Avoiding packaged (or processed) foods means suddenly having to do without a lot of snacks I previously took for granted, like crackers, cookies, chips and candy. I have been substituting nuts, fresh fruit and cheese (on my own homemade bread) instead.
Recently, I have started trying different kinds of dried fruits for snacks, which I can buy in bulk at my co-op. Dried fruit certainly satisfies a craving for sweet. Dried fruit is chewy and toothsome — and even though it is higher in calories than fresh fruit, a little goes a long way, I find. This week I’m sampling dried papaya spears, which are just as good as any candy I’ve had lately. If you have access, definitely give them a try.
Just a note: Be careful with dried apricots. They are known to have a laxative effect.
Recently, I posted about the contaminants found in packaged salads. After giving it a bit of thought, I’ve decided that all pre-packaged salad mixes count as processed foods, and are therefore on the “don’t buy” list. Unpackaged greens are readily available and cheaper, even if they do require a bit more work for washing and preparation. (My toddler loves to work the salad spinner, which saves me some time.) Once washed, they are safer than the packaged salads, which might be contaminated with bacteria, fecal matter or e coli.