It’s that time between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner, when you’re craving a little somethin’-somethin’ to tide you over until the next meal. But why reach for those crackers or chips you bought at the store when you can make your own tasty, and definitely more nutritious, snacks at home, and save money, to boot? Kaili Sanchez of Kaili’s Creative Kitchen and Moonshine Ink columnist Eve Quesnel share their recipes for homemade snacks that you can feel good about. ~ Melissa Siig


These are a tasty and healthy version of a fig cookie. You get lots of great potassium, magnesium, fiber, and nutty protein. They are perfect for lunch boxes and after-school treats, and are gluten-free and vegan. ~ Kaili Sanchez

10 organic dried figs (dates, apricots, dried pineapple all work well)

1 tsp organic coconut oil (optional); substitute with warm water

½ cup organic roasted cashews

1 tsp lemon juice

Optional additions: 1 tsp of chia seeds, ground flax seed, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, protein powder, carob or cocoa powder, or coconut


Using a food processor or sharp knife, chop the cashews into small pieces, about five seconds in the processor. Set aside in a small bowl. Next, remove all stems from the dried figs and place them in the food processor. Add the warmed coconut oil or water and lemon juice over the figs. Pulse a few times until the figs are chopped. Add half of the cashew crumbles and any other optional ingredients you choose, and allow the food processor to run until the mixture forms a ball. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the mixture into your hand, roll into a ball, and then roll in the remaining cashew crumbles. Place the treats in a container and cover tightly. Store these in the refrigerator for a few weeks or freeze them for up to two months.


Most store-bought granolas are full of fat and sugar, so why not make your own granola and start a healthier breakfast tradition? I began with celebrity chef and author Alton Brown’s recipe, and then changed it to my liking. I added an additional cup of oats, some almond extract, and dashes of wheat germ and a variety of seeds. You may want to start with Brown’s recipe, found on the Internet, and change it to your own preferences. ~ Eve Quesnel


7 cups oats (regular, not quick cooking)

1 cup coconut (coconut shavings are best, but shredded is fine, too)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup almonds, slivered

1 cup cashews, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped

Dashes of wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds (depending on your taste)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup canola oil

2-3 tbsp almond extract


Mix together dry ingredients (first seven on list). Set aside. Mix together wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture onto the dry ingredients. Spread on two deep cookie sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour 15 minutes, turning over the granola every 15 minutes. After the granola has baked and cooled, stir in dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped dates and apricots, whatever dried fruit you like). Scoop some granola into a bowl and add a dollop of plain yogurt, fruit (chopped apples, blueberries, or raspberries), and milk.