Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
- Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: an eater’s manifesto
Yup. That about sums it up.
Which begs the question, what is food?
Maybe that is something about which you haven’t given much thought.
I used to think that groceries (ie, items sold at the market) = food. Not so much anymore.
I’ve come to rely on Michael Pollan’s recommendation to eat only that which your grandmother, or great-grandmother, would recognize as food. So….neon orange macaroni and cheese? No. Bright blue yogurt in a tube? Nope. Chewy little “fruit” snacks? Nyet. Pollan addresses this topic so well here; I encourage you to read it.
Did you read it? Good.
Seems like fake food predominates the snack department, especially those snacks which appeal to kids.
When we switched to organics, one of the biggest challenges was replacing snacks — trading those processed, food-like things for real food, for easy to grab-and-go food, for kid friendly food.
Here are some organic snacks that are consistently eaten by my 4 kids (14yob, 12yob, 9yog, 6yob):
- fresh fruit
- dried fruit (no sulphur, no added sugar)
- Caesar salad (I keep a salad spinner full of rinsed, torn lettuce in the fridge)
- corn chips and salsa
- homemade nachos with beans and guacamole
- frozen bananas (when fresh bananas are fully ripe and turning brown, I peel and freeze, whole, in a plastic bag)
- frozen blueberries (a bowl of these is so refreshing!)
- frozen cherries
- frozen peas
- frozen green beans (the petite are the best to eat frozen)
- nuts of all kinds
- beef jerky ( no nitrites, no MSG, no preservatives)
- graham crackers and milk
- string cheese (and other pre-sliced cheeses)
- peanut butter and apples
- whole wheat toast and butter sprinkled with cinnamon/Sucanat mix
- hard boiled eggs
I also bake a few times each week, so we always have yummy baked goods for snacking.
- 1 cup organic popcorn kernels
- olive oil
- Celtic sea salt
In a large stock pot, slowly pour olive oil in the center of pot, and keep pouring until oil covers the entire bottom of pan. Dump in the cup of popcorn kernels, and swirl around, making sure that all the kernels are coated in olive oil. Cover pot with lid, and put on stove, over medium-high heat.
Popcorn will begin to pop, but do not disturb the pot in any way.
When popping slows considerably — and before anything smells burnt! — turn off heat, and dump popcorn into a large bowl or large paper grocery bag. Sprinkle with salt, and toss or stir to distribute.
No butter needed. This popcorn is tasty for more than one day — I usually make a double batch on Friday, and we snack on it through Sunday evening.
variation for kettle corn
Same as above, except after swirling the kernels in the olive oil, and before popping, sprinkle Sucanat over all the kernels. I usually use about 1/3 cup, more or less. When the kernels pop, the popcorn will pick up little bits of sweet goodness.
warning: This variation takes a little practice, since too much Sucanat will result in burnt sugar.
Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
produce image from: http://www.mom-going-organic-sensibly.com/what-is-healthy-food.html
popcorn image from: http://www.noobcook.com/2008/01/24/freshly-made-popcorn/