My friends raising young children are always entertaining me with quirky tales of their kids’ weird behaviours.
My favourite are dinnertime woes, because as a recovering picky eater, not only do I find these stories hilarious, it’s fascinating and a little endearing – kids are cute and so adorably weird!
There’s my friend M’s sweet toddler who I’m pretty sure will become one of those crazy chefs renowned for unusual food pairings. Lately, he’s been obsessed with M&Ms – his mom and I had this discussion recently;
Mom M: you won’t believe what K made us do at dinner last night
Mom M: we had to put m&ms in his soup!
Mom M: that’s the only way he’d eat his dinner, he wants m&ms in EVERYTHING!
Mom M: are you serious? because he’s an unreasonable child and we’re weak
Me: lol, but he’s such an adorable little boy though?
Mom M: yes, an adorable a tyrant, he is
Me: What kind of soup was it?
Mom M: minestrone why?
Me: Don’t you mean Minestrone con M&Ms?
Mom M: Ha ha ha ☹
See, this is why I don’t have kids… my reaction would have been, “Sure kid, let’s all try M&Ms in our soup today; maybe you’re on to something!”
Meanwhile, poor M is trying to find less dramatic ways for little K to get his M&Ms fix and a balanced diet .
I recommended this smarties and toasted coconut granola I made last year. I took it on a weekend getaway and shared it with our host’s picky-eater-tween-daughters who absolutely adored it.
I used Smarties because I prefer them to M&Ms, but any sugar-coated chocolate candy of that variety will do.
The great thing about this granola is, even though it feels like you’re eating candy for breakfast, there’s not a whole lot in the recipe, compared to say having a whole bag for snack, but it looks indulgent, and it’s fun and colourful.
I added toasted coconut for a nutty tropical flavour, plus toasted coconut is really, really good in granola!
It’s versatile, I use it as topping for ice cream all the time, it’s great sprinkled on yogurt too, and of course with milk for breakfast, but I mostly eat it by itself, like…. well, candy.
*To toast coconut ribbons, spread coconut ribbons in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes; stir every 5 minutes to ensure that the coconut is lightly browned, or spread coconut onto a skillet and toast on stovetop over medium heat, stir frequently until coconut is lightly browned.
Smarties and Toasted Coconut Granola
- 2 cups oats
- 1/2 shredded coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 sliced almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup toasted coconut ribbons
- 1 cup Smarties
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly oiled foil)
- Combine oats, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and sliced almonds in a large bowl
- Add nutmeg and salt, and mix well
- Heat vegetable oil over low heat in a small saucepan
- Whisk in maple syrup and stir occasionally for about 2 minutes
- Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and pour over oats and mix until completed coated
- Spread the mixture evenly in a thin layer on to the baking sheet
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring every ten minutes until granola is golden brown
- Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and add coconut ribbons and Smarties
- Mix, cool completely and store in airtight container, it’ll keep for up to a month