Today’s Daily Tip: If you say you will start something in a week it will never happen. Get what you need to make the changes now. Make your commitment and stick to it for a month. I know it is hard. I know it is a lot of work. I know you can do this. (Amanda Klenner-Labrow, Natural Living Mamma)
Snacks. One of the trickiest parts of your diet to transition to “real foods.” We all want something we can just grab and eat. Now. Like, baby’s gotta nurse, toddler’s gotta nap, momma’s gotta eat now.
You Can Do Better Than Store-Bought Snacks
Since you are trying to clean up your diet (especially those who are following along with 31 Days to Better Health and Wellness), you’ve started reading the ingredients on those boxes of granola bars and crackers and fruit snacks. And you’re not happy about what you see.
I’m not happy about them either. Which is why I’ve stopped buying snacks.
I could shell out extra cash for the super-pricey, organic “healthy snacks,” but chances are they aren’t much better. They still contain rancid oils like canola and soybean. If they are grain based, they are either nutritionless white flour or unsoaked, hard-to-digest, whole grain flour. The nuts in your Lara Bar are certainly not soaked, and I guarantee that any granola your can buy in the store is so loaded with so much sugar that it might as well be a cookie.
Which, again, is why I’ve stopped buying snacks.
And you know what? It’s really not that hard to make your own snacks!
The Snack Challenge
It takes time, yes. So don’t try to do it all at once. But if you can find 15 minutes of hands-on time to spend making snacks each week, you’ll be well on your way. So here is your challenge:
Choose the store-bought snack your family relies on most, and make a homemade version instead.
For our family, it’s granola. I make a big batch of my Perfect Soaked Granola every week, and we gobble it up.
Do you love wheat thins? Graham crackers? Fruit snacks? Granola bars? Whatever it is, there is a homemade version out there. Here are some ideas to get you started!
Homemade Snack Ideas Galore
Looking for something crunchy?
Raw Chai Granola (Grain-Free) by the Spinach Spot
Raw “Ranch” Flax Crackers by the Spinach Spot
Honey Glazed Almonds by MAK
Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups by Riddlelove
Homemade Healthy Fruit Snacks from Thank Your Body
Apple Chips by Riddlelove
Need a replacement for your favorite energy bars?
Energy Bars by MAK
White Chocolate Macadamia Lara(ish) Bar by Riddlelove
Carob Coconut Bites by Plus Other Good Stuff
There are also a lot of great ideas in the eBook Healthy Snacks to Go, including wheat thins, several power bar recipes, granola and granola bars.
And here’s one more idea: Homemade Graham Cracker Bites. They are made with soaked whole wheat and barley flours, lightly sweetened with unrefined sweeteners, and perfectly seasoned with cinnamon and cloves. And they’re bite-sized! As with many real food recipes, it may look like a lot of steps, but the hand-on time is very minimal. Give them a try!
- 1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. barley flour
- 1/4 c. sucanat or coconut sugar
- 1/2 c. cold butter, chilled
- 2 T. honey
- 1/4 c. sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground cloves (opt.)
- milk for brushing (opt.)
- 2 t. sucanat/coconut sugar for topping (opt.)
- 1/2 t. cinnamon for topping (opt.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flours and sucanat or coconut sugar.
- Cut butter into 1 inch pieces and cut into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or the stand mixer's paddle on low speed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, sour milk, and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until dough comes together. You may need to press it together with your hands.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and let soak 7-24 hours at room temperature.
- Sprinkle the salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves on to the dough. Mix with the paddle attachment until evenly distributed.
- Press the dough back together with your hands. Turn it onto a floured piece of parchment and knead it a few times.
- Divide in half and press each half into a rectangle. Wrap in parchment (I secured it with a large rubberband) and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
- When ready to make the crackers, preheat the oven to 350.
- Roll each rectangle of dough 1/8 inch thick. Prick all over with a fork (opt.).
- If desired, combine the sucanat and cinnamon. Brush the dough lightly with milk, and sprinkle the sucanat & cinnamon evenly.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1 inch squares.
- Place the parchment onto a cookie sheet and bake the crackers for 15 minutes at 350.
- Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake until golden brown and no longer soft, about an hour. (You can test one by letting it cool and tasting it for crunchiness.)
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
So, which snack are you going to make from scratch? You can do it!