Friday, March 21, 2014

Healthy Banana Cookies

I have been seeing these banana cookies on Facebook a LOT. Different versions. But I liked the one I started with the best and decided it's capabilities were truly endless. They take me 5 minutes to whip together and about 10 minutes to bake.

No flour, no sugar, no oil, nothing unhealthy unless you choose to add it.

The recipe I developed into and use:

3 mashed bananas
2 cups oats
1/3 cup fruit puree [applesauce, mango, pineapple, pear, blueberry, etc.]
1/4 cup liquid [coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, fruit juice, etc.]
1 cup fruit [small or diced, dried, or fresh firm fruits, such as dried blueberries/cranberries/apricot/etc., coconut flakes, diced apple or pear]
1/2 C finely chopped nuts or seeds [optional, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.]
1 teaspoon extract [vanilla, almond, mint, etc.]

Preheated oven, 350 degrees, 10-15 minutes, spray the cookie sheets.

Ready to go into the puree, coconut milk, coconut flakes, mixed nuts, vanilla
I think the liquid really adds a moistness that I prefer. The outside is firm and the center moist and chewy. There is nothing bad in these! 

I'm making 1-2 batches a week and the children have free access to them. 

  • I have a convection oven. I only need 10-12 minutes to cook these, I would imagine a regular oven would need 15.
  • These have no oil, so you really need to spray the cookie sheet.
  • They come out like they go in. They do not spread. If I use a small cookie scoop I leave them be, but if I use the ice cream scoop, then I flatten down the tops.
  • They make 2 dozen small scoop cookies or 1 dozen large scoop cookies.
  • I make my own fruit purees in my Magic Bullet. I can whirl up super soft mangos, fresh berries, roasted sweet potatoes, etc. for use in these.
  • I have also added a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of flax seed to up the nutritional component on occasion.
  • I use my Pampered Chef food chopper to chop the nuts.
  • To keep the cookies moist, I place them in a Ziploc once cool.

Blueberry puree, coconut, mixed nuts
The recipe I started with from FB:

3 mashed bananas
2 cups oats
1/3 C applesauce
1/4 C milk
1 C raisins

Simplest one I've found:

3 mashed bananas
2 cups oats
1 cup raisins
Tags: banana, cookie, healthy, cookies, quick, easy, nutritional, fruit, gluten free, sugar free, child care, daycare, snack, child, toddler, preschool, preschooler

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Math with Mardi Gras Coins

What can we do with some colored Mardi Gras coins from the Dollar Store?


This is not a big year for us regarding Mardi Gras, but I came across some coins and mask at Dollar Tree and grabbed them up, more for the year that we do Mardi Gras as a theme.  But once we got them out, the children got very engaged, and we took off as we usually do...

COLOR SORT - First we sorted them by color, each of the preschoolers self-selected choosing their favorite one.

MULTIPLICATION/DIVISION - Then, we did some multiplication by grouping in different units of different colors, splitting them out and putting them back together. Worked on skip counting by 2s and 3s.

ADDITION/SUBTRACTION - I had each child count out just five chips from their stack to use, and each one was asked to put in ALL/NONE/SOME of their chips, and each time, they had to put in a new/different amount. We then added up the group, and then subtracted out one color at a time each round.

ROTE COUNTING/ COUNTING A DIE - We got out the die and each rolled and took that number of coins. Once all the coins were distributed, they had to count how many each one had. We compared amounts. No winner/loser aspect incorporated at all.

PATTERNING - We started out with an ABC pattern and moved on to more intricate patterns, such as this AABCC. 

GRAPHING - We took all the coins and mixed up the pile like maniacs, then they worked as a group to lay out the coins according to color and crown or $ side. After counting each column, we analyzed the graph as to most/least and how those two corresponded, and the purples being the same/even. 

Those plastic coins actually have a lot of value in them.
Tags: math, preschool, kindergarten, graphing, counting, numbers, games, Mardi Gras, coins, dice, multiply, divide, addition, subtraction, pre-k, early, learning, manipulatives