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Friday, January 23, 2015

Superbowl Snacks for Healthier Life Hacks

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. For permissions or to inquire about advertising on one or more Groene blogs email

By adding healthful, homemade popcorn to small amounts of commercial products you save money, save time and reduce per-portion content of chemicals, salt and sugar.

    Start with tubs and tubs of popcorn, then use your imagination to turn them into healthful gourmet snacks. Here’s how:
8 cups popped corn (“lite” or air-popped with no salt or oil)
Spray lightly with butter flavor spray. This is important to make dry ingredients stick to the popcorn.

Shake 8 cups popcorn (except where indicated) with other ingredients in a clean bag and pour into a bowl.

Apple Pie Gorp, add 1/4 cup brown sugar, pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
Asian Persuasian Gorp:  to each 8 cups popcorn add one cup sesame snack and one cup crisp Chinese noodles
Butterscotch Gorp: toss 16 cups popcorn with 1 packet dry butterscotch pudding mix, 1 cup butterscotch chips and 1 cup pecan halves
Cheesy Corn Gorp: mix popcorn half and half with corn curls to get all the taste with half the salt and chemicals
Chocolate Lover’s Gorp: add 1/4 cup dry chocolate fudge pudding mix and ½ cup large chocolate chips. Toss and serve.
Coco Loco Gorp: add ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut and 1 cup dried pineapple bits   
Hot ‘n Spicy Gorp: 1 cup wasabi peas, 1 teaspoon each ground ginger, garlic salt, onion salt
Mexipalooza Gorp: 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon each dried cilantro and cumin
Peanuttiest Gorp: add 2 cups dry-toasted peanuts and 1 cup cut-up Reese’s peanut butter cups
Range Rider Ranch Gorp: toss with 3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
Sweet Lemon Gorp: toss 12 cups popcorn with 1 package dry lemon gelatin dessert mix and ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
Vanilla Vampire Gorp: Toss popcorn with 1/4 cup dry instant French vanilla pudding mix,  1 cup white chocolate chips and ½ cup cinnamon redhots candies

See Janet Groene's shortcut recipes for camping and boating at

Friday, January 9, 2015

Homemade Snacks for the Trail or Tailgate

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image courtesy Guru Sandals

No matter where your travels take you there is always room in a pocket or backpack for a healthy snack like this one.

Parmesan Pecan Gorp
    Pecan meal is very finely ground pecans. It’s easy to add to any trail mix and it also goes great in pancake batter, muffins or quick breads. Don’t be tempted to use more than 2 drops of liquid smoke. It's potent.

2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 drops liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 cups unsweetened round oat cereal
½ cup pecan meal
    Heat the oven or toaster oven to 150 degrees. Put pecan halves in a plastic bag. Mix oil
and smoke. Add to the bag, with salt. Close and gently shake bag to coat pecans. Spread pecans in a pan lined with nonstick aluminum foil. Bake 10 minutes, stir and sprinkle with Parmesan.Return to the oven for another 4 or 5 minutes. Cool completely and put in a bag with the cereal and pecan meal. Shake gently to mix well. Pack by the cup or half cup. Makes 16 half cup servings.

Check out Janet Groene's camping recipes.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Snack Recipes for People with Pockets and Packs

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about rates for advertising or for
sponsoring a post email

 image copyright janet groene

 Your family will eat healthier at the beach, in the woods, on a plane or anywhere when you make a healthful gorp at home and package it for portion control.

 Dessert Gorp
    Here is one for your sweet tooth. It’s a perfect “talking and walking” dessert to take along on a fitness walk after a big meal.

9 cups mixed square cereals, regular or gluten-free
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups honey-roasted whole almonds
     Put cereal and nuts in a large, buttered or sprayed, microwave-safe dish. Bring sugar, butter and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Boil 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda and corn syrup. Drizzle over cereal and microwave a total of 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir occasionally as it cools. When it’s completely cool package by the cupful. Makes 11 cups.

For ten years, Janet Groene had no kitchen and she was also off grid for months at a time. She developed her recipes while living on a boat with no oven nor refrigeration and on board a camper with miniature galley and limited water.  See her shortcut recipes for camping here and boating here.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Homemade Snacks Smack of Good Nutrition

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 Save money, eat healthier at the beach when you make snacks at home, know what is in them and substitute where necessary.

 photo copyright janet groene

Rice Nuggets Gorp
    If you need to make a gluten-free gorp, read labels to make sure all ingredients are gluten-free.

1 cup creamy peanut butter (preferably organic, all natural)
1 stick butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup golden raisins
    In a large stock pot, melt peanut butter with butter and honey and stir in cinnamon. When mixture is smooth, fold in cereal and raisins. With wet hands shape the mix into balls or patties. Set aside on waxed paper or parchment to dry, then wrap individually.
    Cook’s note: to add even more protein, add a cup of chopped nuts with the raisins.  

See Janet Groene's recipes for camping and RV travel at
Groene, who lived 10 years full-time on the go by boat or camper, presents boat galley recipes at

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Popcorn Balls Make the Perfect Christmas Bells

image courtesy Orville Redenbacher

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To ask about sponsoring a post or placing an ad

Jingle Bells Cornballs
    You’ll need a large bowl to mix this big batch of popcorn, or just use a clean dishpan. If you spray the bowl and spatula with nonstick spray, mixing and cleanup with be easier.   If you use microwave popcorn, get the lightest possible (preferably with no salt or oil at all).
16 cups plain popcorn
2 cups dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups small green jelly beans    
    Cool popcorn and remove any un-popped kernels. Put popcorn and dried cranberries in a large bowl or pan and toss gently to mix.  Sprinkle with salt. Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil and keep boiling until it reaches 255 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and vanilla. Drizzle hot syrup over popcorn mixture, tossing constantly with a sprayed spatula to mix well. When syrup is completely mixed in, stir in green candy bits.
    When popcorn mixture is still warm but is cool enough to handle, use buttered hands to
form baseball-size balls. Cool completely and wrap individually in plastic. Makes 20 popcorn balls. On the trail, serve as a snack or dessert.

See Janet Groene’s recipes for camping and RV here and her recipes for the boat galley here.