Summertime is busy and your days are full, am I right?! As you are out enjoying the warm weather and trying to stay healthy, we often get hungry part way through the day; while grabbing something from a drive-thru or corner store may be the easiest way to fill the void until your next meal, it isn’t going to help us reach our health goals!!
So to help us, something else has to happen… something more permanent.
Knowing how to plan healthy, simple snacks without spending hours in the kitchen is what we all want. I’ve included a few of my go-to simple snacks that can be put together in mere minutes and taken along with you so you can enjoy your summertime, but still be confident in knowing we are helping our families (and ourselves) be more healthy.
Summertime is that time of the year for growing many delicious fruits and vegetables that we wait all year to enjoy. Berries, fresh corn on the cob, watermelon, peaches, and cherries are just a few of my favorites available during this time of year. The best part of summertime is that it’s filled with lots of outdoor activities which leave you frequently on the go.
But a lot of time outside can leave less time in the kitchen, which is exactly why we need to be choosing simple, healthy snacks for our family. Eating what grows with each season is important as it’s the best way to be sure to get all the healthy nutrients when they are freshly picked. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, and a quick snack doesn’t have to be a candy bar or bag of chips. It can be much, much more delicious…
Here are a few of my favorites:
Nuts on a Log
Spread your favorite nut butter (like peanut, almond, or sun butter for allergies) into sliced celery, top with raisins, blueberries, or sliced grapes. If you are packing this for snaking later, you could take the nut butter in a dish and prepare just before eating.
DIY Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt Cups
If you have a cooler, this is a great snack to pack and take. Put some frozen or fresh berries on the bottom of your travel container or Mason jar; put some Greek or coconut yogurt on top and cover. When the frozen fruit thaws they will be juicy and squishy and will stir into the yogurt, just like those individual ones you buy but are really filled with added sugar and to taste good, and don’t have any real fruits.
Slide any of your favorite fruits on a kabob stick, and you’ve got a portable snack with no guilt. Some delicious fruit in season during summer include blackberries, cherries, strawberries, and melons. All of these are excellent choices for fruit kabobs.
Thinly slice cucumbers into long slices with a vegetable peeler. You can then use to roll toppings inside. Try hummus, tuna salad, cherry tomatoes, or guacamole. Roll up and use a toothpick to hold tight until you’re ready to eat it.
Veggies and Dip (or crackers and dip)
Put your favorite cut-up veggies like carrots, peppers, mushrooms, celery, etc. (or a baggie with healthy crackers) and pack a dish of dips like hummus, guacamole or healthy ranch dressing.
Quick-Prep Trail Mix
Don’t complicate this. There are many days when I just take a handful of whatever nuts or seeds I have in the house, sprinkle in some coconut shreds and a handful of raisins, or a couple of chunks of dark chocolate, and call it good. Snacks don’t need to be fancy!
Nut Butter Apple Sandwiches
Slice the top and bottom off of the apple and discard. Then slice the entire apple in rounds. Cut the center core out of each round. Spread 1 tbsp. of nut butter on one apple round. Set another round on top. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the butter, raisins, or dried cranberries. Enjoy!
Making your own popcorn eliminates all the carcinogens found in the microwave popcorn bags that are so unhealthy for us. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat, melt 2-3 Tbsp. of coconut oil, add ½ cup of organic popcorn kernels, and cover pot. Shake the pot every 10-20 seconds, once it starts to pop continue lifting and shaking often. When the popping stops, pour the hot popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ – ½ tsp sea salt. I love to sprinkle ½ tsp turmeric powder on as well for a great nutrition boost. You may also like some black pepper to taste or other healthy spices. Put into a brown paper bag and voila, take out the popcorn!
Preparation is the biggest factor in eating healthy. Having more healthy food around (and the absence of junk food), you’ll make more healthy decisions. Setting yourself up for success is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your family, so make a plan each week of what healthy snacks (and meals) you’ll have ready for a moment’s notice, and enjoy your time living and enjoying your summer!
Here’s to your health,