18 healthful snacks, better for you, better for your wallet

It’s hard to resist the urge to snack, especially when those mid-afternoon cravings hit and dinner is still hours away. If there are kids in the picture, then snacks are almost a necessary part of the day’s meal plan.

When you choose healthful, whole food snacks you don’t have to feel guilty when you reach for a quick bite to eat between meals. Best of all, you can save a lot of money by passing up the potato chips and packaged snacks for simple, homemade snacks that are better for you and better for your wallet.

healthy snacks simple bites

 

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Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

We’ve been graced with a mild fall this year; most days are sunny and balmy, the brilliance of the orange trees enhanced by the watercolour blue skies.

The warm weather has  been a bit of a mixed blessing, making it all too easy to ignore the approaching winter. So last week when the first frost struck, it left us quaking in our boots, literally.

A bowl of comfort food was in order and rice pudding was the obvious choice.

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How to make simple chia pudding

I made an impulsive purchase the other day. It wasn’t a bar of chocolate or a box of cookies, but rather a bag of chia seeds. Yep, this former chef-turned-food-blogger sampled chia seeds for the first time.

I’m not sure if I should sheepishly admit that I haven’t used chia before now, or be proud that I held out on this health food trend for as long as I did. Either/or, it is safe to say I’m completely hooked now.

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, containing omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and minerals including calcium- up to three times more than a serving of milk. Unlike flax seed, they don’t have to be ground in order for you to absorb the nutrients. Superfood? Perhaps.

I’m sold on this new-to-me ingredient and have taken steps to stock my pantry with a few bags. I buy chia seeds at my local natural foods store, but have also seen them in pretty much every grocery store, and of course on Amazon.

I hear chia can be used as an egg substitute in baking (which sounds kinda complicated) or merely sprinkled into smoothies (much simpler), but I’ve been enjoying them daily in a chilled, creamy pudding.

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Brussels Sprouts Nachos

That’s quite a mouthful, don’t you think?

We had a little debate in our home. Do you say ‘Brussels Sprouts Nachos’ or ‘Brussels Sprout Nachos’? The latter rolls off the tongue a little easier, but I think the former is correct.

It’s hard to know for sure; I haven’t seen any recipes like this before. It came about one evening last week when Danny worked late and I fed ‘n bed the kids, then we convened for a bite of supper together. It was hardly a date night, with both of our laptops open, but the silence was blissful all the same.

Uninspired to cook, I scrounged for our dinner and came up with half a bag of black bean tortilla chips, extra sharp cheddar, the remains of a Thai pepper…and a basket of firm, young brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts nachos is now a thing in our house. Or rather, Zesty Lime Brussels Sprouts Nachos with Sharp Cheddar and Black Bean Tortilla Chips.

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How to make homemade chewy fruit snacks

Yesterday my son walked through the doors of his elementary school for the first time. The milestone was bittersweet, of course. He had been going to daycare since he was three months old, but this was different. This was real.

Now that we have a baby in the house, it’s been startling to look at my firstborn. To see how his baby fat is melting away. To see how big his feet are getting as we buy yet another pair of shoes, the ones that take him into that big, unfamiliar school full of strangers.

My son inherited many of my traits, including my sensitivity. Kindergarten was a fraught-filled time for me, and while my son has more experience navigating the social world of children than I had, I want to do what I can to remind him that no matter what is going on during the day, he is loved.

One of the ways I express love is through food, and I thought his entry into elementary school would be the perfect time to expand my homemade snack repertoire. I’m trying to keep his packed lunches as healthy as possible, but we all deserve a treat now and then. These homemade fruit snacks fit both orders.

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