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5 Crunchy Paleo Snacks (We're NOT at all Nuts)
D. Scott Carruthers Bio: D. Scott Carruthers has led most of his life in the food world. His family worked in the food industry, and upon choosing a career Mr. Carruthers choose to combine his love for words and food into the career of food writing. He has been required reading in his local newspapers and has recently branched out to tech writing as well. http://dennisscottcarruthers.com
Keeping up with your Paleo lifestyle is all about planning and preparation. Having a collection of healthy, Paleo-friendly snacks in your cooking arsenal is a vital part of sticking to your healthy choices. Sure, raw fruits and vegetables are always a great choice, but even those of us committed to good selections can get tired of the same old thing day after day. Crunchy snacks are something that can fill a particular craving, and by choosing a snack with a Paleo-friendly crunch you can sidestep any unhealthy cravings that might pop up. With these suggestions and recipes you'll be able to change up your snacking routine, and avoid getting stuck in a snack time rut that could derail your choices!
1. Cauliflower "Popcorn"
Corn can be one of the hardest things to avoid while following a Paleo diet. Not only is corn in a large number of processed foods, popcorn is also a treat that many Paleo followers dearly miss. However, with this recipe, you'll be able to quench that thirst for popcorn whether it strikes during a movie night or while watching your favorite home team.
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into small popcorn-like pieces
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
After chopping, toss the cut up cauliflower in olive oil.
Sprinkle salt all over the cauliflower. Spread on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the cauliflower at least twice. The cauliflower will be slightly burnt, but never fear! That's part of the real popcorn flavor and texture you're looking for. Remove cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle with onion powder, dried herbs, or your favorite popcorn flavoring.
2. Tiger Nuts
Tiger Nuts are an incredibly great snack for those following a Paleo diet. You might ask yourself, what are Tiger Nuts? Well, first of all, they're not nuts at all! Tiger Nuts are a kind of tuber that is grown beneath the ground, much like a potato or a carrot is. While Tiger Nuts have the crunch of a roasted nut, since they aren't actually nuts they don't disrupt the digestive system as regular nuts do, nor do they affect allergies or nut sensitivities. You can find them at tigernutsusa.com
3. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Whether you choose commercially prepared pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, or choose to roast them at home, the crunchy little bites are the perfect handful when cravings strike. Roasting them at home can allow you to flavor them with anything you can think of! Garlic salt, onion salt, and chili powder are all great choices, but feel free to pump up the heat with jalapeno flakes or hot chili oil. Pumpkin seeds make a great Paleo-friendly, crunchy topper for salads and other foods, too.
4. Apple Nachos
This is a great party dish when not all of your attendees are Paleo followers. Sliced apples topped with dried coconut, sliced almonds, raisins, and almond butter can create the visual illusion and mouthfeel of nachos, without all those nasty, non-Paleo ingredients. A fun snack for a group, or a delicious meal for one, apple nachos will be your new favorite Paleo taste sensation.
5. Paleo Crackers
These super quick crackers only have three ingredients, and will last about a week in the pantry. Keeping some on hand is a good idea as they are an excellent accompaniment to chicken salad or dips. You can combine nearly any combination of spices or seasonings in these crackers. Try fresh herbs like rosemary or basil, or dried chives or chilis to spice things up.
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup butter, cubed
Pinch of salt, seasonings, or chopped herbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Roll the mix into a ball and press between two sheets of parchment paper until you reach your desired thickness. About a 1/4 of an inch is ideal to achieve a very crispy cracker. Take off the top paper and slide the cracker sheet on to a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crackers are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into strips, squares, or rectangles.