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Sunday, November 9, 2008

snack time

i'm sure i'm not the only bovine who is getting hungry between meals so let's talk about snacks. there are definitely good and bad things to snack on, so what is the difference:

bad snacks:
  • anything full of bad carbs - this can be store-bought granola bars, cereals, chips, etc., etc., etc.
  • anything with lots of sugar - as much as we love it, we all know that snacking on leftover dessert from sunday night is a bad idea
  • anything full of bad fat - anything fried like chips and anything with lots of butter like almost all crackers (sadly this includes our favorites like ritz, chicken in a biscuit, etc. even saltines aren't very good! ahhh!)

good snacks:

  • fruit - keep lots of it around. shoot for 2-3 a day. it isn't hard - eat a banana with or after breakfast and an apple after lunch. don't want it plain? put a little bit of peanut butter on your apple and you may change your mind. this is still better than snacking on the apple cake you made last night (i made one last night... i'm trying to remind myself of this too...). a glass of orange juice is even a pretty decent snack
  • veggies (with some fat free/low-fat salad dressing if you don't like to eat them plain)
  • homemade granola bars (i'll post mine some time)
  • yogurt - healthy and a great way to sneak in a serving of dairy
  • nuts (sometimes they are expensive, but if you watch for sales these are good snacks!)
  • hard boiled eggs (read more on eggs)
  • whole-grain, low-sugar cereals (by the handful - i'm not talking about a bowl of cereal). i like to munch on my daughter's cheerios on occasion.
  • and a good snack i've discovered will often quell my insatiable sweet tooth... muffins and quick breads made (made with no oil or butter and packed with good flour, fruits and veggies and with some added nutrition through wheat germ and flax seed)

you're probably noticing a trend - things are generally more healthy and less expensive when you make them yourself! this is something that we all know, but sometimes it's good to get a refresher!

i created these yummy snack loaved the other day for a number of reasons. 1 - i had brown bananas i didn't want to waste! :) 2 - i wanted a little bit of a sweet snack with no oil, butter or white flour in it. 3 - traditional sized loaves seem to get dry on the outside while the inside is waiting to cook, so these snack loaves are moist all the way through. yum. and 4 - a piece of a normal sized-loaf is often too much if i just need a tiny snack to hold me over.

my husband definitely prefers bread like this with white flour in it but he loved this one! it's light, moist and pretty good on the healthy snack scale! hope your health-resistant husband likes it too!

cinnamon banana snack loaf
2 snack loaves

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 smaller bananas for me!)
*1 cup oat flour (stick some oats in the blender)
*1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
*for an extra healthy touch decrease oat flour and wheat flour to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup each of wheat germ and milled flax seed

1. beat together sugar and applesauce. add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
2. stir in bananas and mix well again.
3. add all dry ingredients and combine until moist throughout.
4. add water and mix again until combined.
5. pour equal amounts into 2 large, greased loaf pans and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees (check frequently!). (the "snack loaves" will fill about 1/2 of a large loaf pan, but you could make small loaves if you have the pans.)


Clare said...

Um, just wondering if you have a yummy recipe for green beans as a side dish. After a childhood of hating them, I recently discovered that I really like them fresh or frozen - still can't handle them out of a can - and am thinking of using some for dinner tonight. Not that you can help me out with tonight, but for the future...

BrittWilk said...

hey clare! i can't stand canned ones either (unless they are in soup or chili or something). i have some fun ways that i make them, so i'll get one up on here soon. thanks for the request!

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!