Granola Bars, Mayo and Dressings, and Kale Chips
Summer is officially over, it's back to school time, and you might be feeling like it's time to make some changes to your food intake or food prep routine. I was in need of a change to my food and drink intake so I started the Whole30 in mid September. I love to prepare and cook my own food, but the Whole30 has had me in the kitchen doing a bit more of my own food prep so I thought I'd share a few tried and true staples and a few new recipes.
1. Granola Bars: We all love a simple bar you can grab and eat as a small breakfast with some fruit, as a snack when your hanger kicks in, or as fuel on your hike/bike/run/etc. This recipe is so simple, so easy and so delicious! When I made it, I got 10 good size bars that lasted me two weeks - totally worth the 5 minutes and a few more to clean the bowls (and lick the spoon). Here is another super simple recipe, and I will often dress it up with ground flax seed, raisins, chocolate chips, or anything else you might fancy in your granola bar - I would also recommend a brand of peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your choice) with no added sugar. If you are doing the Whole30, can't eat grains, or just aren't apt to make your own bars, some of the flavors of LARABAR have as few as 2-6 ingredients - all real, whole foods, and they taste darn good!
2. Mayo and Dressings: These are all recipes that you do have to make, but when you try it out and realize how simple it is to make mayo and dressing with just a few, real ingredients you might be willing to ditch store bought (at least sometimes) to stay away from soybean/canola/vegetable oil and many other ingredients you probably can't pronounce. Here are two options from the Whole30 website: mayo and ghee dressings/sauces and mayo and other sauces. For me on the Whole30, this has been a game changer - I can make tuna/chicken/egg salad and I can have salads with dressings other than oil and vinegar, which I love, but can get old. I haven't ventured into some of the other sauces, but I know I will soon.
3. Kale Chips: These are a good alternative to chips - salty and crunchy - but you get lots of nutrients instead of empty calories! I make a batch of hand ripped kale in a bowl and massage with olive oil, salt and pepper and then just pour out how much I desire to make a fresh batch each day. The prepped kale has lasted me up to 5 days in the fridge so far. I'm sure you can find some recipes online, but all I do is set the oven to 350, spread a thin layer of prepped kale on a baking sheet, put it in the oven (I put them in when it's around 200), take out in 4-6 minutes to toss, put back in for 2-3 minutes (watching closely) and then take them out at desired crunchiness. Sometimes this is before the oven is completely done getting to temp other times is a few minutes after it's at temp. Do be careful not to have big and small pieces for baking consistency, the little pieces will burn pretty quickly.
There you go, a few simple homemade snacks and dressing to try as you get into your new fall routine or to get you started if you feel like you are ready for some changes to your usual snacks and dressings this fall.