Whether you are two or ninety-two,
snack time can be an important time to
take a break from your tasks and
refuel an empty stomach.
Of course, fruit, vegetables, cheese sticks, and nuts or seeds are easy, healthy, and great choices for a nutrient-packed snack. However, every once in awhile it is nice to switch it up and make snack time a little more special! A little homemade goodness to satisfy your belly and make your soul happy can be the perfect pick-me-up to get you home from a long school or work day.
Somethin' Salty -- Homemade Chex Mix
Homemade Chex Mix is a favorite in my family. Sorry General Mills, but the stuff out of the bag has nothin' on this recipe. Plus, it is a tasty way to add in some whole grains to your day.
About the Ingredients:
1. Chex cereals have whole grains, added nutrients that little and grown up bodies need, and very little added sugar compared to most cereals. *They do have very little fiber, but we fix that by adding other whole grain foods to this mix!
2. Pretzels are best when a whole grain is first ingredient--- Whole wheat flour vs. Enriched!
3. Good quality olive oil makes everything taste better, and it's more heart healthy than other oils. How do you know it it is good quality? Look for Extra Virgin, a "Pressed on" or "Harvest Date", and certain organizational seals certify quality, such as: Italy's DOP, California's COOC (Olive Oil Council), or IOC (International Olive Council).
4. Instead of bagel chips, I added Ritz Whole Grain Toasted Chips which have whole grain as a first ingredient, and no preservatives. If you can't find these there are other whole grain products that can be substituted.
The magic? Season away!
*If you have kiddos, have them help prepare this snack. It is easy enough for little (washed!) hands to take control. They gain kitchen knowledge and confidence learning that even a popular product can be made more homemade, instead of just buying it already made!
What You Get
(3) Cups Corn Chex Cereal
(3) Cups Rice Chex Cereal
(2) Cups Pretzels (*I used mini)
(1) Cup Ritz Multi Grain Toasted Chips
(8) Tbsp. Olive Oil
(5) Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce (*HARDEST word to spell & say.. warshershyere?)
(2) Tsp. Seasoned Salt
(3) Tsp. Garlic Powder
(2) Tsp. Onion Powder
What You Do
Preheat oven to 250F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a BIG bowl mix first (4) ingredients. Then mix all the seasoning ingredients.
Pour 1/2 the wet mixture in big bowl of dry ingredients and Mix. It. All. Up.
Pour out on baking sheet, and pour remaining seasoning mixture on top.
Mix. It. All. Up. *Again* You want every piece to be coated. If you have to drizzle a little extra olive oil or pour a little more garlic powder, be my guest!
Bake for one hour. After 30 minutes rotate pan, and stir up/flip the chex mix.
To serve: Measure 1 cup out into baggies or cups. Serve with a cheese stick or (2) tablespoons of hummus for a balanced snack!
^^ These pieces are the #gold of homemade chex mix,
and why you want to make sure every piece is well-seasoned!
Packaging: Brown paper bags with labels. Words of encouragement or a sweet message are always a nice touch. Mine say:
"Take a snack break!
Made with Love.
-- Simply Wellman --"
*You can also just write directly onto bag.
A simple way to add a smile to a loved one's day!
Somethin' (Slightly) Sweet-- SunNanaOat Muffins
These are high in nutrients and low in added sugar, making them just a touch sweet! These can be frozen and popped in the microwave, or packed at room temperature to take on the go. I adapted this recipe from Skinny Taste to add just a littttle bit more nutrients. Chia seeds, flax seeds, and Sunbutter add an extra punch of vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and protein to these muffins making them the perfect balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein)
to keep your stomach and mind satisfied.
What You Get
(1 & 1/2) Cups Quick-Cooking Oats
(1) Tablespoon Chia Seeds
(1) Tablespoon Flax Seeds
(1 & 1/4) Cups Milk of Choice (I used 2% Cow's Milk)
(1/2) Cup Brown Sugar
(1 Cup Mashed, about 3) Red Bananas (These) are higher in vitamin C & A than yellow bananas... Very ripe (turning brown) yellow bananas work, too!
(2) Large Eggs
(2) Tablespoons PURE Honey
(1) Tablespoon Avocado Oil (Can use high quality canola oil, butter, etc.)
(1) Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
(1/2) Cup Whole Wheat Flour (Can use any whole grain flour)
(1) Teaspoon Baking Powder
(1/2) Teaspoon Baking Soda
(1/2) Teaspoon Iodized Salt
(12) Teaspoons Sunbutter
What You Do
Preheat oven to 400F. Pop muffin liners into muffin tin (12).
Pour the oats into a (large) bowl, with chia and flax seeds. Then, pour in milk. Mix.
In another bowl (small), mix brown sugar, mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla.
Sorry one more bowl... In a (medium) bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour the liquid mixture in step #3 into the large bowl in step #2. Then, add in the flour mixture from step #4. Simply mix just until it is all blended together.
With an icecream scoop, fill prepared muffin liners almost to the top.
Bake for 12 minutes... THEN TAKE OUT AND ADD THE SUNBUTTER. Take about (1) teaspoon and push down onto tops of slightly formed muffins. (Will sink down into batter slightly)
Pop back in oven for another 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top.
Let cool for about 20 minutes.