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7 Natural Snack Ideas The Whole Family Will Love
Has your snack game been a little ho-hum lately? It can be easy to fall into a snack rut, eating the same unsatisfying foods week after week.
However, there is no reason snack time can’t be full of variety, fun, and nutrition. If you’re searching for some new snack ideas the whole family will enjoy, we’re here to help. These are some of our favorite healthy, natural snack choices.
Want a snack that’s easy for the little ones to prepare? No bake energy balls are super easy and fun to make, often made with ingredients you already have on hand like oats, honey, nuts and seed. We love adding healthy fats like coconut oil or any nut butter. Make sure to choose your family’s favourite add-ins, whether they love dried cranberries, cashews, or chocolate chips. The sky's the limit here. Use a seed butter instead of a nut butter to make the balls a nutrient dense school safe snack.
Making your own hummus couldn’t be easier—or tastier. With just a handful of ingredients and a food processor, you can blend up a protein-filled snack that the whole family will enjoy. Serve with fresh veggies, whole grain crackers, or pita bread. Hummus can also double as a condiment to spread on burgers, wraps and sandwiches.
If you haven’t gotten on the chia pudding train yet, now is the time. Packed full of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, you absolutely cannot beat the nutritional value of chia seeds. And chia pudding is a simple, tasty snack option that hits the spot at any time of day. Pair it with your favourite chopped fruit for a healthy and delicious treat.
If you’re skeptical about kale chips, that’s completely understandable. But we promise that a well-crafted kale chip is the perfect antidote to those mid-afternoon snack cravings. The trick? Coat your kale well with oil before baking or frying. Then, season generously. There are no rules for what should pair with your kale chips, but we recommend chili powder and cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.
Edamame—also known as fresh soybeans—are undoubtedly an underrated snack food. Nutrient-rich and completely satisfying, they are tasty as an appetizer or a late-night snack. Fresh in-shell soybeans are best, but frozen also does the trick. To cook them, pan fry, boil, or steam the edamame until tender, and then sprinkle with salt.
Flax or protein muffins
A healthy muffin is the perfect snack to have ready on the counter or tucked away in the freezer. A nutritious and satisfying option, a good flax muffin is chock full of fibre that keeps you full and satisfied between meals. Add vanilla or chocolate protein for added nutrients. The best muffin recipes are low in sugar, substituting fresh or dried fruit to add sweetness. You always use gluten-free flour too.
Making popsicles is a fun and cheerful summer activity the whole family will love. Use juice or yogurt as a base, and then add fresh seasonal fruits for more colour and flavour. To get started you will need a popsicle mold—but it’s a relatively affordable investment that your family will use for years to come.
Winter Essentials: 3 Delicious Soup Recipes
by Stephanie Kay, RHN
Not only are soups a great way to warm up on a cold fall day but they are a great way to use seasonal vegetables in a very simple way. Soups are simple to prepare, even for the most amateur of cooks, and store well in the fridge and freezer for days and months to come.
Moroccan Carrot Soup
This velvety, creamy and slightly spicy Moroccan Carrot Soup is the perfect dish for a cold weather day and a great make-ahead meal. You can eat it on its own or top with a dollop of harissa, yogurt, and roasted chickpeas for a little extra flavour and texture.
- 2lbs carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 crushed chilli flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 small lemon, juiced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Full-Fat Yogurt
- Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- In a large pot, on medium heat, add olive oil and diced onion, and season with a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are tender and translucent.
- Add diced garlic and cook for another 1 minute, watching it carefully to ensure it does not burn.
- Add cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon and chillies and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add chopped carrots and stir to combine with onion and spice mixture.
- Pour in stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes until the carrots are tender and can be pierced with a fork.
- Once to soup has cooked, remove from the heat, squeeze in lemon juice, and using an immersion blender or in batches using a bar blender, puree until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with full-fat yogurt, spicy roasted chickpeas and harrisa.
Don't have time? Try our Pacific carrot ginger soup or Eat More Soup! spiced ginger topped with Roasted Chickpeas and our local yogurt!
Roasted Tomato & White Bean Soup
A rich and creamy soup without any added cream! This roasted tomato soup has a rich and velvety texture thanks to some humble white beans, not to mention a little added plant-based protein making it a well-balanced meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 2.5 pounds tomatoes, roma, plum or field
- 15oz can cannellini beans
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Wash and cut tomatoes in half, and lay them skin side down on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer to the oven and roast for 60 minutes.
- With 5 minutes left, begin preparing the base of the soup.
- Open can of beans, strain off excess liquid and rinse beans well. Set aside.
- In a large pot on medium heat, add 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, and add onion, carrots and celery, cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute until fragrant, ensure it does not burn.
- Remove tomatoes from the oven, and transfer tomatoes from the baking sheet to the pot. Stir to combine with vegetables.
- Add in sprigs of thyme and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add in cannellini beans and broth, stir to combine, and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once the soup has cooked, remove the sprigs of thyme, and using an immersion blender or in batches using a bar blender, puree until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with diced tomatoes and sprinkle of chives.
Don't have time? Try our Pacific Tomato & Red Pepper soup!
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkins are for more than just carving, pies and lattes! Not only is pumpkin flesh great for soups and stews, but the seeds make a healthy snack or soup topping; simply bake them in the oven for a crispy, crunchy and savoury snack.
- 1.5kg-2kg edible pumpkin
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed chillies
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Roast the pumpkin. Keeping the flesh on, cut the pumpkin in half vertically and remove the seeds from each side. Once seeds have been removed, cut the pumpkin halves into two to make quarter slices.
- Place pumpkin on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
- Once the pumpkin is done roasting, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before handling.
- When the pumpkin has cooled, using a knife or a spoon, remove the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin and set the flesh aside while you prepare the base for the soup.
- In a large pot on medium heat, heat butter and add onions to sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and chillies to the pot and allow to cook for another 1 minute until garlic has softened and spices are fragrant. Season with sea salt.
- Add the roasted pumpkin flesh to the pot and stir to combine with onion mixture.
- Cover the pumpkin with stock, stir well, and cover to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, or in batches using a food processor/blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth.
- Season with more sea salt to taste if needed.
- Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds and extra chilli flakes.
Don't have time? Try our Eat More Soup! Squash Soup.
Sesame Tempeh Skewers With Creamy Peanut Sauce
- 240g of original Organic Soy Noble Bean tempeh (frozen section)
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
Creamy Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy salted peanut butter
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Chili paste or sambal oelek to taste
- 1 cloves garlic
Preparation and steps
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut the tempeh into Rectangular Chunks and Insert a skewer into each piece.
- Place the tempeh skewers in a shallow container and cover with the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least one hour.
- Light the BBQ over medium high heat and cook the skewers for 5 minutes on each side.
- For the peanut sauce, blend all the ingredients together in a small blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Spread the sauce on your tempeh skewers or use as a dipping sauce.
How To Elevate Any Salad
It’s official—summer salad season has arrived. As the weather heats up, nothing hits the spot like some fresh, crispy greens on a patio.
Too often, salads get a bad rap for being boring, flavourless and unsatisfying—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make it your 2020 resolution to stop making boring salads. Here are all of our best tips to help you make some stunner salads this season
Add some seeds
Give your greens some extra crunch by adding some seeds—pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame are all great options. It’s amazing how such a small food can make such a big difference. To really get the flavour out of your seeds, make sure to roast them in a pan for a minute or two, and don’t forget to add a little salt.
Shake up your dressing
Avoid getting stuck in a dressing rut by trying out new options. With a few basic ingredients at home, you can make dozens of different dressings for every meal and palate. Are you making a fruity salad? Try a raspberry vinaigrette. Looking for something rich and hearty? A simple sesame garlic dressing will hit the spot. Want to add a little zing? Honey mustard never disappoints. Salad dressings aren’t tricky to make, and going with an exciting choice makes all the difference.
Never be afraid to add a little cheese to your salads. Remember, there’s no rules here—just choose your favourite. Grate in some gouda, sprinkle in some smoked cheddar, or pop on some parm. Oh—and if you happen to be a blue cheese fan, this is your moment. Nothing elevates a meal salad like a sharp blue cheese.
Change up your greens
There’s no need to ever make a boring iceberg lettuce salad again. With a world of greens available, why not try some new flavours? Switch up your routine by swapping in arugula, spinach, frisée or the ever-trendy kale. To add a little extra texture, you can also slice in some red or green cabbage in with your greens.
Tossing nuts into your favourite salad never fails to please crowd. Try almonds, pecans, or even peanuts. They pair well with fruit and a nice vinaigrette, but don’t feel too boxed into a sweet palate—a nice, crunchy walnut can work with nearly anything.
Pick your protein
Adding a piping hot protein is all it takes to elevate your side salad to a meal. Try using steak hot off the grill, your favourite crispy chicken recipe, or garlicky sautéed shrimp. For the vegetarians in the crowd, soft boiled eggs, marinated tofu, or crispy roasted chickpeas can take your greens to the next level.
Add something extra
Finish your masterpiece with a little extra zing. A stellar, last-minute way to jazz up your greens is to hit the canned veggies section of your grocery store. Think olives, sundried tomatoes, canned artichokes, or pickled peppers. An extra salty morsel will give your salad the perfect finishing touch.
Amy's Special Hummus
By: Amy Longard
One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini
Half of a large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, depending on taste
3 tablespoons water, or more, if necessary
Dash of ground paprika for serving
In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine tahini and lemon juice. Mix for about 1 minute. Using a spatula, scrape sides and continue to mix for another 30 seconds, or until the texture is smooth and light.
Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin and the salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
Add half of the chickpeas and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.
Slowly add 3 tablespoons of water. Add more, if necessary, until desired consistency is reached. Enjoy with corn chips, raw veggies, in salads or on sandwiches.
Amy's Chili Roasted Chickpeas
Chili Roasted Chickpeas
By: Amy Longard
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, making sure the chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas out on a parchment lined baking sheet and then put them in the oven. Stir the chickpeas around every 8 to 10 minutes and keep roasting them until they are crispy. This will take about 25 minutes. Enjoy immediately as a snack or top them onto soups or salads. Enjoy!