Good morning, ya'll. Come on in the house and have a cup of coffee or iced tea and sit a spell. I was talking to a new, young friend last week and she was admiring the earrings I had made and my purse I had crocheted and made the comment that I must be good at reusing items. I had to admit that I am a cheapskate and look at most everything with an eye of reusing it somehow.
I also took this opportunity to explain the difference between recycling and upcycling. We all know what recycling is and upcycling is taking and item(s) and making something better out of it's parts. Example - I take plastic bags, make strips, intertwine them into plastic yarn and crochet this into bags and baskets. This is called plarn or plastic yarn and is quite pretty.
She asked me if I would share some of my ideas on my blog so here goes and I am going to begin with food. This young lady has 3 children and lives on a budget and I know she and others can use some of these ideas for feeding kids inexpensively (cheaply).
Peanut butter is a staple item for all mothers unless you have children with peanut allergies and I have several ideas for using it. There are several great reasons for using it for it has lots of protein, inexpensive, does not have to be refrigerated and you can prepare the sandwiches the night before. Children can prepare their own lunches and save you some time. Smooth or chunky peanut butter can be used and you can also use Nutella if there is an allergy to peanuts.
Bread variations - Toast the bread before spreading and try different types of bread - white, whole wheat, rye, English muffins, sandwich thins or my favorite, raisin cinnamon. The breakfast breads are delicious. This is a good way to introduce new breads to your family for a little peanut butter can make anything taste good.
For a hot treat, make your favorite peanut butter combo, butter both sides of sandwich and toast using your waffle iron OR spray a skillet with cooking spray, place your sandwich in the pan and put a smaller skillet on top of the sandwich to toast. This is also a great way to make toasted cheese sandwiches.
Cut them in triangles, rectangles or use a cookie cutter to make unusual shapes for special treats. Use a tortilla, spread, roll and cut into small rounds. This is easy to pick up and less messy for small children.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Variations:
2 slices of bread/per sandwich
Honey, jelly, jam, applesauce, apple butter, bananas (Elvis' favorite), raisins, dried cranberries and any other dried fruits you like. Combine the peanut butter and any of the spreads or fruit and spread on the bread.
Extra Special Sandwich
2 slices raisin bread
Toast bread, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cut into 3 strips and enjoy. You can also add miniature marshmallows with the chocolate chips.
One of my favorites is the peanut butter and applesauce.
Peanut Butter and Apple Slices Sandwich
2 slices of bread
Spread the peanut butter on the bread and add apple slices. You want to add the apple slices just before eating so that they won't turn brown although that really doesn't bother me.
To keep apple slices from turning brown - dip slices in lemon juice, orange juice or any lemon lime drink and store in plastic bags. The orange juice or lemon lime drink leaves a better taste. Before putting them in the sandwich, blot dry with paper towels. I have also used pineapple juice and that is good also.
This idea can also be used for apple slices to put in the kid's lunches or snack boxes for school. I keep apple slices to munch on and add some baby carrots and you have a crunchy, low calorie, no fat snack. You can also add raisins for additional nutrition. Children like these combos and you can keep them in the fridge for quick snacks.
Fix several small containers of apple slices at one time, store in fridge and let the kids add whatever suits their fancies at the time. Put them at their eye-level in the fridge and in the front so they can see them quickly. Place the raisins and nuts at their level so they can add them also.
At this time of year, pears are available and cheap and can be used in place of the apples or combine the two. These are good also.
Apple Pie Toast (1 serving)
1 slice of bread
Stewed apples or applesauce
Grated cheese - cheddar or cheese of choice
Toast bread, spread with apples, sprinkle with cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted. The toaster oven is great for this.
You can use bought applesauce and stewed apples or make your own. Applesauce is inexpensive and a great bargain if you get the unsweetened. I use store brands and have found them to be quite good although it is so easy to make in the microwave and we like it chunky unlike the smooth you buy.
For a really sweet version, use the canned apple pie mix. This will add lots of sugar and I would use it only for special occasions.
There are endless possibilities using peanut butter and bread so have fun and let your kids create their own signature sandwich. Our daughter's was and is peanut butter and honey and everybody knows that is her sandwich.
Have fun and let me know how you like these and some of your kid's inspirations.
The Georgia Peach