I hesitate to call this a Paleo snack, because I am not fully on the Paleo bandwagon…. I am, however, on the eat-less-processed-food bandwagon and these are the perfect snack / light meal. They also happen to be Paleo-friendly. I’m a big fan of trail mix but have been trimming sugar from my diet (a lot of the trail mixes have candy in them) and got really tired of the packaged mixes that just don’t have much variety. I am fortunate to work in an area that offers me plenty of options, and being a big DIY-er it was no big deal to put together a bunch of healthy snack jars. I used jelly jars.
I made up six jars with the ingredients I had; the next batch will be different but have similar proportions of meat, nuts, and fruits. I’m keeping these in the fridge and won’t make up more than I can eat in a week since the jars are not air-tight. So what’s in that little jar?
Starting at the top and moving clockwise, there’s sugar-free beef jerky, unsalted tree nuts (mostly almonds with a few walnuts), dried cranberries, dried goji berries, pine nuts, dried plums, and shaved coconut in the center. The big thing is that all of these are sugar-free and unsalted – just pure and natural ingredients. The beef jerky was the hardest to find; the stuff they sell in grocery stores is full of sugar and yucky stuff (technical term). I got mine in the market and it is grass-fed, sugar-free, and nitrate-free. If that’s important to you and you aren’t lucky enough to have a local source, you can find paleo-friendly beef jerky online. The dried fruits take a little ingredient-reading, it’s sad how many are sweetened with sugar, as if fruit needed to be any sweeter. Again, I luck out with an ample supply of natural grocery stores.
This is enough for a light meal or snack. I didn’t weigh out anything, just portioned a tablespoon or two depending on how much I had and what would fit in the jelly jars. You can’t mix in crunchy dried fruits, like apples or bananas, because they pull the moisture from the more juicy dried fruits and the meat. (I put dried apples in my first jar and they got rather mushy. yuck.) You could of course leave out the meat but I am limiting legumes and grains so I wanted/needed the protein source. This works for me – one of these jars makes a good breakfast or bridges that long afternoon gap between lunch and dinner.