This has been a summer of all summers for hot beach days. And when you have a house full of grandkids (those six beautiful kids you see above) - that's a wonderful thing.
Our favourite beach for this energetic bunch is 20 minutes from home, and with the kids able (pretty much) to pack their own gear/bags, our "getaway" time is fairly quick.
That is, as long as the snack department is prepared - and some days that is Nana's department.
To accommodate food sensitivities and health issues - and to meet our healthy, real food standard - our choices may be deemed different than the contents of other picnic coolers. But the proof is in the eating - coming home with empty containers (and sandy towels, toys and bathing suits) - without an aftermath of digestive upsets, but appetites asking "what's for dinner?!"
Here's a recent beach snack list - good for a couple hours of fun in the sun and sand.
- fresh fruit: cut up watermelon, cherries, fresh strawberries or blueberries - great finger food packed with phytonutrients and loaded with water
- bag of raw nuts that have been soaked (for better digestion), drained and rinsed - walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts (a special treat)
- sunflower seed paté (recipe below)
- eatmore energy bars (recipe below)
- plenty of bottles of water
Click → Printable recipe for Sunflower Seed Paté
Sunflower Seed Paté
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5/8 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup tamari (I substituted coconut aminos for non-soy option)
1 large potato, peeled and diced (I substituted sweet potato: a colorful, sweeter, healthier option)
1 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (I substituted buckwheat flour for gluten-free option)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 or 2 garlic cloves (or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 - 2 tsp. dried herbs of your choice: I used oregano and basil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth.
Pour into two greased (or parchment-lined) fruitcake loaf pans.
Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until set. Cool thoroughly, remove from pans carefully and wrap well in plastic. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Serve with home-made pita chips or baked nachos, or by itself is delicious too! Also tasty cut in cubes and tossed on a salad.
(Baked in small fruitcake pans, this would make a great gift, if you can resist eating it all yourself!)
(Recipe adapted from The LEADING VEG Cook Book - printed by Vegetarians of Alberta, 2002
Click → Printable recipe for Eatmore Energy Bars
Eatmore Energy Bars
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup raw sesame seeds
2/3 - 1 cup cocoa powder (or carob, for caffeine-free version)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup date pureé (soak dates for min. 25 minutes; pureé in blender or food processor, adding date-soaking water as needed).
Mix together coconut, sesame seeds and cocoa (or carob) in a bowl. Heat nut butters and date pureé together slightly for easier mixing - add to the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Press into lightly greased 9x9 pan. Refrigerate for a couple hours to set before cutting to serve. Yum!!
Beach fare or otherwise, these two recipes - new-to-me this summer - are fast becoming favourites.
What are your favourite healthy beach-picninc snacks?