Yum, yum: 10 healthy snacks on the go

Many jobs, especially PR, can mean a long day, followed by a long evening, followed by an early morning (leading to another long day). Our secret? Beginning the day with an arsenal of easy, healthy snacks that don’t require a fridge, microwave or (much) fuss. Here are ten suggestions of healthy, purse-worthy snacks.

1. Mixed berries in apple sauce

In the morning, add some unsweetened apple sauce to a container with your favourite frozen blueberries, raspberries or berry mix. By mid-day the berries will melt, keeping the snack cold and creating a delicious berry/apple medley. Healthy snacker secret: invest in good, leak-proof Tupperware and always wrap in a plastic bag. You do NOT want blueberry applesauce coating your purse – trust us.

2. Fresh dates

A date that doesn’t disappoint.
Image source.
Maybe not a current pantry staple, but once you start popping these to replace an afternoon chocolate bar, you’ll never be date-less again. They’re high in natural sugars, but also contain potassium and polypenols. If you’re feeling fancy or want to show off, stuff with chopped cashews.

3. Roasted chickpeas

Satisfying crunch. Image source.

If you’re not tempted by the afternoon candy bar, maybe it’s a bag of chips for a salty, crunchy snack. Make these roasted chickpeas from Rose Reisman for an easy, healthy alternative to satisfy that craving. Best part? Just like chips, you can make different flavours by mixing up the spices – try cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder or cumin. 

4. Roasted almonds

Obviously a handful of almonds, a protein mentioned in every health mag, has to make the list. Take them to the next level by buying raw almonds from the grocery store or Bulk Barn and roasting them yourself. Bonus: roasted nuts will make your kitchen smell divine.

5. Frozen muffins

Rose’s banana chocolate chip muffin.
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A few recipes for homemade muffins, again from Rose Reisman, our favourite healthy eating guru: banana and date, carrot pineapple, bran banana and raisin or banana chocolate chip. Make a batch on the weekend and throw them in the freezer. They’ll defrost during the day and you’ll have a healthy alternative to a fattening, pricey muffin from S-Bucks.

6. Homemade hummus

What can we say? We love chickpeas. Image source.
It’s easy to make a large batch of hummus and pair it with different vegetables during the week. Try pita wedges, raw carrots and celery, whole grain crackers or whole wheat tortilla chips.

7. Protein shake with skim milk

For those days when you REALLY have no time, scoop some whey protein powder into a Ziplock bag and pick up a small carton of skim milk. Best and least expensive source in the downtown core? Sports Nutrition Depot. They’ll help you choose the right one for what your body needs so you don’t go home with something that is meant for a bodybuilder. 

8. Apples slices with almond butter/peanut butter
Freshly sliced. Image source.

Open bag. Add small knife, apple, and a container of natural almond or peanut butter. When hunger hits, slice apple and dip in almond butter or peanut butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired, to make it feel fancy. Just don’t bring this one to court, an airplane, when meeting royalty, etc. The knife is the key ingredient: whole thing falls apart if you don’t freshly slice the apples.

Two consecutive days on the fourth floor without someone saying “I really feel like popchips” has never ever happened. Ever. Our favourite low-fat, all-natural, grab-and-go snack from the shelves.

10. Homemade granola bars 

Yours will look just as delicious, pulled from your purse at the end of the day.
Image source.

If you just can’t get it together in the morning, make some excellent granola bars on the weekend and bring one each day. The Daily Green has seven healthy granola bar recipes that you can make at home. Go forth and bake.

Yum, yum: Banana Muffins

Restaurants these days are offering gluten-free pastas, bakeries are making gluten-free baked goods, and gluten-free recipes are popping up everywhere. For those of us who try to avoid gluten, we say the more options the better. While some restaurants and bakeries have mastered this modified way of cooking and baking, in a lot of cases, the alternatives just do not compare. So we decided to take things into our own hands. 

After trying a few different recipes, our most successful gluten-free baking triumph happens to be one of our all-time greatest comfort foods: banana muffins.

 Image source.
Gluten-Free Banana Oat Muffins
1 ¼ cups gluten-free oats (available at most health food stores)
1 cup almond flour (other gluten-free flours like brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, or quinoa flour, etc. can be substituted)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 cups mashed banana (4-6 bananas, over ripe are best)
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1.     Beat egg, banana and melted butter together in a small bowl until smooth.
2.     Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, stir until mixed.
3.     Fill greased muffin cups (almost full).
4.     Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched.

If your food allergies are not just limited to gluten, we’ve also used this recipe courtesy of the website My New Roots, that has no eggs, dairy, or sugar and it works with a variety of flours as well.
1/4 cup milk of your choice (almond, hemp, goat, soy…)
6 Tbsp. olive oil, butter, ghee or coconut oil
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (approximately 5 medium bananas)
2 cups flour of your choice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup chopped nuts + seeds (walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (1 standard 100 g bar) – optional
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line an 8” x 8” cake pan or loaf pan with baking paper, or lightly oil and dust with flour, shaking out excess.
3. Put the milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and bananas in a blender and blend until smooth.
4. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add banana mixture and combine using as few stroked as possible. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
5. Pour into a cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time varies greatly according to oven – mine takes about an hour, but this recipe suggests only 30 minutes. Check periodically after the half hour mark.)
Gluten-free baking (well any baking really) is all about trial and error. Some flours will be too dry, others too moist. But if you’re willing to put in the time, it’s satisfying to find a healthy recipe that tastes great, and may even fool those who think they can taste the difference.