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10 Best Paleo Snacks Recipes That You Need To Try Making At Home

10 Best Paleo Snacks Recipes That You Need To Try Making At Home

Heard of the paleo diet but wondering what in the world does it mean? Well, the paleo comes from the Paleolithic era, aka when man was still a hunter-gatherer – what the early man ate, is basically what constitutes the paleo diet, also called the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet, for apt reasons.

The Difference between Paleo Diet And Ordinary Diet

Think back to the early times of man – other than needing to run away from predators and dying of things as simple as the common cold, the paleo man (and woman, for that matter) didn’t have access to grains, salt, processed foods, colas, junk food, chocolates, tea or coffee. What he did have access to, or hunted and foraged for were fruits, vegetable (free range) meat, poultry and eggs, sea food and as well as nuts and seeds.

Wild cereals were sometimes foraged for, but a find was few and far between so cereal was also not a big part of the Paleolithic diet at all. Recent evidence proves that wine, however was, for some time in the Paleolithic era, man learnt to ferment grape juice in animal skin pouches. [1]

The Benefits of Following Paleo Diet

At first glance, the paleo diet seems pretty doable – it’s a clean diet that emphasizes eating fresh, from the source and without any additional additives, preservatives or chemicals and it does help you stay fuller for longer as well as lose weight because of limited food choices. [2]This diet also raises your iron levels and helps you get plenty more phytonutrients from all the plant-based foods you consume.

The downside of the paleo diet is that the absence of grains and cereal can lower your energy levels and it is also a tad expensive. If you are on a paleo diet, you also have to maintain a certain amount of physical activity; which ironically becomes difficult to do simply because you are off carbs and may be low on energy in the first place!

The Secret to Paleo Diet’s “Healthy” Label

The paleo diet philosophy is basically designed to improve a person’s health and athletic performance by taking in lean protein and high GI carbs via fruits and vegetables – the die does not lack in nutrients and can in fact raise your vitamin and mineral levels to an optimum amounts, plus give you plenty antioxidants and phytonutrients as well. Paleo snacks comprise of lean meats or protein, healthy amounts of dairy, healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds and as many fruits and veggies you can eat! Healthy, tasty, filling and low in calories – paleo snacks make for great tidbits, even if you are not on a paleo diet! [3]

Five Savory Paleo Snacks

Crispy Brussel Sprout Chips

A vitamin rich snack that’s nutritious, tasty and filling, Crispy Brussels Sprouts [4] will please your palate and stomach in just about 50 calories.

    You need: 10 Brussels sprouts, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    To make it:

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    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. With a paring knife, cut off the bottom tip of each sprout. The outer leaves will fall off.
    3. Trim a tiny bit more off the bottom so more leaves fall off. Continue until you’ve removed all the leaves.
    4. Toss the leaves with the oil, and lay them in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
    5. Sprinkle with salt.
    6. Roast seven to 10 minutes, until leaves are lightly browned and crisp.

    Jalapeno Pumpkin Seeds

    Who says snacks have to be bland? Healthy pumpkin seeds [5] with real jalapenos with olive oil and seasonings are as healthy as they are delicious.

      You need: 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, cleaned & dried; 3 jalapeño peppers, sliced; 3 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt and paprika, to taste

      To make it:

      1. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and sort the guts out.
      2. Rinse the seeds pat dry and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to dry overnight.
      3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and add olive oil and sea salt.
      4. Stir pumpkin seeds with your hands to combine.
      5. Lay slices of jalapeño peppers on top of seeds.
      6. Sprinkle paprika over the top of everything, generously.
      7. Bake for 10 minutes.
      8. Use a spatula to move the seeds and peppers around and bake for another 5 minutes.
      9. Move mixture around some more and bake for a final 5 minutes.
      10. Remove tray from oven and let everything rest for 15-30 minutes to let the jalapeño-ness soak into the seeds.
      11. Store in an airtight container, if you don’t finish them all in one sitting.

      No-Ritos

      Have a craving for chips? Can do on a paleo diet with this crunchy, chip alternative [6] to Doritos, that uses no flour.

        You need: 3/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup of butter (or ghee), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

        To make it:

        1. Melt the butter and basically mix up all the ingredients together, and knead it into a ball.
        2. Take two sheets of baking paper, lay the ball on one, the other sheet on top and then flatten it out with a roller.
        3. Cut triangles with a knife.
        4. Heat the oven to about 180C (350F) and bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
        5. Turn the oven off and let them harden for about another 15 minutes.
        6. Serve with salsa…

        Rosemary Salty Sweet Potato Chips

        Sweet potato is a high GI food – meaning your body has to work to break it down and the energy release is slow and steady. These chips [7] are crunchy and very satisfying indeed, and as healthy as healthy can be.

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          You need: 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled; 1tablespoon coconut oil, melted, 1teaspoon sea salt and 2teaspoon dried rosemary

          To make it:

          1. Heat oven to 375°F and slice sweet potatoes 1/8 inch thick.
          2. Grind sea salt and rosemary with a mortar and pestle.
          3. Toss sweet potatoes in a bowl with coconut oil and salt-seasoning mixture.
          4. Place on a non-stick baking sheet (or a regular pan greased with coconut oil) and place into the oven.
          5. After 10 minutes, take the pan out and flip the chips. Place chips back in for another 10 minutes.
          6. Pull the pan out and place any chips that are starting to brown on a cooling rack.
          7. Place the chips back in for 3-5 minutes. Every oven is different so keep a close eye on the chips so they don’t burn.
          8. Cool and eat…

          Fire Roasted Red Pepper Poppers

          Red peppers, bacon, chicken and fire – can’t get more paleo than this, or healthier, or yummier than this either in this recipe everyone can enjoy [8] .

            You need: 2 red bell peppers, 6 strips of bacon, 1 small cooked chicken breast, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper

            To make it:

            1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
            2. Light your grill if you plan on roasting the peppers before baking. It’s not really necessary but adds flavor.
            3. Chop red bell pepper into large chunks about 1” thick boats.
            4. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper.
            5. Lay pepper pieces on the grill and close the lid. Cook until slightly charred, about 8 minutes. (You can skip this step and just pop them in the oven raw if you want, they will just take longer).
            6. Break your cooked chicken breast into 12 bite sized pieces.
            7. Separate each bacon slice lengthwise into two pieces.
            8. When your peppers are done place the piece of chicken in the pepper boat and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
            9. Wrap the strip of bacon around to hold it all together.
            10. Repeat and place in a baking dish. Bake for approx 25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. If your peppers were not pre-cooked it may take longer.

            5 Sweet Paleo Snacks

            Raw Hemp Algae Bars

            A no-bake recipe [9] with healthy raw ingredients like pistachios, coconut, spirulina and hemp – this one is an easy to make, healthy and yummy snack.

              You need: 1/2 cup pistachios and pumpkin seeds each, 3/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup hemp hearts, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder and 3/4 cup dates, chopped

              To make it:

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              1. In a food processor, pulse the ingredients until the mixture is crumbly but beginning to come together.
              2. Press into an 8-inch square cake pan or glass dish.
              3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
              4. Slice and serve.

              Flourless Blueberry Espresso Brownies

              Sometimes, you just need to have a brownie! But doesn’t mean you have to cheat on your paleo diet – try these flourless brownies with a coffee zing [10] !

                You need: 1 cup coconut cream, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon coffee, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 cup blueberries

                To make it:

                1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
                2. Place coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), eggs, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, and sea salt together in a mixing bowl.
                3. Use your hand mixer or stand mixer to mix all your ingredients until well blended.
                4. Once ready, fold in your blueberries by hand so you don’t crush them all.
                5. Pour your batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish (grease with coconut oil) or into greased individual mini muffin pans.
                6. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
                7. At about 25 minutes, do the toothpick test and judge how much longer you need.
                8. Remove from oven, let cool.
                9. Once cool, use some melted coconut cream and drizzle all over your brownies.
                10. Cut and Enjoy.

                No Bake Raspberry Chocolate Bars

                What’s better than chocolate? Paleo chocolate, and a snack/dessert (PaleoLeap: No-Bake Almond-Raspberry Chocolate Bars)) that doesn’t need baking!

                  You need: 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted; 1/2 cup coconut butter, 1/2 cup maple syrup or raw honey, 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, 1/4 cup dark chocolate, thinly chopped and 1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

                  To make it:

                  1. Combine the coconut oil, coconut butter, maple syrup, and cocoa powder over a double boiler, and whisk until blended and smooth.
                  2. Add in the dark chocolate bits, chopped almonds, and the raspberries, gently stir.
                  3. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper and pour the chocolate in evenly.
                  4. Place in the freezer and freeze 15 to 20 minutes.
                  5. Slice while the mixture is still cold, and serve at room temperature.

                  Gluten Free Cashew Glazed Donuts

                  Craving those donuts? Again, no need to cheat on your diet – here’s a really cool gluten-free recipe [11] that uses the best of ingredients to make you a snack that is so worth all the effort.

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                    You need: 2 cups almond meal, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted; 3 tablespoons honey, melted; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and 3 eggs

                    To make it:

                    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
                    2. Melt coconut oil and honey in a small microwave safe bowl.
                    3. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
                    4. Divide batter evenly between 12 molds in a donut pan (each one should be a little less than halfway full of batter).
                    5. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool before removing from the pan…

                    To make the Cashew Cinnamon Glaze: 2 tablespoons cashew butter (or smooth peanut butter if you prefer!), 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon… Melt all ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl. When everything is melted, whisk until its super smooth. When donuts are completely cooled, dip them in halfway into the glaze. Dig in…

                    Dried Fruits Bars

                    A simple and easy to make snack, dried fruit bars [12] are great to munch on, and are bursting with nature’s goodness as well!

                      You need: 1 cup dried dates, pitted; 1 cup raw almonds and 1 cup dried cranberries

                      To make it:

                      1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
                      2. Place the almonds on a baking dish and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
                      3. Let cool before using.
                      4. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until the ingredients start forming a ball, scraping the edges of the bowl to prevent the mixture from sticking.
                      5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
                      6. Spread the mixture out into the pan, and shape into a large rectangle.
                      7. Top with another piece of parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
                      8. Cut into evenly shaped bars.

                      We hope you enjoy these paleo snacks – for they are healthy, tasty and filling – even if a paleo diet is not up your alley…

                      Featured photo credit: Eat Drink Paleo via eatdrinkpaleo.com.au

                      Reference

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                      Rima Pundir

                      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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                      8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                      8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                      Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

                      “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

                      While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

                      Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

                      1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

                      The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

                      Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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                      The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

                      2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

                      According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

                      Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

                      Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

                      3. You could suffer from excess weight

                      When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

                      Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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                      If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

                      Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

                      4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

                      Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

                      The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

                      5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

                      I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

                      Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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                      A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

                      6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

                      Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

                      When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

                      Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

                      At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

                      7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

                      Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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                      Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

                      8. You could end up eating more processed food

                      Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

                      Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

                      That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

                      The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

                      On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

                       

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