A beach day, a biking excursion, a roadtrip, a hike. Summer gives us plenty of opportunities to get our adventure on — and we’re not wasting a second meandering around hangry-town. We asked integrative nutritionist, Jennie Miremadi, to give us a few healthy snack ideas that are quick to make, easy to take, and most importantly, nutritionist approved! Grab the recipes below, and check back all summer as we share more nourishing munchies from Jennie…
When it comes to healthy snack ideas, the key is to focus on snacks made from nutrient-dense, real, whole foods. They shouldn’t be loaded with sugar. Go for ones that have protein, healthy fat and fiber in them. This will help satiate you, stabilize your blood sugar and give you the sustained energy that you need on a summer adventure.
Snacks To Avoid: When you’re planning what to bring on a summer adventure, avoid falling into the trap of buying snacks that are marketed as healthy but aren’t, such as snacks that are filled with artificial ingredients but labeled as “only 100 calories.” If something has fake ingredients in it, it will cause inflammation and cravings regardless of its calorie count, so steer clear of it. Other sneaky snacks to avoid include organic, gluten-free and vegan snacks like cookies and pretzels that are made from refined carbohydrates or filled with sugar. Even if organic, gluten-free and vegan, these snacks are still devoid of nutrients and will still spike your blood sugar. Finally, watch out for snack bars that might look healthy but are filled with sweeteners and unrecognizable ingredients.
Tricks To Transport: I recommend that you purchase non-toxic, durable storage containers so that you can pack your snacks to go. I love the non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalate-free, lead-free, leak-resistant storage containers from U Konserve. You should also bring a cooler for snacks that have to be kept on ice. Regular coolers can be difficult to transport on outdoor excursions, so consider getting a portable backpack cooler instead! Because they’re easy to carry and keep food cold, you’ll have lots of snack options, even if you’re off on a fun adventure!
What To Pack: I also recommend having some easy-to-make, delicious snack ideas on hand so that when the time comes to plan your excursions, you know exactly what to bring. With that in mind, here are three simple, nutrient-rich healthy snack ideas for all of your summer expeditions…
Strawberry Almond Coconut Trail Mix |Although many pre-prepared trail mixes are loaded with sugar, additives and unhealthy oils, you can keep yours healthy by making your own! This clean, three-ingredient trail mix leaves out the problem ingredients normally found in trail mix. This recipe loads up on a simple combination of sliced almonds, coconut flakes and unsweetened, freeze-dried strawberries. The almonds in this nutrient-dense snack are great source of fiber, healthy fat, protein, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin and vitamin . The coconut flakes are loaded with medium-chain fatty acids. Unlike most trail mixes, which have sugar-coated dried fruit, this trail mix features totally unsweetened, freeze-dried strawberries. This simple and delicious snack takes only a few minutes to make, is easy to transport, and can give you the energy you need for your favorite summer adventures.
How To Make It: In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sliced raw almonds, 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened coconut flakes and 1/2 cup freeze-dried, unsweetened organic strawberries.
Sacha Inchi Seeds | If you’re looking to branch out from snacking on almonds, cashews or pumpkin seeds, sacha inchi seeds are a great option! They not only have a unique, delicious flavor – they’re super healthy! 1 ounce of these yummy, nutrition-packed seeds has approximately 8-9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. They’re also an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. And, they’re perfect if you’re looking for an easy, on-the-go snack option. The only effort required is to buy them, throw them in your backpack and go! Learn all about this superfood HERE.
How To Make Them: Buy a jar of them, open it up, portion it out and enjoy!
Baby Bell Pepper Poppers with Hummus | These little poppers are not only bursting with flavor, they’re packed with nutrients – thanks in large part to a delicious hummus filling! Chickpeas, one of the main ingredients in hummus, are a good source of fiber and protein, while tahini and extra-virgin olive oil, also used in hummus, are good sources of healthy fat.(Many pre-made hummus brands use soybean or canola oil. I recommend that you find a hummus prepared with extra-virgin olive oil. I like Hope Organic Original Recipe Hummus or Hope Organic Red Pepper Hummus.)
Hummus can be challenging to eat on the go, but these poppers use vitamin C-rich baby bell peppers as a yummy transport vessel. Just make sure to stack these poppers with the hummus end facing up so that the hummus stays put. And, make sure to pack them in your ice cooler so that they stay fresh!
How To Make Them: Cut the tops off of baby bell peppers, wash peppers and remove seeds. Stuff each pepper with hummus. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy!