I mentioned earlier that going raw is a lifestyle change and one of the things that has made a vegetarian lifestyle so convenient for us, is the availability of snacks (healthy and otherwise) that are abundant everywhere – supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops, at local attractions – you will always at least find a muffin, ice-cream or hot chips that you can eat.
Now that I am beginning to look at the world through “raw glasses”, taking the kids out and about is proving to bring up new challenges. Being a family of 6 means we need to watch our pennies a bit, so in the past, I have often found myself throwing together peanut butter sandwiches or popping apples and bananas in a bag as we rush out the door. Lately, I have been trying to have something a little bit special and a bit “more raw” and definitely vegan, to snack on when we are out.
Here are some ideas I have discovered so far that go a little way to keeping it vegan and as raw as possible:
Medjool dates: Full of fiber, vitamin A, antioxidants, iron, potassium and calcium, (just to name a few) are a yummy, fresh, sweet treat and are easy to find in most supermarkets as well as local fruit and veg shops. We eat them as they or we feel like a bit more of a confectionery hit, the kids pop them in the fridge or freezer. They go nice an chewy in the cold, very much like caramel. Or for something a bit different, take out the pip and stuff with a walnut or two, yum!
“Frogs on a Log”: an idea my son saw on Play School. My kids really like making and eating them. Cut celery ribs to about 3 cm in length, fill the center with peanut butter (you can make your own raw nut butters easily enough, recipes to come! 😉 ) and top with sultanas. Pop in an air-tight container and take them along with you.
Dried Bananas (and other fruit): my kids love these! Dried bananas are the ugliest looking things, but are so yummy, it totally makes up for it. When choosing dried fruit, I do my best to make sure I get the stuff that is “unsulphured”. If you’re lucky enough to own a dehydrator you can make your own, but I have found that most health food shops carry unsulphured, sundried and organic dried fruits. Don’t over-dose on dried fruits though, they are dehydrating to our bodies. Check out The Wellness Worrior Jess Ainscough’s blog for a really good explanation as to why we need to go easy on dried fruits, as well as some good tips when using dried fruits.
Kitz Living Foods: I was really excited to find these the other day when I was in Bondi. They make a variety of yummy snacks – activated nuts, crackers, granola, convenience bars plus heaps more healthy stuff, “free from artificial colours, preservatives, flavours, wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs and 100% vegan. All products are dehydrated at a low temperature to preserve the enzymes and nutrients of the ingredients”. You can find them in selected health food stores all over Australia or you can order on-line. So keep some in your cupboard and a packet in your bag! Check out Kitz Living Foods website!
Grab an Apple! A pear, bunch of grapes, punnet of organic strawberries….. The list is endless and (I reckon), the most obvious thing to do. Fresh fruit is the ultimate fast food, no prep, pre-packaged and very little to throw away! Grab something quickly from home to take along with you or otherwise there is always a great variety of fresh fruit available and any supermarket when you’re out and even a lot of cafes have whole pieces of fruit for sale if you haven’t packed your own.
Freshly Squeezed: Fresh juice & smoothiebars are everywhere, food courts, shopping centers and cafes. They can be slightly more expensive, but are very filling. I am careful if choosing a smoothie, even though most places offer non-dairy milks or no milk options, some use syrup instead of actual fruit. Also, if ordering a smoothie with non-dairy milk, be aware that they may still add the ice-cream or yogurt, (something I came across recently). So ask before ordering.
Sushi: is the another food I like to buy my kids when we’re out. I know it’s not completely raw, but there are plenty of vegan options. My kids love it and the big bonus is they actually eat it! A good sushi bar will make the sushi with brown rice to order, which is the better alternative.
If all else fails? I order a salad, either fruit or vegetable. Even the local “chipper” (Australian for fish and chip shop 😉 ) has salad on the menu! My other go to is a salad wrap.
So my rule is, if I can’t always bring food from home, go for the most raw, vegan, natural alternative and I am learning not beat myself up about it. We can always have a green smoothie when we get home!