You’ve heard it before – it’s healthier to enjoy smaller meals, more frequently throughout the day.  Its important that you select healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, yogurt, protein bars and nuts (pistachios have the fewest amount of calories).  But after a while, we all crave something more, especially the kids.  So how do you add a bit of spice and flavor into your snack routine? Try one of these homemade recipes.

Goldfish

Everyone loves the cheesy cracker taste of a goldfish, and they make a great snack.  But the store-bought ones have all those unhealthy added preservatives in them.  When I ran across this recipe at tastykitchen.com, I was surprised at how easy it was to make my own.  The hardest part was cutting them out into little shapes.  I used tiny cookie cutters and the circle part of one of my pastry tips.  Tasytkitchen has more ideas on making cookie cutters, but I knew my husband wouldn’t be picky about the shape. After the first oohs and ahhs from your kids and after they taste them, your kids won’t be picky either!

Ingredients (makes approximately 7 dozen crackers)

  • 8 ounces, weight sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut Into cubes
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Directions

  • Pulse everything (except water) together in the food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand.
  • Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and smile if desired.
  • Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350º F for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.

Roasted Chickpeas

I love to snack on wasabi peas, so when I ran across this recipe for roasted chickpeas, I had to try it.  These turned out crunchy and really tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, drained again, and spread on paper towels to dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or half as much table salt

Directions

  • Heat oven to 400ºF.
  • Heat the oil in a small pan over low heat, then add the curry and garlic powders, and stir until fragrant.
  • Turn off the heat, pour in the chickpeas, and stir gently with a rubber spatula until they’re coated with the oil and spice.
  • Spread chickpeas in a foil-lined rimmed baking pan and bake for forty-five minutes to an hour, shaking the pan every ten minutes or so.
  • When they’re done, some will be brown and crunchy and some will be golden and still a bit soft in the middle. Ideally, none will be totally black.

I’m not a fan of curry flavoring, so I added some hot red pepper olive oil to the regular olive oil and used celery salt instead of curry powder.  Any combination of spices can be used.

These are addicting and anytime you can come up with a healthy easy snack to make, it will make it easier to stick to the healthy instead of diving into that potato chip bag!