We’ve all been there – it’s well into the afternoon and your grumbling stomach is loud enough for your neighbors to hear. So, when the post-lunch, pre-dinner hunger pangs kick in, what snack do you typically reach for? Your snack of choice can have a big impact on your overall health, mood, and happiness. That’s why I’m such an advocate of simple, healthy snacks that are packed with both flavor and nutrients. With a little pre-planning, you can easily reach for one of these healthy snacks for a yummy pick-me-up to combat your next 3:00pm slump!
CRISPY PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER TOTS
By now, my passion for cauliflower should be pretty apparent. From chocolatey cauliflower brownies to a hearty, vegetarian cauliflower steak, I really think that cauliflower is one of the most versatile ingredients. And it’s also the star of one of my most beloved snacks – Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower Tots. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. If you’re taking these Tots with you to work, make sure to pack a few extra to share with your favorite co-workers who are likely to “swing by” upon smelling the aroma of these crispy, cheesy gems.
1 tablespoon olive oil, for the baking sheet
1 pound organic frozen cauliflower florets
½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
2. Microwave the frozen cauliflower according to the package directions, and cool to room temperature.
3. Place the cauliflower on a clean dish towel or piece of cheesecloth, and roll it up and wring it out to extract as much moisture from the cauliflower as you can. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and break apart the florets with your hands. Add the bread crumbs, cheese, egg, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper. Using your hands, mix until the mixture holds together.
4. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to roll each scoop into an oval-shaped tot.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, turn the tots over, and bake for another 15 minutes to crisp the other side. Serve warm.
TROPICAL GUACAMOLE WITH SPIRULINA
For me, it’s all about that guac (yes, I know it’s extra). Whether I’m relaxing by the pool with a sparkling lemonade, or simply looking for a boost of protein and healthy fats, I find myself coming back to this zesty guacamole recipe time and time, again.
My secret ingredient? Spirulina, a blue-green algae, which provides a dose of vitamins and minerals. Many people like to drink spirulina straight up, in warm water. My advice? Just. Don’t. For some, the taste can be off-putting, like—well—warm pond water. But, a small amount mixed into a smoothie, or your guacamole is virtually undetectable. You can find Spirulina at most natural food stores.
4 hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 cup finely diced pineapple
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 4 limes),
or more to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon spirulina powder
½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1. Mash the avocados in a large bowl. Stir in the pineapple, mango, red onion, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, spirulina, and ½ teaspoon salt.
2. Transfer the guacamole to a serving dish. Taste and season with additional salt and lime juice, if needed.
This nutty bread is an excellent healthy snack that can be taken to a whole new, nutty level when paired with almond butter. While baking bread can sound like a daunting process, there’s only five steps and six ingredients that stand between you and a freshly baked loaf of bread. What’s more, if you are a Bosch fan, like me, you know that the Genuine European convection feature on Bosch wall ovens helps you achieve even baking results. Pro-tip: the optimal temperature for warm water in this recipe is 105°F, so use a candy thermometer if you’ve got one.
1¾ cups warm (105°F) water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon raw honey
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups spelt flour
½ tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup flax, sesame, and/or sunflower seeds
1. Lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with canola or sunflower oil.
2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water, honey, and yeast. Set aside for a few minutes, until bubbles begin to form.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and seeds. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a thick and moist dough is formed.
4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap and place a tea towel on top. Place the bowl on the top of the stove where it is warm, and let it rise for 20 to 30 minutes, until it has almost doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
5. Bake the loaf for 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Ready to give these healthy snacks a test drive? Let me know how they turn out in the comments below.
These recipes are from Danny Seo’s cookbook Naturally, Delicious. Order your copy here.