Power Snacks to Go
Tina Miller, MS RDN Meijer Healthy Living Advisor, www.Meijer.com/ahealthieryou
It’s Holiday shopping season again! Don’t let stress and eating on the run wreak havoc on your health or waistline. Take along healthier snacks that travel well. Those nutritious snacks that can easily fit into a purse or shopping backpack will help you stay energized while providing beneficial nutrients that fight stress.
- Energy Bites. These delicious little treats are packed with nutrition to keep you energized while on the go. Make a batch and keep in your refrigerator to put in zipper-lock snack bags to grab as you head out the door. Enjoy with a bottle of chilled tea or iced coffee. (See our True Goodness™ by Meijer® Energy Bites recipe below).
- Mini water bottles (i.e., Meijer 12 oz.), easy-to-peel Halos (clementines) and almonds. Dehydration is a leading cause of fatigue (and shopper crankiness!) So stay hydrated while shopping by drinking plenty of water. Small bottles are lightweight and can easily be refilled at drinking fountains. Refreshing clementines provide vitamin C that can help fight of cold and flu germs which flourish in heavily populated shopping centers. Almonds offer protein and vitamin E to help counter the negative effects of stress.
- Belvita Breakfast Biscuits and Justin’s Almond Butter in individual packs. Belvita biscuits are baked with slow-release carbohydrates to provide nutritious steady energy for 4 hours. Individual nut butter packets, such as Justin’s Almond Butter, add protein for extra satisfaction and extended energy.
- Blazing the trail mix: For lasting energy mix up a batch of trail mix using some of your favorite ingredients such as: Mix 2 cups mini shredded wheat squares cereal, 1 cup dried cranberries (raisins, cherries, or other dried fruit can be used) 1 cup of seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) or 1 cup shelled Wonderful pistachios, and 1 cup whole grain goldfish crackers. Portion in individual snack size zip-lock bags. Seeds and nuts are good sources of antioxidants and protein.
- Apple slices and peanut butter. Pack an apple and a plastic knife (or pre-slice apples and dip in pineapple or lemon juice-OR-you can purchase pre-sliced apples in single serve packs). Pick up Jiff to Go®, individual serving packs of peanut butter. The combination of apples and peanut butter provides carbohydrate for energy, protein and fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied longer. Both apples and peanuts are rich in antioxidants, and peanuts are packed with stress-busting B-vitamins
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas have everything you need to fight off the temptation for fast food salty snacks. Wash them down with a 100% fruit and vegetable juice box (yes, a box – the perfect portable portion size for juice). To make roasted chick peas: •Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Drain 1 (15 oz.) can Meijer chickpeas and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 Tbsp. Meijer Olive oil. Stir in 1 Tbsp. McCormick chili powder and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place chickpeas on baking sheet and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally until the chickpeas are browned and crisp, but not burned.
- Allow to cool. Serve or pack in snack size zip lock bags to go.
- Healthier Granola Bars (look for those with 8g or less sugar per bar, such as Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate with Almonds) and Horizon organic 1% Milk box. A tasty dose of antioxidants from dark chocolate, dried cherries and whole grains. The perfect high fiber, protein rich snack that helps you resist sweet temptations found at the cookie stand, candy stores and coffee shop!
- Pre-packaged Protein Rich Snacks: Several options featuring energizing treats such as diced cheese and meat along with dried fruit and nuts, are available in the refrigerated lunch meat area, deli, and you’ll even find can tuna with crackers in the canned section of your Meijer store. Keep an insulated cooler bag in your car with an ice pack to preserve temperatures. While it may be cold outside, inside of your car can heat up on cold but sunny days leaving perishable snacks at risk for spoilage.
- Peanut Butter (or Almond, Soy or Sunflower Seed butter) and fruit spread on whole grain bread and a banana. Use hearty whole grain bread, such as Meijer 100% whole wheat bread and add a spread with less sugar, such as Welch’s Reduced Sugar Strawberry or Grape Spread. This snack provides disease fighting antioxidants and healthy carbs to keep you energized. You’ll get vitamin B-6 and mood boosting tryptophan from bananas, both of which aid in elevating serotonin levels in the brain (the “feel good” neurotransmitter).
One last important note: Keep your hands clean. Bring hand sanitizer or wipes and/or wash your hands before you eat, especially when eating finger foods like snacks.
Happy, healthy shopping!
Makes approx. 26 bites
½ cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ Creamy Peanut Spread
1/3 cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ Old Fashioned Oats
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¼ cup hemp seeds
2/3 cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp. True Goodness® by Meijer™ Organic Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well combined.
- Roll into tablespoon sized balls and place in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information (per bite): 96 calories, 6g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 11mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein
Source: Chef Amanda Leatherman