If you’re a typical consumer like… most everyone, then you also are intimately familiar with the craving for something to chew that’s, sadly, just lurking in a corner of your awareness, waiting to pounce at any of the myriad opportunities that come along each day (movie, multiplayer gaming session, beer and social chat with friends etc.).
I say sadly, because, well it’s not healthy at all to keep stuffing yourself all day like a “crunchies and munchies” addict. Especially if the snacks in question are toxic, chemically filled, cholesterol raising monsters, which most are. And especially if you live a sedentary life!
But. Assuming you DO work out and try to have a healthy diet, here’s 5 great snacks that anyone can make and that you can have once in a while.
1. The Universal Bond, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Used as cream or an ingredient in complex treats, or in pancakes with banana slices, or simply spread on a slice of bread, chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella) is a versatile helper when you need to appease the Cookie Monster.
An easy to make snack based on the classic puffed-rice squares: stir some of the spread into the marshmallow-cereal mixture, put a melted mix of milk chocolate chips and Nutella on top of the treats and then chop some hazelnuts and sprinkle them over everything. (Recipe from Stephanie Banyas‘ new book, “Treat”).
2. Bread and Cheese Yummy Fast Food
A slice of bread can be a perfect, edible foundation for many culinary applications that don’t require many other ingredients. As is this recipe which relies mainly on broiling some slices of bread that you’ve spread 1 tsp of butter and sprinkled some cinnamon-sugar on until they’re toast, spreading a healthy dose of mascarpone cheese on it, then spreading an even healthier dose of grape mixture. This you make by baking with oil some grapes in the pan (along with thyme sprigs, salt, and black pepper) until they burst from the heat and the juice seeps out creating a great mixture to put on the cheese, as it will complement the taste nicely.
3. Lemon Bars
If you like your sweets like you like your Western heroes, firm and crusty at the exterior but with a sweet and mellow core, then you should go for making lemon bars. Especially since they’re so easy to make and can be served either right out of the fridge or at room temperature. The main things you need are flour, sugar, eggs, butter and lemon juice and a some time. You make the crust out of mixing the butter, flour, sugar and some salt and then pressing that mixture into the bottom of a baking pan and … well, baking it. You make the filling from sugar, flour, cornstarch, eggs and lemon juice.
4. Salsa Sauce And Avocado
Salsa sauce is real easy to make and it’s a great complement for many delicious Mexican dishes. However, you don’t need to put on your sombrero and go all-out Mexican cHef(e) to enjoy it. You can simply pair it with avocado halves for a refreshing natural snack. All you need to do is cook tomatillos, onion and garlic in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until heavily charred on both sides, about 15 minutes. Then peel garlic and transfer to a food processor with other roasted vegetables, chipotles, lime juice and salt, pulsing until they combine, adding seasoning to taste. Spoon the salsa over the avocado halves. This avocado solution also comes in handy if you happen to have left-over salsa sauce from a party or gathering and don’t know what to do with it. No point in letting it go to waste when you can give it new life and purpose.
5. Crunchy Party Mix
A great recipe you can use at parties when you want to put a mix on the table with a little bit more personality is to put together, in a small bowl, 3 tsp of water, chili powder, onion powder, Worcestershire, salt, honey and garlic powder that you will then pour, in a large bowl, over a mix of pretzels, peanuts, cereal, wasabi peas (optional) and popcorn. Stirring once in a while, bake everything in the oven using a large baking sheet until the mixture is dry.