Choosing Health-Promoting Snacks
Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts, Kashi (puffed grains), oatmeal, granola.
(These are but a few that our family enjoys as snacks. These products are very tasty without sweetener, or with a few raisins. We also avoid dairy products by using a rice milk called Rice Dream. Try it, you'll like it!)
A wonderful source of fiber. Replace butter with "Better Butter" (see "Cut Back on Dairy Products"). Try mixing one tablespoon melted butter with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Sprinkle over popcorn and toss with brewer's yeast (in place of salt).3
Brownies, candies, cakes.
"The American people are full of beans," writes Frances Sheridan Goulart, author of The Carob Way to Health. "Each year we go through 850,000 tons of cocoa beans in the form of chocolate candies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, beverages, and other chocolate confections." These products are "rich in saturated fats, sugar, caffeine, chemicals, and empty calories."4
An excellent substitute for chocolate, carob is made by grinding the pods of the carob tree. It contains almost three times as much calcium as milk, is low in fat, rich in protein, and high in phosphorus and potassium. Carob is also a good source of vitamins A, B1, and B3 and fiber. Although it is relatively sweet (46 percent natural sugar compared to 5 1/2 percent for cocoa) and has a taste comparable to chocolate, it has 40 percent fewer calories than cocoa. As an added plus, carob has none of the caffeine found naturally in chocolate.5
Look for carob snacks sweetened with honey, maple syrup, barley malt syrup, sorghum, or rice syrup . . . and made without hydrogenated oils. Many vegetarian cookbooks contain a variety of recipes for making your own carob treats.
And Much, Much More!
Actually, this list could go on and on. There are literally hundreds of snacks that you can purchase or make at home that avoid the refined sugars, refined flours, and fats typical of junk-food snacks. Because this is not intended to be a cookbook, I will not attempt to list recipes.
If you're looking to purchase snack foods rather than make them, the following is a partial listing of companies that tend to use healthier ingredients in their snack-food-type products. Some of these brands can be found in mainstream supermarkets. However, a health-food store is your best bet. Again, learn to read the labels!
Healtheir Snack-Food Companies
|Arrowhead Mills||Glenny's||R.J. Corr Naturals|
|Auburn Farms||Hain||R.W. Frookies|
|Barbara's Bakery||Health Valley||R.W. Knudsen|
|Bear Valley||Heaven Scent Natural Foods||Santa Cruz Natural|
|Better Way||Kettle Foods||Schiff|
|Bronner||Lady J||Shiloh Farms|
|Caroba||Lifestream Natural Foods||Snyder's of Hanover|
|Chico San||Little Bear Organic Foods||Sonoma|
|De Boles||Manna Mixins||Sovex|
|De Sousa||Marion Food Specialties||Spicer's International|
|Desert Gold||Maranatha Natural Foods||Stone Burr|
|Elf Liberty||Mrs. Denson's Cookie Co.||Sunfield|
|Erewhon||Natural Nectar||US Mills|
|Fearn||Nature's Warehouse||Walnut Acres|
|Frankly Natural||Pamela's Products||Westbrae|
|Garden of Eatin'||Peddler's "Offbeat Originals"|
1. Michael S. Lasky, The Complete Junk Food Book (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1977), page xvii.
2. Earl Mindell, Earl Mindell's Safe Eating (New York: Warner Books, 1987), page 118.
3. Nan Kathryn Fuchs, The Nutrition Detective (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1985), page 62.
4. Frances Sheridan Goulart, The Carob Way to Health (New York: Warner Books, 1982), page 3.
5. Goulart, pages 3,7.
From HEALTHY HABITS: 20 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health by David J. Frahm as used by arrangement with Jeremy P. Tarcher, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2003 by David and Anne Frahm. All rights reserved.
To order this book visit www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.