)

1 cup tan or white fruit (bananas or brown pears)

1 cup orange juice (if using concentrate, follow instructions to mix concentrate with water before measuring) or 8 ounces of low-fat piña colada yogurt.

Wash fruit. If using kiwi or bananas, peel fruit. Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces and toss the fruit with the orange juice.

Tips and Variations:

Frozen fruit or fruit canned in juice may be substituted for fresh fruit (avoid fruit in heavy syrup).

If using apples, mix them in the orange juice right away, as the acid in citrus helps keep them from turning brown.

Make a smoothie with the leftover fruit salad by adding non-fat yogurt (any flavor) and blending in a blender. To prevent choking, if serving this recipe to small children, cut grapes and banana slices in half or quarters.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Related Topics: FOOD
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Faith briefs from area churches.
State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.
With its soft and gooey center surrounded by a crisp exterior, kladdkaka is the perfect cross between a brownie and a molten lava cake.
State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.