Like a Starburst. Only better.

Just a quick post today to share with you one of my favorite on-the-go snacks.

You may recall my previous post about how my kids seemed drawn to snacks that came in wrappers.  We have been doing SO much better with making better snack choices both at home and on-the-go.  I’m happy to say that once I made these changes part of our routine, it doesn’t seem like such a big inconvenience all the time anymore to opt for something fresh.  (Of course there are still those times when we grab a granola bar or fruit leather as we run out the door, but it’s all about progress for me.  There will never be perfection.)  I try to allow a few minutes in the kitchen before we go somewhere to wash some fruit or put some dip, nuts, or cheese into a little container, etc.  I’ve also recently started an informal “rule” of no more than one wrapper food per day.  So if they choose to eat a cereal bar or something, that’s it for the day.  They don’t get to have a cereal bar AND a fruit leather AND pretzels AND a granola bar AND blah, blah, blah.  Seems to be a good move so far.  We’ll see how well it works during pool season.  😉

Well, today I’m actually going to share with you one of my favorite quick take-along snacks that actually DOES come in a wrapper, but not because it’s a big ol’ bar full of junk, just simply because it needs to wrapped up so it doesn’t stick to everything:

Two words:  DRIED PINEAPPLE!

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I’m telling you, of all the dehydrated fruits you can buy, pineapple is by far my favorite.  Pineapple is naturally one of the sweetest fruits at the market, and that sweetness is not lost during the dehydrating process, trust me!

Why do I love dried pineapple so much?  Well, not just for the fact that it is super sweet, but because of its great chewy texture.  I like foods that are super crunchy and/or super chewy.  (For example, I’d choose a dessert that had chocolate bits in it over some super smooth ice cream any day!)

Dried pineapple, to me, is like the healthy equivalent of a yellow Starburst.  It’s sweet, it’s tart, and it’s satisfyingly chewy.

And as if I needed any more reasons to love it besides its flavor, it’s also a great source of fiber, which is very important to me because of my family history.

You can find dried pineapple at just about every grocery store.  Just make SURE that you look at the ingredients label!  All it should say is something like “dried pineapple” and nothing else!

Here’s an example of the back of one package I had and what the label should look like (This one says “organic dried pineapple pieces” as the ingredient.):

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Here’s a photo of my favorite brand:

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I also like one from Trader Joe’s but it isn’t organic.  I still buy it a lot though because my favorite brand is only sold at a store that I just don’t go to that often.  (Note:  Be careful at Trader Joe’s!  They sell plain dried pineapple (yellow bag) and they also sell something called “pineapple chips” – the pineapple chips have LOTS of other junk in there.  Stick with the pure ingredients list… it tastes great and dried pineapple doesn’t need any additives!)

I also always take a look at the label to see how many servings are in the bag.  It’s usually two or three.  I separate out the servings and put them into little ziploc baggies and keep them in our pantry’s “snack bin”.  That way they’re all ready to go when we need something quick to grab and head out the door.  The other reason why I divide up the servings is because the dried pineapple is SO GOOD that if I don’t make them into serving sized portions I will just eat the entire bag.  Trust me – I’ve done it.  Quite a few times!  So portioning it out saves me from “accidentally” eating the entire bag and not leaving any for anyone else in the family!

Here are some already prepped baggies I had in my pantry (This happens to be the Trader Joe’s brand in this particular photo):

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Do you have a favorite dried fruit?  Have you tried dried pineapple?

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