When you have a hankering for a crunchy, savory, satisfying snack refrain from hitting up the vending machine or even worse…a fast food drive thru. When it comes to snacking, if that’s your jam, have food on hand that’s fresh and ready to go. It’s when we don’t have the right foods on hand that we reach for the easy, salty, greasy chip bag. I’ll admit it, I am guilty of it myself. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice chip every now and then, but making a habit of it can turn you into a chip monster. To help you in your snacking endeavors, here are a few of my favorite go-tos. Some are easy to make in a jiff, others need a little preparation ahead of time, so keep that in mind. Carving out 30 or so minutes to have these beauties on hand for the week will make a world of difference. You will notice you gravitate toward them when they’re conveniently prepared and as a result of snacking smarter you’ll better, and so the cycle continues…
NUT BUTTER + APPLE RICE CAKE
vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
recipe by Jentry Lee Hull
- 1 rice cake (Lundberg Family Farms)
- 1/2 Tbsp. nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed, etc)
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. hemp hearts
- Remove rice cake from packaging and spread on peanut butter. Top with sliced apples and hemp hearts. Enjoy!
CLASSIC GREEK HUMMUS
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Recipe by Jentry Lee Hull
- 3 cups (2, 15oz. cans) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (reserve 1 Tbsp. for garnish)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/3 to ½ cup tahini
- Juice from 2 large lemons (about ½ cup)
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. pink salt, or to taste
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. water, to thin
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts, for garnish
- sweet paprika, for garnish
- flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
- In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, coriander, and salt. Blend until until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.
- Once mixture is well blended, slowly drizzle in olive oil (optional) and water until desired texture is reached.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Transfer hummus into serving bowl or airtight container. Top with pine nuts, pinch of paprika, parsley and olive oil.
- Serve chilled. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
Recipe by Jentry LeeHull
vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Yields ~ 12 bars
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw or roasted, unsalted nuts (almonds or peanuts)
- 1 Tbsp. chai seeds
- 1/4 tsp. pink salt
- 1/4 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates (for date paste – see directions below)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 Tbsp. liquid sweetener (agave or maple syrup), optional
- Extras: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, raisins, goji berries, coconut, etc.
For Date Paste: By Whole Foods Explorer
- Remove the stems and seeds from the dates and place in a bowl. Cover the dates with enough water to just cover the dates and let soak for about an hour.
- After an hour, drain the dates and reserve the soaking liquid.
- Place the dates in a blender, preferably a smaller blender jar for this amount. Process the dates, adding the soaking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth, but still thick. This will require 1/4 to 1/2 cup of soaking liquid depending on the type of dates, freshness of the dates and the length of time they soaked.
For Granola Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two pans with parchment paper:
- One baking sheet for oats.
- One baking pan (a bread pan for thicker bars or a larger pan for thinner bars) for granola bar mixture.
- Pour oats into lined baking sheet. Bake for ~10 minutes until lightly toasted.
- In an oven-safe, glass measuring cup (Pyrex) combine nut butter and coconut oil. Place in the oven for a couple minutes until oil melts and nut butter becomes soft.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine melted oil/nut butter mixture, date paste, vanilla extract, and liquid sweetener (optional).
- In a separate bowl, combine toasted rolled oats, nuts, chia seeds, and pink salt. Then, add to liquid mixture in large bowl.
- Fold in extras.
- Test mixture to be sure it’s sticky. If too dry, add additional nut butter and/or liquid sweetener.
- Pour granola bar mixture into the second lined baking dish and place another piece of parchment paper on top. Smooth and spread mixture until evenly pressed into the pan.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (to harden) then cut into even-sized bars.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- I haven’t tried freezing these, but they’d probably hold up well in the freezer for at least a month.