I’m a Clean Eater. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it’s about eating from nature’s bounty: fresh foods in their most natural state. Not sure what to make of this? How about whetting your appetite with some kale salad with roasted eggplant and creamy avocado dressing or leek and fennel soup?
Clean eating is easier than you think. Try by starting small with your snacks at work. For starters, you can easily avoid the vending machine by having healthy, desk-friendly snacks like raw nuts, plain oatmeal and dried fruit in a Ziploc bag when you get hungry. You can also try bringing a snack and storing it in your fridge until later in the day. Wraps are a great option as they can inspire a endless variety of “better-for-you” snack options that also satisfy.
When it comes to wraps, I’m a big fan of La Tortilla Factory’s line of wraps and tortillas. I especially love the Corn tortillas, because they’re gluten free while being a good source of whole grains. I also really like the new Soft Wraps Minis because they’re delicious, versatile and only 50 calories per wrap. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of their products.
So, say goodbye to that box of candy at 3pm when your tummy starts to rumble and feast your eyes on these 10 fun, wrap snacks below that are sure to keep your taste buds happy. Here are a few of my quick ‘n’ easy ideas to keep you in check when you have a snack attack.
• Chocolate Nut Butter with Cherries and Orange Zest Wrap
Spread chocolate nut butter evenly a top two tortillas. Then evenly divide about 1/2 cup of chopped black cherries, some cilantro and the zest of a half orange. Wrap rolled tortillas tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or until ready to serve.
• Apricot and Mascarpone Wrap
Heat a tortilla in a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray on the stovetop for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat. Top with 2 Tbsp. apple butter, ½ thinly sliced apricot and 2 ounces mascarpone cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted, 2-3 minutes.
• Greek Yogurt and Smoked Salmon Roll-Up
Top tortillas with ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 4 oz. sliced smoked salmon, dash of fresh dill, capers, sliced red onion, sea salt and pepper. Then, roll up tortillas and slice in half.
• Figs and Cantaloupe Pizza
Slice 2 figs in half, top with thinly sliced cantaloupe and lay on top of a tortilla. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes; top with goat cheese.
• Pumpkin Guacamole Triangles
Cut a tortilla into 6 wedges using a pizza cutter. On each wedge, place a dollop of canned pumpkin, guacamole, a sprinkle of cinnamon, chili powder and stevia.
• Shaved Carrot and Almond Butter Strips
Slice tortillas into 1-inch strips. Julienne two large carrots. Spread almond butter onto strips; top with carrots, a dash of ground cinnamon and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Roll up strips and secure with a toothpick.
• Arugula Pesto Wraps with Fresh Corn
In a food processor, combine 2 cups fresh arugula, 1-cup navy beans, 1 ripe avocado, 4 fresh basil leaves, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread mixture onto tortillas; top with fresh corn kernels. Wrap and serve.
• Wrapped Pear Parfait with Salted Pistachios
Cut 2 pears into bite-size pieces. Divide the pears and 1-½ cups low fat ricotta cheese among 4 tortillas. Sprinkle with ½ cup coarsely chopped salted pistachios, 1 tsp. coconut flakes and a drizzle of honey. Roll up the tortillas, and then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Cut off ends and slice into 1-inch pieces.
• Cashew Lime Kale Bites
Steam 1 cup of fresh kale; blot with a paper towel to soak up excess water. Spread 4 tortillas with cashew butter then evenly divide 2 cups of cooked quinoa, steamed kale, fresh cilantro and lime juice onto each tortilla. Wrap rolled tortillas tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or until ready to serve.
• Cranberry Turkey Party Pinwheels
Lay a large romaine leaf on top of a tortilla on a flat surface, top with guacamole, sliced turkey breast and cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with ground flax seeds. Roll up the tortillas, and then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Cut off ends and slice into 1-inch pieces.
In general, when it comes to clean eating, preparation is the key to having healthy, quick ‘n’ easy snacks when you need it. Make sure your pantry is stocked with the basics like freshly chopped veggies, herbs and fruits stored in Ziploc bags along with whole grains, lean proteins such as chicken or beans and healthy fats such as avocado. Take note of when you are running low on items in your fridge or pantry. Make trips to the market on the weekends- after a long day at work, you’re more likely to make sweet ‘n’ fatty impulse purchases when you’re exhausted and hungry.
Smart snacking doesn’t have to mean boring snacks: get creative in the kitchen and try using different spices and fruits, like sliced jicama sticks dipped in plain Greek yogurt with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon. Be sure to keep an eye out for snacks with added sugars and ingredients you can’t pronounce- you’re better off sticking to the foods and ingredients you can recognize. Did you know certain frozen veggies have added sauces and sugars? Many of my clients didn’t either, so it’s important to read the labels before you assume what you’re eating is healthy.
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com is a Manhattan based Culinary Nutritionist, Personal Chef, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.