snack attack



by NICOlINa leONe the leaves turn colour and the air gets crisper, families begin to plan for a new fall schedule. And while lighting up the barbecue or grabbing a frozen treat may have been easy in the summer months, a new game plan is needed for the fall. So we've pulled together the best recipes for nutritious, fast snacks that won't hold you up when you're racing out the door. They are great to go in your purse, the diaper bag, picnic basket, or backpack. These recipes should make you feel good about what's keeping you and your family healthy.

Trail Mixes

So easy, so versatile, so specific to one's taste. Trail mix is so simple to do on your own. You can stock up on your favourite ingredients and grab small handfuls of whatever you feel like that day. Throw the ingredients in a baggie or reusable container and you're good to go! What do you need to make it work for you? Nuts! And there are so many varieties to choose from. Almonds lower cholesterol and are high in fibre. Cashews promote good cardiovascular health (great for any type of activity). Pistachios (the "in" nut as of late), often dubbed "the skinny nut," has one of the lowest fat and calorie counts of all nuts, while offering a high amount of fibre. Dried fruit, nature's own candy, is bite size and flavourful. It adds that sweet taste without processed sugars. Check out our sidebar to see how you can make your own! Cereal is also a great option. Many brands are now boasting healthy resumes and already have a trail mix assortment within them--oats, flax, nuts, bran, etc. But be careful and read the ingredients and nutritional information. Many kinds are given a health check without having much nutritional merit at all. Look for words like whole grain, whole oat, and whole wheat as well as the names of nuts and seeds. The higher up they are in the ingredients list; the better. And beware of sugar content. If you're going for flavour and want to give your health-conscious side a break, feel free to add your favourite kiddie-type breakfast cereal for a really sweet treat. You can also add candy pieces, chocolate chips, or candy coated chocolate. (Why not get the best of both worlds?) Go green tip: bring jars to a bulk food store and fill them up then and there with your favourite snack foods to save on waste.

All-in Muffins

I am in complete head-over-heels love with muffins. I love how they cheer you up, and I love how they have a wonderful cousin named cupcake whom also makes me happy. I love how they can be healthy, have protein, fibre, calcium, and so many other good-for-yous thrown into the mix. I love how almost anything can be put in a muffin. This recipe first appeared in an issue of Due West Magazine. It has since evolved into the barely recognizable entity it is today, changing as the leftovers in my fridge and cupboard have changed. fall2012 | ottawafamilyliving | 43

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