Healthy Homemade Snacks

Hi! I thought today I would share a few ideas/recipes for easy, healthy snacks. Just because pre-packaged health food is expensive doesn't mean that healthy food is expensive. As with all things, when something's overpriced I always think: could I make this, and would it be worth it? When I saw Disney from Ruffles & Stuff posted this homemade version of a larabar a few years ago, I thought: yes and yes! It's not rocket science. Disney did one I'd call PB&J, with just peanuts and raisins. We actually didn't have either of those things so we did our own versions. Here's three versions of "LaraStars" to try for yourself. : )

1. Cranberry Date LaraStars

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
2/3 c pecans
dash of salt

2. Cranberry Apricot LaraStars

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup pecans
dash of salt

makes 20 bites or balls

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped.

Press mix into silicone ice cube molds or roll into one-inch balls. The firmer you compact it, the better it will hold it's shape. Refridgerate 30-60 minutes.

Remove from mold and keep in airtight container in the fridge. Here's the date ones:

...and here's the apricot, my personal favorite. Seriously so, so good! Be creative, really any combo of dried fruit and nuts should work in about the same ratio. If you feel the mix is too dry, add more fruit, if too sticky add more nuts. Easy!

3. Coconut Fruit Truffles
If you decide to do the balls instead of the stars (or other mold shape), try this: before you mix the ingredients in the food processor, pulse 1/2 cup natural dried coconut until very finely chopped. Set aside, and pulse the rest of the ingredients. After rolling the fruit and nut mixture into balls, roll in the coconut powder to coat. They look like little fruit truffles, but they are sugar, dairy and gluten free!

I shared the recipe for these peanut butter oat snacks at Super bowl time. If you don't coat them with chocolate these might be considered healthy. They're a good shot of protein, with a sweetness that will curb your sweet tooth. I've always felt oatmeal cookies doen't even count as dessert, they're made of oats, c'mon! : ) Here's the recipe again:

No-bake Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup oats (not quick)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup dried natural coconut flakes (unsweetened)- pulsed in a a food processor until finely chopped
1/2 cup ground almonds or pecans OR crushed cereal
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Form dough into 1" balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Makes 2 dozen

We don't have soccer players yet, but maybe one of these snacks would make a good team snack? Barring a nut allergy of course (but great for the sugar, dairy, gluten-free crowd). Orange slices and granola bars must get old at some point, right? Here's to happy, heathy snacking!

- Haley


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