Snacks in a Snap

Feed kids on the go. Feed them well

By Robert Beauchamps

With two girls under the age of 12, both of whom greet each day with an energy level akin to a nuclear reactor, it goes without saying that they come with appetites to match. Let’s just say I’ve become well versed in snack preparation. Of course, I want to fuel their days of soccer, swimming, dance recitals, and running across the ceiling with something as easy as it is nutritious. Here are five simple snacks to keep in your bag of tricks.

Frozen Fruit Pops

It’s the creaminess of the yogurt that separates these frozen treats from the popsicle pack. And I love them because I know what went into them: fresh, seasonal berries, low-fat, low-sugar yogurt, and half a cup of milk. Slap it all in the blender, hit purée, pour into deep trays, and freeze. Easy.

Crunchy Chickpeas

Chips are fried in oil and coated in too much salt. Chuck the chips in favour of chickpeas that pop with protein and fill you up better and longer. Better still, they won’t leave you feeling guilty for popping them by the pound. The key is to use dried chickpeas. The canned variety are soft, over salted, and packed in preservatives. Soak two to three cups of dried chickpeas overnight. In the morning, drain and then boil the peas for 20 minutes. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, spread on baking sheet, and bake for 20 or until golden brown.

Parmesan Pita Points

Cut pitas into wedges. Toss with a touch of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a light dusting of grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 for less than 10 minutes or until golden. Note that these make a perfect side to a tuna sandwich (light on the mayo) on good whole wheat bread or as a twist to the classic pita bread and hummus combo.

Hummus That Hums

Speaking of hummus, it’s hard to beat a cup of homemade hummus — so beautiful in its simplicity and protein-packed punch. All you need is about 750 grams of chickpeas, four teaspoons tahini, two crushed garlic cloves, a teaspoon of kosher salt, six tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff because you’ll not only add it to the mix but you should drizzle a little over top just before serving), the juice from half a lemon, and some coriander or paprika or both to garnish. Add your favourite veggie as a vessel and, voila, a delicious, guilt-free snack even the most health conscious among us can endorse.

Dried (And Real!) Fruit

How many plums and apricots have you had to toss after going bad, bruised or battered in your child’s lunch box? Satisfy their sweet tooth with dried fruit. With all of the fibre and goodness of fresh fruit, drying the fruit really helps bring out the natural sugars. Plus, it will last for a week if sealed. Even better, these antioxidantpacked snacks bring vitamin A and B6 to the party.

Spring 2015, Vol 7 N°2

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