A big part of my preparations for the busy fall/winter entertaining season always includes stocking my pantry with snacks. And not just our standard go-to choices, but also nut-free snacks that are safe for school, a bigger selection of kid-friendly snacks for playdates, and a few more sophisticated snacks for grownups to enjoy on game days and holidays.
So you can imagine how happy I am to welcome our sponsor NatureBox, which makes amazing snacks that I’ve loved for a while now, all delivered to your door every month.
(Liz swears by their Chipotle Maple Almonds. Yum.)
For a long time, I thought that NatureBox was mostly basic nut mixes and kid snacks but when I took a deeper look I found a huge selection of over 100 snacks with nut-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO options. They also offer snacks with serious grownup appeal; instead of mere cashews, think Sriracha Roasted Cashews. And while I haven’t had the chance to try every single option yet — because so many choices! — I’ve put together some of my very favorites to get you started on putting together your own snack box.
They’re all snacks I’ve either purchased and love, or are flavor combos that look too good to pass up and I’m sure I’ll be ordering soon.
I’ve also got you covered with some easy serving suggestions and snack ideas, so you can always be prepared to feed everyone in your life who needs feeding. And with holidays here before you know it, that’s probably a whole lot of people.
Praline Pumpkin Seeds
So far, the Praline Pumpkin Seeds are our family’s absolute favorite NatureBox snack. Because they are seeds, this tasty treat is safe for nut-free classrooms. (Just know that the snacks are processed and packed in a facility that handles tree nuts, peanuts, milk, wheat, egg, and soy.) In addition to packing them in my kids’ lunch boxes, I’ve also been using them to spice up my own, tossed together cocktail nut mix (bottom). You know all those amazing holiday spiced nut recipes? Well yes, they can be amazing. But I like the idea of saving the time and just throwing these into a bowl with salted almonds and dried cranberries and setting them on the coffee table for your guests. Boom.
Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops
I know that everyone is all pumpkin spice in the fall, but for me it’s all about salted caramel. These Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops may not be the healthiest of all the NatureBox snacks, but they sure are a treat, and I feel a bit better eating them than the salted caramel candy that I might grab to get my fix if these weren’t around. Though these aren’t an every day treat in my house, the holidays are coming up and, “every day treat” takes on a kind of different meaning then.
P.S. If you’re all like whatever salted caramel, where’s my pumpkin spice, yo, NatureBox has you covered. I see that for a limited time, they are offering Pumpkin Spice Nom Noms, a baked treat that looks pretty awesome.
Roasted Kettle Kernels
My kids and I are suckers for sweet and salty snacks and NatureBox’s Roasted Kettle Kernels satisfy big time. Made with whole kernels non-GMO corn, you cannot go wrong with this all-purpose snack that I always keep on hand for school lunches (pictured) and playdates. If you love the sound of this and are comfortable throwing nuts in the mix too, you should also check out Sweet Kettle Crunch, which includes peanuts and will rock your salty-sweet world.
Mini Belgian Waffles
These were the very first NatureBox snack that I ever dropped into my cart because, well, they are so cute. Turns out it was a great choice. The bite-sized Mini Belgian Waffles and Mini Cocoa Belgian Waffles (above) are just right for a special lunch box treat, and all it takes is one! I have to admit, though, my preference is to serve them for dessert, wedged into a scoop of a really good ice cream. And here’s a hint, parents: My boys tend to complain that my weekday scoops “are too small,” but I haven’t heard a peep about that since topping them with Mini Belgian Waffles.
Sriracha Roasted Cashews
The only reason I haven’t yet tried Sriracha Roasted Cashews is because my kids aren’t so into spicy, but I plan on grabbing them for holiday entertaining. I bet these will be perfect with nothing more than a couple of beers while watching the Brooklyn Nets start their season (yes, I am loyal) or just add them to a cheese plate when guests come over. Check out our tips on how to make a fancy cheese plate with not-so-fancy supermarket ingredients and tell me these spicy nuts wouldn’t be the perfect addition to make it all come together.
Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn
I bet the balance between spicy jalapeño and tangy cheddar will be a hit with my one son who’s open to spicier foods (if not yet Sriracha), but if not, I’m fully prepared to enjoy Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn with the grownups. This sounds so perfect for when we’ve got the kids in bed and we’re binge-watching totally inappropriate-for-kids TV series, or playing games with friends. I think pairing them with Apple Cider Margaritas would be a fabulously impressive foodie combo, without a whole lot of effort at all.
Asiago and Cheddar Cheese Crisps
Another pro entertaining tip: I always — always — have delicious crackers on hand for guests, especially during the holiday season. Asiago and Cheddar Cheese Crisps have all of the great taste of high-end crackers, but are priced like everything else on NatureBox. I can’t wait to put these out with my favorite dry cured salami and olives—it’s a perfect cocktail appetizer spread! And they’re lighter than cheese straws which can be a little unwieldy.
Cranberry Pepita Crisps
Cheese crackers are a must-have because, well, cheese. But then I also want to have a cracker around that can pair with cheese. These Cranberry Pepita Crisps look sensational. Flavored with crunchy pumpkin seeds, sweet dried cranberries, and a touch of rosemary flavor, it’s a really sophisticated cracker choice to serve with blue cheese, brie, or even just a sharp cheddar right from the supermarket.
Oh, and lest you think this one is just for the grownups? How cute is this serving suggestion, featuring Cranberry Pepita Crisps, Blueberry Greek Yogurt Covered Pretzels for reindeer antlers, and a few orange slices. Wholesome and very very adorable.
Apple Cinnamon Crunch
Another sweet-salty combo that looks like it could be a fixture in our home is Apple Cinnamon Crunch, which sounds like the perfect flavor for fall. I like that the blend of apple bits, peanuts, and almonds makes this a relatively healthy but still satisfying snack that can keep you going; one serving has 5 grams of protein. In fact, it may even be the NatureBox snack that remains in my bag permanently, awaiting that after-school dip we all seem to experience around 4 PM. (Not just us, right?)
Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites
When entertaining, the last thing that I want to do after cooking a big dinner is bake a dessert. That’s where these Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites come in. Keep a bag of these tasty little sweets which lets you serve guests an elegant and very European dessert (fancy!) of cookies and coffee, maybe with a little store-bought gelato on the side. They’re just the right amount sweet without diving into a big, indulgent dessert, and even better, these cookies are the perfect bite size for a coffee break or a little afternoon after-school pick-me-up. Maybe even more for me than my kids.
Of course these are just a few of my own favorites. No doubt when you check out the site there will be something that calls your name right away. It’s all just that good.
Thanks to our fantastic sponsor NatureBox for making snacking so easy at school, in the playground, at home, and even at our parties! Visit the NatureBox site to learn more about their subscription boxes and prices – they suggest you start with a monthly delivery of five snacks, but hey, we could all probably do twenty around here.