Earth Day Dirt Cup Snacks 2


I’m curious – what image came to your mind when reading the title Earth Day Dirt Cup Snacks?  Did you envision crushed Oreos, gummy worms, Jell-O pudding… or something else?…

There are times, like now, when I have all the components for putting together these posts – recipe typed, tested, and photographed- but no clear idea of what I want to share with you about it.  This time, to get some ideas to start, I did a Google search for ‘Earth Day snacks.’  I barely even read anything – just looked at the images that popped up and a couple of brief descriptions – and knew right away what I should write about.

The photos that resulted from my search included: Rice Crispy treat ‘trees’ made green with food coloring and adorned with red candies (I suppose to look like apples or cherries?), a blue-and-green dyed cupcake, and the above-mentioned gummy worm dirt cups.  A similar thing happened last month, when looking for Easter treat ideas I could convert to a healthier version, the most appalling of which was a plastic baggie filled with Cheetos & made to ‘look like’ a carrot.  What?!  I have a really hard time comprehending all the effort that goes into taking something loaded with artificial ingredients, chemical preservatives & dyes, fat, sodium, and sugars of every kind and trying to make it ‘look like’ a real food, like a carrot or apple or whatever.  Why would we want to feed our kids apple and carrot look-alikes?!  What is so wrong about just giving them the apple or carrot?  There are so many fun ways to present them for the holidays to make it special!

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a day designated for celebrating the Earth seems well on its way to becoming yet another ‘candy excuse’ holiday?  Would it not make sense to celebrate the Earth by appreciating and indulging in its abundant gifts – real foods and plants– instead of man-made, chemically altered ‘fake’ food?

With that, here’s my Earth-friendlier take on the traditional dirt cup snack, complete with a real live edible plant.  I hope you’ll try this with your kids, and I believe you’ll all enjoy it!

SIMPLE Dirt Cup Snacks
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients
2 c. Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding
1/2 c. Annie’s Homegrown Chocolate Bunny Grahams Snacks, crushed
4 sprigs fresh mint
4 mini planters (optional)

Directions
1.  If serving in planters, line them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to avoid contact with food.  Otherwise, prepare & serve in small cups or bowls.
2.  Spoon 1/2 c. pudding into each serving container.
3.  Place washed/dried mint sprig into pudding, deep enough for it to stay upright.
4.  Spoon crushed chocolate grahams around mint sprig, covering pudding.
5.  Dig in to your delicious chocolate mint snack! (We like to break up the mint leaves and sprinkle them on top before eating)

My little girl helping with set-up!

 

Want to know why I replaced the standard dirt cup ingredients?  Here are some of the chemical ingredients contained in Jell-O pudding & Oreos (but NOT included in Kozy Shack or Annie’s products I used):

Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding: ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE). (copied from the label on their website)

Jell-O Instant Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding: ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, CALCIUM SULFATE, XANTHAN GUM, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), ASPARTAME* AND ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (SWEETENERS), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 2, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE). CONTAINS: SOY. *PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE. (copied from the label on their website)

Oreos:
Ingredients:  SUGAR, UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}, RIBOFLAVIN {VITAMIN B2}, FOLIC ACID), HIGH OLEIC CANOLA AND/OR PALM AND/OR CANOLA OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP*, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA AND/OR CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CORNSTARCH, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLIN–AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE. (copied from the label on their website)

*Learn more about WHY to avoid these artificial sweeteners and some healthier alternatives HERE.

I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about celebrating Earth Day with food that doesn’t come from the Earth?  Please comment below…


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