Tag Archives: chemistry

Make a Date with Cranberries and Digest Some Good Feelings

23 Nov

Our guest blogger today is Sharon Rudnitski the creator of Cook Up a Story. An early interest in kitchen pleasures inspired Sharon to earn a degree in food science. A Gold Harvest award capped her 35-year publishing career with Agriculture Canada, for a national science program she led for children. Now Sharon enjoys bringing her stories, recipes, and healthy-eating messages privately to kids in the community. Sharon lives with her husband in Ottawa, Canada, near her grandchildren, whose ticklish taste buds challenge her at every meal to come up with good food that’s fun to eat.

Dates and cranberries make great friends. They contain minerals and molecules that your body loves. Dates have amazing amounts of potassium, which banishes the blues. Cranberries are full of nutrients that fight disease. Natural sugar in the dates plus fiber in the oats mean instant energy with benefits. These date and cranberry squares make a super healthy breakfast or snack choice with fuel that lasts. Best of all they taste DElicious, especially with a dab of vanilla yogurt. Learn more about how to rein in your sweet tooth. Read Cook Up a Story.

½ bag (500 grams) pitted dates
1 bag (340 grams) fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries, rinsed and with stems removed
4 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼  tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar

large saucepan with lid, large bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons, 2 nine-inch square pans

Get ready…
1. Put the dates in the saucepan. If using dried cranberries, add them too. Then add boiling water – just enough to cover their tops. Let them soften for 10-15 minutes.
2. If using fresh cranberries, rinse and take off any stems, then add them after the dates have softened.

Get set…
1. Gently stir the fruit over medium heat until the dates and cranberries form a soft paste (about 5 minutes after they come to a boil). Do not overcook as you want to see the different fruit in your squares). Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
2. For the crust, measure the remaining ingredients and mix them together in the large bowl. Sprinkle one cup of the crust mix into each pan.
3. Add half the cooled fruit mix to each pan, slowly, as the mix is thick and gooey. Use the flat of a large spoon to flatten and spread the paste. Then top each pan with one more cup of the crust. Let cool completely, then put in the fridge.

Cut into squares and serve with your favorite low-fat yogurt (optional, but a tasty and protein-rich addition).
Recipe adapted from one given to Vinny by France Laliberte. Thanks, France!

Healthy snack ideas from SMU.

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Junior Scientist

18 Oct

When I was a little girl, my mom taught us to be curious about everything, especially things that had to do with science. But, back then, it was mostly a look and see approach even at museums.

When I became a teacher, hands-on science in schools became a major change in the elementary curriculum. It was heaven on earth for a curious grown up who was never able to explore as a child!

This is one of my favorite experiments, it’s super simple, and you have all the supplies right in your kitchen!


  • Clear glass
  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • Popcorn Kernels or Raisins
  1. Place the cup on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Put the baking soda in the cup and slowly pour in the vinegar.
  3. When the bubbles have subsided, put the popcorn or raisins into the cup.
  4. Watch the popcorn or raisins rise up and down in the cup.

Your junior scientist just learned about liquids, solids, and gases through a simple chemistry experiment.

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