It’s back-to-school time once again, which means it’s time to tackle those hours between the last bell and family dinner. For many kids, after school hours are filled with homework, sports or other after-school activities – and the need for some fuel that will carry them through to a real meal at home. The after-school snack is important, but it shouldn’t consist of something from a vending machine. Making your own freeze dried snacks that are healthy, tasty, backpack-friendly or easy to grab at home is simple – and smart.
Here are our three favorite ways to use our freeze dryers to make snacks that help our kids survive until dinner:
DIY Trail Mix
Freeze dry two trays each of bananas and strawberries then mix with a can of almonds or pistachios and a quarter cup of dried coconut and divide into snack bag portions. The fruit gives a quick burst of energy, the nuts add protein and the coconut is a healthy source of fat that will help kids feel full.
Basil & Squash Chips
This time of year summer and fall squash are going crazy in everyone’s garden and the last of the basil must be harvested to avoid the first frost. Take advantage of the over-abundance by making basil and squash chips – a great alternative to potato chips. Slice any kind of squash into ¼” rounds and fill three trays. Fill the third tray with fresh basil leaves. When they’re done, crumble the basil and toss the chips with sea salt and basil. Divide into snack bags.
Cinnamon Apple Yogurt Bites
Did you know you can dehydrate yogurt? You can! Slice apples into 1- enough to cover two trays. Put parchment paper on the other two trays and spread a large tub of vanilla yogurt ¼” thick. When it’s done, break the yogurt into bite-size pieces, mix with apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and divide into snack bags.
You may want to send some extra portions with your kids though. From experience we’ve learned that everyone wants to try the freeze dried snacks – and once they do they don’t want their processed food snacks!