Edible Crawlies for Kids
Usually ants, beetles, and other creepy crawlies are not welcome in the kitchen. But that’s not the case with these fun snacks. Grab the kids and eat some bugs!
Note: Where peanut butter is used in these recipes for “gluing” edible body parts together, frostings may be used as a substitution for those children who are sensitive to or allergic to nuts.
Ants in the Sand
graham crackers, crushed
snack sized resealable plastic bags
To crush graham crackers, place inside a large (gallon size) resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, smash crackers through bag by rolling back and forth over them until they are all in crumb form.
Fill snack sized resealable bags halfway with graham cracker crumbs. Add a small handful of chocolate sprinkles to the bags and seal.
Bugs on a Log
Spread peanut butter onto washed and drained celery stalks. Top with raisins. For children who are allergic to peanuts, try using cream cheese or processed cheese spread in place of the peanut butter.
black or chocolate licorice twists
fudge sandwich cookies
red cinnamon candies
Cut licorice in half. Remove the top of each sandwich cookie; press 8 licorice pieces into the fudge center to resemble spider legs. Spread a little chocolate frosting over the licorice; replace cookie tops. Frost the tops of the spider cookies with frosting. Place red cinnamon candies on top for eyes.
crunchy chow mein noodles
muenster cheese (or other soft block cheese)
Cut cheese into 2″ x 1″ rectangular blocks. Gently insert three chow mein noodles on each side of cheese block for legs. Using two broken chow mein noodles, insert into “head” as antennae.
Note: Cheddar makes a bright and colorful beetle, but can be very frustrating for little fingers as the cheese is a bit too hard to press the noodles into without breaking. Use softer cheese such as gouda, havarti, monterey jack, or even mozerella.
Peanut Butter Caterpillars
chow mein noodles
Peel and slice a banana. Join the slices together by “gluing” them with peanut butter. Carefully poke two chow mein noodles (or break a pretzel stick in half to make two pieces) through the top of the grape. Use more peanut butter to attach the head (grape) to the front of the body, with antennae (chow mein noodles) pointing up.
Got 10 minutes to spare? You can make this almost ridiculously, easy dessert. Bananas, oranges and cinnamon make a superb combination.
6 – 8 medium-sized ripe bananas (pisang raja, mas or berangan)
1 – 2 tbsp butter
Sugar to sprinkle
1. Using a sharp knife, peel a few strips of rind from the orange. (Be careful not to take too much of the white pith). Stack and shred finely – you want about 2 tablespoons of rind. Squeeze orange to obtain juice.
2. Peel and split bananas into halves lengthwise. Choose a not-too-large heatproof dish (any shape) with a depth of about 4 cm/2 inches.
3. Arrange a single layer of bananas on the base of the dish. Sprinkle half the shredded rind, about a loose tablespoon of sugar and a dusting of ground cinnamon. Dot with bits of butter. Arrange another layer of bananas over. Pour the juice over and sprinkle on the rest of the peel, more sugar and cinnamon.
4. Preheat grill and place your dish under it, quite close to the grill. Cook on high heat for 15 – 20 minutes or until top is nicely browned and caramelized in parts. Serve warm with whipped cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.
LEPAT PISANG (Steamed banana parcels)
300 g (peeled weight), ripe bananas (pisang mas, raja or rastali)
Pinch of salt
60 g palm sugar (gula melaka), finely chopped or shaved
3 tbsp thick coconut milk
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
1 frond banana leaf
1. Mash bananas in a small mixing bowl. Add salt, palm sugar, coconut, flours and grated coconut (if used). Stir, without beating, until well mixed.
2. Cut two sides of the banana leaf away from the stem. Quickly pass over a gas flame (the heat will soften the leaf and make it more pliable for use as a wrapper). Cut leaves into rectangles approximately 15 cm X 10 cm, trimming the pieces with scissors.
3. Position a sheet of banana leaf on a work top in front of you – long side facing you. Place 1 – 2 tablespoons of the mixture (depending on size of packets you want) in the middle of the leaf. Fold top and bottom towards the centre, overlapping them. Neatly fold left and right ends, tucking them under to enclose the banana mixture completely.
4. Arrange packets on a steamer tray in a single layer, leaving a little space between the parcels for steam to come through. Cook over rapidly-boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Makes 12 – 15 parcels.)