Healthy Hostel Meals Part 5- My Favourite Healthy Costa Rican Snacks

I LOVE grocery stores, especially grocery stores in other countries.

Whenever we are in a new town, and I find a new grocery store, I am in heaven. I will spend so much time wandering down the aisles, looking at all the products, reading ingredients, and filling up my basket with all sorts of new things.

As a result of all this “research”, I have found a bunch of awesome healthy snacks that I’ve never seen at home.

Here are a couple of my favourite go to snacks here in Costa Rica:

Can't begin to express my love for these.

Can’t begin to express my love for these.

Suspiros: These calorie free meringues are AMAZEBALLS! Every year at Christmas, I make tons of cookies full of butter and sugar for Shaun, and I make Meringues made with Stevia for myself. They are guilt free, and still feel like a treat.

Well the lovely people at SweetWell (which is actually a Belgium company) sell a pre-packaged version of my Christmas treat. They come in Vanilla, Mint and Strawberry, and are a perfect sweet treat for dessert.

I can guarantee I’ll be lugging some of these home with me…although I’ll be lucky if they make it through the plane ride!

Veggie time!

Veggie time!

Natural Sins Beet Chips: There are some travel days where getting my servings of vegetables in can be a challenge. You can’t exactly whip up a salad when you are on an all day shuttle. On days like this, these beet chips have been a saving grace.

Unlike lots of the vegetable based chips you find at home, these ones are totally clean. The ingredients are just beets!

Natural sins also sells dehydrated pineapple,mango, orange and coconut, but I’ve steered clear of those, as I’m sure I would just eat the whole pack in one sitting!

Guanabana, you're my hero

Guanabana, you’re my hero

Pops GuanaBana Light Yogurt: Oh Guanabana, how I love thee. This yogurt is hard to find, so when I track it down, I always pick up a couple. Pops is a big ice cream chain here in Costa Rica, and although they make some sinfully good ice cream, they also have a great line of lighter products as well.

This yogurt has a rice tangy taste, with less guilt then the non-light version. I usually split the container in two and add it to my oatmeal in the morning. I know I’m going to miss this little beauties when I get home!


pipa on beach with straw

Pipas: Oh my Beloved Pipas, what am I going to do without you.Over the past few weeks, I’ve developed a plan of attack. I’m having a pipa every day until I leave. My thought process is that I will overdose on these awesome budget friendly, healthy snacks, so that by the time I leave, I won’t crave them anymore.

That being said, I can totally see myself getting home and buying whole coconuts in an attempt to recreate the magic. I wonder if Shaun will invest in the machete necessary to open them for me??


So there you have it, my favourite healthy snacks here in Costa Rica. What are you go to healthy travel snacks?

For more Healthy Travel ideas, check out my Healthy Hostel Life Page!

Pura Vida!


Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Una Pipa Porfavor

 Before I start today, I wanted to let everyone know that I had the opportunity to guest post over at “Diana’s Costa Rica Blog”. Diana, and I have so much in common, it’s pretty amazing. Check out my contribution at:…On with the show!


So I know coconut water is a “thing” back home.

I have read all about it. You know, electrolytes, post-workout charge up, hot yoga beverage of choice, magical elixir etc…I get it, but I just can’t do it.

Any time that I’ve thought about jumping on the band wagon, I’ve bought a little tetra pack, taken a swig, and then thrown it out. To me, it tastes like garbage swamp water.

That is, until I discovered the magic that is fresh coconuts on the beaches of Costa Rica.

I feel like I have the process of buying a “pipa” down to an art form. Since it’s becoming pretty much a daily occurrence for me, I figured I would share it with you guys.

Mom and I enjoying some Pipa's on Tamarindo beach

Mom and I enjoying some Pipa’s on Tamarindo beach

In most towns you can find locals selling coconuts on the beach, but they are not all created equal. In Tamarindo for instance, most of the pipa sellers carry pre-shucked coconuts around in buckets of water. These coconuts are fine, but I find they don’t taste as fresh, and are often warm from being lugged around the beach all day.

To really get a delicious pipa experience, you want to look for a vendor who is selling the whole coconuts, the ones that still have their green outer shell on them. I’ve found the best ones are often sold out of the back of pick up trucks, and are kept in coolers of ice. If you find one of these, you are in business.

Carlo works his magic

Carlo works his magic

So, you have located a pipa truck…now what? Well, the magic words “Una pipa, porfavor” will get you what you need. Get your 500 colones ($1), ready, and watch the magic unfold.

In these photos Carlo, my favourite Pipa seller in Playa Coco, brandished a gigantic machete, and carefully lopped off the top of the coconut. He worked fast, and managed to make a small little hole in the top without losing a drop of the delicious coconut water inside. It is an impressive sight to watch.



Just like that you have some delicious coconut water to enjoy. It tastes so fresh, and crisp compared to what you buy back home. It’s the perfect perk up after a long afternoon in the sun. I always start by eating the little bit of coconut meat on the “lid” of the coconut, and then dive into the water.

So at this point, sit back, relax, and enjoy, but don’t go far! There is more fun to be had!

Lots of people will just throw the coconut out once they’ve finished the water, but if you are looking for a little snack, and some healthy fats, the coconut meat is a great snack.

The machete is wielded once again.

The machete is wielded once again.

Head back to your pipa vendor, and he/she will help you out!

First they cut one of the hard ends off. This will become the spoon. Then they give the centre of the coconut one big schwack with their machete. Using a baton, they continue to hit the blade until it breaks the coconut in half. It is a violent process, and an impressive feat.

Perfect afternoon snack!

Perfect afternoon snack!

Using the little spoon they created at the start, they scrape the meat loose from both sides of your coconut, and pour it all into one of the halves.

And just like that, you have a beautiful little treat for your afternoon!

Pipa’s are one of the many things I have found during my travels that feel like a treat, but still keep me healthy. And at $1 a pop, you just can’t go wrong! Just remember, they will always taste best when consumed while enjoying the view of the beach!

beach view!

beach view!

Do you like coconut water? Have you tried fresh coconut?

Pura Vida!


Follow me on Twitter: @caketress