Healthy Homemade Snacks

No reason to feel guilty about snacking – there are plenty of good-for-you choices that turn snack time into a plus! Here are two healthy treats that you can make at home.

BEET CHIPS
You’ll need a dehydrator, as well as a food processor, mandoline or other tool to cut very thin slices.

8 beets, or as many as you’d like
grapeseed, or other cooking oil
salt

Peel the beets. Cut into thin slices – about 1/8″. Spread out the slices in a large bowl or on a cookie sheet. Lightly drizzle with oil, then rub the oil into both sides of the slice. Sprinkle with salt. (If you’re feeling adventurous, I imagine that a little cayenne or chili powder would be nice with these.) Place beet slices onto the trays of the dehydrator. Dehydrate at 52°C, until crispy, approximately 9 hours. (This will vary depending on the thickness of your slices.)

Note: I found that they were dry, but not particularly crispy when I first removed them from the dehydrator, as they were still warm. They crisp up nicely when cool.

GANGES SPICEBALLS
Makes 20

6 Tbsp (90 ml) tahini
10 Tbsp (150 ml) finely chopped raisins
1 Tbsp (15 ml) cocoa or carob powder
1/2 – 1 tsp (2-5 ml) ground cardamom, to taste *
1/2 – 1 tsp (2-5 ml) ground ginger, to taste *
1/4 tsp (1ml) ground cloves
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey
fat pinch of nutmeg
slim pinch of salt

*Use more, or less of the cardamom and ginger according to how spicy you would like them.

Dig down to the bottom of your container of tahini to find the stiffest, least-oily part, and measure it out into a medium-size bowl. Lightly pack the raisins into the tahini. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over them.

Using a strong spoon, combine everything to form a stiff mixture, even throughout. Taking small lumps, shape the mixture with your fingertips into 1 inch balls. Chill them for an hour or so to help firm them up.

This recipe is very accepting of variations: You can substitute peanut butter or almond butter for tahini. I have used hemp butter with much success. You can omit the carob and use 2 tablespoons of ground filberts instead. Kids really like them with cinnamon instead of cardamom. You could roll the balls in grated coconut, toasted ground almonds, or sesame seeds…there are several possibilities!

These spiceballs have sufficient flavour to make them a good vehicle for anything else less palatable that you, or a child, might want or need to eat, such as strong-tasting herbs, remedies, or medicine, etc.

Updated from posts originally published in 2012 and 2013

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