Healthy Snacking Done Right
Pure Bar founder Veronica Bosgraaf talks tasty treats
If you want something done right you got to do it yourself.
That’s exactly what Veronica Bosgraaf did after her daughter Anna decided to become a vegetarian at the age of six (major props Anna because we can barely commit to a gym membership). She found that grocery stores were seriously lacking in the healthy snacks department, so she decided to make her own.
And we all know that yummy snacks can never stay a secret for long and eventually Veronica started Pure Bar, a line of organic, vegan, gluten-free bars that are ridiculously delicious. Um, three words: Chocolate Brownie bar.
We got a chance to chat with the fabulous mother of three about healthy eating, and she even let us in on one of her fave fall recipes!
What were your main goals when creating Pure Bar?
With kids every bite counts. They tend to be picky eaters so I wanted to make something that was really nutritionally dense, but delicious enough to keep the attention of my kids so that they would eat more than just one bite.
Did you make the bars specifically for kids?
When I first started I had Anna in mind because she was my vegetarian daughter and I was always looking for ways to feed her good food that she would like. She was in the forefront of mind but as soon as I started to make these bars I realized they’re not a kid bar by any means. They appeal to children but definitely appeal to adults too.
Are there any foods you avoid altogether for your kids?
I try to provide a good example and to have in my home really good choices all the time. I give them the logical reasons behind why I choose what I choose for our family so that they understand it isn’t because mom doesn’t want to get fat or she wants to deprive us of something that tastes good, but she doesn’t eat ice cream because of how it’s processed. That way they understand those reasons behind why we eat the way we do and that I think allows them to make the choices that are their choices.
Do you have any tips for moms on how to bring healthy eating habits into their homes?
I’m writing a cookbook right now that’s explicitly based on the idea of busy moms and how you incorporate good meals into a busy family household. Some of the things I do in my cookbook is I talk about how it’s easier in many cases to make a meal at home than to go out. By the time you get everyone together and you get in the car and you go, even if you’re going to get fast food, you can whip up a very simple nutritious meal with hardly any effort. I think a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of cooking because they think, “Oh, I have to spend hours,” but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
How have you seen children change through healthy eating?
For children especially, they’re smaller. I think because they have smaller little bodies they react more to what is put in them. If you think about it food is our only source of energy and cell repair and growth, so for kids it’s so important for them to have good food to fuel all that.
What are some of your favorite fruits or vegetables for fall?
I’m a huge fan of pumpkin, but not pumpkin in a can. I love to roast pumpkin. As soon as I start to see the little 5 pound or 3 pound baker pumpkins in the store or at the farmers market I snatch them up and make all sorts of things from pumpkin pie to pumpkin soup to pumpkin pasta.
Vegan Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 Butternut squash
1 whole onion chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetarian broth
1 cups water
1 cup vanilla almond milk
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
1. Cut squash in half, clean out the seeds, and roast face down in a pan with 1-inch water at 350 F for 45 minutes or until squash meat is soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Add squash meat, broth, water, almond milk, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf and carefully pour soup into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour back into pan and simmer and play with spices until flavor is where you want it. Serve with baked apples and crusty bread.