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    August 13, 2021

    Brown Bag Pantry: Build a Balanced Bag!

    IT’S EASY AS 1...2...3...! 

    Needing a little inspiration for healthy lunch packing for the whole family? Following this formula makes the process simple and tasty. Kale chips are a tried-and-true brown bag favorite and nutrition powerhouse. Try our recipe below!


    1. Start with a Wrap, Bread or Dipper Chip:
    • Blue Corn Tortillas
    • Mary’s Gone Crackers
    • Wasa Crispbread
    • Whole Grain Bread
    • Whole Grain Pita Bread

    2. Add a Protein:

    • Nut or Seed Butters
    • Hummus
    • Tuna
    • Fish
    • Salmon
    • Black Beans
    • Edamame
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Cottage or Ricotta Cheese
    • Cheese Slices, Rounds or Sticks
    • Eggs 

    3. Top it or Toss it with Some Fruits or Veggies:

    • Berries
    • Pineapple
    • Mango
    • Mandarin Oranges
    • Apple
    • Orange
    • Grapes
    • Raisins
    • Dried Cranberries
    • Shredded Carrots
    • Broccoli Slaw
    • Tomato
    • Peppers
    • Cucumbers
    • Snap Peas
    • Spinach
    • Mixed Greens 

    4. Mix and Match Snacks:

    • Nuts or Seeds
    • Low fat Mozzarella Sticks
    • Fresh or Dried Fruit
    • Pretzel Nuggets
    • Rx or Lara Bars
    • Graham Crackers
    • Trail Mix 

    Balanced Bag selections:

    Here are some ideas to try:

    • Tortilla wrap with hummus, cucumbers, slaw and Alpine Lace cheese
    • Whole grain bread with almond butter, sliced bananas and hemp seeds
    • Balsamic veggie tuna salad, spinach and avocado in a pita
    • Grilled Salmon with spinach, strawberries, chickpeas and cucumbers served with whole grain crackers on the side


    Kale Chips – Serves 4 


    1 large bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    ¼ teaspoon salt


    Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.

    If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don’t overlap. (If the all the kale doesn’t fit, make the chips in batches.) Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)

    Serving Size: 2 tablespoons; 110 calories; 5 g fat (1g sat, 3g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 6 g fiber; 210 mg sodium; 642 mg potassium

    Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C



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