A friend recently asked me for a few suggestions for some snacks for people interested in sticking with the Real Food agenda, so I thought I’d share two with you that I’ve found to be pretty good. These snacks are both gluten and dairy free, and are amazingly healthy snacks. But before I give you the recipes, I first want to touch upon what you should look for in a good snack, and what to watch out for.
The majority of bars and snacks on the market labeled and marketed as “health” foods, are far from being beneficial for your body. Read the ingredients on any major brand health or protein bar, and you will be hard pressed to find anything real in that bar. They are synthetic, techologized foods. Back to the basics, if it’s not real food, it’s not good for you. So not only is it basically an artificial substance, it’s most likely loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or some artificial sweeteners. So not only are you consuming non-foods, you are also consuming a load of sugar, or something that will behave similarly to sugar within the body. This may give you a bit of energy for a short period of time, but then comes the crash and the hormonal fluctuations involving insulin and cortisol. None of this equates to extended energy out in the surf. Healthy food that will provide you with sustained energy unfortunately doesn’t come in nicely wrapped chocolate chunk protein bars. Although, there are a few bars on the market that aren’t bad, so give the ingredients a look, and if they are few, and all real foods, then it’s ok in my book.
So what do we want in an all around good snack? The big 3 macronutrients, carbs, protein, and some quality saturated fat. You want your carbs coming from something other than sugar, protein in order to repair muscle tissue, and some fat to satiate and provide sustained energy. The following recipes provide just that.
“Little Paleo Balls-O-Happiness!“
So here goes: all measurements are guesses but what you are looking for in the end is a sticky, thick cookie dough like consistency and of course, great flavor. You want it to hold together when squeezed so that you can roll it into balls. Store in refrigerator.
1cup raw almonds (I toasted in the oven for deeper flavor)
1cup dried, pitted dates (check to make sure pits are out)
3/4 cup almond butter
3/4 cup coconut butter
1cup dried coconut (toasted)
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/8 cup agave nectar or RAW honey
pinch of salt
First pulse the almonds alone in food processor until fine sand-like grain then add dates and pulse until same. Then add rest of ingredients and let ‘er rip! it should come together in about 45 seconds. Taste and add more agave or honey if not sweet enough.
The Paleo balls recipe was taken from the guys from Cathletics.com and the Performance Menu (great recipes in Performance Menu). Lot’s of great stuff on the previously mentioned site, mostly geared to crossfitters and those on the Paleo diet.
ENERGY BAR RECIPE
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (although cashew, hazelnut, walnut and even pumpkin butters will work well too!)
1/4 cup coconut oil (check your local health food store)
1/4 cup almond meal (simply pulse approximately 1/4 cup of almonds until it creates a coarse flour)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey (although, this is really kind of optional because the egg will help hold the mixture together)
1/2 cup unsweetened whey protein powder (or 60g)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top
- On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown. In order for them to cook evenly, you need to shake up the tray at least once during cooking…trust us!
- Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (sort of the consistency of bread crumbs).
- In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Fold in nut mixture, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.
- Add whole egg and mix thoroughly.
- Fold in blueberries/cranberries.
- Press mixture into an 8 by 8 loaf pan (a modification that we made to keep everything crisper and help the bars to hold together).
- Cook in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle a ¼ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars.
- Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container.
Note: You can also add dark chocolate chips instead of the cranberries/blueberries (available at Whole Foods or health food store). If you add the chips while the mixing bowl is warm (from the coconut oil/almond butter mixture), they will melt into the mixture and you will have yourself a chocolate primal bar. Alternatively, you can just let the mix cool, then add the chips, then refrigerate the pan to get chocolate chip primal bars. The bars stick together pretty well without being cooked.
This recipe was found over at Marksdailyapple.com An awesome site ful of great information.
Feel free to tweak either of these recipes. I personally have come up with some awesome batches of these with simply substituting some of the ingredients. Get in the kitchen, and make some good food for yourself so you can stay out in the surf.
– for those of you that don’t want to cook, a piece of fruit and some type of organic nut butter is a quick and easy snack. Give your body something it can use out in the water!