5 Easy Back to School Snacking Ideas
 

If you’re anything like us, the phrase “back to school” can be a cause for alarm. Crowded stores, hectic mornings, and unwelcome traffic jams are all common pain points of the back to school season; why complicate something as simple as lunch? With that in mind, the staff here at Best Express Foods put together a list of easy to assemble, fuss-free, snack ideas to help ease the transition from summer to fall. 

1. Aussie Bite Parfait

Our first snack solution is as easy as combining ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. Start with the yogurt of your choice, add your favorite fruits and top with crumbled Aussie Bites. For our version, we chose plain greek yogurt to keep the whole thing from becoming too sweet and include an added boost of protein, but there are endless combinations. Experiment with different yogurts, fruits, and toppings—really, any of our snacks will work!

2. Paleo Bite Berry Bowl

Think of this choice as adding creamer to coffee, not always necessary but often welcomed. Exceedingly simple, yet delicious, adding in some mixed berries to your next serving of Paleo Bites is the only step! Although we think this combination is delightful as is, you can add a drizzle of honey or agave syrup if your heart and sweet tooth so desire.

3. Coconut Bite Cuties

BP09-07-2.png

If you fancy a more tropical snack to munch on, try pairing some coconut bites with tangerines or oranges. Along with getting a good dose of vitamin C, the tangy zest of oranges goes great with our sweet coconut bites. The best part about this option though, is it requires practically no prep work at all—just toss them in your container of choice and go!

4. Nut Butter Paleo Bars

How about some almond butter on your almond-based snack? Individual packets of a variety of nut butters and spreads are both low-cost and readily available, making them a perfect option for sprucing up your snack game. We love almonds here at Best Express Foods, so naturally we picked out a cinnamon-flavored almond butter to go with our Paleo Bites, but hazelnut, peanut, and cashew butters are all excellent choices too. 


5. Sunrise Energy Bars & cold brew coffee

BP09-10.jpg


Sleep deprived, mentally exhausted, barely-hanging-on-to-life-parents: this one's for you. We may have cheated a bit by just throwing coffee at this one, (never a bad move though if you ask us) but our Sunrise Energy Bars and a strong cold brew do go together wonderfully. Because these bars are sweet enough on their own, you can absolutely skip the sugar or syrup in your coffee and make this a low-calorie snack.    

So whether you’re a busy mom in charge of packing the family’s lunches, or a college student in charge of feeding just yourself, we hope you give these snack combinations a try. 

Need some ideas on ways to pack your snacks on the go? Check out our list of recommendations here!

Happy Snacking!

— Best Express Staff

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
Getting to Know Our Snack Bars
 
BP08_Title_002.png

Those who follow our treats closely will know that the Sunrise Energy Bars were the first snack bar Best Express Foods produced. Organic, all natural, and free of artificial sweeteners, these bars were our answer to the dense and sometimes chalky alternatives. But how do they compare to our newest snack addition, the now super popular, Paleo Bars? 

The short answer: 

Our Paleo Bars are grain free, and therefore Paleo certified. (You can read all about Paleo certification in our latest blog post here). Our Sunrise Energy Bars are made using rolled oats, so although they are a great plant-based snack, they just aren’t suited for those following a Paleo diet since oats is a form of grain.

BP08_011.jpg

The in depth analysis: 
The most obvious difference comes in the form of shape and size. As shown above, Sunrise Energy bars are both slightly shorter and wider when compared to Paleo Bars, and this all comes as a result of their respective ingredients. Our Sunrise Energy Bars are made using a rolled oat base, making them lighter, airier, and more suited to a less densely packed shape.  On the other hand, Paleo Bars use an organic almond base, no grains, and are tightly packed to hold all ingredients together. Naturally, they have a denser texture. The result from each is a perfectly imperfect fusion of raw ingredients in bar form. 

And then there is the taste....


If these two snacks were coffee (and by the way, they do go great with a good ol’ cup of joe) think of Paleo Bars as a salted caramel latte and Sunrise Energy Bars a classic cinnamon-topped latte. One is nutty, and salty-sweet; the other is richer, sweeter and slightly spicy. Again, ingredients differ. Dried fruits, including cranberries, apples, and raisins contribute to the sweeter taste of Sunrise Energy Bars. Even with the addition of organic sugar, each Sunrise Energy Bar boasts only 8g of sugars per serving (1 bar)—a testament to the fact that not all sugars are evil, especially if they are obtained from natural sources. Meanwhile, Paleo Bars are sweetened using just organic honey, contain no fruits, and hold just 9g of sugars per serving (1 bar). Not too shabby considering the American Heart Association sets daily sugar intake levels at 37.5g for men and 25g for women.

Take your pick:

BP08_006.jpg

Maybe you are looking for a lower calorie, pre-gym snack, something that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you powered through an afternoon or early morning workout. You don’t care so much about sugars as you do about making sure that what you put in your body is organic, and made of ingredients you can actually pronounce. If this sounds like you, we recommend our Sunrise Energy Bars. They’ll be your loyal gym buddy, help you push through challenging hikes or just be there to grant you the mental clarity to get through the day. 

_DSC0078.jpg

Or perhaps you pay very close attention to ingredients as opposed to counting calories. The shorter an ingredient list, the better; the more certifications a product holds, the better. You often reach for grain-free, plant-based options to go easy on your system—evidence shows that one of the many benefits to a grain-free diet are reduced inflammation and better digestion. To you, diet is everything and although you try and get in as much exercise as you can, it’s comforting to know you have a healthy snack handy during hectic times. Sound like you? If so, we suggest giving our Paleo Bars a try. Now individually wrapped, and pocket-friendly, these little morsels won’t let you down.

So tell us, which of our organic, plant-based bars do you prefer? Pop over to our Instagram and let us know! 


Happy Snacking! 

— Best Express Staff






 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Pack Your Snacks
 

Because it’s not always convenient to lug around a big box of Paleo Bites,
we offer you our favorite, eco-friendly ways to store and pack your snacks.

As much as we love our big whopping snack containers, we also realize the need to downsize and carry handy-sized portions while on the go. So the staff here at Best Express Foods put our heads and snacks together to come up with a list of eco-friendly ways to pack and store your favorite treats. 

Before diving in, we would like to point out that our packaging (which is made from recycled bottles) is recyclable. So whether you choose to decant, freeze, or ration out the contents, we ask that you recycle our packaging and keep the loop going!

_DSC0029_001.jpg

Reusable Silicone Bags

Colorful and portion-control-friendly, reusable plastic and silicone bags are ideal for storing our smaller-sized bites. A single serving of Paleo Bites fits perfectly in pocket-sized pouches, while slightly larger ones that lay flat are great for storing bigger snacks like our Sunrise Energy Bars. For softer treats, like our Aussie Bites and Coconut Bites, we prefer reusable bags with the ability to stand up on their own as these do a better job of keeping more fragile contents safe. 

Cleaning reusable plastic or silicone bags is no more difficult than washing everyday tableware. Simply rinse with soapy water and either wipe or leave propped open to dry. From our use, we saw no staining or discoloration with everyday use.

Because this storage solution is quite small, we found the best use is for daily snacking, especially during school or work hours. By simply packing some Paleo Bites or Bars in one of these pouches, you can just about guarantee yourself a healthier afternoon snack. 

PB007_RE-SHOOTS_003.png

Glass Containers and Jars:

Sturdy, secure, and readily available, glass containers and jars make excellent snack capsules. We dig the classic mason jar for storing Paleo Bites, and making parfaits (check out our Instagram for an awesome recipe!). Standard glass storage containers with snapping lids are perfect for decanting and freezing due to their airtight properties—our snacks can be frozen before the printed best-by date for up to 4 months to guarantee freshness! 

For those with bumpy commutes on crowded public transportation, glass containers are great at keeping delicate snacks from becoming sad, squashy messes. Similarly, smaller mason jars fit right into most vehicle cup holders, making it easier to avoid snacking disasters for those sitting through early morning traffic jams. Enjoy your Aussie Bites and coffee in peace!

Again, cleaning this eco-friendly storage solution is a snap; scrub, rinse, dry and it’s ready to ride another day! 

_DSC0103-2.jpg

Metal Containers:

Another great alternative are stainless steel containers. Big canisters with screw top lids are awesome for decanting snacks and keeping them countertop-handy. Find them in a variety of coatings, colors and sizes to match your taste and you are set. 

Smaller metal canisters and containers are great for camping trips and hikes. Not only are they airtight and extremely easy to clean, but are just about guaranteed not to stain or retain smells.

Compostable Parchment Paper:

Going on a hike? Heading to the gym? Have limited space or just aren’t feeling like carrying anything after consumption? Compostable parchment paper makes great “wrapping paper” for some of our more naked bars. While they are not exactly ideal for our smaller snack lines such as the Aussie Bites and Paleo Bites, you can get creative enough to wrap them with baker’s twine. Beeswax paper also works wonders too!

BP07_RE-SHOOTS_009.jpg

Recyclable Plastic Bags:

For many decades now, we have relied on these small bags for its convenience especially among families. The reason we are including recyclable plastic bags, is because we understand that sometimes it’s okay to use as long as we are using it with the environment in mind. While this approach is not the most eco-friendly, it is up to you to make it so. Our recommendation is to give these bag a few uses before tossing them in the recyclable bin. Plastic will not degrade after washing it in a little bit of soapy lukewarm water — they can last a very long time, but if you are using it with the same snack, simply brushing out the crumbs before repacking is all you need to do. Plastic bags have gotten a bad reputation, but their more eco-friendly variation is a fantastic option for those on a tighter budget. The only downside is these bags don’t offer much protection—they are made of thin, soft plastic after all. However, because of their size, they make a great addition to any daily lunch bag. 


So whether it be a beach trip, road trip, or a simple trip to and from work, we hope you bring our bites and bars with you.

— Best Express Staff





 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
All About Our Organic Paleo Bars + Bites
 
PALEO_BARS+BITES_005.png

Fun fact: these paleo certified bites and bars actually began as a customer request! Now months later, they are an integral part of our core product line. 


Fad diets seem to have the ability to spring up and disappear at breakneck speeds—turn too slow and you’ll miss out. The paleo diet however, has been around for years, and so it wasn’t long before the staff at Best Express Foods began getting requests for paleo-diet-friendly-products. 

For those unfamiliar with the paleolithic diet—also known as the “warrior” or “caveman” diet—it consists of eliminating all processed foods, grains and dairy. This premise is based on the notion that our paleolithic ancestors, who did not have access to modern farming techniques and processing methods, lived generally healthier, disease-free lives as a result of their clean eating habits. 

But behind this romanticized version of our primal ancestors frolicking across sunbathed meadows, robust and immune to the threats of modern day illness, the paleo diet is really just a low-carb, high-protein way of eating. Similar to the popular Atkins and Whole30 diets, paleo meal plans and recipes typically focus on the quality of ingredients (grass-fed, organic, whole foods), and pay little attention to calorie counts—eating clean is what really matters! 

With that in mind, we introduced our line of paleo certified bars and bites in January of this year (2019), but only after thoroughly trying and testing recipe after recipe. We knew that most folks who choose to follow the paleo diet are looking to live a healthier, more wholesome life, and that not everyone is looking to turn themselves into a warrior caveman. So we set out to build a bar made of clean ingredients, that would also follow the paleo diet principles without the gimmicky “warrior” marketing. 

PB_012.jpg

Although the Paleo Bites were introduced first, both our Paleo Bars and Bites are made using the same clean, all-organic ingredients. These include: honey, coconut chips, pumpkin seeds, and whole almonds. Organic sea salt and cinnamon are added to bring out rich flavor, while pumpkin protein helps add a nutritional, plant-based boost. The result is a swalty (salty-sweet) treat that goes well with everything from nut butters to coffee. 

All things considered, the paleo bars and bites were designed to solve the paleo snacking difficulties of those adhering to said diet. This was a primary factor in ensuring we attained paleo certification, a process through which all ingredients used in the making of a product are audited and thoroughly vetted to ensure they adhere to the paleo diet standards. That little certification logo is all a fellow paleo-dieter needs to look for when making a product selection!  

Whether on the paleo diet or not, we believe families deserve to have access to snacks with clean, certified organic ingredients, at a reasonable price. Today, the Paleo Bars and Paleo Bites have become two of our most popular products, making our paleo-loving hearts happy and your paleo-loving tummies even happier.

Peace, Love and Paleo,

— Best Express Staff

 
Carolina Diaz
3 Salsa Recipes to Dip Into This Summer
 
Salsa_Title_001.jpg

In certain ways, chips are solitary creatures, incomplete until their fateful dunk into the right dip. Our line of stone ground tortilla chips, Las Fortunitas, is no exception. These lightly salted beauties, love company and play well with even the thickest of guacamoles. So with the summer barbeque season in full swing, we offer you three companions to the lonely chip—one mild, one medium, and one bold (intensely bold). May your chips find their match.

Let’s dive in.


The Mild

Mango_004.jpg

For our version of the mango salsa, we opted for adding both fresh and roasted jalapeno peppers, to ensure a depth of both flavor and texture. To keep this version mild, remove the seeds and veins from the inside of your jalapenos, or leave them in to enjoy some extra heat.




Ingredients:

  • 2 large mangoes diced

  • 1 jalapeno diced

  • 1 jalapeno roasted and diced

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes diced

  • 2 tbsp red onion finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp cilantro

  • 1 lime juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

This mango salsa requires no more assembly than a quick toss of ingredients, but it can also be easily turned into a thick puree with just a few pulses in a food processor. Look for firm, slightly unripe mangoes if you fancy the traditional pico style variation (for the added tartness and crunch), or opt for ripe mangoes if making the puree. 

Store in airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week.


The Medium

What brings this variation of yet another avocado salsa to life is the serrano pepper. Smaller, but more potent than the popular jalapeno, serrano peppers help add an extra kick of heat to this otherwise tempered salsa. Likewise, tomatillos add a delicious tang not found in red tomatoes, along with providing a beautiful green hue.




Ingredients:

  • 4 roasted serrano peppers

  • 1 roasted jalapeno pepper

  • 2 tomatillos

  • ½ cup cilantro

  • 1 large avocado

  • 2 roasted garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ lime juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Begin by roasting the garlic and peppers until they become soft. Next, boil your tomatillos until they become soft and darken in color—you will know when they are done when froth begins to form near the surface of your pot. 

Add the roasted garlic cloves, peppers, cilantro, olive oil, and drained tomatillos to a food processor or high powered blender, and combine. Next add the juice of half a lime and one large avocado, continue blending (stopping to scrape the sides of your food processor or blender as needed) until a thick paste begins to form. Taste, season, mix and re-taste until your taste buds are content.  

Serve immediately or cover the surface with cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.  


The Bold:

Bold_003.jpg

Habaneros. Roasted habaneros, need we say more? These tiny peppers are known for their intense heat, but underneath that they boast a distinctive flavor. So, we chose to play down the supporting cast of ingredients in order to let these fiery veggies shine through. 




Ingredients:

  • 3 roasted habanero peppers

  • 2 large tomatoes

  • 2 large roasted garlic cloves

  • ½ lime juiced

  • ¼ cup red onion

  • ¼ cup cilantro

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Once the habanero peppers and garlic are roasted, add all ingredients to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until combined. Ensure that no large chunks of tomato or garlic remain. Season to taste—carefully! Like with our other salsas, we suggesting tasting with the help of a few chips since they themselves are lightly salted. 

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week.


Group_Salsas_001.jpg


Remember to pick up a bag of our Las Fortunitas stone ground tortilla chips at your local Costco!

— Best Express Staff

 
Carolina Diaz