4 Snacks to Celebrate 4 Weeks!

I have shown many lunch recipes lately and I thought it would be a great idea to share some snack recipes. I have for you today 4 quick and healthy snack recipes to celebrate the four weeks that I have been writing this food blog!

I am OBSESSED with these snacks that I created. They are filling and uber tasty. You won’t want to just eat 1 serving size, I guarantee you. Step aside packaged granola bars, greasy potato chips, and sugar-filled pop-tarts and say hello to apricot-almond energy bites, roasted red pepper hummus, rosemary-lemon-parmesan popcorn, and salmon-cucumber bites!

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All the lovely flavors of a lox bagel are in my cucumber bites but without the heavy carbs from the bagel! The energy bites are portable and deliciously sweet. The hummus is great with veggies, pita chips, or crackers.  The popcorn recipe is addictive I tell you; such an interesting flavor combination and so fancy sounding too!

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We all know too well that mid-day slump around 3pm when we’re just pooped and need a little energy boost. Well these snacks are the perfect solution to help you tackle the rest of your day without having to rely on artificial sugars to give you a tiny sugar buzz. That tiny sugar high very quickly turns into an ultimate drop of energy. I know it’s sometimes hard to resist a candy bar as a snack, I have quite a sweet tooth myself, but trust me when I say that your body will thank you for eating wholesome nutritious snacks like the ones I have for you today. Our bodies are like a car. They need the right kind of fuel so the engine can run properly.

You’re always taught as a kid to look at the nutritional values like the number of calories, fat, sugar, etc. to determine whether something is healthy or not. That’s a very one-dimensional way to analyze food. It’s almost like saying, “That girl held the door open for me, she must be the nicest human being ever.” We all know that’s normally not the case. That same girl could go spread rumors about someone else and talk behind people’s backs all the time but you just didn’t see it in that one instance when she held the door open for you. Food can similarly sneak up on you and bite you in the butt with a bunch of added sugar or sodium that you didn’t even know about before because it said on the front of the package that it’s “low fat”. However, you can’t just look at one nutritional value when comparing two products. A bag of potato chips may appear to have less fat than a handful of almonds, but it may have twice the amount of added sodium, making it the not-so-healthy option between the two. You have to look at all of the nutritional values, serving size, AND the ingredient list when comparing. Less is better when looking at ingredient lists. If you see words on an ingredient list that you can’t even pronounce, that means there’s a bunch of artificial chemicals added that you probably don’t want in your body.

You also have to keep in mind that some fat and sugar can be good for us, unless it’s not natural. For example, my energy bite recipe has almond butter in it, which has a lot of fat in it. However, those are the good kind of Omega- 3 fatty acids that our bodies jump up and down for (I remember briefly talking about this in a previous post). Our bodies need fat to live.

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Recap: Nutrition can be very complicated. Do the best you can to eat wholesome and natural food as much as you can. Just be aware and be educated on nutrition. It’s important to give our bodies the right kind of fuel!

Alright, I’m done with my nutrition rant…

I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has been reading my blog posts for the past four weeks. I hope you’ve learned something new about nutrition, gotten some inspiration for lunch/snack ideas, or just enjoyed reading my sappy rants about life. I also want to thank my mentor, Laura Bednarski, who has taught me so much about food blogging and photography. (She helped me take these amazing photographs for my blog!) Also thank you to my parents for constantly going to the grocery store to get ingredients I needed and for letting me make the kitchen a complete mess after testing recipes. (At least I cleaned up afterwards…for the most part!)

Now that my senior project is officially over, I won’t be blogging as often. Being a camp counselor keeps me pretty busy over the summer. However, I’ll try to blog a bit and share a few recipes over the summer if I can because I enjoy doing this so much!

Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The 4 snack recipes!!!!!!!

 

Apricot Almond Energy Bites:

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Yields 14 balls

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup medjool dates* (around 6 dates)

1/2 cup dried apricots (around 12 apricots)

1/2 cup almond butter

2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup roughly chopped raw almonds

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 tsp. cinnamon

small pinch of salt

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add in dates (make sure you take the pits out of them!), dried apricots, almond butter, and honey. Pulse until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
  2. Add in rolled oats, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Blitz together until it forms one pureed clump.
  3. With the mixture, roll out 1-inch balls (or layer out on to a lined baking sheet and cut later to create bars.)
  4. Keep energy bites in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

*Notes:

-To make your dates extra sticky, soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. (Optional)

-There are many different variations of this energy bite recipe. You can make some with dried cranberries & pistachios, peanut butter and chocolate chips, or cashew & dried blueberries. The possibilities are endless! To make these nut-free you can use pumpkin or sunflower seeds. To make this recipe vegan, you can replace the honey with agave.

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:

(Derived from an epicurious recipe)

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Serving size for hummus: 2 Tablespoons

16 servings in hummus recipe. Makes around 2 cups of hummus

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 large garlic cloves

1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas

1/3 cup of tahini

1/3 cup of lemon juice

1/2 cup of roasted red peppers*

pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse garlic clove until finely minced.
  2. Add in chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, roasted red peppers, cumin, and a pinch of cayenne. Blitz together until fully incorporated.

 

Notes*

-I used roasted red peppers from a jar so I don’t have to roast them myself.

 

 

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites:

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Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients:

6 cucumber slices (cut around 1/2 inch thick)

6 small slices of smoked salmon (add however much you want)

3 Tbsp. herb cream cheese (store-bought or you can make my homemade one!)

 

For cream cheese spread:

3 Tbsp. cream cheese

1 Tbsp. fresh chives finely chopped

1/2 tsp. lemon zest (around 1/4 of a small lemon)

1 tsp. lemon juice

generous pinch of dried dill (or if you have fresh use about 1 tsp.)

 

Directions:

  1. Make herb cream cheese: mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl. (Make sure to zest lemon before juicing it.)
  2. Add on a dollop of cream cheese on to cucumber slice. Add on a slice of smoked salmon on top.

 

 

Rosemary, Lemon, Parmesan Flavored Popcorn:

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Serves: 2 (large serving sizes)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 minutes

Total time: around 8-10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup popcorn kernels

1  1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

zest of 1 small lemon (or half of large lemon)

2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (2 sprigs of rosemary)

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Place popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. Fold the paper bag over. Make sure you leave enough room for the kernels to pop in the bag. Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until you don’t hear kernels popping anymore (timing will depend on the wattage of your microwave. You don’t have to use a microwave to make the popcorn, you can make it any way you like!)
  2. Add in olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper into the brown paper bag full of popped popcorn.
  3. Shake the bag so ingredients are distributed evenly.

 

I hope you enjoy these snacks if you make them yourself!!!! I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having!

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One thought on “4 Snacks to Celebrate 4 Weeks!

  1. lauravoices May 7, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    Very nice post and great recipe ideas!! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your summer and I do hope you blog a few more times.

    Like

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