Creating fun, interesting, healthy and PORTABLE snack foods can be a challenge for even the most creative people. Carrot sticks get boring, and buying packaged snacks gets expensive! Those amazing Kale Chips from New Seasons Market are one of the tastiest snack foods this health enthusiast has tried all year (and the best Kale Chip ever, hands down), but at $6-7 for a 2.2 oz. container it is not exactly the bang for your buck most people look for.
One idea is to dehydrate your own food! Whether you make Kale chips or apple slices, over time you will save $$ by passing up those $8 bags of dried fruit slices. Nesco makes some wonderful, affordable food dehydrators, with entry level models starting at under $40! Fred Meyer also sells a good entry level model, and they often run coupons too! Mine was purchased this past weekend for $39.99 through creative coupon use, saving $20 off of the original price of $59.99.
Once you have your dehydrator, grab some apples, some peaches, some strawberries, and a big bunch of kale and get cracking; all the instructions for how to dehydrate come with the appliance, but please remember this IMPORTANT FACT: Despite what the directions say, you need to keep temperatures under 125 degrees Fahrenheit in order to maintain nutrient profiles; heats above 125 zap vitamins and minerals and begin to degrade foods. You can even make beef or turkey jerky and bring healthy protein snacks to work without all of the preservatives found in any mass market jerky product.
This is a fun activity for the whole family, and a way to create a conversation around healthy snacking. So have fun with it!!