Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Prepackaged snacks on a budget
It's super important that I eat healthy and that I don't skip meals. That last one is hard for me, as I'm often out over a meal time, and frequently that is unplanned.
Many of the packaged snack bars contain too much sugar for me, personally, in the form of honey, cane sugar, and dried fruit. And even a banana or bag of raisins (what had long been my favorite items to grab going out the door) is no longer the best option for me to snack on, in place of a meal or main snack.
So I need something moderately balanced in energy, fats, proteins and carbs. But not a pricey health food store bar or snack mix. But it has to be as convenient as a packaged energy mix or bar.
You already know that I buy nuts, seeds and dried fruit from bulk bins at Fred Meyer and WinCo. The change that I've made is to pre-package some of those snacks into custom mix blends, just for me to grab when I need a portable, instant snack.
I've been filling snack-size ziploc bags, from Dollar Tree, with measured amounts of roasted almonds, roasted edamame, raisins, dried cranberries, and as an extra, a few jumbo chocolate chips. I set up several open bags on the counter, and measure ingredients into each bag, assembly line fashion. When I'm done, I have enough snack mix bags for the week, for myself.
I calculated the calorie count to be about 200, which is what I need when a meal is delayed. And my costs are about 65 cents per bag.
These packaged-by-me, energy mix bags meet all of my needs. They're nutritionally balanced. They're affordable. And they are quick to grab.
So, I chose dried edamame and almonds for protein, raisins and dried cranberries for some natural sugars and fiber, and the chocolate chips, just for my chocolate fix. What would you choose if you made energy mix for yourself? Do you have any favorite easy and healthy grab-and-go snacks?