Food

Satisfy those afterschool munchies with something crunchy

This June 15, 2015 photo shows cheesy toasted snack mix in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Alison Ladman. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This June 15, 2015 photo shows cheesy toasted snack mix in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Alison Ladman. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

By Alison Ladman, Associated Press

We all just need to accept that no matter how much we’d like otherwise, kale “chips” just aren’t going to satisfy that afterschool need for something crunchy and snacky.

Seriously. Think back to when you were 10 and coming home loaded down with books and homework. “Mm! Thanks for the kale chips, Mom!”

I don’t think so. You’d much rather have had this salty-crunchy-savory-cheesy blend of cereal, crackers, pretzels and nuts, all doused with a generous helping of butter, soy sauce and Parmesan cheese. Now we’re talking fuel for growing brains.

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CHEESY TOASTED SNACK MIX

This June 15, 2015 photo shows cheesy toasted snack mix in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Alison Ladman. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This June 15, 2015 photo shows cheesy toasted snack mix in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Alison Ladman. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 12

4 cups toasted corn square cereal (such as Chex)

2 cups broken or mini woven wheat crackers (such as Triscuits)

1 cup pretzel sticks or other small pretzels

1 cup shelled, lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts

1 cup cashews

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, crackers, pretzels, peanuts and cashews. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the soy sauce and pizza seasoning. Stir the butter mixture into the cereal mixture to evenly coat. Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle all over with the Parmesan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until well toasted. Allow to fully cool on the pan. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 160 calories from fat (62 percent of total calories); 18 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 7 g protein.

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