Snacks are probably my favorite type of “meal,” since they are a happy quick little bite to carry me through the day. Eating the right type of snack though is actually much more important than you think. This decision can be the difference between a boost of energy or an instant crash. I know, really serious here! The most important part about composing a snack is combining complex carbohydrates, protein and fat. Most people will reach for vending food items or packaged crackers but these simple carbohydrates will actually spike your blood sugar causing you to inevitably crash. What that means is that you will be tired, sluggish and irritable. Therefore, I have put together a mix of my favorite snacks that I think will give you just what you need to not only feel satisfied, but also happy and energized. Ever wonder what are the best snacks? Now here is my list…
1. Avocado Stuffed with Salsa
Simply cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Then pick your favorite salsa and fill it up. You might even want to add a little Pink Salt, fresh cilantro and lime juice for a little extra pizzaz.
2. Banana and Raw Nut Butter
This is a classic snack that always is super tasty but I am going to modify it by not using Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter has a risk of being contaminated with a mycotoxin called Alfatoxin, which is highly toxic and one of the most carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances known. Plus, did you know that most of the conventional brands of Peanut Butter such as Jif and Skippy have Trans Fats? Yep, they are labeled as hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oil. These Trans Fats are actually banned in New York City and Denmark due to their direct link to heart disease and obesity. So what I like to use as a substitute is one of the following:
– Raw Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Walnut Butter, Macadamia Nut Butter or Pecan Butter. My favorite brand is Artisana.
Yep, you never thought you could make butter out of pecans but I will tell you…. Heaven. You definitely will not miss the peanuts. Not to mention, the reason why RAW butter is so important is because when you heat oils, like the oils in nuts, it actually damages (oxidizes) them. The damage to the oils can actually cause them to be harmful to the body, because they create “free radicals.” Free radicals are directly related to increased risk of chronic disease and aging. So, the point is.. GO RAW on the butter.
3. Coconut Yogurt and Fresh Berries
Since I am not a fan of dairy, I always go for the coconut yogurt. It has the same texture but much more flavor! Excellent when paired with fresh berries and even some nuts.
4. Roasted Sweet Potato Chips
Now these are super easy to make. Take one yam or sweet potato and slice into thin circular pieces. Lightly coat them in olive oil and place them on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt and rosemary. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Take them out, let them cool and enjoy!
5. Almond Kale Smoothie
This is the best happy mood maker ever! Check out the Almond Kale Smoothie here! Blend, Drink, Smile, Love, Energy, Happy! This is my secret full-proof happy juice… 100% guaranteed.
6. Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Toast the raw sunflower seeds in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt, coconut sugar and coconut oil. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until seeds are coated. Remove from heat and place in a mason jar to store.
7. Sunflower Seeds and Avocado Sprouted Toast
Take a sprouted bread like and toast. Mash up 1/3 avocado with a fork. Place on toast and sprinkle with unheated sea salt. Top with sprouted sunflower seeds. Lick your lips and bite in! No convincing necessary.
8. Toasted Chickpeas
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take a can of chickpeas (or cooked) and drain. Then rinse the chickpeas and dry them. Pour the chickpeas onto a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Check after five minutes to make sure they are not burning. In a bowl combine olive oil, sea salt, rosemary, powdered garlic and a pinch of coconut sugar. Remove chickpeas from oven and toss in the bowl with the olive oil mixture. Then place the chickpeas back on the baking sheet and roast for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!
9. Goji Berries, Raw Walnuts, Pine Nuts and Longan Berries (Hermit’s Mix)
This super food mix is one of the best on the market. The tastiest, juiciest goji berries, peeled raw walnuts (and no, I do not think you know how good a walnut truly is until you have tasted these), raw pine nuts.. yes! and longan berries. Longan what? Longan berries are from Southeast Asia, super sweet and an excellent blood tonic. This blend has been perfectly combined to support Jing, Qi and Shen, making it a super anti-aging formula. Pretty much my secret snack splurge!
10. Quinoa Burger
This is one of my favorite snacks either from a left over dinner or from a batch made for the week. Add either ketchup, bbq sauce, chutney, or any other topping to add a little extra flavor. Great served cold and on the run. By the way, each burger is only about 100 calories.. yipee! Check out the recipe here.
11. Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Juice, Salt and Tahini
Okay, I know it sounds boring and uninteresting, but seriously, you have not given broccoli a real chance if you haven’t eaten it with this tahini dressing mix. Yep, way better than mayonnaise and way healthier! Did I mention broccoli is great for protecting against cancer?
Rinse a head of broccoli and cut off the stem. Then cut the head of the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Bring 3/4 to 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan with a steamer. (Note that is you don’t have a steamer, you can simply put the broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water.) Add the broccoli to the steamer and cover; reduce heat to medium and let cook for 5-6 minutes. Poke with a fork to make sure it is tender. Remove from water and place in a dish. In a separate bowl, mix 2 tbs of tahini with 1/2 tbs lemon juice, 1 tsp brown rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Pour over broccoli and serve.
12. Hard Boiled Eggs with Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt and Olive Oil
Place eggs in boiling water with about 1 inch above the egg. Let them boil for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place in a colander. Rinse with cold water for 1 minute. Peel eggs and slice in 4 pieces. Top each piece with sea salt, nutritional yeast and a bit of olive oil.
13. Hummus and Raw Vegetables
Hummus and vegetables is a super classic snack but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? If you are feeling ambitious, feel free to make the hummus homemade, but if not it is available at almost all markets. You can even take the store bought kind and jazz it up a bit by placing it in a blender and adding roasted garlic and roasted red peppers….. ohhhh so good!
14. Mary’s Gone Crackers and Farmer’s Market Golden Raisins
I am absolutely positively in LOVE with these crackers. I do not know what it is about them that makes my heart flutter but its inevitable. They are organic, Non GMO, vegan, gluten-free and made with brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and sesame seeds. Only 130 calories for 13 crackers, great bang for your buck. I mix these with sun dried golden raisins from the farmers market to make the perfect balance in taste.
15. Homemade Sundried Tomatoes
This is a great snack to bring to work that is totally out of the box. Roasted sun dried tomatoes get a super sweet taste to them that is always really refreshing but satisfying. This is a great way to get those vegetables in throughout the day that is simple and easy. Just make a batch for the week and you can eat them as a snack or even use them in wraps, to make pasta sauce or to toss in salads.
Preheat the oven to 130-200 degrees. Slice organic tomatoes lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and basil. Place in oven and cook for 6 to 12 hours, or until they are shriveled. If you are using cherry tomatoes they typically only take 4-5 hours. * Feel free to dry in a dehydrator instead.