Friday, January 3, 2014

Fast (NOT processed) snacks and more!

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2014, one question that I have received messages and comments about via my personal Facebook page and my new Elevate Wellness Facebook page is this:  I need new snack and meal ideas that are quick, easy and require little to no prep or clean up.  Many say they reach for processed foods to meet all of these requirements, but it doesn't have to be that way!!!  

Here is my family's top five snacks, that could also serve as meals on the go!

Apple Sandwiches
1.  Apple Sandwiches:  A green apple with sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter) is a go-to allergy-friendly snack in our house.  Amp it up by thinly slicing the apple, adding a thin spread of nut butter to one slice and then sprinkling some seeds or granola on top of the nut butter.  Add another slice of apple and repeat.  My four year old thinks this is a fun snack!  You could pack these up with some lunch meat roll ups for lunch on the go!  

2.  Granola and Muffins:  This does take a little prep, but if you take one hour on the weekend and double or triple a recipe and freeze the extras, this makes an awesome quick snack or compliment to a meal with little fuss on a busy weekday!  Check out these granola bars and these granola bites (that can be made grain free using coconut flour!) and this muffin recipe for a good start.

3.  Homemade "lunchables":  Slice up high quality summer sausage (try Thousand Hills or a brand local to you!), organic, hormone free cheese and clean crackers (try Flackers, Mary's Gone Crackers, or a homemade cracker recipe if you are up for some baking) and add some berries or grapes into a reusable bento box storage container and you have a fun snack or lunch with just a little bit of preparation.

4.  Trail mix:  We LOVE mixing our own trail mix.  This is a fantastic allergy-friendly snacks (add nuts if allergies are not a concern)!  This is where the bulk bins at Whole Foods, your local co op or just about any grocery store come in very handy.  We add coconut flakes, banana chips, dried cranberries, raisins, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, mini chocolate chips and other fun add ins to make a filling, nutritious snack.  Mix a large container that you can scoop into small bags when you are on the go!

5.  Fresh cut veggies with dip:  This does take a little prep, but spend 15 minutes on a Sunday afternoon cleaning and chopping broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, etc and keep it in a bag in the fridge for quick snacks during the week.  Add yogurt, hummus, homemade ranch or guacamole to dip (which always makes it more fun)!

Beyond the top 5, smoothies are always an fun and healthy snack!  There are so many smoothie recipes to choose from.  We add greens and bananas to every smoothie we make in our house.  Milk, yogurt and water make up the liquid part of the smoothie and then our frozen organic fruit (peaches and berries - we buy our frozen fruit in large bags from Costco when we can) tops it off.

I'd love to hear about any of your go-to snacks and convenience foods!  Enjoy!

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