Monday, November 16, 2009

What's For...Snacks?

One question that I'm often asked is what we do for snacks. In keeping with a healthy meal plan, our snacks have to meet certain criteria to be considered a good choice. They cannot contain hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial dyes and preservatives or artificial sweeteners. That said, no summer vacation is complete without a good bag of greasy, cheesy Cheetohs, which contain most of the above no-no's! But that's once in a very great while! There are also 7 females in my family...once a month (or more), chocolate is a neccessity.

Lives depend on it. Seriously.

And chocolate is a health food. I read it somewhere, so it must be true.

Good snacks to have on hand would be; raw nuts, whole grain pretzels, fresh fruit and veggies, smoothies, frozen berries and milk, (a personal favorite!), yogurt, whole grain tortilla chips with fresh salsa, and popcorn. Even home baked cookies can be a healthy choice!

Here's a few more ideas...

Instead of Koolaid or soda, try pure fruit juice with club soda. A much healthier choice, and it makes the juice last longer!

Try serving sliced apples with peanut butter, or fresh melon and pineapple with a yogurt fruit dip. Or, core an apple, place on a cookie sheet and fill the middle with pure maple syrup and cinnamon before baking for 15 minutes. Even add some raw nuts if you want to!

Make your own trail mix using dried fruit, raw nuts, a whole grain cereal, dried coconut chips and pretzels. Leave out the chocolate candies since they contain hydrogenated oil and dyes.

Here's a couple of recipes to get your family started on healthy snacking. They'll thank you for it.

Maybe not today, especially if you are throwing out all the unhealthy "junk", but someday.

Trust me.

Lemon Fruit Dip

1 (16 oz.) sour cream
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding (use organic to avoid the "yucky" stuff)
1/4 cup milk
4 t. lemon juice
1 t. grated lemon rind
Mix together. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve with fresh fruit. Delicious!

Coco-Pop Popcorn

2 Tb. raw, organic coconut oil
1/3 cup popcorn seeds
1-2 Tb. unsalted butter
sea salt

In a medium saucepan with lid, heat popcorn and coconut oil on med-high heat. Make sure the lid is on! When the popping starts, turn off heat and shake the pan lightly. Wait for popping to stop before removing lid and pouring into large bowl. In the same saucepan, melt the butter (you don't have to turn the stove back on for this...the pan is hot enough!) Pour over popcorn. Add sea salt to taste. *This recipe can be changed by adding spices. Try chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder or add organic cheese powder for a different taste.

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