Tag Archives: Nuts

Eats Lately

Healthy Work Snacks

I eat a lot throughout the day. In fact, I have to eat basically every three hours so that I don’t become a major cranky-pants.

This is particularly important at work because I find that it is impossible to concentrate with a rumbling tummy. Without fail my body tells me it’s hungry around 11AM and 4PM every day, so I always have good munchies nearby during the workday. I also sometimes end up working through my lunch, so it is especially important for me to be able to grab something quickly and keep working.

When I grocery shop on the weekends I always restock on easy and healthy snacks for the week. Here is a look at what is in this week’s healthy work snack rotation:

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Pears and Navel Oranges. Fresh fruit is always great to have on hand. I am currently obsessed with navel oranges – they are so juicy!

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Hummus and Veggies (I like carrots and celery). Trader Joes has such a wide assortment of hummus that I end up buying a new one each time. I particularly like their White Bean Hummus (featured here) and their Edamame Hummus.

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Raw Almonds and Golden Raisins. I prefer to make my own trail mix for a few reasons: 1) I usually end up picking out the things I don’t like in packaged trail mix, so it makes much more sense to make it myself and only include things I do like! 2) I can control the nutritional value (i.e. See yaaaa later M&Ms) 3) I also like to pre-portion the trail mix into separate baggies. It is soooooo easy to overeat nuts and dried fruit if I have a large portion in front of me, so measuring out a proper serving in advance prevents me from downing 12 servings of roasted almonds (because I totally would…)

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Apples/Bananas with Peanut Butter. Ever since I can remember this combo have been a favorite for me. I have fond memories from when I was little and my mom used to cut the apple up for me and serve the peanut butter in this eeeeensy glass bowl with a baby spoon. Even then I was always asking for more peanut butter! When I eat apple/banana and PB now I try to limit myself to just 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter, but boy is it hard!

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Quest Bars (duh). If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know these are a major favorite of mine. Each bar has 20g of protein and very, very low sugar and carb content. I love the Vanilla Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter Supreme flavors. I buy my Quest Bars either on Amazon or at GNC when there is a deal.

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Fresh Turkey Breast from Whole Foods. I specify Whole Foods because I honestly won’t buy turkey from anywhere else anymore. Their turkey contains no nitrates or nasty preservatives, so it tastes incredibly fresh. The Whole Foods in Venice that I go to has such a great selection of flavors (BBQ, Lemon Pepper, No Salt, Cajun, etc.). The kicker is that it is priiiiiiiiiiicey, so I don’t buy it every week.

 

If you don’t want to bring an entire jar of peanut butter to work or if your work fridge is too small to store large containers of things like hummus, I recommend investing in some small tupperware so you only have to bring a small portion. I also buy lots of snack size ziploc bags for smaller items like the nuts and dried fruit.

 

For more snack ideas, check out these recipes:

Chia Protein Bars

Spiced Roasted Almonds

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

 

What snacks do you bring to work? I am always looking for new ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

For loads of other snack options check out my:

Breakfast Tips and Tricks

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins

Holy Moly, I just made the best darn granola.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

Basically every day at work I snack on Greek Yogurt. Usually I just add some berries with a pinch of stevia and cinnamon to sweeten, but recently I’ve been craving some crunch.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

After scouring the web for new granola recipes, I wasn’t finding anything that suited my needs. I wanted to keep this version low-sugar, but not lose a lot of sweetness and flavor.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

In one recipe, I spotted cardamom on the ingredient list and thought that was very unique. Most granola recipes stick to the usuals: maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I love cardamom, but I find it stays in my spice cabinet more often than it should, so I decided to pull it out for this batch of granola.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

I like my granola chunky, and I recently learned a great tip from America’s Test Kitchen to help keep it that way.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

Don’t stir the granola! Every granola recipe I see says to stir the mixture once or twice throughout the baking time. ATK says for chunkier granola clusters, don’t stir the mixture and just wait to break it up once it is completely done baking.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

ATK, you’re a genius…again! My granola turned out chunky – just the way I like it. Now I get spoonfuls of delicious granola clusters with every bite, which is a great contrast against the smooth Greek Yogurt.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

It is also packed with spice from the cardamom and cinnamon, so I don’t find myself missing the added sugars that you see in typical packaged granola.

I hope you try this granola. It could quite possibly be the best I’ve ever tasted.

 

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted pistachios
  • ⅛ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt*
  • ¼ cup real honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins (or any other dried fruit)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. In a small microwavable bowl add the honey and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Add the olive oil and vanilla to the honey and stir to combine. Pour the honey mixture over the oat and nut mixture. Stir so that honey coats the oat mixture.
  3. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then add the raisins. Carefully stir the granola a few times to break it into desired sized chunks. Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
*If you only can find salted nuts, omit the salt from the recipe.
 

Snack Vegan

Chia Seed Protein Bars

I’ve been on a real Chia Seed kick for the last year. I put these little guys in everything – yogurt, overnight oats, and now I make protein bars with them, too!

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you have never had chia seeds, or you’ve seen them in the store and are hesitant to try them, here are a few things that may sway you:

– They are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Just one tablespoon has 70 calories, 3 grams of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, 6 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein

– Chia seeds have no taste. That is why they are easy to add to anything.

– The seeds expand when they touch liquid, so many people use them as a thickening agent to make healthy puddings and smoothies. (Warning: getting a chia seed stuck in your teeth is worse than getting a poppy seed stuck. As I said, it expands…so I just hope you have a hand mirror or an honest friend nearby…)

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For all of those reasons, chia seeds are a great addition to these bars. They blend right in with the nuts and dried fruit, and add a great dose of fats, protein, and fiber.

With no added sugars, these chia bars are super healthy. So long processed granola bars and high-fructose corn syrup! We are all about real, nutritious ingredients nowadays.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These bars are very easy to make – everything goes in the food processor.  When all of the ingredients are blended together I roll out the mixture with a rolling pin and then cut them into 6-8 bars. I then place the cut bars in the freezer to harden.

Tip: The first time I made these, I rolled out the mixture, froze it, and then tried cutting the bars. It was a bad move. The bars ended up crumbling so much that 1/3 of the mixture went to waste. My advice is to definitely cut, then freeze.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Wrap these bars up individually for the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack.

 

Chia Seed Protein Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup almonds, unsalted
  • ¼ cup pistachios, unsalted, shells removed
  • ¼ cup pitted dates
  • ¼ cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I love this kind)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Grind the almonds and pistachios in the food processor until they become like course sand (not too fine), about 30-40 seconds. Then add the dates and the raisins and grind again for another 30 seconds. Next, add the protein powder, chia seeds, applesauce and coconut oil. Grind for an additional 30 seconds until the mixture is well combined and moist and slightly sticky (If the mixture is not moist enough add about ½ Tablespoon more of coconut oil and mix again).
  2. Remove the mixture onto a large cutting board. Place a large piece of wax or parchment paper over the mixture and using a rolling pin, roll the mixture into an even thickness. Cut into 6-8 bars and leave on the cutting board. Place the board in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and wrap individually in saran wrap. To ensure shape and freshness store the bars in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months (I can assure you that they will be eaten long before that, though). I prefer mine straight from the freezer!
Notes
I have also divided the mixture into 6-8 balls and pressed each ball down into a muffin pan. I then put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. After, I used a knife to help me remove each chia portion from it's muffin cup and wrapped them individually in saran wrap.