Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Make Ahead Snacks - Pizza Bagels

Have you ever thrown these into your cart at the grocery store?
If you're lucky enough to buy them on sale with a coupon, you maybe spent $1.50 on these 9 tiny snack bites.  The box IS luring with this healthy information - "whole grain", "protein", "real cheese".  And don't they just look so yummy? (No, not really but kids like 'em! )

The problem?  This box is not big enough to feed the hungry snackers at my house!  When they were toddlers, yes.  But now that they are growing and bringing their hungry friends over, there's not enough to satisfy their hunger attacks.  Plus the picture on the box always looks much better than the ones I pull from the oven.  And they're sometimes too crunchy or too chewy or too fake tasting.

This past week I had some leftover pizza sauce from our stromboli, so I decided to whip up a new batch of pizza bagel bites myself.  Now we have 18 bagel bites in the freezer just waiting to be devoured by hungry children!  An added bonus - they taste so much better than those frozen ones you buy at the store!

When hunger strikes, just pull one or two or more bagels from the bag in the freezer, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 5-7 min at 350.  We like to do ours in the toaster oven because they cook super fast.  Just watch so they don't get too brown on top. 

This particular batch is just cheese, but you could certainly put whatever pizza toppings you like on them.

These took me about 5-10 minutes to put together; an hour to freeze, and less than 5 minutes to bag and refreeze for later use.

Here's how you make 'em:

1 bag of your favorite brand bagels (I used whole grain white)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite pizza sauce (leftover spaghetti sauce will work too)
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella or pizza blend cheese

Step by step instructions:
1.  Open the bagels and place on a large cookie sheet.
2.  Spread some sauce on all the bagel halves.  (Sometimes I sprinkle a little extra italian seasoning or oregano on top if I'm using spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce)
3.  Top with shredded cheese. 
4.  Place cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or so.
5.  Place the frozen bagels in a large ziploc bag.  Separate the layers with a piece of wax or parchment paper to keep them from sticking together.
6.  To eat, pull out frozen bagel(s).  Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 5-7 min @ 350 in a toaster oven.  (may need to do a bit higher in a real oven)

Whole grain bagel, heart healthy pizza sauce, and low fat mozzarella cheese. . . .

Make a batch of these tasty snacks this week for your family! 

What's your favorite make ahead snack?

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