by Diana Archer-Mills
We’ve all suffered the dreaded mid-afternoon (or morning) munchies. If you’re unprepared, before you know it the vending machine is beckoning, or your colleague’s baking is looking tempting. Stop! Avoid committing snack suicide, read our list of healthy ideas. You’ll never find yourself up snack creek without a paddle again.
The quick and easy
The key to becoming a successful snacker is preparation. But that doesn’t have to mean hours of meal prep and endless stacks of Tupperware. Here are a few quick and easy options to throw in your gym bag or desk draw to have on hand when hunger strikes:
Seeds and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamias)
Nut butters – when buying look for 100% nuts or you can make your own.
Cold, sliced meat
Fresh and dried fruit (berries are a good choice)
Veggies (celery, cucumbers, peppers, cherry tomatoes, etc)
Sauerkraut - great for gut health
Quality dark chocolate – in moderation
For all dairy eaters out there:
High quality cheese
Snacks that require preparation
If you have a little more time on your hands, here are some more substantial snacks you can prepare the day before:
Leftovers (cold bacon, chicken drumstick, steak and just about anything else from the night before)
Primal energy bar
PRIMAL ENERGY BARS
by Diana Archer-Mills
These gluten-free, refined sugar-free healthy energy bars are the perfect snack to have handy if you’re on the go, or just in need of an afternoon energy boost. And the addition of protein powder means you’ll feel satisfied and able to make better food choices at your next meal.
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (although cashew, hazelnut, walnut and even pumpkin butters will work well too!)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond meal (simply pulse approximately 1/4 cup of almonds until it creates a coarse flour)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey (although, this is really kind of optional because the egg will help hold the mixture together)
1/2 cup (60g) unsweetened whey protein powder
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top
On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown. In order for them to cook evenly, you need to shake up the tray at least once during cooking…trust us!
Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (sort of the consistency of bread crumbs).
In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
Fold in nut mixture, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.
Add whole egg and mix thoroughly.
Fold in blueberries/cranberries.
Press mixture into an 8 by 8 loaf pan (a modification that we made to keep everything crisper and help the bars to hold together).
Cook in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle a ¼ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under grill until top begins to brown.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars.
Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container.
Note: You can also add dark chocolate chips instead of the cranberries/blueberries (available at Whole Foods or health food store). If you add the chips while the mixing bowl is warm (from the coconut oil/almond butter mixture), they will melt into the mixture and you will have yourself a chocolate primal bar. Alternatively, you can just let the mix cool, then add the chips, then refrigerate the pan to get chocolate chip primal bars. The bars stick together pretty well without being cooked.