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Sunday Afternoon Prepping | Healthy Snacks to Last the Week
Thursday, January 24
I'm on a kitchen/food kick right now. We've just talked about making freezer meals for the first time, so let's move onto another important part of meal planning - snacking. For a long time, snacking was not a part of my weekly meal plan. In fact, it's only very recently been included on it. For years, my type of snacking has consisted of grabbing some chips and salsa. Or eating a poptart. Or pouring myself a bowl of cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Reese's Pieces, if we're being specific here).
A while back, I finally had a talk with myself and decided that chips, poptarts, and cereal aren't the best type of snacking I should be doing. So, in an effort to snack better, I've included a lot more fruits, veggies, and nuts on our shopping list. Like Victoria from Green Plate Rule, I like to prep for clean eating on Sundays. It sets your kitchen up for healthy eating all week long.
For this week, Danny and I have celery sticks, apples, pomegranate seeds, pineapple chunks, grapefruit (those are more for breakfast), baby carrots, almonds, trail mix, granola bars, and mason jar salads. We're not going to eat all of this in one week for snacking, so we also like to use the vegetables and nuts in salads when we're running low or they're close to going bad. Also, I like to eat a few pieces of pineapple or grab an apple to satisfy my sweet tooth after dinner. We'll even pack a bag to use them as sides for our lunches. And, there's always the option of throwing everything into a blender and making smoothies!
Probably every one and their cousin knows how to cut celery. But for a long while, the only time I ever used celery was when I needed to chop it up for a soup. So in case anyone was wondering how to cut celery sticks for dipping (like in party vegetable trays), I thought I'd pass it along. Celery sticks have become a great snack for us; I like mine with a little bit of ranch, and Danny likes his with peanut butter.
- Wash the celery, then cut off the base and the leafy green tops (the tops can be too tough to eat).
- Cut the sticks into pieces small enough for dipping, then cut each piece down the middle along it's "groove."
- Store in the fridge. Place a bit of water in the bottom of the container to keep them crisp.
Now how about pomegranates? Danny and I have just barely started buying them for snacking. I've done all sorts of pomegranate flavored drinks, but I'd never actually bought a pomegranate as a snack before. Turns out, these little suckers are actually kind of difficult to eat. I had no idea how I was going to get all of those seeds out. I had a friend who would just pick her seeds out one by one, but I figured there had to be an easier way. So I Googled. And I found a fun little trick.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and lightly "stretch" it out.
- Grab a spoon, and start whacking the back of the pomegranate (be sure to hold it over a bowl).
- Keep whacking all over the back of the pomegranate until all the seeds have fallen out.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
It works like magic. And holy cow - do you see how many seeds just two of these have inside of them?! It's crazy! And they are oh so delicious.
Probably my all-time favorite snack, though, are our mason jar salads. I make these every week. They are so ideal for lunches. I'd seen these around Pinterest, but really decided to make them after seeing Victoria's post. I cannot get enough of them now. They are so good and so healthy. And they are a lot more filling when I'm in that "in-between-meals-and-I'm-starving" mood. I have six mason jars, so when I fill all of them they last us 3 days if we both eat one a day, but I've had them stay good up to 5 days in the fridge.
And that's pretty much it! I wash and cut the rest of our fruit and veggies and stick everything in tupperware containers in the fridge (remember when I talked about coring/cutting pineapples here? I got so excited that I bought two more pineapples this week). Now we've got lots of good snacks right on hand in our fridge. In our cupboard are our bagged nuts, granola bars, and trail mix, and we've got some apples and grapefruit out on the counter. I've stopped buying chips and salsa and poptarts (although I probably won't ever stop buying sugary cereal). It's so much easier not having those temptations present. Now instead of reaching for a smores poptart, I reach for some carrot sticks and pineapple chunks instead.