It’s time to fall back into meal planning! With school coming up, and extra activities being planned, I’m struggling to get a handle on schedules, meals, and snacks to help along the way.
Being Italian, my snacks usually fall into the Italian comfort variety and that can largely include cheese. In fact, Ricotta with a bit of sugar and cocoa on bread was a common snack growing up. A couple of spoons of fresh Ricotta (warm!) is still a treat. I remember my sister used to tear in to fresh Mozzarella braids or pop Bocconcini from the fridge while my parents weren’t looking.
From these memories, I’ve figured out how to get that cheesy comfort in easily planned snacks. Snack cups are a great way to use protein-rich cheese in a new way, mixing Tre Stelle cheese with fresh ingredients like fruit. Creating them myself means I can monitor the amount of sugar in my snack, as opposed to grabbing a pudding or yogurt cup. Plus, your kids can help you create them, measuring out the cheese, counting the fruit and personalizing them to their tastes.
I’ve used clip-top glass jars, but it works just as well with small plastic containers. Set up your countertop or table with Tre Stelle Extra Smooth Ricotta, Tre Stelle Mini Mini Bocconcini, fruit, a bit of sugar (or sugar replacement) and other flavoured ingredients like cocoa, vanilla, or mint and get started. Mix and match your flavours! Let the kids count out the fruit, mix the Ricotta, sprinkle in the additions and label them with their name. Seal them up, pop them in the fridge and grab them for an after-school snack, morning side dish, or weekend picnic addition.
Here’s some quick snack cup ideas:
My stand-by snack! Mix 3 tablespoons of Tre Stelle Extra Smooth Ricotta with 1 teaspoon of cocoa and ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Stir until combined and top with fresh berries. It’s really good on toast too!
I love the freshness of lemon and blueberries together! Plus lemon and Ricotta together is a familiar flavour found in cannoli, if you love Italian desserts. Mix 3 tablespoons of Tre Stelle Extra Smooth Ricotta with ¼ teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of lemon zest. Top with fresh blueberries and dig in!
For more sophisticated tastes – or for the older kids – this sweet and savoury mix is a hit. Marinate 8 to 10 Tre Stelle Mini Mini Bocconcini with watermelon chunks in 1 teaspoon of light-flavoured oil (avocado or a light olive oil are great choices), a sprinkle of lemon zest and a chopped basil leaf. The longer it marinates, the more intense the flavours.
Add even more protein to your snack with nuts. Fresh Mozzarella, like Bocconcini, take on flavour well so I marinate with the fruit for this cup. Mash ¼ of an apricot and mix it with 8 to 10 Tre Stelle Mini Mini Bocconcini. Top with the remaining apricot, cubed. Drizzle with almond butter or sprinkle chopped almonds on top for a crunch.