Bag Worthy Snacks Homemade Granola Bars

You never know when you’ll be in an emergency-snack-needed situation. Okay, sometimes you know it’s coming (the two o’clock hour at work…), but what happens when you’re on an all-day errands extravaganza or you miss the bus at the end of the day and have a wait ahead of you? It’s good to have a few purse-worthy snacks on hand to avoid getting, shall we say, moody.

You know it’s pretty easy to toss an apple or banana in your bag for later, but there’s no need to limit yourself! The healthy snacking possibilities are endless with two types you can plan for, neither of which needs refrigerated. One type of healthy snack is the type you can arrange in advance that you’ll want to eat within the day or so (think peanut butter and jelly sandwich or carrot sticks) and the other is the type that can sit in your bag (or desk drawer) for a while without worry (think granola or snack bars).

Consider some of the following suggestions to use as a snacking starting point (there are bunches of ways you can mix-and-match these snacks, like pairing nuts with dried fruit). You’ll get the idea and likely come up with several new ones of your own. Then read on for a few recipes for snack happiness, no matter where your day takes you!

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Trail Mix (Try this OA recipe for Homemade Trail Mix
  • Granola bars (Try this OA recipe for Healthy Granola Bars
  • Beef Jerky
  • Snack Bars
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Healthy Chips (Try OA’s recipes for Baked Veggie Chips
  • Cereal Snack (whole-wheat squares) with Added Nuts or Seeds (2 parts cereal, one part sunflower seeds or nuts)
  • Rice Cakes
  • Prepackaged Tuna Fish (keep an old fork and spoon in your glove compartment)
  • Popcorn (Try this OA recipe for Autumn Spiced Homemade Popcorn
  • Apple Slices with Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Organic Applesauce (Try this OA-recommended recipe)

Now, for some real snacking inspiration, check out these healthy, tasty recipes:

Roasted Chickpeas

You might know chickpeas as garbanzo beans, but either way, this tasty bean is full of fiber to help fill you up. This simple snack prep will satisfy your munchies in a healthy way.

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

12 ounces of chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt (optional)
Garlic salt (optional)
Cayenne pepper (optional)

Method

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Pat the chickpeas a bit with a clean towel to dry them off.

Combine the chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil, then season to taste.

Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they’re browned and crunchy.

Pay close attention during the last few minutes of cooking time to avoid burning the chickpeas.

Candied Organic Spiced Nuts

This OA recipe will really wow you! Loaded with seasonings, spices and nuts, this snack is perfect when you need a little snack help.

Yields 6 cups

Ingredients

4-6 cups peanut oil or canola oil for deep-frying
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Ground cinnamon from a whole cinnamon stick is the best. Use a coffee grinder to grind whole sticks. Break stick in two and grind.) 
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups organic pecan halves
2 cups organic walnut halves and pieces
2 cups organic raw cashews
1 cup powdered sugar sifted
1/2 cup matchstick size crystallized ginger

Method

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350º – 375º. Mix next five ingredients in a small bowl.

Place nuts in a sieve, and blanch briefly in hot water and up to 1 minute for larger pieces. Blanching will remove the tannin flavor in the nuts and sweeten them. Immediately toss nuts in powdered sugar. Stir nuts until all sugar is melted and clumps are gone (if clumps remain on nuts, nuts will not fry properly).

Working in small batches, use a large slotted spoon or fry basket to submerge nuts in hot oil and fry until golden about one minute. Wait until foam subsides to add more nuts so the oil does not overflow. Remove nuts and place on unlined baking sheet and cool slightly.

While nuts are still warm, transfer to a bowl and toss with 1/2 of spice mixture. Taste for seasoning; add more spice mixture as needed to taste and toss again.

Whole-wheat Cinnamon Cereal Snack

Cereal isn’t just for the a.m. If you plan ahead, you could keep a small bag of this tasty, satisfying snack in your bag as an emergency snack stash.

Makes about 12 servings

Ingredients

4 cups small, whole-wheat cereal squares
1 cup small unsalted pretzels
1 cup popped popcorn
1 cup of dried fruit like cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc.
3-4 tablespoons vegetable spread or butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons brown sugar (more or less to taste)

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cereal, pretzels, popcorn and dried fruit in 9×11-inch baking pan.

Pour the melted vegetable spread or butter evenly over the cereal mixture. Toss everything together with clean hands to coat the cereal. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is crispy. Halfway through the baking, stir up the cereal mixture.

Remove the cereal mixture from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon/sugar mixture and toss to coat.

Cool the mixture completely before serving and store it in an airtight container.

image: Dalboz17