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Back-to-school snacks made easy

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Going back to school makes for busy parents and busy kids, and having easy, healthy, after-school snacks around can present a big challenge. Making a few snacks ahead of time ensures that kids have a variety of choices, and parents with busy schedules can avoid reaching for convenient — but often less healthy — snack options.

Each of the recipes below can be made in under an hour (one in under 10 minutes!) and are favorites among Léman students of every age.

Sesame-free hummus

This seed-free hummus is creamy and refreshing, and can be served with pita bread, tortilla chips, or veggie pieces — try celery, carrots, or even cauliflower.


1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp onion powder

Pinch of chili powder

Salt and pepper

¼ cup olive oil

4 tsp water

DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients, except olive oil and water, in a food processor. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Allow to process for two full minutes, then slowly drizzle in the water. Allow to process for two more minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Hummus can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

Crispy kale chips

Seasoned kale chips are as crispy and delicious as standard chips and are a great way to encourage picky eaters to try new leafy greens. These chips are quick and easy to make — mix it up with other seasonings, too, like garlic salt, taco seasoning, or red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.


1 bunch green kale

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 500-degrees Fahrenheit. Separate kale leaves, rinse, and dry thoroughly. Stack some leaves on top of each other. Cut out the tough center rib by cutting in a v-shape (or tear it out with your fingers). Slice leaves across into strips. Place kale in a large bowl; toss with olive oil and a good amount of salt and/or spices. Spread thinly onto cookie sheet. Bake for three minutes, toss, and bake for an additional minute or two, until browned and crispy. Watch closely as kale can burn quickly.

Chocolate chip cookies

Coming home to the delicious smell of freshly baked cookies is a treat for kids of all ages — and sure to cause some excitement in the house! These chocolate chip cookies have moist, cake-like texture thanks to the healthy substitute of applesauce in lieu of most of the butter.


1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp softened butter

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Drain applesauce in a fine sieve over a bowl; let stand for at least 30 minutes. Discard the leftover liquid and scrape drained applesauce into a large bowl. Add sugar and butter, beating with a mixer at medium speed for three minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well-blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by level tablespoon onto baking sheets coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pan until firm, about 10 minutes.

Chef Jenny Gensterblum is executive chef at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Updated 4:57 pm, July 9, 2018
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