In our on-the-go culture of the modern family, healthy snacks have a tall order to fill. The snacks must be easy to make and convenient for a busy lifestyle. However, amid fending off the 3 p.m. workday slump and shuffling kids to and from school, sports, music lessons and other activities, it’s no wonder that people turn to the easiest solution to sustain their energy. For too many, that means vending machine munchies or the drive-thru diet. But with a little time and preparation, it’s possible to have on-the-go snacks that are both healthy AND satisfying.
The best place to start with healthy snack ideas is following paleo eating guidelines. The modern paleo diet means eating nutrient-dense foods like most meats, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. The Ultimate Paleo Guide shares a comprehensive list of paleo and non-paleo foods. The list may sound restrictive, but in fact, you can create many paleo snacks under these guidelines. Here are a few ideas from that list that can ward off hunger, picking you up from the mid-day slump and carrying you through to dinner:
Kale is arguably the little darling of the leafy greens. In fact, this vegetable even has it’s own National Kale Day. And by the looks of it, the kale craze isn’t likely to taper off soon. That’s OK because this vegetable is rich in nutritional content, especially with vitamins A, K, and C.
Here’s a basic recipe to turn kale into a healthy snack:
Simply take any type of kale, rinse it and dry it off. Take the leaves off the stem and make sure the leaves are completely dry. Otherwise, you may end up with chewy kale chips instead of ones that are crispy and crunchy. Coat the kale in olive oil, add salt and pepper, and bake it at 300 degrees until crisp.
Probably the only problem in making this delicious paleo snack is not making enough. So feel free to have kale and eat it too.
Baked Apple Chips
Satisfy that sweet tooth and craving for a crunch with baked cinnamon apple chips. This snack packs a one-two paleo punch: first, apple chips are baked, which is considered healthier cooking method than frying. Second, these chips are made from apples, a star student in the paleo diet.
To make apple chips:
Start with honeycrisp apples. Cut one to two apples into thin slices—be sure to throw away the seeds—and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Bake them at 200 degrees for an hour, and flip them on the other side. Continue baking and flipping the apples until they dry, which can take up to three hours. You can store them in an airtight container.
Sweet Potato Chips
Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes pack more vitamins and minerals without as many calories. You can satisfy the craving the texture of a potato chip without going deep fried. Rosemary and sea salt sweet potato chips can satisfy your potato craving and keep you on the paleo track.
Easy-to-make sweet potato chips recipe:
Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets. Bake, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, and serve with lime wedges.
Asiago Rosemary Crisps
Cheese is generally viewed off-limits in a paleo diet, but some paleo diet practitioners consider asiago cheese acceptable because it contains very little lactose. So this recipe of asiago rosemary crisps turns the hard cheese turns it into a tasty, low-carb cracker. The only other ingredient needed is dried rosemary. You can make these crisps with other hard, aged cheeses like parmesan, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano.
You can’t go wrong with avocado, especially on a paleo diet. Avocado isn’t called a superfood for nothing. It contains plenty of fiber, potassium and healthy fat, and it’s also super versatile. You can make avocado fries, sauces, or a simple spread. The YouTube channel of hamptoncreek has videos of various avocado recipes, so be sure to check them out for new ways to incorporate this superfood as a healthy and quick snack.
Pretty much any salsa is considered paleo. If you get store-bought salsa, make sure that it is organic or check the label for the ingredients. Try to stick with salsa that contains paleo foods and is made without artificial preservatives.
My favourite salsa to make is this yummy mango salsa:
Combine 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, diced, 1 tomato, seeded, diced, 2 green onions, finely sliced, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro (to taste) in a bowl, then refrigerate before serving.
With a little bit of time and effort, paleo snacks can serve as your go-to munchies that don’t derail you from healthy eating. It’s possible to eat foods that follow a paleo guideline and fit the modern lifestyle.
What’s your favourite healthy snack recipe?