Last week we added a fruit or vegetable to every meal. This week we are substituting store bought snacks for homemade ones. Didn’t know you were getting a math and nutrition challenge in one did you? (; Hopefully last week’s challenge will help you this week!
Nutrition Challenge #2: Substitute Store Bought Snacks for Homemade Snacks
Snacks are a necessary part of our daily busy lives. We use them to keep our metabolism humming, fight hunger between meals, or as a pre/post workout fuel. The problem with a lot of snacks, however, is that they are packed with artificial ingredients, sugar, and calories that leave a lot to be desired. How many times have you eaten a granola bar or 100 calorie snack pack wishing for more? Or actually ripped open a second serving? I know I certainly have! Also, individually packed snacks can end up being pretty pricey. For those of us trying to watch our wallets and waists making our own snacks is a win-win.
The biggest problem with homemade snacks is time. The whole point of a snack is something that you can make or open in about 3 minutes or less, hence why we so often reach for the Kashi Granola Bar instead of finding the blender, frozen fruit, milk, ice cubes, etc…to make a smoothie. What if I told you most homemade bar, bite, or cracker recipes take 30 minutes or less? Would I recapture your attention?
Find a day, no not a full day, just an hour of a day this week to prep your snacks. Maybe last week helped you view snacks as an apple and peanut butter or carrots and hummus, but if you were still craving something a little more dense I have a few recipes that will hopefully have you rethinking throwing that box of Chewy Quaker Oatmeal Bars in your basket.
I will post an entire recipe round up of Bars/Bites. There will be oatmeal, gluten free, paleo, and protein options…so pretty much you have no excuse! Don’t see something you like? Let me know and I will find something to fit every taste bud!
In the mean time try your hand at one of these homemade cracker recipes. The possibilities are endless!
Spicy Seedy Power Crackers
1/2 cup of chia seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix all the seeds and spices into a bowl. Then add in your water and let mixture sit for 3 minutes until the chia seeds absorb most of the water. Spread on a sheet pan using your hands to gently spread and flatten the mixture until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Then gently slice crackers and flip them over using a large spatula. Bake for another 25 minutes until slightly golden brown. These will store in an airtight container for a few weeks.
Easy Cheesy Whole Wheat Crackers
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup warm water + 1-2 tablespoons
1/4 cup parmesan cheese + more for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix dry ingredients together, add parmesan cheese, then add oil and 1/2 cup water. Mix until a dough forms. Add additional water if needed. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lightly flour. Roll dough out until very thin. Using a pizza cutter, draw lines cutting squares in the dough. They crackers will separate as they bake. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Melt the butter and basically mix up all the ingredients together, and knead it into a ball. Take 2 sheets of baking paper, lay the ball on one, the other sheet on top and then flatten it out with a roller.
Cut triangles with a knife. Heat the oven to about 180C (350F) and bake for about 10 mins. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Turn the oven off and let them harden for about another 15 mins.
Everything Flatbread Crackers
adapted from Martha
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cold butter
½ cup milk (I used 2%)
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor, pulse flours, salt and sugar until combined. Add in cold butter and pulse until mixture is combined and the butter is in course crumbs. Stream in milk while pulsing the processor until the dough forms.
Form dough into a ball with your hands and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, flour surface and a rolling pin, and roll out dough until it is very thin. Gently lift dough and place it on a baking sheet. Don’t worry about it being a perfect rectangle.
Beat egg in a small bowl, and brush onto dough. Sprinkle seasonings of choice on, then lightly press to make sure they adhere.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for 5 minute more. Check crackers and bake in 3 minute intervals until crisp and golden brown. Watch carefully as they can burn.
Serve with cheese, vegetables or fruit, hummus and olives.
(This guide can be used for Kale, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Parsnips, Carrots, Butternut Squash)
1 Head of Kale
2 Tablespoons of Olive/Coconut Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the Kale (or thinly slice the vegetables). Toss in olive oil and salt. Lay on a prepared (with a dab of oil or on aluminum foil) baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (longer if thicker vegetables). Flip vegetables mid way.
*Get creative! Toss with lemon juice, vinegar, cinnamon +nutmeg, or garlic powder+paprika+cumin