Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week’s blog is inspired by the fact that this weekend I will be driving about 6.5 hrs one way to be in one of my best friend’s wedding! Now, in the old days when it was just me and I was young, I’d hop in the car with my carton of cigarettes, sun block, and cd collection and drive! Hey…what happens when you are 23 in the middle of New Mexico on a road trip… stays in the middle of New Mexico! HA!

Welllll, I still love a good road trip, but these days they are MUCH different…absolutely no cigarettes and now I have a 3 ½ year old along for the ride! Not only do I have to think of things to keep her occupied while we drive across the Midwest, but I need healthy food options. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs you probably know that I am not one to purchase anything from a gas station, except gas! Although, many now have some fresh fruits and baked whole grain munchies to purchase, but  I am also on a budget, so I am not paying $1.25 for ONE banana!

Here are some great travel/on the go/healthy food options. Great not only for road trips, but soccer games, busy weekend errand running, or beautiful falls day at the park.
Get those ice packs and coolers ready!

String cheese
Carrot sticks/Celery Sticks
All natural peanut butter(for dipping those veggies in! put some into a Tupperware bowl that the kids can easily open in the car)
Peeled hard-boiled eggs
Bell peppers cut into sticks
Sliced Apples(I cut them into thinly sliced wedges about 30 minutes before we leave so they don’t get to brown, you can cut them the night before but squeeze a little fresh lemon on them before you put in a baggie or airtight container)
Cherry Tomatoes
Rice Cakes
Baked, whole grain crackers or chips. (avoid greasy, fried chips…not good for your tummy, especially when you are traveling!)
Pudding or yogurt cups(without too many fake ingredients please!)
Lean, preservative free, sodium nitrate free deli meats(remember those Gladiator roll-ups from my previous blog!)
Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews
Tuna salad (make ahead and put into a container. When you stop at a rest stop or park for lunch, you can scoop out the tuna onto crackers or bread or eat by itself…make sure to grab some plastic forks and spoons for your picnic lunch!)
Homemade Granola—much better than store bought! Doesn’t have the preservatives and added sodium. I love to make this during the fall…smells so good baking in the oven!

This recipe is gluten free, if you want gluten, add a ½ cup of bran cereal to the mix.
The great thing about granola is you can modify it anyway you want! This recipe is a combo of about 3 different granola recipes that I have tried in the past. As you make it you will probably add a little more of this and a little more of that. This is fun for the kids to help make!

5 cups oats (you can find certified gluten free brands out there)
1 cup pumpkin seeds (if you don’t like these, substitute chopped cashews, walnuts or sesame seeds instead)
¼ cup flaxseed meal (a great healthy omega 3 rich ingredient)
1 cup raw almonds (coarsely chopped in your food processor or blender)
1 ½ cups of your favorite dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins, blueberries)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger and or nutmeg (your choice..sometimes I put ½ tsp of each!)
1 tsp salt
¼ cup honey or maple syrup (your choice!)
½ cup carrot puree (hidden veggie!)
Preheat oven to 350

Mix all the ingredients in one big bowl. Try to evenly coat everything with the honey/maple syrup and carrot puree. If I find that I’ve added more ingredients than normal, which can happen when you have little helpers…I add a little bit of olive or coconut oil to the mixture and stir it all up, you don’t want it too sticky but not too dry either. 

Now, spread this mix onto a couple greased baking sheets, but I find it easier and less risk of mess, to put it into a roasting pan, that way I can stir up the ingredients half way through baking.
Bake for 12 minutes, then stir it up, 12 minutes then stir, 12 minutes then stir. You are looking for the granola to be golden brown and crunchy! 

Let it cool completely before putting it into an air tight container or baggies for easy on the go snacking!

Have a Healthy Week!

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