5 Fantastic Fall Snacks

Fall Paleo Snacks

The other day, I had a bit of a snack attack and realized that I need to be better prepared for those times during the day when I am legitimately hungry but it’s not quite mealtime. That got me thinking: What are the snacks that satisfy me most?

Here are my five favorite snacks for fall…

Sweet potato, tuna or salmon, lemon and optional avocado – Not a catchy title, in fact kind of cumbersome, but this is probably my all-time favorite snack. It’s my go-to when I only have a few minutes to eat or I need some pre-workout fuel (with avocado) or post-workout fuel (without avocado) or a quick lunch on the go. It’s quite simply awesome.

Dump a can of tuna or salmon in a bowl, mash in about 1/4 or 1/3 of a cup of cooked sweet potato, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pre-workout (or other random times), I will also add 1/4 of an avocado. That’s my favorite way to have it. If it’s post-workout, I might skip the avocado because the fat can slow the absorption of the nutrients my muscles need. (I confess, though, since I am not a performance athlete, I have been known to throw caution to the wind and just eat it how I like it!)

Hard-boiled egg, veggie sticks, olives – Another quick and easy snack, especially if your eggs are already prepared for the week and you’ve taken a minute to cut up some vegetables as well. Grab whatever veggies you have on hand (carrots, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, jicama, etc.), slice an egg or two in half and put salt and pepper or a dollop of mustard (my favorite) or paleo mayonnaise, and throw in a handful of olives – any kind – and you’re good to go! Veggies, protein, fat – a perfect combination!

Warm apple with coconut butter – In truth, I do this cold or hot. Cut your apple into slices, any variety is fine, and spread a couple teaspoons to a couple tablespoons of coconut butter on it and eat it like you mean it. In the evenings, this is delicious as a treat! Just cut your apple and cook it in the microwave until it’s soft – a minute or two. Put a spoonful of coconut butter in so it begins to melt and get all gooey, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy this totally healthy indulgence.

Cauliflower hummus with chicken strips or veggie sticks – No chickpeas for the paleo eater so we’ve had to come up with something different to give us that warm, earthy, fantastic dip that so many of us love. Super-nutritious cauliflower works amazingly well as a chickpea stand-in and quickly absorbs the garlicy-lemon-tahini combo in hummus. I like dipping veggie sticks in my veggie dip, but it is also terrific with some leftover grilled chicken cut into strips. Once again, the protein-veggie-fat combo rules.

Check out my recipe for Cauliflower Hummus and get snacking!

Leftovers – I would be remiss if I didn’t say at least once that leftovers make a fantastic snack. When you’re listening closely to your hunger and satisfaction cues, sometimes there’s just a little bit of dinner or lunch left over – not enough to make another meal, but too much to waste. And frankly, eating like this is so tasty that I don’t want to throw stuff away anyway. When you have that little 1/2 serving left, just box it up and save it for the next day when the munchies hit. There’s no set breakfast-lunch-dinner meal ingredients anymore. This is paleo! If your beef stew was delicious for dinner, then it’s great for a snack too!

Paleo Cauliflower Hummus

Paleo Cauliflower Hummus

I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think I can live without chickpeas. I used to love hummus and was pretty disappointed when I learned that chickpeas were out with paleo due to the fact that they’re quite difficult to digest and meat is simply a more dense protein source. I quickly realized that I was going to need to find a replacement because I really enjoy Mediterranean flavors and having a little something to dip my veggies in when I’m feeling snacky is a real treat. So here we are with what is quickly becoming my favorite vegetable – cauliflower! It’s not my favorite raw and it’s not my favorite roasted, but rice it or puree it and flavor it any way you want, and suddenly all things are possible!

Paleo Cauliflower Hummus

1/2 a head of cauliflower, roughly chopped

2 cloves or garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1-2 Tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste

olive oil drizzle (optional)

paprika sprinkle (optional)

Directions

1) Steam the cauliflower. I used a Ziploc steamer bag and microwaved it for 4 minutes. You want it soft but not water-logged. Put in a food processor.

2) Add the remaining ingredients (except the drizzle of olive oil and paprika), beginning with 1 Tbsp. of water, and puree until you have a smooth consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides and add the 2nd Tbsp. of water or more until you get it creamy smooth to your liking.

3) Allow to rest for about 10 minutes until the flavors have melded. Drizzle with extra olive oil, sprinkle with paprika, and eat with abandon.

Serves 4

*Note: This would be delicious with some cumin added as well!