• Pat Birnie

Snacks that satisfy!

Updated: Jun 2


These are the snacks I have on hand today - clockwise from top left: Maple sweetened banana muffin, Avocado fudge, Oatmeal protein bars, Roasted chickpeas. I am well prepared I'd say!


Have you opted in to my "Be Inspired, Be Healthy" series yet? If not, I would be delighted if you would take a few minutes to check it out. My goal is to provide a series of tips - many of them are 'micro-habits' that don't take much time, but perhaps you need to focus on cementing the habit. Others take a bit more time, but the payoff will be immense and long-lasting. As a very active, very healthy hockey-playing, marathon-running grandma of 8 I have convinced myself that some of my choices are worth sharing! Here's a link to the opt-in if you want to check it out.


Food & nutrition are an important component of health. No one will argue that what we put into our body plays a part in how we feel, how our digestive system performs, often how we sleep and in the long run may truly impact our health. One of my challenges is that I am a 'recovering sugar-addict'. I also have a great appetite and love food. It has been important strategy that I have a repertoire of quick, tasty and healthy recipes for quick snacks. I honestly have 2 - 3 of these in my freezer at all times. I want to share a few of my absolute faves here. (Note: I am pretty good at cooking and baking but I don't develop my own recipes. I may tweak them here & there but absolutely don't take credit for their creation. I will give credit where possible).


  1. Crazy Good Coconut Oil Chocolate Bark (Oh She Glows)

So yummy, takes minutes to make & freezes beautifully. I'll link you right to the recipe here. My 'tweaks'...it calls for hazelnuts, almonds & coconut. I have made SO many variations - walnuts, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pecans...whatever I have on hand. Just keep the quantities close!


2. Oatmeal Protein Bars are great when you need a mid-afternoon snack with a protein boost to keep your energy up.

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats (Gluten-Free if desired)

1 cup almond butter

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

2/3 cup Vanilla Nutrimeal protein powder

½ cup honey

3/4 cup applesauce

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free) or carob chips etc.

Cranberries (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of salt


Roast the oats in the oven for 15-20 minutes @ 350F.


Let them cool and then in a mixer combine all of the ingredients. This makes a thick “dough” and I used my dough hook to mix it thoroughly. Spread the dough in a greased 9X13 pan and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Be sure to use a good quality protein powder for best results. This is my product of choice, or I use Nutrimeal Free for a plant based, dairy free option.


3. Avocado Fudge -- easy, delicious & SO filling! (all those yummy, healthy fats)


Blend all ingredients in a food processor:

2-3 ripe avocados, 3/4 c. melted coconut oil, 1/2 c. maple syrup, 1/2 c. raw cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional). Line a pan with parchment paper, spread fudge & freeze until almost solid. Cut into bars & enjoy. I store this in the freezer, and when I get out a piece for a treat, truth be told I can barely wait until it's partially thawed to enjoy. (I admit, I do have a problem). It is even better when it stands at room temp & gets soooo creamy). You can also enjoy this as a pudding or mousse with a few berries - so decadent!




4. Roasted chickpeas - I went through some trial and error with this recipe. You want them crunchy - this is the go to snack when your brain wants chips. Many efforts turned out soft and unappetizing.

Here's my tried & true method:

Ingredients: 1 can chickpeas, a couple of tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt, chili powder, pinch of cayenne (you guessed it - choose the spices you like).

Preheat oven to 425 deg. Drain the chickpeas well in a colander. Spread on a clean towel and pat dry, rubbing lightly to remove some of the skins. Pick & discard visible skins but no need to be obsessive. Place in a bowl, toss with oil & spices, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and pop into preheated oven. Roast 30-40 minutes, giving the pan a shake a few times. Watch carefully the last 10 minutes as they can go from "beautiful golden brown" to "charred and black" in the blink of an eye.


5. Black Bean chocolate cupcakes (Epicurious)

(I have fed these treats to kiddos and just called them chocolate cupcakes - they were none the wiser, except...see note below!!)


Bake at 350 deg approx. 20 min

(naturally gluten-free and

15 oz can of black beans 6 Tb cocoa

5 eggs 1 tsp baking powder

1 Tb vanilla ½ Tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

6 Tb butter OR coconut oil ½ cup honey or agave


Liquefy beans, 3 eggs & vanilla in a blender. Stir together cocoa, baking soda & baking powder in a small bowl. Beat butter & honey until fluffy; beat in remaining 2 eggs 1 at a time, beating for 3 min. after each one. Add wet & dry to butter mixture, starting & ending with dry.


(*Note - be sure to completely liquefy the beans, I was rushing one day and did a quick process -- one of the grandchildren busted me...."grandma, there's a whole bean in this cupcake??!!")

Pour into prepared muffin pan. Makes 12 cupcakes. Frost if desired. Unfrosted, you can eat these babies for breakfast!!


6. Maple Sweetened banana muffins

This is a 'bonus' recipe - since it's in the picture I thought I'd better share it. I've been making these a lot, mostly because I constantly have over-ripe bananas to deal with! They are really good, can be mixed up in a single bowl, freeze well and are pretty darn healthy! I found this recipe on one of my fave websites "Cookie & Kate"....here the link!



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