Every New Year we have very good intentions on improving our diets with healthier food choices. Meal planning can be easy enough but the downfall is usually with snacking. If your family is like mine, the first thing they do when they get home is open up the cabinet door and blankly stare. Hungry or not I think it is all part of the de-stressing routine of coming home.
In our attempts to steer away from processed foods, this involves the discipline of preparation of my part. Rather than just grabbing chips, pretzels and sweets off the store shelves to keep the family in supply, try planning ahead and stock up on supplies in bulk to make some of these healthy snacks. It is so easy to buy all this stuff and then you never find the time to do anything with it. But once you get comfortable with the recipes, making them won't be such a big deal.
Trail mixes are ideal lunch box, travel snacks or just a healthy concoction to keep handy in the food cabinet. You can easily find prepackaged assortments at the grocery store, but if you want more control over what is in it then gather the ingredients separately and put it together yourself.
Raisins, Peanuts, M&M's, Sesame Sticks, Roasted Soybeans, Roasted Sunflower seeds, Roasted Pumpkin seeds, Roasted nuts such as Almonds, Walnuts, or Cashews, Chocolate covered Raisins, Chocolate covered Peanuts, Banana Chips, Dried Pineapple chunks, Dried Cranberries or Blueberries, Dried Apple bits or rings.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Coated Sesame Balls
These are wonderful snacks for children and adults alike. They are a nutritious sweet treat without the empty calories of a candy bar.3/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Be your own judge with how much to use of the following spices:
Paprika, Cumin, Black pepper, Salt and Cayenne pepper
Some people prefer simply Salt and Garlic powder.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Rinse and dry the chickpeas.
Toss with the olive oil and spices till well covered.
Bake until lightly golden and crispy, about 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cool completely before storing in a tight container.
Wash the kale and tear the leaves into large pieces. Tear them off of the tough inner stems.
Dry off as much of the excess water as possible. A salad spinner works well for this or dab well with paper towels.
Put kale pieces into a large bowl.
Toss with olive oil, starting with about 1 tablespoon and be your own judge. You want a light coating but not too much or the chips will be greasy and limp.
Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper to your own taste preference.
Layer the leaves onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Lay them in a single layer so as not to be overlapping. They won't bake uniformly if too close.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, checking periodically to toss and make sure they aren't about to burn.
Remove from the oven and cool.