Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Have snacks, will travel.


My family doesn't have to wait for a major family road trip to break out the travelling food---any trip of an hour or more will do! At the mall, I once saw a toddler snacking on apple slices in a Tupperware placed in the food tray of his stroller and thought to myself "such a simple answer to snacks, yet I can't seem to manage to do that". It was reasonable, healthy and portable. I know I should, but alas I tend to grab something that travels well, like pretzels or raisins, as I'm walking out the door. Well, pretzels and raisins get boring pretty fast, and I also need snacks that will satisfy all the dietary needs of the back seat crowd. 

Well, there's a lot of excitement in the snack world this spring with some new additions:  flavored dried chickpeas, quinoa puffs and some uniquely flavored potato chips.
I'll actually start with the last one first, the crisps, err chips, really they're potato chips, but they're imported from the United Kingdom, therefore they're called crisps..."you say potato, I say potato"!  Ten Acre Crisps has hit the American snack food market with some "knock it out of the park" flavors that have equally cute names.  "The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends" flavor is reminiscent of the crunchy noodles and duck sauce at Chinese restaurants meets vinegar flavored chips. "How Chicken Soup Saved the Day" are like little crunchy soup croutons floating in your mama's chicken soup.  "The Story of When the Cheese Met the Onion", tastes like a traditional sour cream and onion flavor, but without the artificialness of many potato chip brands.  Overall Ten Acre Crisps remind me of premium kettle style chips, and they're all gluten free, kosher, and non-dairy...even the cheese flavor! I hope they gain a foothold in the American market, as they are a bit more subtle than the domestic flavored chips I've had.

Biena Chickpea Snacks are a great alternative to nuts for a quick and portable protein picker-upper. The chickpeas make me feel good about snacking because they're so healthy I like the innovative flavor choices like Cinnamon-Maple and Barbecue--not flavors I'd initially associate with chickpeas--but they work!  Additionally, the portable size and resealable bag are great for sticking in your purse or suitcase for travel.

Keenwah, the maker of quinoa clusters has added puffs to it's snack line.  They are light and fluffy and reminiscent of those "not from this earth" colored cheese balls, but these do not have that heavy artificial flavoring or coloring. Flavors like Sea Salt Truffle, and Herbe de Provence are light on the palette, yet flavorful enough to satisfy. The fact that quinoa is so high in protein, makes me feel better about eating these than plain old pretzels. Each serving contains 5 grams of protein! They are designated OU-D, but are actually dairy free, soy free and vegan.

So pack up and go, go, go with these great new snack options. I have a feeling the back seat crowd will be silent while they munch along on our next trip!

Sea Salt Potato Chip Cookies

Adapted from a recipe that appeared in  Martha Stewart Living, July 2012

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened or non-hydrogenated margarine, such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, or 2 Tablespoons ground golden flaxseed mixed with 6 Tablespoons warm water (allow to sit 10 minutes)
2 1/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend with xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups coarsely crushed sea salt flavored potato chips, divided
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

Beat together butter (or margarine) and sugars with a mixer on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs (or flax eggs), and beat on medium speed until just combined.  

Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in 2 cups potato chips and the nuts, if desired.

Roll dough into balls using 1/4 c dough per ball, and then roll balls in remaining potato chips to coat. Place cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden, 18 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen cookies

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