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Sep 022012
 September 2, 2012  Posted by  Food, Recipes
make your own healthy fruit and nut bars

Packing lunch boxes with healthy snacks can be a challenge. But tempting as it may be to just toss in a store-bought dessert, a bag of supermarket chips or a commercially-made fruit and nut bar, there are healthy alternatives that can be made at home.

Here are few recipes for delicious healthy snacks provided by some of America’s leading destination spas.

These delicious fruit and nut bars from the Canyon Ranch Spa in Arizona can be stored wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Canyon Ranch Fruit & Nut Bars

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup honey
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced dates, about 10 medium
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 x 1/2-inch baking sheet with canola oil. Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast lightly for 5 minutes.
2. Warm honey in microwave or over low heat on stovetop to the consistency of a thin
3. Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Chop briefly. Add oats, dried cranberries, dried apples, raisins, dates and cinnamon. Process briefly until all ingredients are chopped. While machine is running, drizzle in warm honey until mixture binds.
4. Lightly spray baking sheet (same one used for nuts) with canola oil. Press mixture into baking sheet. Lightly spray parchment paper with canola oil. Using a rolling pin, roll (over parchment) until mixture is evenly flat on top. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Cut into 16 bars.

From The Oaks at Ojai comes this quick-and-easy alternative to supermarket chips-in-a-bag.

Parmesan Pita Crisps

6 mini whole wheat pits, 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cut pitas into quarters and split. Lay cut pitas rough side up on a cookie sheet, close together. Sprinkle cheese over pita pieces and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes to brown and crisp. Serve as a bread or cracker with soup or salad.

This recipe for a healthy lunch box dessert comes from the Kerr House Spa in Grand Rapids.

Rhubarb Crunch

1 cup sifted flour
¾ cup oatmeal
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup water
1 cup Florida Crystals
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, sweetener, butter, and cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Press half of crumbs into 9 inch baking pan. Cover with rhubarb. Combine water, crystals, cornstarch, and vanilla. Cook until thick and clear. Pour over rhubarb, top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

If you like these recipes, you might enjoy the recipe for a grownup treat from the Cliff House Spa: Chilled Maine Blueberry Champagne Bisque.





Lillian Africano

Lilllian Africano is the editor-in-chief of, cruise editor at JAX FAX, senior editor at Elegant Accents and executive editor at She also blogs on and She formerly served as a freelance editor and writer at AOL Travel and is the author of 16 books, including three best-selling novels (under the pseudonym “Jessica March”). She co-authored the 9th edition of Off the Beaten Track Guide to New York, as well as You Know You’re in New Jersey When… and two editions of The Insiders Guide to the Jersey Shore. Lillian is president-elect of the Society of American Travel Writers and past president of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. Find her on Google +.

  2 Responses to “Spa recipes for healthy lunch box snacks”

  1. These recipes look pretty delicious and do-able as lunchbox treats, but what are Florida Crystals (in the Rhubarb Crunch recipe)?

  2. They are pure, unadulterated sugar crystals. You can use refined sugar, I’m sure, but if you are able to use something better, why not?

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