Our Guest Author today is D. Scott Caruthers, a gifted writer with a passion for food. His culinary interest was encouraged by his parents, who had extensive experience in the food industry. Caruthers earned an English degree and now combines his two loves, writing and food. You can find his work at http://dennisscottcarruthers.com/.

The paleo diet offers a host of health benefits, not the least of which is weight loss. Experts in the paleo diet have created hundreds of delicious and satisfying recipes that dieters enjoy. However, the one nearly universal complaint is that the paleo diet does not offer many tasty options to satisfy cravings for crunchy foods. Here are five fantastic food ideas to keep you on track.

CRUNCHY BAKED CARROT FRIES-

Sure raw veggies are an option for a paleo friendly crunchy snack, but this elevates the humble carrot stick to something more flavorful without sacrificing flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of washed and peeled carrots (about ten medium carrots)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut carrots into sticks about 4inches long and ½ an inch thick
  3. Place carrots in a large bowl drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices.
  4. Toss carrots to coat well and spread, in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes and flip carrots over. Then bake until carrots can be pierced with a fork and have brown edges (about 10-12 more minutes.)

Remove from oven and enjoy this tasty and healthy snack.

CRISPY SALAMI CUPS WITH TOMATO AND AVOCADO

These little wonders are a perfect combination of fresh veggies and crunchy flavorful salami. They are excellent to serve as canapés for a party or for enjoying any day of the week. Few ingredients and very simple prep make these a go-to paleo friendly snack.

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices of salami
  • 12 grape or cherry tomatoes- sliced in half
  • one ripe avocado cut into 12 bite-size cubes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Press individual salami slices into a muffin tin to make cups
  3. Bake salami cups for 10-15 minutes frequently check to be sure the cups are not burning on the edges. Remove when cups are crisp and browned.
  4. After salami cups cool, gently remove them from the muffin pan, fill each cup with tomato and avocado, and enjoy.

PALEO SALMON POPPERS

These flavorful crisp bites are the perfect paleo alternative to popcorn chicken bites. The seasonings are somewhat customizable so that you can adjust the level of heat and saltiness.

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound Scottish salmon- skin removed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika (hot or regular)
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (more if you prefer extra heat)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix egg and tapioca starch, set aside.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl or a plastic zipper bag combine the shredded coconut, coconut flour, salt, and spices then set aside.
  3. In a large skillet melt coconut oil over medium-high heat
  4. Dip salmon pieces in the egg mixture and then dredge in the coconut and spice mixture.
  5. Cook 2-3 minutes per side in the hot coconut oil.
  6. When the salmon bites are crispy and brown, remove from the oil, drain and serve.

THREE INGREDIENT PALEO CRACKERS-

While many sauces, spreads, and dips are paleo friendly, finding a simple and tasty cracker to fit in with a paleo diet can be tricky. This recipe hits the mark for crunch and taste while being permissible for paleo diets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Combine all ingredients until a dough forms
  3. Place dough on a parchment sheet, top with a second parchment sheet, and roll dough in a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle.
  4. Slide parchment and dough on to a baking sheet and remove top piece of parchment.
  5. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into smaller cracker size squares
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until crackers are golden brown and crunchy.

APPLE CINNAMON CRISPS

These treats are fast and easy to make and are perfect for times when you are craving a sweet and crunchy snack. These are so tasty; you do not need to tell anyone that they are paleo friendly and healthy unless you want to.

Ingredients:

  • 2-apples (any variety)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter to coat the baking sheet

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250
  2. Wash, core, and slice apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  3. Butter the baking sheet
  4. Place apple slices on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, flip and bake 30 minutes or until apple slices are crispy and lightly browned. Remove from pan, cool and enjoy.

Success on the paleo diet is attainable, especially if you add variety to your meals and snacks with fantastic new recipes like these.

Guest Author