Sunday, March 3, 2013

Heart Healthy Snacking

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that I am becoming a bit of a whole foods person, but lately I have been very much into healthy, unprocessed eating. I still enjoy the occasional fast food meal (although those are becoming less and less with my shrinking paychecks...) and some things are just hard to avoid, but if I can get away with it I prefer the 'real' thing.

I think it really started with the corn syrup scare. Corn syrup is my number one foe right now, if I can avoid it I will. Soda has pretty much left the menu and so have many others. I really don't think I miss it too much either.

Then there are oils; canola and vegetable oils are the big ones. I feel like every label I read has these in them!   They are so hard to avoid!

And don't forget sugar. Process and refined sugar is probably the worst culprit right now for me. I gave up corn syrup the best I could, but normal sugar is just as hard. I try my best to eat more honey and fruit based sugars, but sometimes that doesn't always work.

Where am I going with this? Well the majority of my grocery cart is always fruits, veggies and un-processed items, but I have always had a problem with snacks.  Most snacking options are processed, sugary bars or crackers that do nothing but give me a stomach ache. I was doing Tricutts and organic crackers for a bit but boxes of those are pretty pricey as well. With my new, more active life style I've been wanting to get more protein and energy, but trail mixes are so expensive and always come with extra oils, sugar or preservatives that I don't want to spend my money on.

So today I caved. I went grocery shopping and along with my normal mix of veggies and ingredients for tacos this week I bought some bulk ingredients to make my own trail mix. And surprisingly  it wasn't as expensive as I thought! (Although still more than I probably should spend on a college kid's budget)

Raw Pumpkin seeds - 1/3 lb; $1.48. 

Dried Mango with a bit of sweetener - 1/2 lb; $1.97

Chunks of "energy carob" (seeds, honey, cereal, apricots, etc...) = 1/4 lb; $1.50

Raw almonds - .4 lb; $2.49
Raw pecans - 1/4lb; $2.21

I toasted my almonds, pecans and pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and that made them taste amazing without that added salt! Combine of the above, plus some raisins and you get an amazing snack mix!

I just hope I can divide it up to make enough for a couple weeks. I'm trying to justify paying that much for not so much food.

Have you tried any new recipes for healthy things? Any other healthy snack substitutes that won't break the bank? I'd love to know!


PS: These ingredients were all purchased in bulk at my local Dillons (a division of Kroger).


  1. Mmmm that looks amazing! I'm so happy that you are feeling more healthy : )

  2. Sounds like you are doing great with the whole foods stuff. Snacking is tricky I reckon, I eat quite a lot of rice cracker type things (original flavour) with hummus!~

  3. I love dried mango! I find that eating healthy and buying fresh/whole foods is actually often more expensive... but definitely better for you.

  4. Yum! It's a fun adventure this wholefoods thing. I go through phases of being super strict and then easing back. But, I'm a cooker from scratch person so not too bad over all. Good luck!

  5. Wow, it looks wonderful and definitely healthy. My doctor and I just had a discussion about corn syrup and how terrible it is for you. Of course, sugar is too, and I'm doing the same as you now. She suggested fruit and cheese for me.

  6. Healthy snacking can be tricky but it's doable!! Turning to Paleo last August quickly taught me about the goodness of whole and unprocessed foods and now everytime I pick up something at the store, I HAVE to look at the ingredients. Most of the time I see a long list of things I can't pronounce and I put it back down without a second thought. Sometimes though I toss it in the basket without even looking (those darn weak moments!). I made really yummy coconut squares the other day, they had a few mini chocolate chips in them and were the perfect afternoon or after dinner treat. Although not Paleo I've also been enjoying popcorn (popped in a paper bag in the microwave w/o yucky chemicals) with pastured butter, salt, and nutritional yeast. Oh and an apple and almond butter is always good!

    Well.. that turned into a longer comment than I thought it was going to be! haha. I'm just stopping by to check out your blog since you commented on mine last night :). I will be adding you to my reading list! :)

    Good luck with the healthy snacking!

    - CJ


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