Summer Snack Hacks

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by Lunches & Littles

As a mother of three little ones (five years old and younger), I make a lot of meals and snacks for my family. In any given week, there are school and work lunches, play date snack platters, and our own family breakfasts, at-home-lunches, and dinners. Additionally, my husband and I also really enjoy having friends over and entertaining and while we love it, let me tell ya; that requires a lot of extra time spent prepping and cooking!

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love spending time in the kitchen, but you know what I love even more? – Quality time with my family and friends; especially as the weather is getting warmer and the nights longer. Now, if you follow me over on my feed @lunchesandlittles, you already know that eating healthy, real food is a priority for my family and me. And so, I love it when I find a company that helps us do that in a way that is both tasty and easy. Hello, Village Farms.

I cook quite a bit with tomatoes from Village Farms and my family also enjoys this bit of nature’s candy straight from the package. Fresh tomatoes have a place in our day to day; from snack platters to salads, to packed lunches and main meals, and our current obsession: Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes. These tomatoes are so juicy and sweet, absolutely perfect for making homemade sauces and so much more. These little tomatoes are loved by even our youngest foodie (age two), are rich in vitamins A and K… Oh, and did I mention how versatile they are?

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We use tomatoes all different ways in our home, but one thing that I love to do with these tomatoes is roast up a whole batch at once and then make several different meals, sides or appetizers with them. Personally, I don’t meal plan enough (though that is a goal I have for 2018 for sure!), but when I do, even just a little, I know how much it helps. A little prep really can go a long way, and roasting just once for multiple meals/recipes is a great way to maximize the time that you are spending in the kitchen. That’s cooking smarter, not harder… Am I right?

I recently roasted up a pretty large batch of these beauties and developed 3 recipes exclusively for Village Farms. Each recipe combines the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes with other fresh ingredients, and while each one has its own unique flavor and purpose, they are all sweet, fresh and made with real food. I am so excited to share these new recipes with all of you: Sweet & Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa, Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus and a Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Gazpacho – perfect for a summer day (or night)! All of these recipes are bursting with flavors, and they’re kid-friendly – which as you can probably imagine is very important in our home.

Knowing salsa can often be too spicy for the little ones, I make mine with just a little heat and a drizzle of honey for added sweetness (you can totally omit the heat if desired).

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa

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Then, the Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus is a huge hit with our whole family – the tomatoes add such a great flavor to a basic hummus recipe and we top it all off with fresh thyme and shaved parmesan cheese; perfect for pairing with veggies that your little ones may not eat on their own (a total mom-win!).

Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus

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And, speaking of mom-wins: the kiddos enjoying the third recipe; a Roasted Tomato + Red Pepper Gazpacho; a recent addition to our meal rotation, certainly has my hubby and I all smiles. This chilled soup is full of hidden veggies, but overall maintains a very fresh, light and sweet taste (and smooth texture)! Perfect for the whole crew (and so easy to make!)

Roasted Tomato & Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho

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So, this season – let’s simplify meal planning. Easy prep like batch roasting some tomatoes can help you make several dishes in one take. And the versatility of Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomato is perfect for so many summery dishes!

Be sure to pick up some Village Farms tomatoes the next time you are out at your local store, and check out @lunchesandlittles for more family-friendly meal ideas, and simple recipes featuring real ingredients.

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches & Littles and also appeared on Produce for Kids

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