Not that I have anything against insects, but let’s be real for a second here: could you find a more unappetizing name for a delicious snack food than “Ants on a Log”?
No, I didn’t think so.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, “Ants on a Log” is composed of a stalk of celery (the log) that has been stuffed with peanut butter (an unidentifiable element) and dotted with raisins on top (the ants). Many parents regard this combination as a staple in the healthy snack world. The question is: how did such an unappealingly named snack explode into a modern-day household favorite?
To answer this puzzler, I did some serious research—read: three minutes of browsing Wikipedia—into the etymology of “Ants on a Log.” Apparently the snack made its debut way back in the 1950s, right there alongside “Jailhouse Rock” and I Love Lucy. According to the article, you can swap out peanut butter for cream cheese and still call it “Ants on a Log.” And the combinations didn’t stop there, either: there are tons of variations already out there, including “Gnats on a Log” (substitute currants for raisins), “Ants on Vacation” (omit raisins), “Ants on a Slip ‘n Slide” (top the peanut butter with honey before adding raisins), and my personal favorite, “Hippopotamuses on Thomases” (serve half an English muffin with peanut butter and prunes). Talk about wacky namesakes that will leave your kids giggling!
My research got me thinking: how many crazy or funny combinations could I come up with? Well, I won’t leave you in suspense. Below are 21 fun ways to reinvent “Ants on a Log.” Some are probably more palatable than others. I actually bought a bunch of celery and tested them as I was writing this article. You’ll just have to let us know if you try any of these combinations with the little ones:
- Fire Ants on a Log: celery, peanut butter, cranberries
- Polar Bears in a Blizzard: celery, marshmallow fluff, yogurt-covered raisins
- Zebras in a Technicolor Nightmare: celery, rainbow sherbet ice cream, alternating raisins and yogurt-covered raisins
- Ants on a Yule Tide Log: celery, cookie (Speculoos) butter, raisins
- Teeth in a Smile: apple slice, almond butter, miniature marshmallows
- Bears in a Honey Bath: Celery, honey, miniature pretzels
- Crocodile Teeth A-floatin’ Down the River: celery, grape jelly, white chocolate chips
- Elephants on Snowy Fields: rectangular sliced toast, cream cheese, purple grapes
- Peas in a Pod: celery, cream cheese, peas
- Jewels in a Mine: half a banana, peanut butter, colored round candy
- Snakes in the Grass: celery, almond butter, gummy worm
- Hearts on a Sleeve: rectangular sliced toast, cream cheese, sliced strawberries
- Cows in a Sandbox: celery, peanut butter, granola, blackberries
- Fish in a Stream: celery, nut butter, goldfish-style crackers
- Pirates on a Plank: carrot stick, peanut butter, chocolate chips
- Monkeys in a Tree: celery, peanut butter, banana slices
- Goats in a Boat: half a red bell pepper, potato salad, mango chunks
- Bunnies on the Prairie: celery, coleslaw, miniature marshmallows
- Crows on the Road: celery, grape jelly, raisins
- Elves in a Snowstorm: celery, cream cheese, butterscotch chips
- Flamingos on the Dance Floor: celery, peanut butter, dried guava bits
Now it’s your turn to share your food for thought: what zany “Ants on a Log” rendition can you think of? Don’t forget to recruit your kids for help!