Recipes:Grab and Go Make Ahead Snacks and more

After school snacks - all snacks really- can fuel you or fail you (think sugar highs and crashes.) Food can fill us up, or feed us nutritionally on a cellular level or both. The difference between fueling or simply filling can be as simple as a little fore thought. A big reason we have given processed foods such a big market share is that they're convenient and fast and easy to throw down the hatch when we're busy and hungry.  If you can take a little time to prepare some nutritional  grab and go snacks to keep on hand you'll soon be reducing the number of processed foods in your pantry and maybe even increasing the number of dollars in your wallet. 
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 Complete Whole Food Fuel

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sometimes you just need something a little sweet. I love pumpkin anything. Make it gluten free and diary-free and I have even more reasons to love it. These are sweetened with maple syrup making them practically healthy. They're super quick and easy, too.

2 cups brown rice flour (or teff flour)
2 tbls. pumpkin pie spice
1-2 large pinches Himalayan salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375

Spray cookie sheets with oil -coconut, olive or

Mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl,
Add all wet ingredients. Mix well.
Add chocolate chips. Mix in evenly.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. These do not melt and spread out so they can be placed closely together.
Bake for 20-21 minutes. 

What they lack in beauty, they make up for in taste. With a cake-y almost muffin-like texture they'll disappear quickly throughout the day. 

Crunchy, Salty, Yummy Good Chick Peas
The first time I tried toasted chick peas they were store bought and pretty good. Now I like to make my own instead. Again, vary the recipe  with spices you like. They satisfy that crunchy, salty craving, pack protein and are easy. I store them in a glass cookie jar with a lid that is NOT airtight. Happy snacking.
Roasted Chick Peas
3 Cups of Chick peas
Olive Oil
Course Salt in a grinder-I prefer the pink Himalayan salt for it's superior nutritional value
Other seasonings of your choice- give garlic powder, wasabi, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric or cumin a go. 
Preheat oven to 400°F.
If using canned chick peas rinse in a colander with boiling water first. Otherwise rinse your already soaked chickpeas and drain well. Pat dry (very dry*) with a towel. Toss chick peas with olive oil in a baggie trying to coat all peas evenly. Spread evenly over parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt and seasoning(s) of choice, and roast for about 30 minutes. Ideally they will be golden and crisp on the inside but not burnt on the outside.
*Oil and Water don't mix. If the chick peas aren't really dry it will interfere with the adhesion of the spices.

Complete Bars
 CompleteI make these bars every week and they disappear. They're super easy and quick to make. The nice thing is that you can make variations depending on what you like, and what's on sale. One of the keys to keeping them so nutritious is to read the labels on the ingredients and use the cleanest food sources you canThe other is the use of gluten-free, non-GMO, non-dairy, low-glycemic, protein and fiber packed whole food Juice Plus Complete.  The sweetener used- pure maple syrup- is all natural making it a better way to sweeten than using processed, refined or chemical sweeteners. They're great at breakfast time, too.

Complete Bars
1 Cup (4 scoops) Chocolate Complete
1/4 cup Milled flax meal- or more to your liking
16 Oz box granola- lows sugar, organic etc
1 cup dark chocolate chips, pref organic
1 cup each (choose two) craisins, slivered almonds, chopped pecans, raisins, coconut. Be Creative.*
 2 cups peanut or almond butter; organic, natural, no sugar etc
1 cup pure maple syrup
 Mix dry ingredients well.
Add syrup and peanut butter and mix really well
Spread / pack in cookie sheet or 9x12  pan, refrigerate, cut. They tend to be crumbly so use a very sharp, large knife for best results.
*If you add more than two dry ingredient choices you may want to increase the Peanut butter/syrup content so the bars are not so crumbly when you cut them.

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