The days of fall can be busy with sports and school activities. These five healthy fall snacks use the bounty of the season and are terrific to make ahead when time gets short.
Eating healthy is often on everyone’s mind, but convenience usually wins out. If you want to use superfoods for healthier snacks, making them ahead of time can really encourage you to use them more often. The following snacks are easy to make and allow you to grab-and-go whenever you need to.
Baked or Dehydrated Apple Chips
If you are looking for chips to enjoy in the fall, but don’t want to fry up potatoes, why not use apples? Apples are a beautiful superfood fruit to enjoy in the fall, are inexpensive, and filled with nutrients and antioxidants. They are low in fat, and calories, and can be spiced up by adding cinnamon to the chips after you slice them.
Here’s how: Slice the apples thinly, using a sharp knife or an apple peeler corer, so the pieces are uniform for even drying. Toss them with a mixture of cinnamon (and maybe even sugar too!)
In the Oven
If using an oven, bake them at the lowest temperature possible and arrange apple slices on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave the oven door slightly cracked open to reduce the oven temp while baking. Bake until the apples are dry, but not hard. Drying time can take up to 15 hours in the oven.
In the Dehydrator
Arrange slices on your dehydrator tray and dry at 115 until the apples are dehydrated, but not hard and brittle. At 115 degrees will make this a “raw” food recipe. If you are not concerned about raw food, move the temperature up to 135 degrees. Drying time is between 5 and 10 hours
Store these treats in a canning jar with a tight fitting lid. Keeping them in a container will help them stay crisp. It can also be helpful to separate them into individual serving sizes and store in zip-top baggies; then they will be ready to grab whenever you need to pack them in a lunch or use for a quick snack.
Mini Caramel Apples
One treat many people think of when they think of fall is the caramel apple. Unfortunately, it is very high in sugar and calories, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. However, instead of having a big apple covered in caramel, try making little caramel bites. You can cut apple pieces in the shape of bitesize squares, and then dip them in caramel. Consider storing them in a bag or container where it is much easier to eat a smaller, portioned amount, and still enjoy a little treat.
Try this recipe for a homemade Keto friendly, low carb Caramel Sauce at Easy Keto Dishes
Fall Trail Mix
You might look to purchase trail mix as a healthy snack, which is better than candy bars, but you can also save money and make your own. Mixing your own allows you to control all the ingredients, ensuring they are as nutritious as possible, plus you can sneak in some fall spices and superfoods at the same time.
Many things can go into a great trail mix recipe. This thing to remember is to find the right balance between sweet and salty. Here are a few ingredients to try when making trail mix for the fall.
Nuts and Seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans.
Dried Fruit: raisins, banana chips, dried cranberries, cinnamon apple chips.
Sweet: chocolate chips, sweetened coconut, maple syrup drops.
Spice: pumpkin pie spice, sea salt (if you used unsalted nuts) cinnamon, garlic, onion.
Grains: pretzels, popcorn, Chex cereal, dried garbanzo beans.
Chex Mix with a Fall Twist
Chex is a snack that is very similar to trail mix, and just as easy to make. It can be like your favorite mix using the Chex cereal, but you can also get creative and also include all your favorite ingredients.
For the fall, you might want to add in additional seeds or nuts. Pumpkin seeds, pecans, or walnuts work well. Add fall spices for a nice change from the regular recipe.
There are many ways to put this type of snack together and looking around online will turn up hundreds of recipes. For a hands-off approach, try this Chex Mix Slow Cooker Recipe found at Gimme Some Oven.
Dry at 125°F for 6 to 8 hours
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 3 medium sweet apples
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- a pinch of clove
- a pinch of nutmeg
- Cut sweet potatoes in half. Peel and core your 3 apples.
- Place them all into a baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 400°.
- Remove apples and check sweet potatoes. If needed, bake another 20 minutes or so, until completely soft. Allow for a cooling time before handling.
- Gently peel the skin from the sweet potatoes and place into food processor.
- Add apples and spices. Puree until completely smooth.
- Line a dehydrator tray or baking sheet with the parchment paper.
- Spread the cooked puree onto prepared dehydrator trays to form a ¼-inch-thick layer
- Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 6 to 8 hours.
- If using the oven, set the oven to the lowest temperature and bake until the mixture is no longer sticky, but still pliable, it could take up to 10 hours to finish.
- Let cool thoroughly before cutting into strips.
Don’t let the busy days of fall stop you from having a stash of healthy snacks on hand. These five make-ahead recipes and ideas will help you stop reaching for the sweets and have a stocked pantry, ready at a moments notice.