“I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” I saw a shirt with that saying and it spoke to my soul. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am always hungry. So here I am, confessing to all: I am a serial snacker.
I forget birthdays, I forget to bring my son’s shoes, I forget to turn the oven burner off (seriously that happened to me today. FOUR HOURS. Ugh). But I never forget to bring snacks. Priorities.
In all my professional snacking experience, naturally I get bored with the same old healthy snacks. You can only rotate your favorites so many times until your taste buds cry out, “something new, PLEASE!” I call this a snack rut. I feel for those who have been there. It’s really a terrible situation to be in, trust me.
Despite my first world snacking problems, I’ve made it my foodie exploration mission to break free from boring snacks. I’m coming ‘atcha with fresh new ideas. Snack rut = sayonara!
Here are five, paleo, vegan, and Whole30 snacks you haven’t tried yet.
Cinnamon Parsnip Fries
They look like real fries, they act like real fries, but they are waaaaay healthier than real fries. These cinnamon parsnip fries are slightly sweet and starchy – sort of like a glorified sweet potato, but cooler, a cinch to make and easy to eat.
To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut two large parsnips in half. Use your mandoline slicer or a knife and slice the parsnips into 1/4″ rectangular fry shapes. Place parsnip fries on a baking sheet and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until soft.
Kinda sick of hummus? Almond butter? Well feast on this – Sunshine Dip (also known as Sunshine Sauce). Why sunshine? Probably because it tastes like a burst of happiness in your mouth. Smother this on celery or use as a carrot dip. This nutty, Asian-inspired dip works well with any vegetables and is versatile too. Add a little more coconut milk to the recipe below to make a thinner sauce to drizzle over stir fry.
Combine the following ingredients: 1/4 cup sunflower butter, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce), 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon coconut milk, 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix until well combined.
Mmmm nothing is better than toasted coconut chips. If you are cuckoo for coconut, this IS your snack. I love the amazing smell right out of the oven. When I’m craving a crunchy snack, I reach for these coconut chips – made in minutes!
To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spread raw coconut chips on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the chips turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a plate.
Cave people and vegans unite with this nut version of creamy cheese. Who’da thunk you could make an amazing cheesy spread with cashews that’s just as savory and tangy as the dairy version. I use it as a dip for veggies, crumbled on homemade pizza, or smothered on top of flaxseed crackers. At times, I even eat this by the spoonful…
To make this paleo, vegan cashew cheese, soak 1/2 cup raw cashews in water overnight. Drain the water and pour the cashews into a small food processor or blender. Then add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 tablespoons of water (depending on how creamy you like it), a pinch of salt to taste and whatever herbs you prefer (I used dry dill). Pulse or blend until well combined and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
If you haven’t tried kale chips, now is the time. Don’t be scared – they don’t taste at all like raw kale. Convert any Pringles lover with this healthy alternative. Especially when you add nutritional yeast, an amazing nutty/cheesy flavor addition. Plus nutritional yeast is packed with B-complex vitamins and amino acids, so throw that stuff on freely!
Wash and dry a large bunch of kale and tear off the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and drizzle the kale leaves with olive oil. I get my hands in there to make sure each leaf is coated. Next, spread the leaves on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt and nutritional yeast flakes. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once your timer is up, check that all the leaves have turned crispy and return any soggy leaves back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Can you start to see past the snack rut fog? Are the clouds opening? Belly growling? Better get to making these newbie snacking favorites before you do something irrational.
What other new and different healthy snacks have you tried?
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