Now I know that this isn't my own personal brainchild. There have been pizza bites in the frozen section of your local grocery store since I was a kid. Bagel bites are the ones that come to mind, which claim to be a natural snack right on the front of the box. But here's a wrap up of what else your kids are eating when you serve them up. Note the fact that salt is listed multiple times.
Pepperoni Bagel Bites Ingredients
2% or Less of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Soybean Oil, Yeast, Whey protein concentrate, Nonfat Milk, Flavor enhancer (potassium chloride, ammonium chloride, yeast extract, Maltodextrin, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Calcium Lactate, Natural Flavor) Methylcellulose, Citric Acid, Red Pepper, Natural Flavor, Dough Conditioner (Ascorbic Acid) Enzymes.
Source: Weighty Matters
In a nutshell there are tons of additives, lots of salt and hidden sugars. Not very natural, and definitely not a healthy snack.
So here's a way to take a snack that is really unhealthy in the store-bought rendition and make it your own. The more you sneak onto these the more nutritious they'll be. I used cucumbers, tomatoes (both fresh from my garden) and mushrooms but feel free to boost your creativity. You can make these really easy and buy ready-made pizza dough at most grocery stores, though I just make my own so I don't have to worry about dough conditioners and other additives. Either way let me know what you tried.
Prep time: 45 minutes if you make your own dough, 30 of which are to let the dough rise
Cook time: ~7 minutes
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup very warm water
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Add all the above except the oil to a food processor. Combine until a ball of dough forms, then pull the dough out of the container and add more wheat flour if the dough is sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is manageable. Form into a ball. Place in a olive oil greased bowl (essentially rub a little olive oil into the bottom and sides of a bowl, then roll the dough in it so it's surfaces are all coated with oil) and let rise for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes punch down and put onto a lightly olive oiled surface. Coat your rolling pin with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Separate dough into 24 balls, then roll into flat circles that will cover the bottom of your muffin pan.
thin slices of mozzarella
Preheat oven to 500F.
Lightly grease a muffin with non-stick cooking spray. Add dough and press down to make sure that the bottom is covered. Add a slice or two of mozzarella cheese, then add veggies. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan. Bake for ~ 7 minutes, but keep an eye on them and pull them when the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden on the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.