Make a Healthy Snack
Our Natural Year Challenge continues with a look at healthy, natural homemade snacks that even your kids will love!
How do we avoid highly processed, sugary snacks when we're on the go or even at home? Thankfully, there are numerous ways to transform nutritious foods into satisfying energy boosts when needed. Here are four healthy snack options to consider—pick your favorite one to try this month!
- Energy Bar.
This snack does not require a dehydrator, but you'll need a food processor. Ingredients include almonds and/or seeds, along with dried fruit. For recipe details, see Rejuvenating Recipes' Andy Bars.
The next three snacks require the use of a dehydrator or makeshift dehydrator. Snacks that are dehydrated at temperatures below 116 degrees remain raw. Raw foods maintain their enzymes and therefore are healthier foods.
Your oven makes an excellent dehydrator. Set the oven at its lowest temperature. (This will probably be somewhere around 170 degrees.) Prop open the oven door to help lower the drying temperature. Place a fan in front of the oven to keep the air flowing and avoid condensation.
- Fruit Leather.
Virtually any fruit or fruit combination will work. This is one of the simplest snacks to make, provided you have a food processor and an oven or dehydrator. You can ferment the fruit to lower the sugar content, if desired. Feel free to be creative with additions like cinnamon, ginger, and other natural ingredients. For recipe details, see Rejuvenating Recipes' Fruit Leather.
- Dried Fruit.
Apples, bananas, and mangoes lend themselves well to this process. Simply slice and dehydrate using your oven or dehydrator. You can maintain the color of the fruit by dipping first in lemon juice. Or you can slice and sprinkle with cinnamon and dehydrate. See Rejuvenating Recipes' Dried Fruit for more details.
The Snack Food Association says potato chips are America's number one snack. According to the trade group, tortilla chips rank as number two. There's no doubt we like salt and we like crunch. Potatoes can be safely dehydrated to preserve their nutrition. Sweet potatoes can also be dehydrated and salted. However, for the most crunch and the least starch, try kale chips! Kale chips can be as simple as mixing oil and salt with freshly washed kale and then dehydrating. Or you can add flavor and nutrition by incorporating other greens, vegetables, and/or spices. For one tasty option, see Rejuvenating Recipes' Spicy Kale Chips.
It isn't easy to forsake the convenience of on-the-go snacks, but with a little creative energy you may find yourself enjoying familiar foods in a whole new way!
Join momsAWARE's Andrea Fabry
for a demonstration of her popular fruit leather recipe.