Health Food Snacks and More

Discussion in 'Health and Wellness' started by Benjamin, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Anyone make their own or knows how to make “healthy” snacks, granola bars, biscuits, muffins or have purchased some from a store (is that even possible?) How about meal replacement or protein bars?

    How about smoothies, salads, or soups?

    I’m looking for no chemicals, no artificial flavor, color or bug repellants…err…I mean preservatives.

    Whole grains, sugar free, Omega 3, so it’s good for me. (rhymes)

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. annsni

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    Granola bars:

    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 Tbsp. honey
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    1 egg
    1 cup flour
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    1 1/4 cup crispy rice cereal
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 cup chocolate chips (or you can use coconut, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup nuts, raisins, dried fruit, 1/2 cup fruit preserves)

    In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter until fluffy. Add honey, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Blend in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Press firmly into the bottom of a greased 9 X 13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Bars will firm as they stand. Cool and cut into bars. Save the crumbs for yogurt or ice cream topping. Makes approx. 24 bars.


    AMAZING Pumpkin Muffins

    3 C sugar
    1 C oil (I often use applesauce or chunky applesauce)
    4 eggs (also have used egg beaters with good results)
    2 tsp vanilla

    Mix together until combined

    3 1/2 C flour
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    2 tsp baking soda

    sift dry ingredients, then add wet to dry

    2/3 cup milk (soy works great, skim works great)
    1 3/4 cups pumpkin (canned - just a regular size can)

    add half the milk, mix, half the pumpkin, mix again,
    the rest of the milk, mix, the rest of the pumpkin, mix

    optional:
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1 cup chocolate chips (we used vegan tropical source last time)

    (just fold these in)

    Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean


    Smoothies are pretty easy, IMO. Plain or vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit and you're set. Just eyeball it - that's the way I do it. Add a little sweetener if you need it or else add some juice and it should be fine.

    Salads? I just take greens and build from there with lowfat ingredients. Our favorite salad is greens, cooked chicken, pears or mandarin oranges, craisins, nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds) and blue cheese crumbled over it with a dressing of 1 part honey to 2 parts balsamic vinegar. Yummy!

    Just a few ideas. :)
     
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    “Cream sugars and butter until fluffy… ice cream topping”!!! [​IMG]

    “3 C sugar, 3 1/2 C flour, blue cheese…” [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  4. annsni

    annsni
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    LOL - You can decrease the sugar in the granola bars a bit (if I remember correctly, a friend decreased it by 1/2 and it was still good.

    For the pumpkin muffins, it makes a LOT. You can absolutely use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white. :)
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
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    Oh, and blue cheese is so strong that just a tablespoon is enough to give it some yummy flavor without a lot of calories.
     
  6. Gina B

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    Soup? My ears perked! Tis the season for butternut squash soup! It's very simple. Just steam or bake the squash, puree it with water, miso or chicken broth, then heat it up and add whatever kind of seasonings you like. You can do this with other squashes or sweet potatoes, and you can add apples or carrots to it. Have fun and experiment with different blends.

    Another easy soup is chicken broth with chunks of chicken. After it's made add a squeeze of lemon, some cilantro, diced tomato, diced avocado, and top it with cheese (or leave the cheese off) and broken corn chips.

    I have a book that is nothing but salad recipes. I'll look some up for you. Feel free to remind me, I may forget! Tonight we had a big fat salad for dinner, but nothing nobody could figure out. Just a bowl full of garden vegetables! I love adding raw turnip pieces in salad. It's cheap, healthy, and adds a nice little crunch.

    Use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon!

    Biscuits are ridiculously easy. Here's how I make them:

    2 cups flour
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter
    3/4 cup milk

    Mix the dry stuff, cut in the butter, stir in the milk. Put them on a no-stick baking sheet and bake at 450. No need to roll them or anything, just use about 2 tablespoons of the dough per biscuit and stick the dough on the sheet. You can add cheese and sauteed garlic to the dough too, or whatever seasonings you want for variety.

    My kids like dried veggies. We used to buy the Just Veggies all the time, but they don't sell them out here. Maybe they do where you are. Go to justtomatoes.com and check them out! My one daughter eats dried cranberries for a snack and loves them.

    Here's my basic muffin recipe. I add different things to it depending on my mood! A favorite is cinnamon. I'll also shred apple and put it in sometimes. You can add blueberries. You can add chocolate chips. Dark chocolate is good for you, so add that if you get a sweet craving!

    2 C flour
    3 tsp powder
    salt
    1/2 C sugar. Use stevia if you don't want real sugar, but don't use fake garbage like Splenda. I'd go for real sugar. That doesn't equal to a lot per muffin, and in moderation it shouldn't be a problem to have some shoogah in your life
    1 egg
    1 C milk
    1/4 C veg oil

    Mix the dry stuff together. Beat the egg into the milk, then stir it into the dry stuff you already mixed.

    Pour it into greased and floured muffin tins or make life easier and use paper liners...it should make about 12 medium size muffins. Fill them about 2/3 of the way full.

    I'm not sure how things are in your area. I found it extremely easy to buy organic, pesticide free foods and snacks in Oregon. It's nearly impossible in Alaska. It's not too easy here in Oklahoma, but I make stuff from scratch a lot and that helps.

    Oh, and don't be afraid to make whole recipes and just freeze the extras so you'll have it later. Don't know your marital status, but a lot of people won't eat healthy because they don't want to cook a whole pan of muffins or cook a whole chicken and then make soup (you can get a zillion meals from one chicken!) but it's as simple as freezing extras, then you're not always cooking. If you have a big family, you don't have to worry about it because it's gone five seconds after it's made. LOL Anyhow, some people don't realize you can freeze most anything.
     
  7. Benjamin

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    These things sound good-tasty but I would only eat them on an occasional basis. I should explain better what I’m mostly looking for is something to eat as a staple, a highly nutritious snack to munch on a daily or almost daily basis. Must contain whole grains and protein.

    Ingredients I want to avoid:

    White flour (not good), sugar, high fat, wheat may be becoming an allergic problem for me, and I’m starting to cut back on corn products, vegetable oil,

    I want to make either a semi hard bar/cookie/biscuit or what I really would prefer is a somewhat moist muffin. I’ve tried a couple times, one time it went in the trash and another is was edible (barely) but fell apart and molded in about two days.

    Here is a list of healthy/nutritious ingredients I would be willing/prefer to put in it:

    Main ingredients, #1 Oats: whole grain, steel cut, bran, or can even make oat flour by grinding, #2 protein, 3# low fat and almost no sugar

    Whey protein powder (there may be some issues of denaturing at high heat, not sure if this is a concern)

    Eggs whites (good protein)
    Non-fat milk, powder or liquid
    Non-fat yogurt
    Non-fat cream cheese
    Flax seed, flax oil
    Oil: #1 Olive oil, #2 canola, #3 coconut (might be the key to keeping a moist texture)
    Apple sauce, juice (makes for a good natural sweetener)
    Fruit, (fresh or dried is good) blueberries, apple, apricot
    Banana
    Orange juice
    Coco powder, Unsweetened chocolate chips or bakers chocolate (Chocolate would be a nice craving filler but only for in moderation)
    Cinnamon
    Chopped nuts: almonds, walnuts
    Natural Peanut butter (but not crazy about taste)
    Maybe a little brown sugar or real maple syrup for a sweetener
    Annsni, pumpkin might be a possibility too but not sure how much sugar is in it.

    What I need to work on, need help with is on texture, how much of what, moisture, preparation, cooking temperature, taste and keeping so it lasts. I’m not sure what baking soda and powder do or if they are needed. ~I’m willing to experiment.
     
  8. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I grew a bumper crop of butternut squash in the garden a few years ago, but really didn't find much to do with it other than fry. I've been hearing alot about the nutritional values in it lately. It sure keeps well, and this sounds very interesting!
     
  9. Benjamin

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    One healthy eating habit I have is drinking smoothies around 3-4 times a week. My usual ingredients are:

    1 banana
    5-6 strawberries
    Large handful frozen blueberries
    1 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
    Apple juice or my favorite is fresh squeezed orange juice
    1 scoop 100% whey protein powder

    But I’m getting a little tired of the same old thing.



    I’m experimenting with soups. My favorite right now is:

    Rip the breasts and thighs off a rotisserie chicken, remove fat and cut it up
    2 cans non-fat, low salt chicken broth
    1 can cream of chicken
    1 carrot grated
    2-3 celery stalks cut in small pieces
    Garlic, pepper
    About 1-1 1/2 cup of whole grain rice (brown is much better for you)
    Enough water to finish the rice (cooking this takes a while)

    I would like to get into some barley and/or brown rice soups, beef (not too much, and low fat) or chicken and lots of good vegetables, would be looking for green and orange veggies, and most likely tomatoes.
     
  10. mommyL

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    Our daughters would live on smoothies if we let them. Our recipe is

    1 cup soy milk
    1 cup frozen fruit
    Blend until smooth

    We pick and freeze fruit in the summer, so we know where it comes from and pesticides(not) used. Soy milk has a lot of varieties available to choose from-low fat, extra calcium...One daughter prefers strawberry, and the other raspberry-peach. These really are good.

    We have a friend with celiac disease, so we look for rice or corn flour recipes. They give a totally different texture, and may help with crispiness.

    Kathy
     
  11. donnA

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    I've been wanting to make granola with no sugar, and if needed use splenda, I like a slittle and no sugar as possible.
    Smoothies are easy, low fat milk, a few ice, fruit, and either a little honey or splenda, I go for the splenda.

    Gina, I've been wanting to make butternut squash soup, is it good, ahve never had it, got a reliable recipe?

    you can not cook with or add pretein powders to anything hot. I drink them everyday and am alwasy looking for soemthing to do with them. Smoothies are #1, then you can mix it with yogurt, pudding, jello.
     
  12. Gina B

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    Ben, I found this online site and it looks most excellent!
    http://www.ifood.tv/network/nature_snack/recipes
    Do check it out!

    I almost forgot, I'm part of OV, duh! If you go to their site, they have some cool recipes. Go here: http://www.organicvalley.coop/ Right on top there's a maroon bar going across. "Recipes" is the second one across. YUM YUM!


    Donna, I like COLD soup that I make in a blender with only a couple ingredients. LOL I'm weird. Mine basically consists of cooking the squash in a minimum amount of water, letting it cool (retain the water), then sticking it in a blender with whatever seasonings and cream. Here's a recipe I found online that looks more like something normal people would want...hot and classy! http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/butternut-squash-soup-10000001140427/ If I buy it, I buy a brand called "Imagine." It's good. I usually wait until it's on sale though so I can afford it.

    Oh yeah, Benjamin, another favorite snack of mine is organic yogurt with flax seed mixed in. You can get unsweetened yogurt and just add raw honey. Try to get local honey if you can! Buying it in the comb to use is fun if you can find it!
     
  13. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Gina, thanks for those sites, I was just looking at some of the recipes and I'm starting to see how I might customize a recipe to my liking, actually I tink I will try out something here in a few minutes. I'll let ya'll know how or if it turns out.

    Yeah, I like yogurt but one needs to watch for that sugar. I was hungry the other day shortly before a workout and ate 3 of those little 6oz Yoplait yogurts but my energy during the workout level just seemed to drop, later I looked at the ingredients and found in had 27g of sugar each...no wonder!
     
  14. Benjamin

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    Ben’s concoction:

    2c oats
    1c oat bran
    1c nonfat yogurt
    1/2c apple sauce
    4 egg whites
    2 tbs olive oil
    1/4 c brown sugar
    1 tbs vanilla
    2 tsp baking powder

    I coated the large size muffin pan with olive oil and filled a little more than half full, they didn’t raise a lot, could of went 2/3rds. The texture came out really good. It took them 40 minutes at 350 degrees just to lightly brown and I think they could have been a bit softer and more moist if I took them out earlier regardless of rather they browned much; or increase the heat?

    I’m pleased with all the protein they must have but they are rather bland, too bland so I’m thinking maybe apple pieces and/or blue berries to add fruit and taste? But not sure that will do it. Maybe a mashed banana instead of apple sauce and some nuts would be another route?

    I took the rest of the mix and added a little orange juice and some cinnamon but forgot it while working out and left it in for an hour and ten minutes before I remembered, the thing still didn’t burn…weird…lol… but it was hard, dry and the taste…well…NO.
     
  15. Gina B

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    They're going to be a little bland without salt. One way to overcome that in low/no salt baking is to add a bit of lemon juice or crystallize lemon.
    For more moisture, try adding frozen fruit. I buy the bagged frozen stuff, no sugar or anything added. It contains a lot more moisture than fresh and blueberries are always yummy in muffins!

    You mentioned using olive oil in the muffin pan. You can avoid having to use ANY oil if you simply buy paper cup liners. They're very cheap and you get a zillion in a package. It also makes it a lot easier to clean the pan afterward.

    For not rising and for better texture...I'll tell you this, but don't tell anyone else! LOL First, the recipe is heavy enough that it isn't going to rise as much as you think. Next, let the eggs come to room temp before you use them. Last is the top secret thing. Whip the egg whites before you use them. For muffins, I do this until they jjjuuuuussssttttt begin to get stiff and solid white instead of clearish. This gives a bit more texture because the egg whites, if you do it right, will make these tiny little hollows as the muffins bake.

    When you end up with really awesome stuff as you experiment, be sure to come back here and share the recipes!
     
  16. NiteShift

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    People used to mix ground corn meal and sorghum syrup, and used it as sort of a 'trail mix'. It didn't mould kept at room temperature. I haven't tried it but it was supposed to be very nutritious.
     
  17. Benjamin

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    #17 Benjamin, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2010
  18. donnA

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    protein powder gets bad if heated. loses quality, and gains an unwanted flavor.
    I'v e done flourless cake before, and I wouldn't waste my time and costly supplies on anything flourless again.
     
  19. JMSR

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    We eat a lot of unprocessed honey. Does that count?
     
  20. Jon-Marc

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    One snack I enjoy is mixing fat free sour cream with Lipton Vegetable Mix (also fat free). Let it sit overnight in the fridge. Then use it with vegetables. It makes a great fat free dip. For those who have no health problems with fat in food, use sour cream with fat.
     

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