Healthy snacks…sounds like an oxymoron, but food companies are producing cookies and crackers with more healthful ingredients and opting to bake instead of fry things like potato chips. The problem is many of these snacks aren’t the cheapest foods at the store. Plus, unless they’re on sale or you have a coupon, they’re often items the savvy shopper doesn’t figure into their budget. And with the school vacation now in full swing, snacks and drinks are usually on the list of things to buy. Here are some ideas you might like to try.
One way to cut down on sugar and save some pennies is to buy 100% fruit juice and add either plain water or sparkling water. You save calories and money and most people, including children, don’t even taste the difference.
I recently got to sample some of the new products from Honest Tea, www.honesttea.com They not only sell tea, but Honest ADE and Honest Kids fruit juices. Low in calories and sugar but still sweet enough to satisfy sugar addicts. I also discovered you can buy their drinks in bulk and save money…and yes, time running to the store.
Yes, the odd piece of candy isn’t so bad, but with so many summer fruits hitting the stores now, why would you bother with a candy bar? I sometimes make a fruit salad and put it in the fridge for snacks. Another treat that’s really refreshing this time of year is frozen fruit. Blueberries, strawberries, chunks of peaches and even grapes. Just cut them up, put them on a baking sheet and freeze and then store them in freezer bags. You can also make your own smoothie mixes from them too.
And another treat that I see at our local state fair is frozen chocolate bananas. Easy to make and also a way to keep children busy when they get bored. Freeze a peeled banana, dip it in melted chocolate and then have the kids decorate it with chopped nuts, chopped candy etc.
Ice cream isn’t just for the kids and there are plenty of homemade frozen treats you can make. I like to take fruit juice, add some fruits and freeze it. Sometimes I’ll blend the two together and freeze them. And leftover smoothies also freeze really well too.
Good For Your Body
Check out this site which gives you links to foods and recipes that are good for things like our brains, our eyes, etc. www.dolesuperfoods.com
Sign Up for Newsletters
I’ve been signing up for newsletters from companies like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury. I’ve found some great recipes and budget friendly ideas for meals.
Crackers are a family favorite in my house. I top them with dips like hummus or low fat cheese. I also like to use the hummus and cream cheese as dips with veggies. However, one of my favorites is parmesan pita wedges. Lightly coat pita bread with some oil and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper. Bake for about ten minutes and then slice into wedges.
And for times when you’re stuck at your desk or you know dinner’s hours away, try cheese and veggie kabobs, like cherry tomatoes with cubes of cheese. And crackers with PB and J also take the edge off hunger too.
I love wraps, especially for light summer eating. They’re great for supper, picnics and you can fill them with things like salmon salad, cold cuts, you name it. And wraps also make great quesadillas too
La Tortilla Factory sent these recipes for you to try- www.latortillafactory.com And there will be more great summer recipe ideas in the June newsletter.
Grilled Mushroom and Swiss Cheese QuesadillaServes 2
Preparation time 8 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups crimini or white mushroom, brushed with paper towel to remove dirt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup small diced zucchini
½ cup small diced tomatoes
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
2-4 La Tortilla Factory tortillas
½ cup guacamole, store-bought or home-made, optional
1.Preheat the grill or broiler, sprinkle 1 tablespoon plus olive oil, salt and pepper to the mushroom, and cook for 1- 2 minutes or until lightly caramelized. If using broiler, spread the mushroom on a sheet pan and cook in the broiler for about 5-7 minutes or until brown.
2.Transfer to a bowl and cooled, then thinly sliced
3.On a same griller or a skillet, place a tortilla on a the griller of the skillet, place a tortilla, spread about 2 tablespoons cooked mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of zucchini, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of cheese and fold into half. Cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted or the tortilla is lightly brown. Flip the tortilla to other side and cook to light brown.
Continue to cook the remaining tortilla. Serve with guacamole.
Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
Serves 2, 300 calories
2 ½ oz shredded rotisserie chicken, only breast meat
1 oz romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded fresh carrots
2 tablespoons low-fat Caesar dressing
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons low-fat parmesan cheese
2 La Tortilla Factory tortillas or wraps
1.In a small bowl, combine the chicken, lettuce, carrots, dressing, pepper, and mix well. Divide into two portions.
2.Place one portion of the chicken mixture and half of parmesan cheese onto a tortilla. Fold the sides over the filling and roll into a wrap.