10 AWESOME HEALTHY SNACKS FOR QUARANTINE… AND BEYOND
Last week I took a poll on Instagram asking what my next blog post topic should be and overwhelmingly, the top reply was about healthy snacking options. I totally get it – with everyone at home because of COVID-19 it seems like we are eating all day long, doesn’t it? It’s not just the kids, though. I love snacking too with serious cravings for something sweet or dark chocolatey and it has definitely been more difficult to control these urges with such easy access to the kitchen all day. So I put together a compilation of my family’s favorite healthy snacks and treats and hopefully they will become yours as well. Snacking is totally OK when done right!
This blog post took longer to write than I expected because let’s face it, having the kids (and husband) home all day makes everything take longer! With the frequent interruptions of “I’m hungry”, “I have no idea what this teacher is talking about,” “My head hurts from staring at a computer screen all day”, “Just one more thing”, and “I’m bored”s, it’s an actual miracle I get anything done at all. But as an eternal optimist (not always but I try!), I take it in stride, since truth be told, I am rather enjoying having them around to share a laugh, a thought, or even a deep meaningful conversation between classes. Not to mention, the Holistic Nutritionist side of me loves knowing they cannot consume any junk food they would typically buy at school or get from their friends……ha!
I wanted to share with you everything we truly love and snack on around here including stuff you can easily make from scratch and a couple of store-bought options – so I plowed through and hopefully there aren’t any typos or bad links! Would love to hear your feedback in the comments. Enjoy!
Please note: some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I personally use all of the products listed below and recommend them. All food products mentioned are strictly Kosher at the time this post was published. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about any of the products mentioned.
I found this super easy, delicious and nutritious ice cream one day when looking for ways to use my Vitamix to make a quick healthy treat. I had made ice cream this way before but with lots of ice which tends to make it less creamy and more like sorbet. Not that there’s anything wrong with sorbet – but if you want something closer to the texture of real ice cream in less than 5 minutes, this is the way to go!
Note that you definitely need a high speed blender for this one; a regular one just doesn’t have the power to get the job done. Get the awesome recipe HERE and top with some healthy favorites like organic gogi berries, sliced almonds or chocolate chips – we like the Enjoy Life brand mini chips.
My family LOVES kale chips and with good reason: they provide the same crunch you want from a chip but with so many more health benefits, not to mention a lot less calories! Kale is a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C. It supports hearth health, aids in detoxification and more. Want to learn more about the benefits of kale? Click HERE for all the nutrition info and health benefits.
While making kale chips in a dehydrator will get them perfectly dry and crispy while staying raw, if you don’t have the time, patience or a dehydrator for that matter, then this is the next best way to do it. Watch THIS VIDEO to learn how to make quick and easy kale chips.
A quick and easy recipe made in the food processor, these raw bites contain fresh anti-inflammatory ginger, healthy fat almonds and walnuts along with organic oats for energy. No baking required, just form into balls and eat….. Delicious! Get the full recipe HERE.
Some of you might know I did the culinary nutrition program last year run by the awesome Meghan Telpner. Along with the incredible knowledge and insight I gained into the world of healthy cooking, I also love many of the recipes from her book, UnDiet as well as her blog. These roasted chickpeas 2 different ways are no exception and kids love them too! Click HERE for both recipes and to learn about the health benefits of chickpeas.
5. Cut Up Veggies with 3 dips: Almond Turmeric, Avocado or Hummus
As a Holistic Nutritionists we are supposed to advise everyone to have fresh cut up veggies for snack but to be honest, I could never eat them plain. If you are like me, you definitely need something tasty to dip them into in order to enjoy them to their fullest potential. Well here we have 3 choices of delicious dips for your cut up peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, and any other vegetable you choose. Shown below is the Almond Turmeric Dip. The other awesome dips are Avocado – or as I like to call it, Gorgeously Green Guacamole, and my favorite Sesame-free Hummus.
6. Rice Crackers with Almond Butter, Banana, and Freeze Dried Fruit
Rice cakes have long gotten a bad rep for being a high glycemic, empty calorie food. But I disagree; when it comes to healthy snacking, these super thin whole grain rice crackers, made with organic puffed rice along with added healthy fats and antioxidant toppings are simply perfection! We love these Lundberg Stackers with organic almond butter and topped with sliced banana – or crushed freeze dried banana as shown below, crushed organic freeze dried blueberries or raw cacao nibs. Kids don’t like the bitter taste of cacao nibs? substitute with a few mini chocolate chips from the Enjoy Life brand mentioned earlier.
7. Acai Bowl
Acai berries – and other “superfruits” such as macqui berry – have been all the rage lately and with good reason. These berries are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol, boost brain function and even help prevent cancer.
The majority of store bought acai bowls are so full of added sugar and not-quite-healthy ingredients that you aren’t really getting the benefits you want. A healthy acai bowl is super easy to make with just frozen bananas, frozen berries, almond milk and acai powder or macqui berry powder -or both! Like the 3 Ingredient Ice Cream, this one is best in a high speed blender such as the Vitamix. Get the full recipe HERE. Top with any fruit, nut or seed you want….. or just enjoy it as is!
8. Organic Green Popcorn
While there are a lot of options for store-bought organic popcorn these days, making your own is always more fun and delicious – and you get to choose which toppings to put on. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh popped popcorn and with an inexpensive air popper the calories are around 30 per cup (without added oil)! I always recommend using organic popcorn kernels since the majority of conventional corn in this country is genetically modified and full of pesticides.
For the recipe below, make the popcorn following the machine instructions and add organic spirulina powder, or other superfood green blend you prefer, along with chili powder and Himalayan pink salt to taste. Why spirulina? Other than the green popcorn “cool” factor for the kids, it is high in natural anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, essential for a healthy body and mind. Spirulina is also a good source of protein and iron – great for vegans looking for more ways to incorporate since it can often be lacking in a vegan diet.
I have to give credit to my friend Sharon Langert for helping me style this photo while I lamented my lack of food photography skills on a hilarious whatsapp chat!
9. Sea Snax
The slogan for these little snax is they are addictive; and they really are as I discovered after we purchased a family pack and it was gone in less than 10 minutes! SeaSnax is the original vegan, gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified seaweed snack that is lightly roasted using organic seaweed, 100% organic extra virgin olive oil and just a pinch of sea salt. There are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Not only are they oddly addictive and delicious out of the box but you can use them as mini sushi rolls to add other vegetables too (along with one of the dips mentioned above!) or shred them to add to salad. With only 15 calories per serving and containing minerals such as iodine, manganese and iron you really can’t go wrong.
This is granola done right – and one of my kids all time favorite snacks. With hidden veggies and fruit in each serving and free from the 8 most common food allergens, you really can feel good about giving this one to the kids.
Eat them straight out of the bag or crush them to top organic plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of organic maple syrup – a much healthier version of those granola topped yogurts you find at the store!
There are of course, many other healthy snack options out there but be careful of hidden ingredients or misleading food labels. Organic products can be full of added sugar and the word “natural” on a food label doesn’t actually mean anything. Always go with ingredients you can pronounce and understand and products that have little to no added sugar – different than the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit. When purchasing dried fruit, organic is important in order to avoid artificial colors and sulphites (a preservative) which can cause allergies and have other detrimental health effects. It’s always best to (lightly) sweeten things yourself using organic honey, coconut sugar or organic maple syrup which contain naturally occurring minerals and enzymes. Check out this post about Ingredients to Avoid as well as this hilarious video to learn more!