To borrow a line from our photographer, Chris, who just finished a three-day juice cleanse, “There is little in life I love more than food.” It's no secret that every time I work from home, I find myself playing a dangerous game of What’s in My Fridge. The hourly 10-step journey to and from my desk to my iced cornucopia of bliss is generally routine if not second nature. Unfortunately, I'd be lying if I didn't admit my favorite pastime has also taken quite a sizable toll on my waistline. As relatively athletic as I may be, chocolate, consumed by the hour, is not exactly the healthiest.
In a recent effort to make better snacking choices, I've ventured into the foreign world of natural substitutes. Banana for sugar and infused water for soda.
With Back To School week in full swing, here are some of my favorite recipes:
[infobox subtitle="" bg="yellow" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Oatmeal Banana Cookies[/infobox]
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 cups of quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup of canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash the bananas before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. If the batter seems dry (this will depend on the ripeness of the bananas) add a couple tablespoons of water or milk to the mixture. To make each cookie, roughly spoon out 2 tablespoons of the dough onto a slightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for around 15-20 minutes. If you're looking to go even healthier, nuts and dried fruits can be used instead of the chocolate chips! Makes 24 cookies.
[infobox subtitle="" bg="blue" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Infused Water[/infobox]
1. Water 2. Fruit, vegetable, or herb of choice.
Cut your fruit or vegetable of choice so that it will fit into your water bottle or closed container. The ratio should be roughly 1/3 fruit or vegetable and 2/3 water. Modifications can be made for personal preference. Let the mixture sit for one hour or even overnight for maximum flavor.
[infobox subtitle="" bg="green" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Avocado Toast[/infobox]
- 1 piece of rye bread
- 1/2 an avocado
- a sprinkle of pepper and sea salt
- a drizzle of lime juice
Toast the rye bread. Scoop out half an avocado and mush the fruit until you reach your preferred consistency. Spread the fruit onto your toasted bread and finish it off with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Other condiments may be added if necessary.
[infobox subtitle="" bg="red" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Frozen Fruits[/infobox]
1. Fruit of choice
Cut the fruit of your choice into bite-sized pieces and freeze them until frozen. At the moment, I'm a big fan of frozen watermelon, and am definitely recommending you give them a try!
[infobox subtitle="" bg="brown" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Crispy Chickpeas[/infobox]
- 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (drained)
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt
- vegetable cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. After draining and drying the chickpeas, toss them in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle sea salt into the bowl and toss again. Spread the peas out evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake the peas for roughly 30 minutes before shaking the sheet. Bake the peas for another 30 minutes. Let the peas cool for at least one hour. They will become crunchier as they cool.
What are some of your favorite go-to healthy snacks? If you make any, be sure to share them with me and the LoDown team on our social channels @thelodownblog !