Whether you’re running off to a meeting, late to pick up the kids, or just in a crunch and don’t have time to sit down and eat, there’s no denying that sometimes it’s just easier to grab a ready-made snack and hit the road. While they may be marketed to look like a healthy choice, these pre-made foods are often filled with added sugars and artificially produced fats, leaving you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied.
Preparing paleo snack foods doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen or half your paycheck at the supermarket. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘less is more,’ and that’s exactly how it should be — minimal ingredients and maximum nutrition and flavour. We’ve compiled a list of paleo-approved portable snacks to help take the stress out of eating. Free of grains, refined sugars, and bad fats, these snacks will leave your belly happy and your taste buds wanting more.
• Hard-boiled eggs — There are plenty of ways you can dress up a good old hard-boiled egg. Try adding different spice combinations like salt, pepper, and paprika; basil pesto; or even salt and vinegar. To fancy it up, turn them into devilled eggs. You can go with the traditional mayo and dijon filling, or spice things up with avocado and chili flakes for a kick of heat.
• Hummus — When you’re making your own hummus, you’ll never be short on new flavour combos. Options to get you started include caramelized onion and roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, jalapeño and cilantro, sriracha, or plain old traditional. Combine your favourite flavours to suit your taste preferences.
• Nuts and seeds — Almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds… the list goes on. Nuts and seeds are an easy way to get a good dose of fat that will keep you full for hours.
• Cured meats and jerky — Grass-fed, organic, or pastured meats are your best options to avoid hormones and antibiotics.
• Hard cheeses — Grass-fed, full-fat aged cheeses like cheddar, gouda, manchego, parmesan, and gruyere are all good choices due to higher fat and lower lactose content. Preferrably raw cheese, not pasteurized.
• Olives — Kalamata, manzanilla, niçoise, picholine. Whatever the variety, olives are an easy grab for an on-the-go bite sized snack. They also act as probiotics!
• Canned seafood — Sardines, oysters, herring, mackerel, and even salmon or tuna give you a good amount of omega-3s and some protein to leave you feeling full. Look for wild-caught, if possible.
• Kale chips — Super simple and packed with nutrition and flavour, try combinations like all dressed, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, or nacho cheese — the possibilities are endless.
• Chicharrón (pork rinds) — A Central and South American staple, pork rinds are a great way to get a punch of protein and fat. When choosing a brand, try to avoid processed oils. Even better, try making your own at home!
• Seaweed snacks — Dulse, kombu, nori, or wakame. Seaweed snacks are yummy and versatile. Try them dried in any flavour you like – but watch out for processed vegetable oils.
We know that when you live a busy lifestyle, eating can be a little difficult. But here’s a pro tip: try batch cooking. Pick a few options for the week and prepare them all ahead of time. Then, when you’re tight for time, all you have to do is reach into the fridge and head out the door. If you’re relatively new to the paleo lifestyle and constant hunger is an issue, don’t worry. Once your body becomes ‘fat-adapted’ and gets used to burning fat for fuel, you will be able to easily skip meals without feeling hungry.
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Featured image: Flicker Creative Commons András Barta