Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be easy to plan ahead and map out, but when you’re stuck in traffic at 6 PM and your stomach is growling for snacks, there’s nowhere to turn but a gas station or McDonald’s.
What’s a gluten-free gal to do?
The solution is simple. Plan out your meals and snacks every Sunday. Make your snacks a priority; just like you would your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Easier said than done?
Not at all.
Think about what foods you enjoy eating for your meals, then branch out from there. Create healthy snacks around your favorite foods so that nothing goes to waste.
A fan of lentils? Make a batch on Sunday night for Dal on Monday, Lentil soup on Tuesday and a snack of lentils wrapped in Nori for each day of the week along with some avocado and salsa.
Love your sweets? Freeze a Greek yogurt, defrost for 20 minutes, add in cocoa powder, banana slices and ground flax seeds for a nice spin on an ice cream sundae. Still not satisfied? How about slicing up some jicama, drizzling it with lemon juice and serving it with guacamole? These out-of-the-box snacks are fun to create and unique enough to keep your taste buds yearning for more.
The trick is to always be prepared and get creative with your morning and afternoon snacks. Be sure to keep fresh veggies on hand at all times. Chop and store them in seal-able bags for a quick grab n’ go convenient nibble to have throughout the week.
Take note of the healthy foods you need to keep your pantry and fridge stocked at all times. These items should own a spot on your grocery list each week. That way it’s easy to purchase a few staples on Sunday for the week ahead.
Unfortunately, most of the convenient gluten-free food is highly processed and full of added sugars, so why not try to map out your week, thinking about when you get most hungry during the day? Is it in the mornings, the afternoons, after dinner? Think of items that you can easily toss into your bag when you’re running errands.
Try to keep something in your top desk drawer such as dried fruit, nuts and seeds. It takes 5 minutes to toss some gluten-free oats into a Ziploc bag along with dried fruit, unsweetened coconut flakes, almonds and pumpkin seeds for a go-to granola. You can take this anywhere and it will last forever.
Remember to pack a bottle of water and you’ve got yourself a nice snack to hold you over. You’ll be thankful that you’ve saved yourself the money that you might spend at a vending machine or convenient store. This will cut down on those convenient processed gluten-free snacks. In the end, your body will be eternally grateful.
This is just a taste of how you will benefit from eating clean, wholesome gluten-free food, further outweighing the costs on your finances, and more importantly, on your health.
When dinner’s at eight and you just can’t wait, you need some quick n’ easy snacks to hold you over and keep you and your tummy happy.
Here are some of my favorite Go-To Gluten-Free Snacks:
- Pear and Greek Yogurt Tartine // Toast a piece of gluten-free toast. Dividing evenly, top with 2 Tbsp. apple butter, ½ thinly sliced pear and 2Tbsp. So Delicious Greek yogurt.
- Crackers with So Delicious dairy-free yogurt and Avocado // Dividing evenly, top crackers with ½ cup So Delicious yogurt, 1 ripe mashed avocado, 2 tsp. chopped red onion, ground cumin, sea salt and pepper.
- Figs and Sliced Melon // Slice 2 figs in half, top with thinly sliced melon and ground flax seeds.
- Nori Veggie Wraps // Lay 2 pieces of Nori on a flat surface, top with hummus, salsa, chili powder, sliced zucchini and shredded carrots. Wrap like a burrito.
- Yellow Squash with Almond Butter Dip // Cut one yellow squash into thin slices. Dip into mixture of Greek plain yogurt, ground cinnamon, canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.
- White Bean Arugula Pesto with Pretzels // In a food processor, combine 4 cups arugula, 1 cup white beans, 4 fresh basil leaves, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with gluten-free pretzels.
- Apple Parfait with Salted Pistachios // Cut two apples into bite size pieces. Divide the apple and 1 ½ cups Greek plain yogurt among bowls. Sprinkle with ½ cup coarsely chopped salted roasted pistachios and 1 tsp. unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Crunchy Cashew Lime Broccoli // Steam broccoli florets and toss with olive oil, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with toasted ground cashews.
- Savory Kale Wraps // Lay a large kale leaf on a flat surface, top with guacamole, Greek plain yogurt and salsa. Sprinkle with chia seeds; wrap like a burrito.
And there you have it. Easy as 1,2,3 and all it takes is a little planning and organization.
So go ahead. Get those Ziploc bags ready and start making your snacks for the week ahead.