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”.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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:
- Daily Bites sharing Smart Snack Ideas and A Giveaway
- Lexie’s Kitchen sharing Sticky Toffee Power Balls
- Go Dairy Free sharing Cinnamon-Fig Cashew Butter Spread
- Silvana’s Kitchen sharing Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers
Okay, after you tell me what your favorite snack ideas are, go on over and take my challenge at The Balanced Platter!