Summertime is busy and your days are full! As you are out enjoying the warm weather and trying to stay healthy, we often get hungry part way through the day; while grabbing something from a drive-thru or corner store may be the easiest way to fill the void until your next meal, it isn’t going to help us reach our health goals!! So something else has to happen… something more permanent.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, and a quick snack doesn’t have to be a candy bar or bag of chips. It can be much more delicious…
Knowing how to plan healthy, simple snacks without spending hours in the kitchen is what we all want. I’ve included a few of my go-to simple snacks that can be put together in mere minutes and taken along with you so you can enjoy your summertime, but be confident in helping our families (and ourselves) be more healthy.
Here are a few of my simple favorites:
Nuts on a Log – Spread your favorite nut butter (like peanut, almond or sun butter for allergies) into sliced celery, top with raisins or grapes…yumm. If you are packing this for snaking later, take the nut butter in a dish and prepare just before eating.
DIY Fruit-on-the-bottom Yogurt Cups – If you have a cooler, this is a great snack to pack and take. Put some frozen berries on the bottom of your travel container or mason jar, put some Greek yogurt on top and cover. When the frozen fruit thaws they will be juicy and squishy and will stir into the yogurt nicely.
Fruit Kabobs – Slide any of your favorite fruits on a kabob stick, and you’ve got a portable snack with no guilt. Some delicious fruit in season during summer include blackberries, cherries, strawberries, grapes, and melons. All of these are excellent choices for fruit kabobs.
Cucumber Rolls – Thinly slice cucumbers into long slices with a vegetable peeler. You can then use to roll toppings inside. Try hummus, tuna salad, cherry tomatoes, or guacamole.
Veggies and Dip (or Crackers and Dip) – Put your favorite cut up veggies like carrots, peppers, mushrooms, celery, etc. (or a baggie with healthy crackers) and pack a dish of dip like hummus, guacamole or healthy ranch dressing.
Quick-Prep Trail Mix – Don’t complicate this. There are many days when I just take a couple of handfuls of whatever nuts or seeds I have in the house, sprinkle in some coconut shreds and a handful of raisins, and call it good. Snacks don’t need to be fancy!
Nut Butter Apple Sandwiches – Slice the top and bottom off of apple and discard. Then slice the entire apple in rounds. Cut the center core out of each round. Spread your choice of nut butter on one apple round. Set another round on top. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the butter, raisins or dried cranberries.
Popcorn – Making your own popcorn eliminates all the toxins found in the microwave popcorn bags that are so unhealthy for us. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat, melt 2-3 Tbsp. of coconut oil, add ½ cup of organic popcorn kernels and cover pot. Shake the pot every 10-20 seconds, once it starts to pop continue lifting and shaking often. When the popping stops, pour the hot popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ – ½ tsp sea salt. I love to sprinkle ½ tsp turmeric powder on as well for a great nutrition boost. Some of you may like some black pepper to taste. Put into a brown paper bag and voila, take out popcorn. This makes about 6 cups, so if you don’t want as much, just make ½ of recipe.
Preparation is the biggest factor in eating healthy! Having more healthy food around (and the absence of junk food), will help you make more healthy decisions. Setting yourself up for success is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your family, so make a plan each week of what healthy snacks (and meals) you’ll have ready for a moment’s notice, and enjoy your time living and enjoying your life!