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Jan
12
2012

12 Healthy Snack Ideas And A Simple Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip

Today is a busy day.

I have my first post up as a monthly contributor over at The Balanced Platter, the new site full of wonderful ideas for balanced, healthy living. I am sharing 8 Steps Towards Lifelong Health and a “No-More-Diet Challenge”.

Simple Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip

Will you go on over and take the challenge? Well..wait. Don’t go until you first check out these 12 quick and healthy snack ideas below for the continuation of A New Year, A New You with my sweet friends over at Daily Bites and Lexie’s Kitchen.

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas

For this event, I am tackling some quick and healthy snack ideas to get you through your day (and satisfied until dinner).

Now, I have a question for you.

Do you have a witching hour in your house? You know. That time right around three thirty or four o’clock in the afternoon. The time when every one is hungry. Dinner is not ready yet and all (kids, spouses, you) are starting to get grumpy, and whiny…and really really annoying.

My focus in this new year is to hit that crazy hour with a pre-emptive strike. My goal is to have some of these healthy ideas below ready and waiting when the kids walk through the door after school.

Consider this Operation-Cease-and-Desist-of-the-Witching-Hour. Do you want to join in on this covert operation?

Here is the plan (since all good operations need a plan, right?):

Get out a muffin tin. No. I am not making you bake right now.

Use that muffin tin to fill the openings with a variety of the snack ideas below. Put a couple of different dips in the center (in this photo, the dips on the left, from top to bottom, are homemade roasted pepper hummus, sunflower seed butter, and Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip – recipe below). Then surround the dips with fresh and dried fruits, raw veggies, and some nuts and trail mixes and any other ideas from the list below or from your creative and ingenious minds.

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas

These simple ideas below will refuel all of that energy spent throughout the day (but all of these are also wonderful mid-morning snacks that can be packed up in lunch boxes as well).

The other benefit is that if you add raw veggies and the kids are snacking on them, you do not have to worry so much if they are eating all of their vegetables at dinner time. And I have found that when my kids are starving they will eat those raw veggies sitting out.

Here are 12 Healthy Snack Ideas to fill up those muffin tins:

1. Sliced Bananas, Apples, Pears, or Celery with nut butter or nut-free sunflower seed butter for dipping.

2. Raw vegetables (sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc) with hummus or salad dressing for dipping (try pureeing vegetables into your hummus)

3. Kale Chips – there are many store bought ones, but making your own is way too easy: tear kale away from stems and then tear leaves into bite sized pieces, place on baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sea salt (and any other other seasoning of choice), bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Enjoy.

4. Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip (Recipe Below) to dip fruit and veggies in (or even to eat with a spoon).

5. Smoothies – get creative and add different fruits, greens, chia or flax seeds (can put in a thermos for a snack on the road) – not for the muffin tin, obviously. :)

6. Trail mix with Dairy Free Dark Chocolate pieces for a treat (Enjoy Life Foods has great Nut-Free Trail mixes) or make your own with: chopped raw nuts such as almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, or macadamias (if not Nut-Free), raisins, dates, apricots, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, dark chocolate pieces, etc.

7. Dehydrated Fruit (sulfite free).

8. Gluten-Free and Allergy Friendly Granola Bars cut into small pieces.

9. Home-made air-popped popcorn tossed with organic coconut oil and celtic  sea-salt.

10.  A small serving of dry Gluten-Free Granola, store-bought or home-made.

11. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free “Bran” Muffins cut into pieces.

12. Raw, organic cheese slices (if not dairy-free) with grain-free or gluten-free crackers.

And now for that recipe…

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  of flesh from a large Sweet Potato (measured to equal about 1 cup), roasted (reserve other half for another use…or lunch)
  • 3 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey, or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice OR Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:

1. Whisk together, or puree with immersion blender, all ingredients until smooth. Serve with apples, bananas, pears, carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc.

Make sure to go and check out all of these other wonderful ideas for Smart Snacking today too:

Okay, after you tell me what your favorite snack ideas are, go on over and take my challenge at The Balanced Platter!

 

46 Comments
  1. On January 12, 2012 Sarena said

    We do a lot of apples and nut butters here. I love making my own potato chips too in the microwave makes it so much easier! Carrots and hummus are a hit here too. Max and I love kale chips, but the other two won’t go near them. Socca dipped in pizza sauce is fun too! Love your display. Too cute!

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Sarena! And I have one kid who LOVES kale chips and one who won’t tough them, too. LOL I could honestly eat the whole batch myself. :)

  2. On January 12, 2012 Hallie @ Daily Bites said

    I’d happily eat any one of these snacks, Kim! Thanks so much for participating in NYNY…your posts are always top notch. :)

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks Hallie! And I totally appreciate you including me in your awesome event! I love all of the ideas everyone is coming up with!

  3. On January 12, 2012 Maggie said

    Ahhh, such Kim-awesomeness here! You’re amazing woman! I LOVE the muffin pan snack tray. So cool. I will indeed by doing that one. It would be great for playdates. And of course, I need to make this dip. Such a great idea Kim. Yum. xo

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Maggie, you are too funny. And the muffin tin IS totally great for playdates, especially when the kids all like different things. We always have kids over who only like certain things while my kids like other things. Works out perfectly because they can each get a few of their own little openings to fill. :)

  4. On January 12, 2012 Wendy said

    That is one cute muffin pan and full of goodies that I would love to eat right now. And that dip is so creative. I know just who to serve it to. Thanks, dearie.

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Wendy! I have even done this idea for myself, when the kids are not around. Gives me a bit more portion control… :)

  5. On January 12, 2012 Diane Eblin-thewhole said

    what a great idea and so fun. I love fun and getting the goods into the family. I’m off to grab my muffin tin!

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Diane, that is a good motto…”Getting the goods into the family..” LOL Thanks, my friend!

  6. On January 12, 2012 Kelly Heller said

    Kim – I love the tin idea!! Only you could come up with an idea that creative! I will indeed be using it. I will also be making your dip… Brayden will love it! I’m also going to take a look at your “no more diet challenge”…. sounds like me ;)

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Kelly, let me know if Brayden likes the dip. And I would love to see you take that challenge, by the way!! :)

  7. On January 12, 2012 Lexie said

    Kim … what a Grrrreat idea!. That muffin tin of snacks makes me want to dive right in. My kids are going to love this. And, yes, we have the witching hour at our house … an in our small kitchen it gets pretty busy with me cooking and the kids diving into the fridge. Great tip. This dip looks like one to try. :)

    xoLexie

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Gotta love that witching hour, Lex! It hits me too, which makes it even worse. Because then I am grumpy while they are pestering me for food. This way, hopefully, everyone can be happier and I can make dinner in peace.

  8. On January 12, 2012 Rhiannon said

    Yum – this recipe looks so good. Gotta try it – always looking for something other then a nut butter to dip my veggies and fruits in.

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Rhiannon! I get tired of nut butters too. The boys seem to like this one and I can even eat it with a spoon. :)

  9. On January 12, 2012 Carol SGF said

    What a fun idea. Funny thing in my house when the boys were growing up, they would always eat the raw veggies and what not on my cutting board as I was preparing dinner (even if they didn’t particulary eat the veggies cooked). Wish I had done this instead of chasing them away with my kitchen knife :)

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Carol, my kids actually like most veggies raw rather than cooked anyway. This way, I figure they are eating what I probably would give them for dinner anyway. And now I do not have to pester them about it during the dinner hour. LOL And I can just picture you chasing your kids away with your knife (lovingly, of course)! :)

  10. On January 12, 2012 Ricki said

    Brilliant idea–I am going to do this for myself!! (well, maybe not all 12. . . )!! ;-) So many great ideas–and I love the sound of that dip!

  11. On January 12, 2012 Alisa said

    You popular lady you! Love, love, love the muffin tin snackers. Too cute AND practical!

  12. On January 13, 2012 InTolerant Chef said

    What a cool idea! I’d like to have all my meals like this actually, perfect for portion control :) and lots of fun, why should the kids get it all?

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Ha! That is a brilliant idea, IntolerantChef. Talk about portion control. If all of our meals were in little tins we would be doing awesome! LOL

  13. On January 13, 2012 Jeanette said

    Yum, yum, that dip sounds awfully good, and love your idea of putting all these little snacks in muffin tins!

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Jeanette! The muffin tins make it more fun for the kids and I swear they eat more of the healthy snacks when they are served this way! :)

  14. On January 13, 2012 Shirley @ gfe said

    Fabulous! You never cease to amaze me, woman. This idea is so clever, because who could resist any of that goodness. The “collage” of foods in smaller amounts makes them so very appealing, especially to the little ones, but really to all. I just shared a link to a chipotle sweet potato dip on FB the other day. I like your sweeter version, too. The only thing better than sweet potato dip or pumpkin dip is combining the two!. ;-) I have all the ingredients …

    Such a great addition to New Year, New You! xo,
    Shirley

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Oh, Shirley. I will totally have to go check on that chipotle sweet potato dip because THAT would be a recipe I would adore. I made the sweet version because I knew my kids would eat it! LOL
      And I agree, we could all benefit from this type of assortment of snacks. Perfect portions and can create a great variety!
      xo
      k

  15. On January 13, 2012 elise said

    lunch spread for rice cakes

  16. On January 13, 2012 Melanie said

    Growing up I wish my mom had used your muffin tin idea, we would have snacked so much healthier. Definitely tucking this idea away so when I do become a mom I can be prepared for the witching hour! Your dip sounds fabulous by the way and I can’t wait to make it and dip in some celery sticks! :)

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks, Melanie! I know! You will be well prepared as a mom if you already know how to avoid that witching hour. I wish I had learned a long time ago. It would have saved me many a headaches. LOL

  17. On January 13, 2012 Shannon Brown said

    I’m going to try this dip. I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for new snack ideas. My favorite snack is an apple with nuts or nut butter. Thanks.

    • On January 13, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Shannon! I love apples with nuts and nuts butters as well. Probably my favorite go-to quick and healthy snack! Hope you enjoy this dip! :)

      • On January 18, 2012 Shannon Brown said

        Question: You say 1/2 of a sweet potato but how big is it? I eat a lot of them and some are quite small and some are huge. Can you give an approximate measure of it? Maybe a cup? I’m planning to take this to a dip party Friday. I think apple slices would be a good dipper. Any other ideas?

        Thanks!

        • On January 19, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

          HI Shannon. Great question. I will go and change the recipe. I used about 1 cup of my sweet potato. It was a large one, though. Also, we have dipped apples, pears, bananas, and even carrots, celery, and sugar snap peas in this. Have a fun party!
          Kim

          • On January 23, 2012 Shannon Brown said

            I made this Friday and it’s yummy. (Left out the pumpkin because I’m not a huge fan) I dipped a slice of apple into it and the combination was so good that I didn’t prepare any other dippers. And I took it to the party where it was enjoyed. Thanks!

          • On January 23, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

            Yay! So so thrilled that you enjoyed the dip, Shannon. Thanks for coming back and letting me know. The apples are my favorite thing to dip into it too! :)

  18. On January 14, 2012 Norma Chang said

    Muffin tin to display all the goodies, what a clever idea. Sure wish I thought of that when my kids were growing up.

    • On January 18, 2012 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thanks so much, Norma!! At least it gets the kids eating some healthy snacks while dinner is being prepared. :)

  19. On February 11, 2012 Gluten Free 'N The C said

    This sounds good. Finally a dip that’s healthy. Thanks

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