Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting Through the Day

I am lucky enough to have a four-day work week, but unlucky enough that on three of those days, I am stuck in my office with no breaks. It makes for a long days. Usually about now (around 2-3pm) I start wanting a snack. I don't know that I am really hungry, but I just need an energy boost and my body wants a diversion from typing and talking. In my past life, I would send Jason to the Circle K across the street to get me a Diet Coke and something Hostess. But alas, my Diet Coke and Hostess days are over. Now I make myself two snacks every morning and bring them with me to work. Sometimes I need one around 10am, and the other is for now. Snacks are a routine for me. I don't at all mind eating the same ones everyday if they are yummy. Here is what I've been hooked on lately....

Honey Crisp Apple Slices Dipped in Cashew Butter:
Cashew butter can be found at any store that has a selection of nut butters. I get the 365 brand from Whole Foods. The price is reasonable and as long as you give it a good stir when you first open it, it doesn't go too stiff in the fridge. I scoop a tablespoon or two into a little re-usable bowl with a lid - I use the ones for baby snacks because they are nice and small. Then I slice up the apple. I put both in the fridge when I get to the office and it is a nice refreshing snack midday.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Squares:
This is a recipe I found in The Whole Deal (Whole Foods free magazine thing). I've played with it a bit, using almonds instead of pecans and adding almond extract. I haven't perfected it yet and the squares are a little dull, but I am posting it here because I think this recipe has promise. Let me know what you do with it that works.

2 cups unsweetened almondmilk*
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats*
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (not whole flax seeds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 (about 1 pound) Pink Lady apples, cored and grated
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a foil- or parchment paper-lined 9-inch square baking pan, press down and smooth out the top and bake until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan; cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition: Per serving (1 square): 140 calories (50 from fat), 6g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 20g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 3g protein

Nuts and Citrus
I love nuts, especially almonds and cashews, so I usually pack a handful of one or the other. To make it a more balanced snack, I 've been adding a mandarin (when my grandfather was giving them to me 20 lbs at a time) or now a clementine. They are both small, easy to peel and have great flavor.

If I have a sweet craving, I love Emerald's Cocoa Roast Almonds. They are a little more processed than plain nuts, but they are still better than the cookie or candy bar alternative for something sweet.  

Lara Bars
My new found love. The peanut butter cookie flavor has three ingredients. Peanuts, Dates, Salt. These are a great, filling snack on the run or to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Last thing....
I love it on everything. Best on pita chips, but almost as good (and totally guilt-free) on raw veggies. I especially like it on sugar snap peas, red bell peppers and celery. I've always bought hummus, but have a great recipe to try at home one of these days. I'll share if it turns out tasty!

Happy snacking friends!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! These sound like great snacks, Amber. I am a snacker and that can be a dangerous thing when you are home all day, too!