When making the switch to real food, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed as you figure out what is or isn’t healthy, and to worry that after spending time finding better options, no one will like them. I’ve had the same feelings myself! Snacks can be especially tricky because you just want something fast, but now that I’ve been eating real food for well over a decade, I’ve compiled a list of simple snack ideas to share with you.
Sadly, with the slick advertising everywhere, many kids think the only tasty foods are those that come in a box or bag or have a cute character on the package. But real food tastes so good, we just have to show them! In fact, to protect the health of our families, we should run as fast as we can in the other direction from such products. They’re filled with toxic fats, chemicals, processed sugar and food dyes, which will cause our families to eat more, as they crave the true nourishment their bodies need. Not to mention the way these fake foods will cause hyper kids who struggle with learning and behaving. Well-nourished kids are not just healthier, they’re so much easier to raise!
Actually, we don’t do a lot of snacking since we switched to real food, but there are times you just need healthy options to carry you through to dinner, or maybe you need some quick foods for when you’re on the go. Many of these ideas are also great for car trips, soccer games, field trips and school lunches.
By the way, just being real here, I do still get the kids what we call “organic junk food snacks” from the store once in a while. Not often though, because as I tell them, “Those will fill you up, and they usually don’t have ingredients that will hurt you since they are organic, but they aren’t going to nourish you.”
Snacks don’t have to be unhealthy! With a little bit of thinking ahead, your family can have snacks between meals that are tasty, nourishing and keep their belly full until dinner. Be sure to check out the WAPF Shopping Guide (realfoodmobileapp.com) for ideas. Once you get started making real food, you’ll find it isn’t as overwhelming or time consuming as you first thought. Just take the food you love and simply replace the rotten ingredients with grass-fed, pastured or organic ingredients. And don’t forget to add some satisfying healthy fats to everything you make!
FAST AND EASY MINI PIZZAS
Organic English muffins
Organic pizza sauce
Your favorite meat or vegetable toppings
Slice the English muffins, butter and lay out on a cookie sheet, lightly broil in the oven to toast the top. Once toasted, spoon the pizza sauce onto the muffins. Assemble the toppings and cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and toppings are hot. These can be made ahead of time and frozen before baking. I keep the above ingredients on hand for quick snacks or even a fast dinner when needed. These are also a hit for kids’ parties or sleepovers―you can let each person make his/her own.
EASY PEANUT BUTTER DIP
8-ounce package organic cream cheese,
softened (never buy lowfat)
1 cup organic peanut butter or almond butter
(organic soaked nut butters are best)
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream (never buy ultrapasteurized
Mix all ingredients together until creamy.
Serve with apple slices, organic crackers or
POPCORN WITH COCONUT OIL
2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic popcorn
Sea salt to season
Scoop coconut oil into your heated stovetop popper. Add popcorn and cook. After popping, add plenty of real, melted butter and toss to coat―about 4 tablespoons per batch or so (it’s difficult to have too much butter, right?), use more or less to your taste preference, then add sea salt and toss around again. Be careful adding the salt, you’ll want to add some, test, and add more ’til it’s dreamy.
CHILI LIME ALMONDS
5 cups crispy almonds
1 tablespoon sea salt
Juice from 3 organic limes
Zest of 2-3 limes
1 pastured egg white, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
1 tablespoon organic chili powder
Mix everything but the almonds together, then brush over the nuts. Spread onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Dry in a warm oven or dehydrate until they’re as crispy as you like.
HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS FRIED IN BEEF TALLOW
Organic potatoes―2 or more per person because they’re so good!
Beef tallow, enough to fill your deep fryer about half full
Sea salt for sprinkling on chips
Your favorite spices if you want flavored chips
Clean and cut off the bad spots from your potatoes. Use a mandolin slicer or your food processor to slice the potatoes so you can get chips with a uniform thickness which will be evenly cooked. Soak potatoes for a half hour in cold water, change the water and soak another half hour. (This helps to lower the starch content in the potatoes.) Dry well.
Bring your tallow to 350 degrees. Fry potatoes in small batches, flip around part-way through as needed and cook until lightly golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and shake on sea salt. Keep hot in a 325-degree oven until it’s time to serve. Make sure to bring the tallow back up to 350 degrees before cooking the next batch of potato chips or they’ll be soggy.
Optional: Try shaking on some spices to make flavored potato chips!
About 9 medium organic apples, washed
Juice from 3 organic lemons
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 cup water or kombucha tea
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
Dash of sea salt
Core, remove any bad spots, and quarter 3-4 of the apples, but do not peel. Put them in your blender with the lemon juice, syrup, spices and sea salt. If it’s too thick add some water or kombucha―this will depend on the type of apples. Blend until the pieces of peel are really tiny. Pour the blended apples into a glass bowl. Peel, core and quarter the rest of the apples and blend with more water if needed. Blend until your desired consistency. I like to leave this batch chunkier because the first batch gets quite thin when trying to get the peels very small. Stir the second batch of apples with the first batch. Serve with whipped cream. You could freeze this too!
REAL FOOD SNACK IDEAS
CHEESE: Preferably raw, but if you cannot find raw, it is okay as long as it’s not a lowfat version.
NATURAL SALAMI: Sliced thin or in chunks.
SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES: See my blog, “Kitchen Kop Superfood Smoothies”.
YOGURT: You could make your own or find organic, whole-milk, grass-fed yogurt in some grocery stores.
VARIOUS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WITH HOMEMADE RANCH DIP: Remember that organic is best!
LACTO-FERMENTED VEGETABLES LIKE PICKLES OR SAUERKRAUT.
PLAIN PORK RINDS: Avoid the flavored kinds, they are full of MSG.
EGG SALAD WITH ORGANIC CRACKERS OR CELERY
TUNA OR SALMON SALAD WITH ORGANIC CRACKERS OR CELERY
SALAMI, JERKY OR BEEF STICKS: I can get these at our butcher (who makes them using pastured meats) and sometimes from our farmer.
CRISPY NUTS: See recipes in Nourishing Traditions.
BONE BROTH: Serve in a mug with a pinch of sea salt. You can whisk in beaten egg or add a poached egg dropped in.
SOURDOUGH TOAST WITH PLENTY OF BUTTER OR NUT BUTTER
ORGANIC CRACKERS: Serve with guacamole or organic cream cheese.
ORGANIC CORN CHIPS: Serve with organic or homemade salsa or homemade guacamole.
POTATO OR SWEET POTATO CHIPS COOKED IN LARD
ORGANIC BANANAS FRIED IN BACON GREASE: Yum!
MEDLEY: Organic grapes, apple slices, crispy pecans and fresh shredded parmesan.
SLICED APPLES: Serve with fresh-squeezed orange juice and cinnamon.
HOMEMADE CRISPS: Make yourself with pita bread or tortilla triangles, brushed with butter and baked in the oven.
BRAUNSCHWEIGER OR HEAD CHEESE: Check the WAPF Shopping Guide.
CRAB MEAT DIP: Use only fresh crab meat and serve with crackers or homemade crisps.
LIVERWURST: Check the WAPF Shopping Guide; serve with crackers or homemade crisps, topped with thinly sliced onion.
HAM AND CREAM CHEESE ROLL-UPS: Spread organic cream cheese on a piece of ham from your farmer or trusted butcher and roll it up with green onions or pickles.
POPCORN WITH COCONUT OIL: See recipe.
PEANUT BUTTER DIP: See recipe.
HOMEMADE POTATO CHIPS: See recipe.
FAST AND EASY MINI PIZZAS: See recipe.
CHILI LIME ALMONDS: See recipe.
RAW APPLESAUCE: See recipe.
KOMBUCHA AND WATER KEFIR: Delicious and healthy alternatives to sodas.
COCONUT WATER: Another delicious and healthy alternative to sodas.
WHOLE RAW MILK: A complete meal in a glass.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2018.