We all know how important snacking can be. Snacking can provide us with the energy we need to get through our days and prevent us from binge eating when meal time comes around. But sometimes, snacking isn't so convenient. Who has time to prepare in the middle of a busy day? And worse yet, if you're on the road travelling (think holiday travel to visit the family....), you needs something already done and ready to go. We have come to your rescue! With these 10 make-ahead snacks, you'll have everything you need to get you through a busy day or a gruelling cross country drive!
Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil so that the foil hangs over the sides. Spray with cooking spray and set pan aside.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add quinoa and oats, toss to coat with oil, and toast lightly. Remove from heat and let cool.
Put oat mixture into a large mixing bowl, then add cashews, sunflower seeds, fruit, chocolate chips (if desired), and Cheerios. Stir well to combine.
Pour sugar and water into a medium saucepan, stir lightly to combine, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar turns a light golden color, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to boil until sugar is a dark amber color (another 1 to 3 minutes). Stir only as needed.
Immediately remove from heat, then whisk half and half, vanilla, and peanut butter into the sugar. The mixture will bubble vigorously, so be careful. Work quickly because caramel will start to thicken.
Pour caramel over the oat mixture and stir well to combine. Immediately transfer granola mixture into the prepared pan and press and pack well into a flat layer. Be sure to press very tightly, or the bars will break apart.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove from pan by lifting the foil, and then cut into 16 bars. Wrap bars in wax or parchment paper, to keep them from sticking together.
Refrigerate extra bars in an airtight container, or freeze.
2. Bran Muffins
2cups unprocessed bran
1 1/2cups raisins, divided
1 1/2cups water, divided
1teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped (around 1/3 of an orange)
1/2cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2cup vegetable oil
1extra-large egg white
1/2cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour
1teaspoon baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
Lightly coat a muffin tin with 1/2-cup capacity cups with melted butter, and fit a pastry bag with a large tip (if desired). Set aside.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle setting and preheat the oven to 350º F.
Spread the bran on the baking sheet and toast for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure it doesn't burn.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the raisins and 1 cup of water and simmer on low heat until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Place in a blender or in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and process until puréed.
Pour the bran into a large bowl, add the buttermilk and remaining 1/2 cup water, and stir to combine. Stir in the raisin purée, orange zest, and brown sugar.
Add the oil, the whole egg, and the egg white, mixing well to combine.
Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the raisin mixture. Add the remaining whole raisins and stir to combine.
Fill the pastry bag half full and pipe or spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, mounding the batter slightly but taking care not to overfill.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are well-browned and firm to the touch.
3. Wasabi Pea Snack Mix
INGREDIENTSFor the wasabi peas:
1cup dried whole peas
1 1/2tablespoons wasabi paste (find this at your local Asian market, or use wasabi powder to make paste --- usually there are directions on the container)
1/2teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2teaspoon ground mustard
For the snack mix:
2tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8cup (2 tablespoons) Sriracha
1tablespoon soy sauce
1/2teaspoon garlic powder
1/2teaspoon powdered ginger
2cups crispy rice cereal squares (like Rice Chex)
1package dry ramen, broken into pieces (throw away the weird flavor packet)
1/2cup cheese crackers (like Cheez-Its, but not Cheese Nips because those are worse -- trust)
1/2cup corn chips (like Fritos)
In a bowl, cover peas with water and soak overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 200° F. Rinse peas and pour into a pot with fresh water and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking peas until they are just tender. Drain peas and allow to dry completely.
Spread peas in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 250° F.
Allow peas to cool slightly before pouring them into a bowl with wasabi paste, tahini, vinegar, and ground mustard. Mix to evenly coat.
Spread peas in a single layer on (the same! you’re smart) parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Peas can be made a few days ahead if kept in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can buy wasabi peas and skip right to this next step.
Preheat the oven to 250° F. Melt butter in a small bowl. Add Sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Whisk to combine.
Mix cashews, cereal, corn chips, ramen pieces, and cheese crackers in a large bowl. Pour melted butter mixture over it and toss to coat.
Dump onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until the mix is crunchy, about an hour, tossing occasionally. Allow to cool.
Stir in 1/2 cup wasabi peas. Serve or store
4. Herbed Butternut Squash Chips
1small butternut squash, about 1 pound
2teaspoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (I used sage, thyme and oregano)
4teaspoons olive oil
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oven to 250 degrees F and put a rack in the middle of the oven. Peel the squash and cut it in two, separating the thin end without seeds from the bulbous end. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them (or save and roast them if you're feeling energetic).
Slice the squash finely with a mandoline, about an 1/8-inch thick. You'll have nice neat rounds from the seedless end, and pretty rings from the other end.
Toss the squash in a bowl with the herbs, olive oil and salt. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and spread out the squash slices in a single layer on the parchment. Bake for an hour, then flip the slices using tongs or a spatula. Bake for another hour. Turn the slices again, lower the heat to 200 degrees and bake for another hour. Turn off the oven and let the chips cool in there for several hours, or overnight. Remove from the parchment and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
[bctt tweet="10 Make-Ahead Snacks To Keep You Full All Day Long"]
5. Bulgogi Jerky
2pounds beef, top or bottom round
1cup soy sauce
1cup pear nectar
1/4cup toasted sesame oil
1jalapeño, chopped (seeded if you wish)
1/2yellow onion, chopped
4tablespoons ginger, grated
2tablespoons sesame seeds
Place beef in freezer to firm up enough to slice very thinly (about 1/4"). Blend remaining ingredients except for salt, sesame seeds, black pepper, and kochukaru until smooth. Add beef to marinade stirring gently to make sure all is coated and marinate about 7 hours.
Heat oven to 200º F. Drain beef, blot dry with paper towels and place on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Grind the salt and sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (you can use a spice grinder, just be sure not to turn the mixture into a paste). Sprinkle over beef, then grind fresh black pepper and add chili if desired.
Bake about four hours, rotating pans halfway through, until dried and jerky-like. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
6. Sriracha Cocoa Cashews
1/3cup granulated sugar
1/3cup brown sugar
1/4cup cocoa (divided)
1tablespoon grated galangal (or ginger)
Zest of 1 lime
4cups cashew halves
1teaspoon sriracha sauce (or more to taste)
1tablespoon lime juice
1/2cup diced candied ginger (optional)
1/2cup diced dried mangos (optional)
Preheat oven to 275 F.
Beat the egg white and water together until light and frothy.
In a separate bowl, combine all but 2 tablespoons of the cocoa, the sugars, galangal, salt, cayenne, and lime zest. Make sure it’s well combined.
Fold the nuts into the egg whites and then add the sugar and spice and sriracha. Combine well.
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. A silpat will be helpful, but if you don’t have one, use a sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.
Remove from oven and add lime juice, then sprinkle with the rest of the cocoa powder. Return to oven just for a couple minutes to dry out a bit. Allow to cool completely (5 to 10 minutes) before serving. If using, toss in the ginger and mango at the end.
7. Avocado And Marinated Kale Sandwich
1bunch of lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded or very finely chopped
1small shallot, peeled and sliced very thinly (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3smallish radishes, thinly sliced
1/4cup good aged Parmesan or Grana Padano, crumbled or shredded
3tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon-basil aioli (see below)
3 or 4ciabatta-ish rolls, sliced in half and toasted
Toss the shredded kale with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Squeeze everything together with your hands several times to start to gently soften the kale's toughness. Set aside.
Meanwhile, toss the sliced shallot with the remaining lemon juice and set aside. Let both the kale and the shallot marinate for at least 30 minutes. Then, toss them together along with the sliced radishes, cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
For each sandwich, spread a toasted roll generously with lemon-basil aioli on one half. Smash half of an avocado on the other half and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Pile on some kale salad, close the sandwich and eat. Simple!
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1teaspoon lemon zest
1large egg yolk
1small garlic clove, chopped to a paste
1/2cup (approximately) neutral-flavored oil
3 to 4large basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, egg yolk, and garlic. Whisk in the oil very slowly; start with one drop at a time and work up to a thin, steady stream as the mixture starts to thicken and emulsify. You can also whip everything together in a blender or food processor, but aioli made by hand has a better texture (and makes you feel more like a superstar). When enough oil is incorporated to reach your desired thickness, you can stop adding it and fold in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using to allow the flavors to settle and develop. (you can also just stir the lemon juice, zest, garlic, and basil into about 2/3 cup of store bought mayo and it'll still be really good).
8. Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Tortas
INGREDIENTSFor the chicken
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
2large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise and pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
3/4cup whole-wheat flour
3/4cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4cup shelled pistachios, pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
For the avocado sauce and tortas
1ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
Juice of 1 lime
2tablespoons sour cream
4hoagie or torta buns
One15-ounce can black beans, liquid included, roughly mashed
1/3cup pickled jalapeños
2Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2cups lettuce, shredded
To prepare the chicken: Preheat oven to 425º F. In small bowl, stir together cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with the spice mixture. Place flour in shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, lightly whisk the eggs. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and chopped pistachios.
Spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Working with one piece at a time, dip the chicken into the flour, shaking off any excess, then into the egg and breadcrumb mixtures. Place on a prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the pieces are lightly browned and their internal temperature reaches 165º F.
Meanwhile, prepare the avocado sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the avocado, lime juice, and sour cream.
To make the tortas: Spread one side of each bun with mashed black beans. Over the beans, place the chicken, jalapeños, tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado sauce. Place hoagie bun tops over the tortas.
9. Almond Butter Buckeyes
1 1/2cups almond butter (or cashew, peanut, or sunflower butter)
1/2cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4cups confectioners' sugar, as needed
1 1/2cups chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon and a lot of arm power, cream together the almond butter and the butter until light in color and airy in texture. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
Whisk the confectioners' sugar with the cinnamon.
Next, pour in the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, and beat until the sugar is incorporated and the dough holds together when compacted. If the mixture is still wet -- as might be the case if you're using almond butter with a lot of natural oils -- you'll need to add more confectioners' sugar. Make sure to add the sugar slowly: You can always add more but you won't be able to go back.
Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape the dough into small balls that are about the size of 2 compacted tablespoons. Place each ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheets in the freezer to firm up for 20 to 30 minutes.
When the peanut butter balls are sufficiently chilled, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals until it's smooth and glossy.
Dip each frozen ball into the melted chocolate, coating each as much as you'd like. Once all of the peanut butter balls have their chocolate coats, lay them back to rest on the baking sheets and spear each one with a toothpick for a cleaner eating experience.
Sprinkle the buckeyes with flaky sea salt while the chocolate is still melty -- that'll help the salt to adhere.
Put the sheets back into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the chocolate has set and the buckeyes are firm. Sneak 1 or 2 for yourself, then wrap them up for your valentine. (And save any extra in the refrigerator for the next couple of weeks. Or keep them in the freezer for whenever you need a spontaneous gift.)
10. Hippie Crispy Treats
1/2cup maple syrup
1/2cup brown rice syrup
1/2cup almond butter
1/2cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
2tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1/4teaspoon fine sea salt
4cups crisp rice cereal
2tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1/2cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
1/4cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon)
Line an 8x8 square pan with a sling of parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the maple and rice syrups to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon (be careful not to let it boil over). Remove from the heat and stir in the nut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt until everything is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Fold in the rice cereal and pack the mixture firmly and evenly into the lined pan (damp fingers can help here).
In a small saucepan (or the same big one, if you've scraped it clean), melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil together over very low heat, stirring constantly just until melted (be careful not to scorch the chocolate). Pour the chocolate mixture over the rice mixture, spreading it smooth. Sprinkle the nuts and flaky salt over the top.
Let the bars set at cool room temperature (about 2 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 1 hour) until firm. Lift the sling out of the pan, trim away the edges if you like, and cut into 16 squares.
These treats are best the day they are made. They will keep at room temperature for several days, though the cereal will soften slightly.
If you need need more ideals on how to eat clean and keep yourself going in the healthiest way possible, check out the BodyRock Beginner Bootcamp Meal Plan. In it you will find detailed shopping lists, recipes and ideas for all your dietary needs. That's right, we've got you covered if your are a self-professed carnivore, a vegetarian or a vegan. The plan is interchangeable so you can borrow from one of the other diets or stick with what you like best! Have a look and sign up here!
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