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10 valentine

Real-Food Valentine’s Day Snack Ideas

Need real-food Valentine’s Day snack ideas? Here are 10 easy ones your kids will love.

10 valentine

Here at MOMables, we like to keep things simple and healthy. But once in a while, it’s okay to spend the extra time to make it fun! All you need are a few inexpensive and easy-to-find tools, and you can easily make a meal or snack fancy for Valentine’s Day! Need more lunch ideas and just a bit (or maybe a lot) of help getting school lunches planned? MOMables has you covered, come check it out!

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Small heart-shaped cookie cutter(s)
  • Toothpicks, food picks, or uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • Heart-shaped ice cube mold

You can use a small cookie cutter to make heart-shaped mini sandwiches (made with whole-grain gluten-free bread and MOMables Sunflower Nutella), and sliced cheese, chewy granola bars, cucumber and bell pepper bites, and blood orange slices, and to help shape and remove the stems from strawberry halves. A small cookie cutter is a fun way to cut the core from apples sliced horizontally. Check out these tips on how to keep apples from browning.

You can cut baby carrots at an angle, then flip them and secure them with uncooked spaghetti noodles (after starting the hole with a toothpick). Or just use a toothpick or thin food pick, if the eater can be trusted with them!

A healthier alternative to frozen juice is using a heart-shaped ice mold to make your own Fruit Ice Cubes! Fun, healthy, and delicious!

What About the Scraps?

Other than just eating them on the spot, feeding them to a toddler or family dog, or tucking them under the shapes when you serve them, there are plenty of uses for scraps made from cookie-cutter cuteness.

Veggie scraps work great in a salad, sandwich wrap, or tossed in a soup or stir-fry. Fruit scraps can also work on a salad, or you can save them for a smoothie!

For sandwiches, I like to cut the bread first before adding the sandwich fillings so I can save the scraps for meatloaf, homemade bread crumbs or croutons, (1 cup torn scraps equals 1 slice of bread), or MOMables Frugal French Toast Sticks.

And meat and cheese scraps are still yummy in a quesadilla, grilled cheese pocket sandwiches, sandwich wraps, or on top of pizza!

Some Other Heart-y Ideas!

For the cookie cutters, any firm fruit will do. Apples, melons, and mangoes work well. And any vegetable wide enough for the cutter. You can slice larger carrots into vertical slabs to get large enough areas for a small cutter. You can even turn the heart-cored apples into MOMables apple sandwiches for a fun twist.

Any small oblong fruit or vegetable works well to turn into hearts, too. Grapes and small oval tomatoes can be sliced horizontally and secured with a toothpick or noodle to make hearts as well!

Bread for toast (broil on a pan in the oven for a few minutes on each side), pancakes, and waffles all work well with a cookie cutter. Heart-shaped crackers make a great snack (Gluten-Free Lunchbox Crackers and Homemade Cheese Crackers work well). Or make your own fun Cracker Stackers with heart-shaped deli meats and sliced cheeses!

Other healthy uses for the ice mold include Frozen Yogurt BitesFrozen Cloud Bites, and frozen smoothie bites (check out these Chocolate Green Smoothie and Easy Strawberry Smoothie recipes from MOMables!)

The best part about holidays such as Valentine’s Day is that they give our family the opportunity to get in the kitchen together and have fun. There is nothing quite as cute as seeing my little ones get creative with their food. Their smiles are all I need!

4 gluten free valentine's day sugar cookie recipe

Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

What are you making for Valentine’s Day?

gluten free valentine's day sugar cookie recipe

Making gluten-free and allergy-friendly sugar cookies is one of my favorite things to make with my daughter! She loves grabbing all the cookie cutters and having her choice of fun shapes and sizes.

Our holiday cookie recipes have always been so popular, Chief MOM Laura asked me to do a Valentine’s Day version. How could I resist? Valentine’s Day is filled with so much love and cheer. It’s a fun holiday, especially when you have kids.

After all you do as a parent day in and day out, it’s always nice to see something as simple as a holiday cookie light up your kid’s face! Here at MOMables, we strive to do this every day by providing you with help in the kitchen to get those lunches packed and bellies full!

I love baking these cookies for my daughter and even her classmates as a treat. I know that they are safe for any food allergies and also delicious!

Here are my MOM tips for a successful cut-out cookie:

  1. Don’t roll the dough too thin. I know that if I roll the dough out too thin and cut it, they will spread when baking. Make sure you are keeping it thick enough to hold its shape.
  2. Make sure when you are making the batter, your butter is softened (as called for), not melted. There is a big difference in baking and the outcome you’ll achieve.
  3. Make sure your dough chills long enough in the fridge. This is also true when rolling out the dough and cutting. If it sits out too long and is overworked during that process, again, it will spread and not hold its shape. After chilling, you may want to break off half the dough and roll it out and cut half at a time.
  4. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. I’ve found the best success with King Arthur GF All-Purpose Flour. Chief MOM Laura also recommends Cup4Cup and Better Batter.

Grab the kids and sprinkles; it’s time for some cookies!

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (Gluten-Free)

gluten free valentine's day sugar cookie recipe

Recipe yields about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size of cutter used

  • Author: MOMables.com
  • Yield: 20-24
  • Cuisine: Baking

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter or nondairy spread, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg or prepared egg replacer
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your all-purpose flour has it)
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I’ve used Better Batter, King Arthur Flour, or Cup4Cup) + more for rolling/dusting

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed.
  2. Add the egg, water or milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon (if using). Blend until mixed well.
  3. Add the xanthan gum, if necessary, and the flour. Mix at a low speed until well combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone mat).
  6. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, until about 1/3-inch thick.
  7. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters, and place the cookies on a baking sheet, allowing space between each one.
  8. Reform and roll out the scrap dough, then continue cutting more cookies.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Not all gluten-free flours are the same. I’ve included the three all-purpose flours that I’ve made this with and that have yielded great cookies.
Refrigeration is a must, otherwise your dough will be too sticky to roll, and the cookies will spread. If you roll out your dough and it’s too sticky to “pick up,” put it back in the fridge before cutting.
Gluten-free flour isn’t like regular flour; it doesn’t absorb moisture like wheat. Like with any gluten-free recipe, using the suggested flour is recommended, and substitutions are highly discouraged.

 

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