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Get Fruity With These Nutritional Snacks

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With kids back in school, sports and clubs, they're going to need all the energy they can get.

And with apple season in full-swing well, it's a no brainer to load up on fruit.

On Tuesday, the WCCO Morning Show crew went into the kitchen for some fast, easy healthy snacks.

Jason DeRusha talked with Amy Goetz, food expert from Lunds & Byerly's. And she talked about all the ways you can use apples.

One of the simplest snacks out there is to slice an apple and smear one side with peanut butter. Goetz said one way to boost that classic snacking standby is to then dip that peanut-buttered side into some healthy granola for some added texture.

Goetz said that growing up, apples paired with cheese was one of her favorites. A great choice for both health and flavor is Parmigiano-Reggiano, because it has a lot of protein and calcium.

Also, one way to make cookies a little bit healthier is to substitute butter for almond butter. Here is a recommended cookie recipe from Goetz:

Chewy Oatmeal Everything Cookies

1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
½ cup almond or peanut butter
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins, craisins or other dried fruit
½ apple (Granny Smith or SweeTango), peeled and chopped (optional*)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together butters and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and beat well. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips, coconut and dried fruit. Scoop dough, press to flatten slightly and place on a parchment lined baking pan**. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until light brown.

Amount: About 48 cookies

*Variation: If you add the apple, be sure to use a firm apple like Granny Smith or SweeTango. Because of the fresh apples, the cookies should be stored in the refrigerator, although they'll be fine at room temperature for several hours.

**FoodE Tip: Use a small ice cream scoop for easy portioning.
If you want to do the prep work ahead and bake only the amounts you want, scoop dough, press to flatten slightly, place ½ inch apart on a parchment-lined pan and freeze. When solid, store in a freezer bag. Allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes before baking.

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