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Organic Snacks: Going Organic When You Snack
But I am Organic!
When most people think of organic cooking, they think of preparing elaborate meals with a variety of vegetables and other organically-grown foods present. Organic cooking isn’t just for large meals, however; it’s perfectly possible to eat organically when you just want a quick snack. In fact, since many people think that the taste of organic foods is superior to those grown using other methods it makes a lot of sense to eat organic whenever you get the chance… especially when you just want a quick bite to eat that will tide you over ‘til your next meal.
Once there was a time when it would be almost impossible to find an organic option in regards to snack foods… it was hard enough to find organic options in produce or anything else, unless you grew it yourself in an organic garden. As more and more people have begun to realize the benefits of eating organically-grown foods, however, retailers have responded with an ever-increasing number of organic alternatives to the standard food items that you would normally buy. In addition to organic produce, many companies are producing organic versions of many popular pre-packaged food items; this includes a number of snack food favorites. Best of all, the number of manufacturers who are coming out with organic food products is increasing all the time so that just about any food type that you can imagine is now available in one organic or organic-friendly form or another.
Benefits of Choosing Organics
As was mentioned above, a good number of people simply believe that organically-grown foods taste better than those which are grown commercially using a variety of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This isn’t the only benefit of choosing organically-grown foods, however; far from it.
Organic foods are also produced without the need for potentially harmful chemicals being sprayed on them in order to ward off insects… natural alternatives to chemical pesticides are used, so you don’t have to worry about there being strong artificial chemicals all over the food that you plan on eating. The lack of chemical pesticides and fertilizers also has much less of a negative impact on the environment, as there isn’t any harmful chemical runoff which can end up in rivers, lakes, and other water supplies. Organic fertilizers come from nature itself, so it is more easily broken down in the soil and only serves to enrich it instead of creating a chemical buildup.
From an economic standpoint, choosing to buy organically-grown foods also makes a statement about your desires as a consumer… you’re making it clear that you like having an organic option and that you’re willing to support organic farmers with your purchases. The more often organic foods are bought, the more obvious it is that the organics movement isn’t just a “fad”; it’s very clearly a choice for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly lifestyle and it’s here to stay.
Store-Bought Organic Snacks
Gone are the days when choosing to buy snack foods at the grocery store meant purchasing some high-in-saturated-fat cookie or candy bar and wanting to eat healthier meant that you had to do without some of your favorite snack varieties. Not only are there now a number of food companies who specialize in organic foods that are producing snack lines, but a number of major manufacturers have started jumping on the organic foods bandwagon and are creating organically-based versions of their top-selling snacks.
Some of these manufacturers are even introducing new product lines to share shelf space with existing favorites, where the new goodies are designed specifically to accentuate a healthier organic lifestyle. A number of new varieties on old favorites are being created, showing the world that the old image of healthy eating being bland and boring is severely outdated.
Regardless of what sort of snack food you might want, you should be able to find some variety of it in an organically-friendly recipe. Cookies, snack cakes, and even chips are now coming in organic varieties, and often these new recipes are baked instead of being deep fried so that their full flavor can shine through.
New varieties, such as fruit-based chips and whole wheat varieties of existing snacks are also appearing more and more often on the market… meaning that not only are you able to buy organically-grown varieties of popular snacks, but that the organic versions have had extra care taken to be much better for you than the standard variety. If you like to have an occasional snack at home, you can now take pride in being able to keep eating organic foods even while indulging in the occasional store-bought snack food.
Children’s Organic Snacks and Activities
Several of the snacks mentioned above, including many of the no-cook snacks, can be fairly easily made at home and are a delicious and healthy alternative to a number of store-bought snack foods.
If you have children and are wanting to teach them the value of eating a healthy and organic diet, you might consider incorporating some of these organic snack food ideas into activities that they can participate in so that they not only get a great snack but also get to have a little bit of fun before they even receive it. Before you know it, your kids might be begging you for their favorite organic snacks simply because they know that you’re going to let them help make it when the time comes.
Easy to make snack foods that you can get your children to help with involve the above mentioned peanut butter and celery logs (and you can add organic raisins stuck into the peanut butter for an even tastier treat), apple sauce fruit rolls (made by spreading the apple sauce on a fruit roll sheet that’s designed to be used in your food dehydrator), a variety of different trail mixes (which can include your child’s favorite organic dried fruits as well as granola nuts), and other great foods. You might slice organically-grown bananas in half and let your children put popsicle sticks in them for frozen bananas, or buy an organic caramel dip to go with sliced apples (or make your own by mixing some pure cane sugar and water then heating it and stirring it until the sugar begins to caramelize.)
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to making homemade organic snacks with your children, and you’re not only letting them be involved in the creation of their own snacks but you’re also teaching them valuable lessons about the importance of eating healthy foods and how much fun it can be to let yourself be creative in the kitchen. Lessons such as these can stick with your children throughout their lives, and may also be passed on to their own children one day.
Quick-to-Cook Organic Snacks
Of course, sometimes you want a snack that’s a little more substantial than just a handful of chips or a few cookies. This is where you can really let your organic preferences show through… a variety of popular quick-to-cook organic snacks can be made using organic foods so long as you’re willing to take the time to buy organic instead of the standard name brand. You simply need to follow your favorite recipes, substituting the organic foods for the items that you would normally use; you might be surprised at the improved flavor of the organic variety, and may not want to go back to the old version once you’ve had a taste!
Another option for quick snacks are premade or frozen foods; though the frozen organic foods market isn’t as large as some other organic markets, it is still growing every day. Food manufacturers are noticing the increases in sales that are coming from their other organic products, and slowly but surely are beginning to produce lines of pre-made and frozen foods which can be quickly prepared in the oven or microwave and that feature all-natural and organic ingredients. Having a quick organic snack can literally be just as easy as opening up a package, putting your snack in the microwave, and cooking it as per the package instructions. Being able to make organic food choices has never been easier than it is today, and the number of options is getting bigger all of the time.
Easy No-Cook Organic Snacks
It should also be mentioned that there are a variety of no-cook options available for when you want a little snack… you can always go with a healthy snack option like what you’ve been eating since you yourself were a child. Snacks like organically-grown celery with an organic peanut butter down the center of the stalk, or even just slices of an organic apple can give you a tasty treat without having to resort to eating standard snack foods or having to fire up the oven or heat something up in the microwave. Snacks such as these are great if you have children, as well, as it can show them that good snacks don’t have to come from a bag or a package.
Other options can include organic trail mixes, both store-bought and homemade, and if you have a food dehydrator and some organic apple sauce you can even make your own organic fruit rolls to snack on later. The options for organic snacks really are limitless, provided you’re willing to take the few moments necessary to make the decision to buy organic when shopping for potential snack foods in the first place.
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