I’m a person that requires frequent feedings. Close friends and family know that provisions are needed if there is any trip that will be longer than a couple of hours, otherwise the hangry me will rear her ugly head. I try to control it (honestly!), but that’s no mean feat. Over the years, I’ve learned to always keep some kind of snack on me, just in case the midsection starts grumbling. For the most part, I attempt to eat healthy, satisfying snacks, and mostly succeed except for the occasional outliers. The worst is when I’m at work, however, and find myself nowhere near the end of the day with no food left and an inability to focus on the task at hand due to a stomach that will not stop complaining about how empty it is (even though it had a nice bite to eat just an hour before). These are what I like to call my “hungry days”, and unless I have plenty of nutritious eats on hand, I will more likely than not go to Whole Foods in order to appease my belly with delicious items such as this:
Oh, yes, you saw that right. Espresso nougat covered in milk chocolate. I can’t understand how no one has thought of that before – it was beyond tasty.
The occasional treat is fine (and necessary), but a couple of my latest favorite healthier snacks are homemade raw chia bars and smoothies. I’ll be the first to admit, I hopped right on the chia seed bandwagon when it came along and haven’t looked back. I’ve been putting the little buggers in everything, and love that they add a bit more crunch and a whole lot more protein. The raw chia bar below is my new version of a recipe I’ve been tweaking, and my housemate remarked that it tastes like the inside of a Fig Newton (no wonder I like it so much).
As for the smoothie, I had noticed the multitudes of green smoothie recipes appearing seemingly everywhere on the Internet, but hadn’t paid them much mind. I, for one, am completely enamored with beets, and a smoothie that wasn’t a lovely shade of purple just wasn’t my thing. Upon special request, however, I deigned to make my version of a green smoothie (sadly beetless), and actually thought it pretty delicious. The smoothie has the ubiquitous chia seeds, as well as turmeric for the anti-inflammatory properties and ginger for the wonderful spice.
Raw Chia Bars (adapted from Vegetarian Times)
1. Combine chia seeds and water and let the seeds absorb the water for 5 min.
2. Combine figs and apricots in your Ferrari and process until a thick paste forms.
3. Add vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest, almonds, chia seeds, and cocoa and process until combined. It will seem crumbly, but when you press it into the pan, it will form a bar.
4. Line a 8×8 inch square pan or a round 9″ pan with wax paper (leaving plenty of room on the sides so that you’ll be able to cover the top of the bars) and dump the mixture from the food processor into the pan.
5. Press the mixture into the pan until even, and cover with the wax paper. I usually place a plate or bowl on top at this point to make sure the wax paper stays in place. Refrigerate overnight, or at least for a few hours.
6. Slice into bars and enjoy the cinnamon-y figgy goodness.
A Smoothie of Another Color
1 cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)
fresh ginger (I usually use a little thumbnail-sized chunk)
2 handfuls spinach
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 cup water