Allergen-Free Snacks for Kids and Adults On-The-Go
These easy, low-waste snacks are allergen-free and perfect for back-to-school and back-to-work lunches. They are healthy, quick, and kid-and-adult-approved!
When I look back on the packed lunches I used to bring to school as a kid, I don’t recall any of the delicious snacks I saved until the end being packaged in anything other than something I would toss into the garbage can two minutes later. Even though I’m older now and my taste buds have evolved, I have created a few recipes that both kids and adults alike would enjoy on their lunch break and can be easily transported in sustainable packaging.
Below, you can find a recipe for simple savoury crackers and homemade veggie chips, as well as a delicious date caramel sauce and my go-to oatmeal chocolate chips bars. These two sweet and two savoury recipes are zero-waste and allergen-free, so they are safe for classrooms, office spaces, etc. All the recipes are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, sesame-free, refined sugar-free, and made from whole food ingredients. They are straightforward and fairly quick to make and don’t require any heavy-duty kitchen equipment. The sweet recipes are both no-bake, which is nice in the late summer and early fall heat.
I like to package my snacks in either beeswax wraps, reusable snack bags, or glass jars for easy transport. Beeswax wraps can be easily found online or at your local farmers’ market and reusable snack bags can also be found online or at a kitchen store near you. My personal favourite are the snack bags because they are freezer-friendly and you can use them to freeze some of the recipes below.
Simple Savoury Crackers
Makes 40 small crackers
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter, solid
4 ½ tbsp cold water
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Cayenne, to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
Cut in the coconut oil or butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the water until a dough forms.
Press the dough into a disc. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne, if using.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 40 pieces and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.
Bake the crackers for 35-40 minutes. They should be light golden in colour and just starting to crisp up around the edges.
Allow the crackers to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
Baked Vegetable Chips
Makes approximately 4 cups
1 medium russet potato
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium beet
2 tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes and beet very thinly, so that you can see the blade through the slices.
3. In a bowl, toss the slices with the olive oil and spices. Place on a silicone-lined or well-oiled baking sheet in an even layer. Do not overlap the slices.
4. Bake the chips for 10 minutes. Flip them, and place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes more. Check on them frequently to avoid burning them.
5. Allow the chips to cool for several minutes. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container if you don’t eat them all right away!
For a smoky BBQ flavour, add these additional spices:
1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp chili powder, and ¼ tsp cayenne.
Apples with Date Caramel Dipping Sauce
Makes approximately 2 cups
12 pitted Medjool dates (250g)
¾ cup homemade plant-based milk (I used oat)
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
2 apples, sliced
Soak the dates for 2 hours. This will help them to blend more smoothly.
Drain the dates and place in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Serve with apple slices or your favourite fruit. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Makes 12 bars
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients using a wooden spoon.
Press the dough into a greased or lined 8x8 pan.
Place the bars in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours.
Take the bars out and cut into 12 pieces. Store them in an air-tight container for up to a week. The bars also freeze well and will keep for two months in the freezer.
Substitute the chocolate chips for a variety of your favourite nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit.
Meredith spends her days in Halifax, Nova Scotia cooking, going for long walks along the waterfront, and cuddling with her partner’s dog. Check her out on Instagram @crawlspace_