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How to Make Inukshuk-Inspired Treats for Canada Day

I am a Canadian writer who likes to write about crafts, DIY projects, recipes, and products we use as a family.

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A Fun Canada Day Party Appetizer

The Intuit and other indigenous peoples of the Arctic placed large rocks on top of one another to build Inukshuks, magnificent stone monuments "in the likeness of a human." Most structures functioned as hunting and fishing route landmarks in the barren tundra, while some were used for spiritual purposes.

Inukshuks are becoming more of a national symbol for Canada, and they inspired the appetizers for our Canada Day party last year. I made a fruit/veggie version and a candy/chocolate version for variety—they were a huge hit with kids and adults alike!

Overview of Items Needed:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Proteins
  • Sweets
  • Chocolates
  • Regular toothpicks
  • Canadian flag cocktail toothpicks

You can make mealtimes fun for kids by serving them these finger food snacks. It's also a great way to encourage kids to eat vegetables and learn a little Canadian history about the Inuit people! The project doesn't require much instruction and is easy to assemble, so even a novice cook or kids can put these together.

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How to Make Fruit Appetizers

You can transform ordinary party platters into a uniquely Canadian appetizer that will dazzle your guests and is super fun to eat. The fruit and veggie combinations are endless, but I've listed a few options you can use below.

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Snap peas
  • Zucchini
  • Pickles

Fruits

  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Pineapples
  • Oranges
  • Kiwis

Proteins and Carbs

  • Cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Crackers
Let's get started!

Let's get started!

1. Build the Foundation. Grab two toothpicks and choose two vegetable 'feet' to support the statue and keep it upright. You want to build a column up the center, so place the toothpicks near the inside edge of the feet. They need to be fairly close together to ensure they will piece the center of the smaller pieces.

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2. Connect the Food. Continue threading a mixture of different fruits and vegetables, alternating between square chunks and long rectangles. Top it off with a veggie that covers the end of the sharp toothpicks. You'll need to hold the toothpicks parallel to one another as you place the veggies on the sticks to prevent them from crossing.

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3. Make Variations. If you want to make these appetizers more filling, you can add a few crackers. I used mini crackers with small holes in them so I could easily thread them on a separate toothpick and then poke them into the Inukshuk treats.

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4. Twist and Turn. Adjust the feet to balance the whole structure and keep it upright. I sliced the bottoms off the tomatoes so they would stand up on the plates. Serve these treats with a tasty ranch dip on the side!

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How To Make Candy Inukshuk Treats

These candy Inukshuk treats are sure to sweeten everyone's day. You'll need soft candies, and I've put a few suggestions of ones I used below.

What You'll Need:

  • Red licorice
  • Red gummy candies
  • Strawberry marshmallow candies
  • Mini Rolo chocolates
  • Kit Kat candy bars
  • Cream cheese (optional)
  • Peanut butter (optional)
  • Nutella (optional)
Let's get building!

Let's get building!

1. Build the Foundation. Start by building these appetizers using the same method as the fruit and veggie treats.

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2. Decorate. Build your Inukshuk! I used a variety of different red-colored candies in this project, but I recommend using a mixture of red and white candy. And voila! Your candy Inukshuk treats are ready to serve.

How to Make Chocolate Inukshuk Treats

The chocolate variation doesn't require any toothpicks, but you'll need something to act as a glue to hold the mini chocolates together. I used melted chocolate chips, but you can use things like cream cheese, Nutella, or peanut butter.

What You'll Need:

  • Mini Rolo chocolates
  • Kit Kat candy bars
  • Chocolate chips
  • Licorice
  • Cream cheese (optional)
  • Peanut butter (optional)
  • Nutella (optional)
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1. Build the Foundation. To make the chocolate version, I used a combination of chocolates and red candy that I cut into different sizes. You won't be able to use toothpicks in chocolates with gooey or crumbly centers. To attach them to the structure, melt a few chocolate chips and glue the treats together. Paint a dollop of melted chocolate on the two bottom feet using a paintbrush and then build upwards.

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2. Build and Set. Place a rectangular piece of chocolate or licorice on top of the feet. Keep attaching sweet treats until it reaches the height you want. The melted chocolate "glue" only takes a few minutes to harden. Gently place your structures upright in a container and refrigerate them for 30 minutes to completely set them before serving.

An Outdoorsy Inukshuk Treat

If you want to take the festivities outside, use bamboo or metal skewers to thread some veggies and meat together. Throw the whole thing onto the barbecue and grill up some tasty Inukshuk kabobs!

What You'll Need:

  • Bamboo or metal skewers
  • Barbecue
  • Vegetables
  • Meat (chicken or beef)
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Pineapple
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© 2013 Corrinna Johnson

Thanks for visiting!

Edith on June 02, 2018:

What a fun, cute, and delicious way to appropriate Canadian Indigenous culture!

Stop this.

Courtney Kramer on January 25, 2017:

These look awesome! I love how they connect to our unique culture and diverse society.

DebMartin on July 07, 2014:

These are great! Especially the sweets. ;-)

jasminscreation on July 02, 2014:

What a cute idea!

Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on April 05, 2014:

I got a note saying this lens is my #1200 SquidLike. A very worthy lens for it! Great idea to write about. I'm adding a link to my Facebook and Scoopit pages.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on February 08, 2014:

Clever and adorable! Great how to lens!

chrisilouwho on November 26, 2013:

This is really cute!!

Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on June 23, 2013:

@anonymous: Stone statues created to mark the land "in the likeness of people" by the Inuit race from Northern Canada for navigation during hunting and fishing expeditions in earlier times.

anonymous on June 23, 2013:

What's an inukshuk?

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on June 22, 2013:

Corrina, these are so cute and clever. I bet they are a huge hit at parties. What a fun idea! Awesome lens!

May Matthew on May 30, 2013:

The treats look very festive and delicious!

audrey07 on May 29, 2013:

These are fun. Kids will definitely love them!

Natural_Skin_Care on May 29, 2013:

Oh my, I need to visit Canada. You guys have far superior treats that we do in the US.

sue826 lm on May 29, 2013:

These are interesting. My mom was from Canada. :)

Erin Mellor from Europe on May 27, 2013:

These are super-cool. I will declare myself an honorary Canadian just for the day - a new Commonwealth tradition.

tomoxby on May 27, 2013:

Love these creative Inukshuk food ideas, never heard of them before. I particularly like your photos of the before and after party appetizers. I usually go cycling followed by a potluck dinner with friends on Canada Day weekend so I now have something to bring this year that is a little different.

LisaDH on May 26, 2013:

What a fun idea!! I might have to start celebrating Canada Day just so I have an excuse to try this. ;-)

Rose Jones on May 26, 2013:

Cute as can be - pinned to my Canada board.