Cheddar & Cranberry Cheese Stackers

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With a leftover Thanksgiving jar of cranberry sauce in the cupboard, I threw together this quick snack. Kids will love the pop of cranberry sauce, adding novelty to a normal plate of non-dairy cheese and crackers.

To prepare, simply layer round snack crackers (such as Late July) with thinly sliced vegan cheddar – I recommend a block such as Daiya for this recipe. Spoon a tiny dollop of cranberry sauce on top of each cheese slice.

Not holiday season? Fret not, simply try applesauce in place of the cranberry sauce!

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Make Your Own Gummies

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Many thanks to Glee Gum for helping make this post happen!

Travis and I received a test sample of the company’s Make Your Own Gummies kit, and he adored the project from start to finish. I’m so pleased that I can offer readers of this blog the following exclusive promotion for holiday shopping!

Save 15% on EVERYTHING at GleeGum.com!
Coupon code: JOYFUL
(Offer only valid on web-store orders placed at GleeGum.com. Enter coupon code in the lower left of your shopping cart & hit “apply coupon.” One time only; one coupon code per order. Offer ends 1/31/18 at 11:59 pm ET.) 

Without any further ado, here’s what we thought of the Gummies kit. Although marketed to ages 8 and up, my 3 year old was able to help with each step and to understand the science behind how we made the candy. Here we are opening the box – he couldn’t wait to find out what was in each little packet!

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The directions were a touch vague at times, but that is my only gripe. Even though I improvised once or twice, the recipe is very forgiving because our gummies still turned out just fine.

In addition to the sweet treat at the end, the kit also includes great factual and scientific information on why you’ve received dried seaweed and seaweed powder as the starters for your gummies. Using carrageenan from seaweed means the company does not have to use gelatin from animal bones. This is a win-win situation, for seaweed farmers in places like the Philippines and of course for the animals! I loved that this vegan project was one Travis and I could share together.

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So on that note, how does it work? First, we covered our dried seaweed with water and let stand. The instructions were vague here, but I used warm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes, which turned out to be enough.

Meanwhile, select molds for your candy. We decided to use holiday-shaped cookie cutters, but I would use smaller molds next time. (The kit even suggests straws to make gummy worms!).

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Next, we smoothed the molding starch down onto a plate; a fun step for a three year old wielding a spoon. The kit said to place your molds in the starch and lift out. This seemed odd to me, so we left our molds in – more on that later.

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Meanwhile, back to the gummies: we mixed together powdered seaweed and water, and added the dried seaweed, which was now somewhat soft and smelled strongly of the ocean – Travis loved the sensory experience! Microwave for about 2 minutes until it foams up. Discard the dried seaweed. We added pink sugar and microwaved for an additional minute.

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Now pour the gummy mixture over your molds and transfer to the fridge. A wonderful bonus of this activity is that kids barely need to wait – ten minutes is all it takes for the gummies to set!

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We were rewarded ten minutes later with perfect gummy figures. As the finishing touch, we placed in a zip-top bag and shook with the provided sour mix. It was only 9 o’clock in the morning, but of course my little sous-chef got to taste right away.

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In sum, this is a fantastic project to share with kids. You’ll get to hone kitchen skills, learn a little science about seaweed, and eat a fantastic snack at the end. If you purchase the kit, please do share your experience in the comments!

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For more details on the product described in this post, including nutrition facts & ingredients, be sure to visit GleeGum.com You can also check out GleeGum’s Facebook (Glee Gum), Twitter (@gleeguy), Pinterest (Glee Gum),and Instagram (glee.gum) accounts.