APPLE DONUTS, FAVORITE SNACKS, AND MY JOURNEY TO REAL FOOD
I got you with this title, didn’t I?? She’s posting about apple donuts, I better check this blog out!! Ha, well sorry….they’re not REAL apple donuts. But they’re pretty darn good. Horizontally sliced apple with yummy toppings. Or, you could make them into apple sandwiches, and really go to town!
I’m a big snacker, I always have been. I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up eating and loving snacks, or if it’s just what my metabolism and blood sugar needs. My old co-workers used to tease me about how often I ate. I’m still the same, but the way I snack and what I eat has changed a lot over the last decade.
When I was studying nutrition in college, and very much following the food pyramid, I ate a LOT of grains (I was aiming for 6-11 servings, after all!). I was always, always hungry. I had to eat every 2 hours or I’d get a blood sugar crash - low energy, moody, hungry. Because my diet was largely made up of carbohydrates, and not enough fat and protein, I wasn’t eating enough to keep my blood sugar stable. After I graduated from college I went backpacking in Europe (and ate PLENTY of carbs) and soon after I got home I started working at Green Meadows Farm in South Hamilton, MA. It was there that I met Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish, and she taught me a thing or two about food, real nourishing food. She explained to me the importance of eating full fat foods (like dairy) for energy, satiety, fuel and keeping full. We talked a lot about eating real butter (from grass-fed cows), using coconut oil, animal fats and olive oil rather than highly refined oils like canola and vegetable oil, and reducing my grain intake to one meal a day - down from breakfast, lunch and dinner. She is now a Registered Dietitian, an incredible advocate to our food system, and working on a documentary I am so excited for called Kale vs. Cow.
What she taught me made A LOT of sense. It made sense to me to eat real butter, rather than a fake butter spread with an ingredient list 5 lines long. It made sense to me to eat full fat, plain yogurt with a little honey, rather than low fat sweetened yogurt with added sugar. It made sense to me to use high quality sea salt with many necessary nutrients, instead of table salt which is just sodium chloride, iodine, and some anti-caking ingredients. I noticed an immediate difference in my energy, and how long I could go without NEEDING to eat. I could easily go 3-4 hours between eating, and I was working hard on a farm! From that point on, I either didn’t need a snack because I was eating less grains and more fat and protein, or I made very different choices (I ditched the triscuits and 100 calorie packs and started snacking on nuts with coconut flakes, whole yogurt, or a little bit of leftovers).
Finn on the other hand, isn’t a big snacker. I’m not sure if he is just used to this because of what we feed him at meals, or if it’s his metabolism. My guess is a little of both. He eats a pretty well rounded breakfast, lunch and dinner (most of the time...he's pretty hesitant of veggies these days, especially if they're green), it’s just the kind of eater he has always been. All kids have different needs, that's for sure. He often has one snack around 3 or 4pm, depending on what time lunch was and what he ate. If it’s any later than that he doesn’t eat a good dinner - without fail!
So, when we do snack, these are the choices we usually make. I hope you find this list helpful!
Some of our go-to snacks:
Apple donuts/sandwiches (possible combos below!)
Dates with nut butter and coconut flakes
Dates with coconut butter
Kefir with apple sauce
Mango Lassi Popsicles (dairy free!)
Maple Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (small amount, dairy free!)
Nuts, raisins and cheese
Apple and nut butter
Apple and cheese
Nutty, Seedy Energy Balls (dairy free!)
Simple Mills almond flour crackers with nut butter
This picture has a lot of history and humor for us. Years ago when Adam and I moved in together, getting used to very little ready made “snacky” food around the house wasn’t easy for him! I made him this list to refer to when he was hungry, and we still laugh about it. He says he’s NOT going to make tuna when he’s hungry for a snack (which I totally get) and says he gets more calories from taking deep breaths than eating seaweed snacks. Now he just eats what ever isn't "tied down." Over ripe banana with kimchi, done.
Apple Donuts or Sandwiches
There isn’t a “recipe” per se for this snack. Core the apple, slice it horizontally (you’ll get varying numbers of slices depending on the size of the apple) and start adding the toppings!
Nut butter, fine coconut flakes, chocolate chips/cacao nibs, pinch of sea salt
Nut butter, raisins, chia seeds
Coconut butter, cinnamon, hemp hearts
Coconut butter, gogi berries, cacao nibs
Goat cheese, garlic powder, thyme
Kids LOVE these! Depending on their age, let them pick out what toppings you're going to add - you'll likely have some new combos. They're great to add to a lunch box too, they're full of fuel to get them through the day!
Nut butter options: Peanut butter (I like Teddy Organic), almond butter, sun butter, cashew butter. When shopping for nut butter be sure the only ingredient is the nut (they like to add sugar to these nut butters!) and if the nut is roasted, dry roasted (without oil) is best.