It’s 4 p.m., you’re hungry, you’re tired, and you are jonesing hard for the donuts/cookies/candy/insert tempting treat here in your office break room. (We’ve all been there). But you know that 10 minutes after eating it, you’ll both suffer the sugar crash and feel hungry again.
By Megan Zichelli We’ve all been there, in the middle of a meeting or responding to emails at your desk, when your stomach starts to growl. If you’re unprepared, you may end up at the vending machine or reaching for the donuts in the office kitchen–neither of which will leave you feeling tip-top and ready to tackle the afternoon. We gathered some of our favorite healthy, energizing snacks–both packaged and homemade–to stash in your desk. So the next time the munchies hit mid-meeting, you can smash them with something tasty and good for you that will keep you kicking butt all day. BARS Look for ones that include only whole-food ingredients, like unsweetened fruit, nuts and spices. Avoid anything with added sugar (which may go under an alias) or ingredients you don’t recognize. (A good question to ask: Would you eat all of the ingredients individually? If not, put it back.) Buy it: Larabar and Thunderbird offer lots of flavors DIY it: Make your own Almond Butter Snack Bars ENERGY BITES These are simple to make and easy to eat (no wonder the term is tagged so much on Instagram). With only a few ingredients and no oven required, you can roll up a tasty homemade snack in seconds. They’re especially convenient because you can just grab one to take the edge off, or have two or more if you need a more substantial snack. Buy it: Navitas Power Snacks (we love the cacao-goji, and the blueberry-hemp) DIY it: Try our recipe for chocolate, pumpkin, and peanut butter energy balls DARK CHOCOLATE Satisfy your sweet tooth, reap the health benefits, and get an energy boost with a few squares of dark chocolate. This is not a free pass to hit the vending machine; be sure to choose very dark bars (at least 70%) that are free of refined sugar and artificial ingredients. Buy it: Try Hu, Fruition, or Eating Evolved NUTS AND NUT BUTTER With plenty of good fat, fiber and protein to keep you satisfied, nuts are a fantastic snack. Keep pre-portioned servings from your favorite bag of nuts in your desk drawer. If you’re feeling fancy, add in a couple of small chunks of dark chocolate. Or grab a packet or spoonful of nut butter, and have it on its own, with a piece of fruit or slathered on a rice cake. Look for all-natural varieties, free of partially hydrogenated oils and other additives. Buy it: Try Nuts.com’s Roasted Mixed Nuts with 50% less salt; Justin’s nut butter squeeze packs or Artisana Organics nut butter squeeze packs DIY it: Feeling adventurous? Whirl up your own nut butter SEEDS To take a break from nuts, but still crunch your way to lots of protein, fiber and minerals, try seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, squash–all have health benefits and taste great. Buy it: Go Raw Sprouted Seeds DIY it: The next time you cook a winter or spaghetti squash, don’t throw away the seeds. Instead, rinse and dry thoroughly before tossing with oil and your favorite spices. Roast at 325ºF for about 20 minutes or until toasted, stirring a couple of times during baking time. Divide into individual portions and keep in sealed containers. YOGURT Keep this in the office fridge, not your desk drawer, of course. Look for plain, whole-milk yogurt (ideally organic and grass fed), and mix in your own chopped fruit, nuts or a a drizzle of honey. You get protein, satiating fat and a shot of gut-healthy probiotics. Buy it: Maple Hill, Stonyfield 100% Grassfed and Organic Valley Grassmilk DIY it: It’s easier than you think to make your own homemade yogurt EDAMAME Filled with fiber, protein and iron, these soybeans make a filling snack. Be sure to buy organic, which is non-GMO, or that the label specifies non-GMO, as most soybeans are genetically modified. Buy it: Seapoint Farms Roasted Edamame (in flavors like Spicy Wasabi and Sea Salt) DIY it: Make a batch, divide into single servings and keep in your desk drawer HUMMUS With plenty of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron and other nutrients, it’s no wonder creamy, delicious hummus is a favorite snack choice. Buy it: Wild Garden Hummus with Gluten-Free Quinoa Crisps DIY it: It’s easy to whip up a batch of Golden Garlic Hummus BETH
Got a #snackattack? Swap out candy, cookies and chips for more nutrient-dense treats from certified-organic Made In Nature.
Snack Smart with this monthly subscription service while donating to hunger-relief organizations
There are a few times in life when you can score a win-win: Adopting a loving dog from a shelter or learning carpentry skills while building a house for a veteran are two that come to mind. We just discovered a new one: joining Love With Food. This California-based company serves up smart snacks shipped right to your door. When you sign up for a subscription of just $7.99 a month, you receive a bountiful box of better-for-you snacks every four weeks; they select all-natural and/or organic items with no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavorings or colorings. (There are also gluten-free options.) Plus, you receive new offerings that you might not find at the grocery store. But, the ultimate win-win is that for every box sent, a meal is donated to feed hungry children in America. To date, Love With Food has donated more than one million meals to food banks connected with Feeding America and The Global Food Banking Network . Help end childhood hunger by snacking smart and doing good! For one week starting today until Tuesday, August 23rd, Love With Food is offering Clean Plates readers a special sale of 15% off on all subscription plans. Sign up today.
Our weekly picks of the best new healthy items out there
This week we’re finding tasty ways to up your protein intake with these healthy new food products. You’ll go nuts (and beans!) for these new protein-rich, plant-based goodies. 1. Explore Cuisine Bean Pastas: We’re spilling the beans on this new line of organic, non-GMO pastas from Explore Cuisine, made with nothing but, well…beans! There’s thin spaghetti crafted from either fiber-laden black beans, adzuki beans, edamame or soybeans, as well as fettuccine made from edamame and mung beans. Each two-ounce serving is packed with 20 to 25 grams of vegan protein—pretty darn impressive for pasta. The tender, chewy bean noodles work especially well in Asian-themed recipes. Explore Cuisine also makes tasty pulse pastas from chickpeas and lentils, some with pea protein added for an extra protein punch. (Available at stores nationwide; $25 for a box of six.) 2. Perfect Bar: Bars go by a lot of names—sports, energy, or protein—but many are high in sugar and low in protein and flavor. The Perfect Bar is an exception. This gluten-free, non GMO, nearly all-organic bar is crammed with more than 20 super food ingredients but has no refined sugar. They are also high in protein; the peanut butter, carob chip and almond butter flavors all have between 13 to 17 grams of protein. The best news is they actually taste like real food and are so fresh that they recommend storing them in the refrigerator. (Available at stores nationwide or online; $24 for 8.) 3. Beanfields’ Chips: Tortilla chips may not sound like a good place to look for a protein boost, but Beanfields’ version, made from beans and brown rice instead of corn, have as much as 150 percent more protein and 200 percent more fiber than conventional tortilla chips, plus 44 percent less fat than the standard chip. They recently introduced three new savory flavors: black bean, white bean, made with navy beans, and jalapeño nacho, made with a mix of black beans and navy beans. The vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO chips are great snacks right out of the bag or as canvases for creamy guacamole or fresh salsa. Crispy and salted lightly with sea salt, they’re oh-so addictive! (Available at stores nationwide or online; $30 for 12.) 4. BRAMI Snacking Lupini Beans: You’ve probably never heard of lupini beans, but thanks to Brami, these beans—commonly eaten as a snack in the Mediterranean—are bound to become as familiar as edamame, which they resemble in appearance, taste and texture. Ancient Roman warriors apparently favored them for good reason: They have more protein per calorie than black beans, chickpeas or almonds, making them a good fuel source for long battles (or treks through the urban jungle, as the case may be). They’re also rich in fiber, magnesium and folate. Brami makes the beans tender by soaking them for days before lightly pickling them with spices. They come in four appealing flavors, sea salt, garlic-herb, chili-lime and hot pepper. Cool beans! (Available at some stores or online; $40 for 8.) 5. Nutraw Pistachio Products: Did you know that pistachios contain more protein per ounce than other commonly eaten nuts like almonds and walnuts, more potassium in two ounces than a large banana and more Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids than fish oil? Nutraw Foods is making it easy to enjoy the heart-healthy green nut with their line of organic products made with raw pistachios from California farms. The pistachio raw bar is a lip-smacking mix of chopped pistachios and almonds with dates, coconut oil and green cardamom, which lends a Middle Eastern lilt. We also dig the dense pistachio butter, whose coconut oil and vanilla make it a naturally sweet treat to spread on sprouted toast. (Available via Amazon or online; $26 for 12.)
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