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Healthy Mid-Morning Snack Idea: Our Favorite Freeze-Dried Apples

Healthy Mid-Morning Snack Idea: Our Favorite Freeze-Dried Apples

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I am not a morning person. I like sleeping in and slow mornings that always include coffee. While I'm hating the fact that the sun is barely up, a filling breakfast isn't my first priority. And hey, some folks just can't eat that early. That's okay! The important thing is that you eat something when you can.

A muffin or scone or a quick Greek yogurt cup is great for on the go, but when lunch seems a year away, packing a few extra snacks for the mid-morning is a great idea. Putting a calorie cap on keeping yourself tied over until lunch with snacks is key, and over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite mid-morning snacks under 100 calories.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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1 ounce Freeze Dried Apples (100 calories)

*1 ounce Freeze-Dried Fuju Apple Chips, Trader Joe's (130 calories per 1 bag apples, 1 ounce = 100 calories)

More 100-Calorie Mid Morning Snack Ideas:

Healthy Snacks for the Office

We’ve talked about snacks to keep in your desk drawers before, but since it is the season for healthy eating resolutions, I thought now might be a great time to talk again about what your favorite snacks are — what do you bring with you as far as healthy snacks for the office? What do you keep in your desk, in the office fridge, etc?

When I was working in Big Law I kept a banker’s box on the window stuffed full of a variety of snacks — when I was packing my office to switch jobs, a supervisor came into the office and I offered her some, since I was just throwing away a lot of them — we’d worked closely together for four years and she couldn’t get over how she’d always just thought it was a box of docs, like all the other boxes in our offices… In those days I ate far too many 100-calorie Nabisco treats, but these days, I’m a big fan of:

  • seaweed snacks for mindless munching — 30 calories, low in sodium, and with a reaso
  • nably short ingredient list — sign me up. I buy the Sea’s Gift brand in bulk.
  • hard-boiled eggs — I almost always eat two a day (but only one yolk). I highly recommend throwing the egg shells and whatever you didn’t eat in the kitchen trash instead of the trash by your desk. I particularly love that you can just wrap a hard-boiled egg in a napkin, throw it in your purse, and go.
  • string cheese. I’m kind of obsessed with Trader Joe’s Light String Cheese — it’s cheap and only 50 calories a stick. I tend to buy it in bulk when I go since Trader Joe’s is a bit of a trek for me.
  • Raw nuts. I’m taking a break from eating raw nuts right now (I’ve eaten enough raw almonds to last a lifetime!) but I like buying the portion-controlled packs from Fresh Direct of cashews, walnuts, and almonds. (I don’t have a huge problem with overeating raw nuts, but I feel like the smaller packs stay fresher — once they’re opened I store them in the fridge.) Trader Joe’s is another great resource for these.
  • yogurt — I’ve gotten more into Greek yogurt like Chobani because I like the shorter ingredients list I often eat this for a mid-morning snack.
  • Fruit – I particularly like apples (Pink Lady especially) because they’re hearty enough to throw in your bag, aren’t too juicy, and don’t need to be cut. Unfortunately I’ve read a lot about how organic apples really are worth the expense when I’m buying nonorganic I try to rinse and towel-dry. (I feel like the towel-drying does more than the rinsing sometimes.) . Ok, “healthy” is pushing it — but I do like that these are very portion controlled (90 calories per pack), and they satisfy my desire for licorice/fruity yummy-ness. Again, I’ve started buying in bulk from Amazon (we are both Prime members and members of Amazon Mom, so we get 20% off subscribe and save items when we have 5+ items per order — it’s addictive!). Trader Joe’s used to have tiny fruit strips called “Fiberfuls” that were 50 calories each and full of fiber — so good! — but I think they’ve stopped making it. Dried fruit is a much more healthy option in this category, but I tend to have a portion control problem with my favorites, mango and pears. Readers who share my love of licorice/chewy fruit candy, which are your favorite snacks?

Readers, what are your favorite healthy snacks for the office? Do you have a place to keep refrigerated snacks, or do you focus on shelf-stable snacks?

Stock photo via Shutterstock/ Dean Drobot.

About Kat

Kat Griffin is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Corporette. You can read more about her here.

Top 25 Healthy Snacks

One of the healthiest foods around is the superfood veggie, broccoli. While many people don’t think of the food as a candidate for their midday snack, broccoli provides a satisfying crunch that can be utilized to create an impressively nourishing treat with any number of delectable flavors. We carry broccoli bites in both Bombay ranch and sea salt and vinegar varieties.

Day two: I realized how easy it was to slip up when it comes to added sugar.

The next day, I woke up feeling like there was no way I wouldn’t be able to get through the week perfectly or even keep it going long after the week was over.

I poured myself a bowl of oat flakes and fat-free milk for breakfast and topped it with unsweetened dried cherries. I took a bite and it tasted way, way too sweet. When I picked up the box I realized my mistake. While I thought I was buying a box of unsweetened oat flakes, the cereal actually had quite a bit of added sugar. Since I assumed from looking at the box that it was unsweetened but didn’t read the ingredient list, I’d had no idea.

I finished the bowl, upset with myself, but vowed to leave the cereal on the shelf for the rest of the week. For a snack, I recreated yesterday’s apple slices with peanut butter and cream cheese and then headed off to a coffee shop to work, where I ordered an unsweetened skim latte.

For lunch I ate more soup, my afternoon snack was low-fat string cheese, gluten-free herb crackers, and a glass of water. I finished up the day with a small sweet potato stuffed with chicken, veggies, a tiny bit of cheese, a little guacamole, and fat-free re-fried beans. I was still a little discouraged about the morning mix-up but knew it’d get better.

10 Preschool Lunches

Lunch #1

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread (Thin Slice — love this for both boys!), cucumber slices, apple slices, leftover chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar rolled into balls, From the Ground Up cauliflower stars cheese crackers

What he ate: Sandwich (but not the crust), all of the chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar bites, half of the cucumber slices, half of the apple slices, none of the cauliflower crackers

Lunch #2

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sliced colby jack cheese, cashews, cucumber slices, carrots, strawberries

What he ate: Sandwich (but not the crust — do you see a pattern here?), all of the cheese, all of the cashews, one cucumber slice, half of the strawberries, a couple of carrots

Lunch #3

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Bitsy’s Cinnamon Sweet Potato Graham Smart Crackers, dried cranberries, sliced yellow bell pepper, clementine

What he ate: Sandwich (no crust), all of the crackers, all of the clementine, none of the cranberries, none of the bell pepper

Lunch #4

In Chase’s lunchbox: Whole wheat pumpkin muffin (topped with sprinkles for a little flare), strawberries, carrots, cashews, leftover Larabar rolled into balls

What he ate: All of the muffin, all of the cashews, half of the strawberries, a few of the Larabar bites and a couple of carrots

Lunch #5

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Simple Mills crackers, cashews, cucumber slices, strawberries

What he ate: A few bites of sandwich, all of the crackers, all of the cashews, one cucumber slice, a couple of strawberries

Lunch #6

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, leftover Larabar rolled into balls, carrots, strawberries, string cheese

What he ate: Sandwich (no crust), all of the Larabar bites, all but two carrots, half of the strawberries, none of the string cheese (this surprised me because he almost always eats cheese in his lunches!)

Lunch #7

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, leftover Larabar rolled into balls, raisins, cucumber slices

What he ate: Sandwich (no crust), all of the raisins, all of the Larabar bites, half of the apple slices, one cucumber slice

Lunch #8

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, leftover chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar rolled into balls, carrots, apple slices

What he ate: Sandwich (no crust), all of the Larabar bites, a couple of carrots, half of the apple slices, all of the Cheddar Bunnies

Lunch #9

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pistachios, carrots, hard-boiled egg white (he hates the yolks) sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt, leftover chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar rolled into balls (Note: I asked his teachers if a hard-boiled egg white was too smelly to pack in a previous lunch and they said it was just fine!)

What he ate: Most of his sandwich, all of the egg, half of the pistachios, half of the larabar bites, none of the carrots

Lunch #10

In Chase’s lunchbox: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, green beans, hard-boiled egg white sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt, cashews, Larabar bites

What he ate: Most of his sandwich (no crust), all of the cashews, all of the egg, a couple of green beans, half of the Larabar bites

Question of the Day

Are there certain “staples” you include in your little one’s lunch every day?

As you can tell, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich finds its way into Chase’s lunch most days.

Healthy Mid-Morning Snack Idea: Our Favorite Freeze-Dried Apples - Recipes

I leave for work a little after 6:00am, and by the time my break rolls around at 9:30 I'm ready for a breakfasty snack. Fruit is good, but having access to hot water made me think of instant oatmeal , the kind that comes in little packets flavored with yummy maple and brown sugar.

The problem is, most prepackaged instant oatmeal is full of junk, and I HATE oatmeal with salt in it. (My mom never put salt in our oatmeal the first time I had salty oatmeal at a restaurant I gagged.)

So, I decided to try making my own instant oatmeal packets!

    1 TB raisins, 1 TB brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 TB chopped walnuts

At work I can put the instant oatmeal in my little mug, add about 2/3 cup hot water, and let it sit for 2 minutes. A perfect mid-morning snack!


Quaker makes 100 calorie plain oatmeal packets, FYI. You don't have to add salt! I have these in the morning with sliced banana and honey.

this looks delicious! maybe add some blueberries and strawberries?

My favorite is 1tbs brown sugar and 1/8c dried cherries. The cherries become plump and delicious.

Mmmmm! I've been looking for a healthier alternative with less sugar (but not the artificial stuff). Thanks for sharing this idea!

This is such a great idea.

Do you read The Simple Dollar?

You might also like Trent's idea to make freezer burritos (no egg, though!)

This is so funny but I do the same thing. I make about 24 to 30 packets and then I have enough for the month. Great minds think alike.

We usually make steel-cut oats, so I use fresh fruit in it (which won't keep for that long, I know), but maybe you can adapt with dried veggies.

We sometimes make oatmeal with peaches (you'd use dried), honey (you'd use honey sugar, which is available for sale in some markets), and lavender. Or with pears (you'd use dried, or use dried apples) and ginger (you'd use powdered, I suppose).

My nieces had problems with fiber, so we also add, as a matter of course, a few spoonfuls of ground flaxseed to our oatmeal. Good source of omega fatty acids, isn't that?

PS - you don't allow Open ID comments. Is that by choice, or did you not know it was an option? Logging into Blogger/Google is annoying for me, I never remember my password, preferring to use my OpenID/LJ identity everywhere.

You can keep a jar of molasses at work for stirring in after it's cooked. That's my favorite!

Peanut butter is also good stirred into oatmeal.

And one flavor I like (I used to do this too) is dried sour cherries with almonds. Yum!

I've done this kind of thing myself and I have a question for you. I remember in times past you talking about your challenges with sugar - I too have a lifelong HUGE problem with sweet stuff and starchy stuff.

And I see in these recipes that you're using some sugar - I know those quantities seem so small but even those quantities would create massive cravings and slippery slopes and all that for me.

I'm looking for hope here!! Can you now eat a tablespoon of sweetener and leave it at that? All my good intentions would end up heading straight for the donut box!

Not even 3 years of Fuhrman food and lots of greens has made my tolerance for sugars any better. I just have to avoid them. So I"m looking for your secret!

lol. My grandpa who wasn't genetically my grandpa used to eat oatmeal every single morning, without fail, with milk and half a banana and salt. He called it mush. His grandson once used salting oatmeal as a metaphor for tradition as pertaining to relationships in an email, and how salting oatmeal isn't really very good, and maybe we could try something else? A couple days later, Grandpa totally went off one morning about how "You have to have salt in your oatmeal, right? Can't have oatmeal without salt." It was uncanny and hilarious.

Thanks for reminding me of this story. He passed away about 11 months ago, and it's nice to be reminded. :)

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what a great idea, especially for mornings when you oversleep and there's no time for breakfast!

This is such a mind-bogglingly delicious and time/money-saving idea! I'm thinking cacao nibs and dried cranberries.

You really need to start your own company…you have so many useful, marketable ideas!

Cacao nibs and dried cranberries sounds wonderful!

Thanks for this recipe. I made some yesterday and had a wonderful breakfast today. Today's oatmeal: Banana Coconut and Carob.

What a good idea!! My kids hate instant oatmeal, but a grind that was coarse enough not to be wallpaper paste when cooked but still fast cooking, just might work!
This is going to perhaps sound odd, but do you reuse your baggies? I've tried to minimize my plastic bag use and store most things in glass. Now that I think of it, a 4 oz jelly jar would be pretty good for storing this type of thing.

Kathleen, I know just what you mean about the sugar. I've been there, where it felt like even a small bit of the dreaded white stuff would send me over the edge. If you're in that place, avoiding it entirely is probably the best bet all of these oatmeal ideas can be made without the added sweetener, and if dried fruit bothers you you can always make your oatmeal with fresh fruit or a spoonful of nut butter instead.

But right now, for whatever reason, small amounts of sugar don't seem to bother me. My eating in general is very moderate and I'm thin, so I don't worry about it like I used to.

I can't really explain it, but I think a big part of it is the fact that my entire life has changed so radically in the last year. I went through a pretty ugly divorce, became a single mom, and went back to work full time. I'm so busy and distracted by the rest of my life, I don't focus on food like I used to, except that I do try to keep the blog up with occasional posts.

Also I'm happier and feel more in control of my life than I used to -- I think that makes a difference, too. :-)

Yes, I made cute labels for my baggies and plan to reuse them for the same flavors over and over so I don't have to wash them out. I generally reuse baggies, washing and drying them on a bag drying rack over my sink. But jelly jars would be even better, I think!

Too funny!! I was just talking to my Mom about how expensive it is to buy those little instant packs for my children, she told me to just make some myself, and now I can. Thanks

These look really good. Thank you for the idea. I'm going to try to make some for the hubs to take to work.

I never put salt in mine either.

I just have a container of old fashioned oats and put some in a microwavable bowl and add water (you can add raisons and whatever too) and put it in a microwave for three minutes and its cooked like on the stove.

No need to package into little bags. just keep the oatmeal container at work.

You can use multi grain cooked cereals too. Treat as oats.

I'm with you, lasagna_maker, about the old-fashioned oats and the microwave. I don't think I need little packets either, but it sure is a neat idea for people who are using the commercial ones. My father really likes those, and I worry about what's in there!

I'm going to use some of these flavoring ideas for my regular oatmeal. My current favorite is slivered up dried apricots, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. But the pineapple/coconut sounds really yummy!

Just the other day, while I was mixing up my store-bought package of oatmeal, I thought - 'I wish I could make these myself without all the chemicals & sugar in there' and voila! here you are posting about that very thing! Thanks for this Jennifer. I'm going to get right on it!

That is a great idea. I will go on the hunt for dried soya milk here in England now. Some things are so hard to get. I was glad when I found some yeast flakes in one of the health shops.

I do not use salt at all in my cooking. My daughter never minded growing up like that but my husband never got used to it.

I'm stopping by to say I've given your blog a Sunshine Award

The recipes and lunch ideas you post are delicious (and healthy!) and I love my laptop bento box set. I can make lovely lunches now thanks to you!

I have spent some time experimenting with a raw diet and I actually prefer my oatmeal raw now, with rolled oats that is. Whole oats are obviously best cooked. With rolled oats, I soaked them overnight with ground flax, sunflower seeds and a few raisins. Add a tiny amount of maple syrup the next day and it is the best thing ever!

But . I don't think rolled oats are raw. They are flattened, steamed, and toasted oat groats, so they're kind of cooked before you even buy them, aren't they?

But I do agree, they are good cold as muesli, too!

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I've made them for years with brown sugar and cinnamon. My kids love it!

This sounds great and completely doable. Thank you for the great great idea.

That's a really great idea. I like you site and I wanted to invite you to check mine out.

If I had to be somewhere in the morning, I would totally do this! But I'm a stay at home mom, and am home every day, thankfully! But, we do eat oatmeal almost every day, and I like to just put some vanilla soymilk and a little bit of Sugar in the Raw. Boring, I know. But we love oatmeal!!

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Some of the ingredients are intriguing. I'll have to try it out. I'm not vegan/vegetarian but always open to new flavors.

That said, the salt thing. When I do oatmeal I just use a tiny pinch of salt. Works for me.

And for shame, only letting users of Google accounts post comments. Tsk tsk tsk!

What a terrific idea! I've been ODing on oatmeal these days. Luckily I work from home, but my better half could use this for his lunch.

That's totally genius. What this sparks for me is how I can use this in a hospitality setting. We often have people staying with us, and I don't have the time/energy to prep breakfast for them - especially if we're on different schedules. I have a whole set-up in our guest area (basement with all the rooms, bathroom, etc.), and I'd LOVE to add small homemade oatmeal packets for them to use with our kettle so they can feed themselves when they're ready! THANK YOU.

This is great inspiration for me, especially after my housemate bought some instant stuff that had a ton of random crap in the ingredients. I kept telling him we could make a cheaper better version, but if I actually follow this he'll see the proof with his own eyes! :)

I just put boxes of instant oatmeal back on the grocery shelf since our family is now starting a quest to eat healthier, more vegan-ish food. This is the perfect alternative for my family as (without fail) they have oatmeal every morning. thanks! I love all the variations, too!

Pre-packaged oatmeal is pricey and choices are usually pretty limited. This is a great idea. Budget-friendly and endless variations. Thanks!

I'm so trying this. Great post!

That is such an awesome idea, I never thought about making my own. The healthy options I buy are very expensive. This great for a alternative.

Many people are asking,"Why didn't I think of that."

What a great idea. Thanks for showing us this. I really enjoy Nature's Path organic oatmeal packets, but they, too, contain salt and sugar, so your idea is definitely worth trying. Have a great weekend :)

Great recipe for people on the go! Thks

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! Oatmeal packets are wonderful for vegans who travel such as myself. We can just add water and have quick meal at destinations where there isn't much vegan fare.

I tried this with dessicated coconut, cocoa powder, and some maple almonds for texture. It worked really well, very comforting and tasty! :)

I love oatmeal! I buy mine from Costco. They have the Kirkland brand and it's organic! None of the nasty stuff in it, and it has different flavors :)

Oatmeal is good. But the regular flavors get old fast. Here's how I was able to put Asian flavors into oatmeal.

What a fabulous idea! I have randomly thought about doing something like this, but brushed it off as something that couldn't be done! Bravo! I shall have to try this some time!

This is a great (and light) recipe for breakfast while I'm backpacking! I'm about to start a job involving backpacking into the mountains for 10 days at a time so cheap, light, quick vegan meals are gold for me. Thanks so much!

I love this idea. I could easily make favors that you cannot buy at the store. It has limitless possibilities!

this all looks delicious.. I'm all about living in an eco-conscious way and your site totally promotes that. check out mine-- @workingforgreen

what a fantastic idea! tried this, this morning, with a fantastic turn out! good bye morning granola :)

This is such a wonderful idea! Now I wish with all my heart you would do a blog entry on creating frozen dinners. I think I could figure out what foods to use, but what do I put them in? Can you recommend freezer-safe bento boxes? Or did I miss an old blog on this topic??

A long time ago you posted a receipe for muffins that had molasses in them. I have tried to find the receipe again, but am having problems. Can you help me?

I think you're thinking of Full Meal Muffins:

I also made Banana-Molasses Muffins from another cookbook once:

They're still one of my favorites, too!

THanks. it was the first receipe i was looking for!

oh god, a vegan bento-blog! *__* I love it!! <3 Just have to look around more!! :) Thanks for sharing all the tips! It's always looks delicious!!

This is such a good idea, a perfect alternative to those prepackaged things.

mmm, I have oatmeal every morning and I love your idea of dried pineapple

I think I'll try this with cinnamon and chopped pecans or maybe walnuts. Might even stir in a bit of maple syrup.

You have lovely ideas. it is always better to have home made stuff over prepacked one.It is healthier and more pure in every sense of the word.

I can't wait to try this. Totally agree that store bought oatmeal, even Kashi brand, is full of salt. Yuck.

We do a weekly link round-up at, and we're including this in tomorrow's post. Great idea!

Great ideas. I hate most instant oatmeal products in the store too because of all the sugar and other additives. However, I do often add salt to my oatmeal. sometimes I'll just do a little salt and pepper. Kind of strange, but I was brought up on oatmeal like this!

Great idea! Wish I could eat my breakfast at work.

As a type 2 diabetic, "instant" oatmeal is about the worst breakfast food around. It's as much as buying "pre-digested" food. Ones system needs to do the work of digesting slowly natural organic products. steel cut oats, fresh or fresh frozen fruit, honey from local bee hives. so make a pot at home, parcel it out in small containers and take it to work to warm up with a dash of soy milk.

It does look so good. I will try some. Thanks for sharing!

great idea, though you should look into reusable snack bags to cut waste and expense. is a great place to start for that.

i'm in love with this. cherry-almond vanilla!!

This sounds like a great idea! I love oatmeal but find it does take quite a while to make. Thanks for sharing your cleaver ideas with us!

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Like This recipe. Quick and from package product that i can find everytime in my little kitchen.
Love to share this tip:
I found this new product called Happy Pho by this company called Star Anise Foods – it’s a tasty Vietnamese brown rice noodles soup that I’m literally addicted to as I can get a nutritious vegan meal together in 10 mins. You can get them at or grocery stores in Northern California. Yum! ttp://

I tried to make a big batch and it was WAY too salty (I do like a bit of salt in my oatmeal). It tasted like eating play dough. I need to add more oats to salvage it. It isn't a total disaster, but made from a not so lovely breakfast.

Huh. You must have totally missed the part where I wrote that I hate salt in oatmeal and left out salt entirely when making mine.

I use no salt and miss it not at all, but a tiny pinch would probably suffice if you wanted to add some.

Isn't it great when you can make something healthy and wholesome to replace packaged food? It's so much tastier as well. A great idea, thanks.

You've done it yet again! Thank you thank you thank you for making food such a fun, healthy part of my life!

Just a thought, since you are getting great suggestions on using glass over plastic (I haven't taken that step just yet, but maybe in the next year!).

If you don't have easy access to baby food jars, what if you went to a Bed Bath and Beyond or a Penzeys and picked up some of the spice jars? Penzeys has a bunch ranging from the small size up to huge, and I bet one would be a perfect size for oatmeal.

Of course, in its current form, it's very packable and cute. I think if I start feeling crafty, I would make a bag for my tiffin with an extra pouch for a breakfast or a snack. the oatmeal would fit perfectly!

I feel like you changed my life with this post . . . homemade instant food! Thanks for the recipe :)

Oh wow! What a smart idea. I, personally, try to stay away from "quick cooking" or "instant" anything, though, but this seems like a great emergency I-forgot-to-bring-a-healthy-snack idea to keep in my desk to keep me from the snack machine!

I made these and added flax and tons of cinnamon, and took them to camp. Since the only thing I could have at breakfast was fruit, I mixed these with a little rice milk or water and it was yummy! Kind of like batter, in a way. Another winner :)

Love this idea! Colleagues are reminding me to go green might try this with reusable containers?

Cool ideas. I am having my oats without salt. Just with some fruits.
Unfortunately I wont take salt for a while
Thanks all the oatmeal options

What a fab idea! I am definately going to have a go at doing this. I sometimes find it difficult to stay healthy if I am working odd hours and I end up eating junk.

Saw your blog years ago but have just rediscovered it and definately going to start following it!

Love The Vegetarian Girl

This is a great idea. I prefer to use fresh fruit instead of dried but dried cherries does sound delicious. A good combination is 1/2 a banana mushed up in the oatmeal, 1 tbsp peanutbutter and a handful of raisins. It's pretty tasty and very filling!

I do this with the basic brown sugar cinnamon and raisins for my boys. I'm excited to found these recipes to use for me at work. Thanks!

This is a genious idea, I love instant oatmeal,but dislike all the peservatives and junk, and sugar. One question: Where do I find freeze dried fruit?

I get mine in the health food section of my grocery store, but you can also find them at camping and outdoor stores like REI. :-)

Thanks, I didn't think about a camping store. Sorry for the spelling errors in my previous comment, I wrote it so fast then forgot to go back and check.

I am so excited about these recipes. I am going to make several of them and keep them in canning jars. I am going to make one serving up and see how much the entire contents equals (1/4 cup, etc). I will tape the instructions on the jar. Then when the kids want an after school snack or quick breakfast, they can scoop out the indicated amount and add the indicated amount of hot water.

This is also going to be great for using when we go camping.

So Awesome. Thank you again.

You are my hero. I just stumbled on this blog while I was searching for new reads and this is such a great idea. The little bags labeled neatly appeal to my organized side! Bravo!

I know this is a very old post, but I just wanted to thank you for the recipe! My husband has a packet of oatmeal every day at work. Now he has a nice little baggy of homemade instant oatmeal that is sweetened to his tastes (which is very lightly) and the flavors he loves! Thank you so much!

These are great! I love taking packets like this when I hike. Thanks for the reminder and love your blog!

I think I'll experiment with this a bit. I hate factory packaged meals, but I can't make breakfast every day due to time constraints. Maybe I'll make a recipe for a new flavor like chocolate raisin or something.

I've never really liked quick cooking/instant oatmeal as much as slow cooked stuff for some reason, but these look so I good I may have to try then again!

Three Quick Nutrient Dense Breakfast Ideas

There’s a bevy of shoes in the hallway, but somehow you’re missing the middle child’s left sneaker. You’ve got homework assignments and work assignments and laundry. And did someone remember to feed the dog? And in the midst of all this you have to eat breakfast.

This morning madness may be why cold cereal became such a go-to in our country. It’s fast. It requires zero cooking, minimal clean-up and no fuss whatsoever. Of course, you will (I guarantee it!) be hungry thirty minutes later, as will your children. Necessitating the mid-morning snack or two….or three. So, have you really saved any time, money, clean-up or brain-power if one shoddy meal requires two others to make up for it? We can do better.

Three Quick Nutrient Dense Breakfast Ideas

The Criteria

  1. Cannot take more than 10 minutes in the morning to prep.
  2. Cannot take more than a few moments to clean-up.
  3. Must be nutrient dense. (Review nutrient density, if you’re not sure if your food meets the requirements.)
  4. Must please the whole family–kids and parents.

The Prep Work

A little bit of forethought can save so much time and hassle in the morning. I recommend that once or twice a week you set aside an hour or so to get a few things ready for the week. Then (I promise!) the time and drama you save all week will be totally worth it!


  • Mason jars (half-pint size)
  • Mason jars (quart size) or reusable plastic or glass containers
  • Snack-sized ziploc bags

The Shopping List

  • oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats, not quick or instant)
  • seeds (chia, flax, or hemp)
  • bran (oat or wheat)
  • powdered milk
  • powdered peanut butter
  • regular peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • freeze dried fruit
  • fresh fruit (bananas, apples, pears, berries, etc.)
  • fresh veggies (peppers, shredded carrot, chopped greens, diced onions, etc.)
  • bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • shredded cheese
  • nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.)
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • grass-fed gelatin or collagen
  • Spices and flavorings (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, pepper, herbs)
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Milk (raw dairy or almond milk)

Number One: Refrigerator Oatmeal

I put these together in the half-pint mason jars. I make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Each person grabs their favorite flavor and breakfast is a cinch!

In the jar place (do not stir or mix this! Just layer it in the jar!):

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 T. chia (or flax or hemp) seeds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grass-fed gelatin or collagen

I prep a couple dozen jars just like this. (Well, I have nine children, so, we do a lot!) Then on to the toppings. Just place the toppings on top of the other stuff and put the lid on them. Pop these in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, breakfast is grab-and-go! (Most of my kids will eat these cold. A few like to heat them up. Either way, they can handle it on their own.)

Here are some great combos:

Maple Blueberry Oatmeal: 2 teaspoons maple syrup, a little handful chopped walnuts, and fill the rest of the jar with whole blueberries.

Apple Pie Oatmeal: 2 teaspoons maple syrup, chopped apple, sprinkling cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg

Carrot Cake Oatmeal: about 1/8 cup shredded raw carrot, 1 tablespoon raisins, 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal: 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey

Number Two: “Instant” Oatmeal Packets

We started doing this for camping trips. Turns out it’s so easy and fun that no one can resist it! Even the oatmeal dissenters.

Start with the snack sized ziplock bags. Alternately you can use pint-sized jars.

Place the following in each bag:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 T. seeds (chia, flax or hemp)
  • 2 t. powdered milk
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 t. gelatin or collagen
  • 1/8 t. real cinnamon
  • 2 t. bran
  • 1-3 t. dry sweetener (brown sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar, etc.)

Then customize each jar! Things to add: peanut butter powder, freeze dried fruit, nuts, raisins, unsweetened cocoa powder….the possibilities are endless. Make sure you label each bag with a sharpie so you remember what combos you did!

In the morning all you have to do is put the tea kettle on. Put the contents of the packet in a bowl, pour in hot water, stir. In about 3 minutes it’ll be the perfect bowl of oatmeal.

Number Three: Veggie Egg Scrambles

In small jars or reusable containers place your favorite chopped veggie combos, such as:

  • peppers, onions, bacon
  • mushrooms, broccoli, onions, garlic (bacon)
  • zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic (bacon)
  • mixed greens and bell peppers (and….bacon)

Bacon’s the best, even the frying of bacon sounds like an applause. –Jim Gaffigan

Once your veggie and bacon mixes are ready to roll, just place them in the fridge. Come 7 am, you just place a little butter or bacon fat in a pan and heat. Dump in your veggies and give them a quick sauté, crack your eggs over the whole thing and stir until cooked. Top with pre-shredded cheese (that you’ve shredded when you prepped the veggies) if you want. Boom. You’re done!

And please, for the love of all mothers, let’s stop with the Mom Breakfasts. You know what I’m talking about. When we feed everyone else, but we don’t feed ourselves. We just eat whatever lonely cold half-eaten piece of toast remains after the dust has cleared. And cold coffee. Let’s stop with the cold coffee. You deserve better, Mom. Eat breakfast! Eat it with your kids. If you can’t then eat before you feed them. But just say no to Mom Breakfasts.

Easy & Healthy Breakfast in LESS than 5 minutes! | My Morning Alkaline Juice

You guys are always asking me to share some healthy breakfast ideas with you. Most of the mornings, I am in a rush and can’t afford to spend a lot of time preparing breakfast. So what do I do? I quickly make myself a delicious alkaline juice. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and it lets you pack a ton of vitamins and minerals in one quick meal. This alkaline juice is a great way to detoxify your body and it can also help with weight loss..
IMHO, juices are the real “fast food”. They are not only fast to make, but also fast to consume. Sometimes I bring the juice with me on the go if I’m running super late. Now you can’t do that with a lot of breakfast meals, can you? Like I mentioned in the video, you can drink this juice as a meal at any point during the day. Just make sure that you drink at least 3 cups of it for the juice to fill you up..
This video is part of the “Quickie Meal” Food Challenge from the WIGS YouTube Channel. Everyone is welcome to participate and I encourage you guys to share your fav quick meal ideas! You can learn more about this challenge here:
For every item purchased 10 school lunches are served to children in need..
For a better lunch. For a better tomorrow..
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“In Tune” by Kellee Maize.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Video taken from the channel: Fablunch

Kitchen Tips February 4th

If you make a recipe you found here, post a photo of it on instagram and tag us at #tastehautelife or post it on our new facebook page which is being designed as a recipe exchange.

Samphire, glasswort, pickleweed, and sea asparagus are some of the names for this unusual offering from the sea to the plate. As the info on the Heron Farms website states, sea beans have more vitamin A than kale, more magnesium than an avocado, and are the only annual vegetables on the planet already seasoned with salt. They are grown hydroponically in this indoor saltwater farm in Charleston.Will this become a major food source in the future? Time and rising sea levels will tell!

In the meantime, try this salty snack courtesy of this quick recipe or. Head over to Abundant Seafood and pick up some scallops this weekend. Then make the raw bar appetizer below from

Sautéed Sea Beans and Onions

1/4 thinly vertically sliced red onion

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sea beans cook for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge sea beans into a large bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil swirl to coat. Add onion sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender but still vibrant in color. Add sea beans cook 1 minute or just until warm.

Scallop Crudo With Sea Beans And Shiso

2 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (use lime or bush basil i

Blanch sea beans and chill. Toss in rice wine vinegar and set aside.

Dry pat scallops, thinly slice and place on a plate. Drizzle with a healthy portion of olive oil, a little bit of lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, basil and shiso leaves. Top with sea beans and serve.

Valencia Oranges

In the time of Covid when we can’t travel anywhere, take a trip with me to sunny Spain, the name-sake of the Valencia orange. Now, they didn’t actually originate in Valencia….nope, it was actually created in California by an American-born agronomist in the 1800s… go figure! These sweet summer oranges are popular for juicing because they have more than most despite some seeds as well. They are generally thinner skiined than most as well.

Remember, one orange a day usually covers your daily dose of Vitamin C, has about 10% your dietary fiber, as well as reasonable amounts of folate, thiamin, potassium, Vitamin A and calcium. The juice can be used for marinades, syrups, vinaigrettes, cocktails, custards, or to flavor sauces for cooked meat dishes

If you see a tinge of green on a Valencia Orange, it doesn’t mean it's unripe. Exposure to sunlight can trigger the production of chlorophyll in the peel to help protect the fruit from sunburn. The process is called “regreening.”

Celebrate Spain with this simple cocktail: Agua de Valencia: or “water of Valencia,” though there’s no water added! Fresh-squeezed orange juice, cava, sugar and other light spirits (vodka and gin) compose this drink.

Or this simple dessert: Naranjas a la canela: Enjoy the Valencia orange in a nearly-natural state. Cut a few slices and pour a light syrup made from orange liqueur, lemon juice, and sugar across the slices. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over top and enjoy this simple Spanish dessert.

Or put your oranges to good use as a substitution in this Blood Orange Loaf by

Arkansas Black Apples

Here’s an apple you don’t see every day! What it lacks in juice it makes up for in flavor! With strong cherry notes, the Arkansas Black starts crisp and tart-sweet and slowly reveals hints of cinnamon, vanilla, coriander, and occasionally even a touch of anise. The complexity of this apple’s tart-sweet flavor actually develops more the longer it is off the tree. The ones with the darkest skin will provide the most interesting eating experience. It’s a wonderful cooking and processing apple. It holds its shape well when cooked so is popular for baking whole and pie making.

When in the South..take a page out of Southern Living for this one. I would pair this with a pork dish but ham and turkey work fine too. Vegetarian? Nothing wrong with a side of cooked apples for dessert with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream!

Fried Arkansas Black Apples

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cloves, or allspice

Unpeeled red apple slices from 2 apples

3 tablespoons apple cider

Stir together brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and set aside.

Melt butter in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium. Add half of the apple slices in a single layer. (Don’t overcrowd the pan.) Cook, turning once, until slightly softened but still quite firm, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat process with remaining apples.

Return cooked apple slices to hot skillet, and add cider and reserved brown sugar mixture. Cook over medium, gently turning occasionally, until apples are glazed, browned, and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer fried apples to a serving bowl or plate. Serve warm.

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms have been used medicinally in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic for the immune system. And they were on to something! Oyster mushrooms contain high levels of a particular antioxidant found in fungi, called ergothioneine. This antioxidant protects the cells of the body from oxidative damage. What’s more, oyster mushrooms contain benzaldehyde, a compound that reduces bacterial levels. Oyster mushrooms are also high in zinc, a mineral that also aids in good immune health. Packed with iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and b-vitamins, oyster mushrooms are a fabulous low-calorie addition to every diet.

You can store them in a paper bag in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. And remember, no need to submerge in water to clean, a damp towel or even a small brush to dust off dirt is ideal. You don’t want to dilute that wonderful flavor!

To use, trim ends with a sharp knife. Slice or tear into smaller pieces for cooking.

Here’s a recipe from that uses the green onions too--simple and I love that you could add this to a risotto instead of just relegating it to a side. So versatile!


4 green onions finely chopped


Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot but not smoking. Immediately add mushrooms and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, regularly stirring with spatula. After 2-3 minutes of sauteing, reduce heat a bit and sprinkle the mushrooms with a little bit of salt, stir to mix, cover with the lid and continue to cook the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring, until they soften and release some juices. Having the lid on will allow mushrooms to generate some moisture and not get burned. Mushrooms should be cooked for a total of 7-10 minutes.

If there is too much liquid in the pan, cook for 1-2 more minutes uncovered, on medium heat, to let extra moisture evaporate.

When mushrooms are completely cooked, add half of chopped green onions to the mushrooms, mix and season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.

When serving, top each serving with the remaining chopped green onions.

Hernandez Fingerling Sweet Potatoes

We’ve talked a lot about recipes to do with regular sweet potatoes and I am sure you can still make a short stack in muffin tins with this too, but fingerling sweet potatoes have some unique properties to keep in mind… as they are smaller they cook quicker and unlike the larger more stringy sweet potatoes, these are uniformly soft in texture. The skin is also more tender than a larger fully-grown one which indicates it’s sweet and pleasant to eat.

In a NYTimes article, I read about these simple recipes.

Steam and Smash

You can steam them in advance and keep a bunch of steamed mini sweet potatoes stashed in your fridge ready to go for the week. Set up a steamer basket with an inch of water and put the mini sweet potatoes in the basket, covered. (No need to peel them first!) Bring the water to a boil and steam until a paring knife slides through the potatoes easily. Then you can chill them, or let them sit on your counter for an hour or two while you do the rest of your cooking.

When you're ready to go, smash the fingerlings on a cutting board, using a cup or sturdy spatula. You can crisp the fingerlings in sizzling oil, but if you’ve got a skillet greased with the flavorful fat left over from cooking chicken thighs, lamb chops, bacon, or steak, toss the potatoes in there while you let the meat rest. Cook the potatoes over medium-high until they’re crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Of course, fingerling sweet potatoes can do anything a full-size sweet potato does, too. Roast them and serve over crispy lentils with a creamy, tangy feta-tahini sauce in this Vegetarian’s Dream Sweet Potato Recipe . Crisp them up in a hash or cut in half to get some nice brown edges. Slice ‘em into a salad dressed with lots of tart lime. Warm them up in the morning and top with maple syrup, yogurt, and crunchy granola, or sprinkle with smoky bacon, scallions, and crown with sour cream or a runny egg. Doesn’t that sound amazing!

22. Vegan Keto Coconut Almond Bark

A delicious treat for Christmas that is sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and made with natural whole food ingredients. The whole family will love these!

Vegan Keto Favorite Holiday Ingredient

Kevala Organic Coconut Butter is amazing for smoothies, baking, desserts, oriental dishes, ice cream, and more! Made with pure whole coconut flesh and bottled in glass to ensure it is 100% goodness through and through.

The holidays are synonymous with family, friends, fun, and good food. These are the things memories are made of. Your Kind and Keto choices don’t have to put a damper on anything. Enjoy the delicious holiday recipes we have collected for you – we are sure some of them may even become year-round favorites.


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