As a full-time college student, philanthropist, sorority member, and entrepreneur managing the two organizations she founded, Bryn Carden lives a life defined by a tightly packed schedule. The former Kemah Teen USA stays busy and is always on the go, but she makes a point to ensure her health does not get put on the back burner. With so many tempting and easy-to-grab snacks with high sugar and other added artificial ingredients, choosing healthy options with little time to prep can be difficult. Carden says these recipes are her go-to healthy snacks that are quick to put together and easy to tote around when traveling or checking off daily to-dos:
Recipe #1: Almond Joy Ants on a Log
Instead of reaching for an Almond Joy at any convenience store, pack a few of Carden’s Almond Joy Ants on a Log for a healthy option and a delicious twist on a childhood favorite, Ants on a Log. Rather than spreading peanut butter on cut-up celery and placing raisins along the peanut butter trail, Carden uses Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter to smear across celery sticks and lines her log with plain almonds and coconut flakes. Justin’s Classic Almond Butter is also an excellent alternative for more protein along with less sugar and sodium.
Recipe #2: Money Crunch Mix
A mix with a monkey’s favorite treat, this cluster of goodness gives a sweet and crunchy healthy handful of energy on the move. Easy to throw together last minute with a long shelf life, this mix consists of dark chocolate chips, almonds, and dehydrated banana chips. Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants, and almonds contain necessary healthy fats. When bananas are dehydrated, a lot of the water in the fruit is withdrawn, making each bite a more concentrated source of potassium. Dehydrated banana chips can be store-bought (a quicker option) or made right from the oven (a cheaper option). Carden says that using coconut oil when dehydrating bananas in the oven grants a boost in flavor for this particular mix. Add granola, pistachios, or both to add even more of a crunch to the mix.
Recipe #3: Toasty Pumpkin Seeds
When it is time to carve pumpkins in the fall, save the seeds pulled out from inside the pumpkin- they can serve as the perfect snack to have on hand with twelve grams of dietary fiber and twelve grams of protein per one cup. Pumpkin seeds can also be found at the grocery store and don’t have to be just a fall treat. Carden’s pumpkin seed recipe gets its name for being tasty, roasted, and a little spicy. She starts with a bowl of dry pumpkin seeds, then pours melted coconut oil over the seeds and mixes the two. She then sprinkles the seeds with salt, chili powder, curry, and a pinch of cayenne and pops the seeds into a three-hundred-degree oven for forty minutes.
As an alternative for those who prefer sweet over spicy, switch the chili powder, curry, and cayenne for cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweeten the snack further by sprinkling minimal raw or brown sugar instead of salt.
About Bryn Carden
Bryn Carden is a versatile young entrepreneur with a deep sense of compassion and the desire to help make the world a better place. In 2017, she founded Styles for Smiles – a company selling bracelets to support the Smile Train Organization. The proceeds from selling Bryn’s designs have already helped fund cleft palate repairs for 16 children in developing countries.