There are many people who eat three meals a day, and that’s it. Then there’s everyone else. The two of us cannot live without snacks. We don’t even try. But let’s be real — snacks can easily derail attempts to eat in a healthy way. Some chips here, some cookies there — so much junk, so many calories, and so little thought in the process. While reframing our relationship with food, both of us needed to change what snacks we eat. Just as important, we had to rethink where we eat them. Actually, it's more a matter of where we don’t eat snacks. Neither of us has unhealthy, calorie-dense food when we’re in the car, at the movies, in bed, or when we’re watching television. Just those minor changes were ways for us to rid ourselves of several unhealthy conditioned habits — and we've changed them for good.
We always have fruits and non-starchy vegetables in our refrigerators, and we eat them freely. But we're also more creative than just having heaps of raw produce on hand. Here are some of our favorite go-to snacks:
Jay’s favorite snacks
- Carrots and hummus are the perfect mindless snack for me. They have the sweetness in them, and they also have all that crunch that I often want when I’m having a snack.
- I like to cut cauliflower into thin slices, roast them, and then eat them as “chips.”’
- I try to make high-protein snacks, as the protein satisfies me and helps me stay full. Here are some ones that I like:
- Tuna, on top of spinach, on top of a whole-grain cracker
- A fruit dip made of a blend nut butter, yogurt, honey, and cinnamon
- Hard-boiled eggs, chopped avocado, bell peppers and onion
- Chickpeas, avocado, and feta cheese
- Whole-grain toast topped with cottage cheese, sliced avocado, and tomato
- Cucumbers thinly sliced the long way into strips (I use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin), topped with sliced turkey, pesto, red pepper slices and spinach. Then I roll up the whole thing and secure with toothpick. This snack is perfect for travel!
Janice’s favorite snacks
- Soup and roasted vegetables. I always have them in my refrigerator. I change up the soup, and I change up the vegetables — but I always have something that’s warm and satisfying and that can be heated up in 60 seconds.
- Plain yogurt and berries with seeds or chopped nuts
- Sliced sweet potatoes. A while ago, we shared a recipe for Joanna’s magic caramelized sweet potatoes. They make a great snack.
- I seem to need to have snacks with me pretty much all the time wherever I am. I think it’s more of an anxiety thing than a hunger thing. But it’s a thing. And that means that I need to prepare ahead of time so that I don’t go down a rabbit hole of mindlessness, poor choices, and self-recrimination. Here are some of my go-to friends that I might take along with me:
- Red pepper slices
- Jicama or carrot sticks
- Apple slices
- Bosc pear slices (the other varieties get bruised and mushy)
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Almonds – in a limited quantity. Yes, they’re really healthy, but they are an example of a nutrient dense but caloric dense food. I just eat plain roasted ones, which are not something I crave, as opposed to the really delicious ones with covered in sweet stuff.
- Water. Sometimes, “hunger” is really thirst. Good to know.
And now, today’s recipe. Or recipes, because there are savory versions and a sweet version. We hope you’ll love them.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained.
- 1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
Savory ingredients options:
- salt & pepper &/or paprika &/or 1 tsp chili powder &/or grated lime rind OR
- 1 tsp curry powder & ¼ tsp cayenne pepper OR
- 1 Tbl chopped fresh herbs
Sweet ingredients option:
- 1 Tbl cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 Tbl maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Dry the chickpeas really, really, really well. Use a dish towel (if you skip this step, you get soggy little balls of mush)
- In a bowl, combine the dried chickpeas with the oil and one of the savory options or the sweet one.
- Pour onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure the chickpeas are in a single layer.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until the chickpeas are really crisp.
By the way, the savory versions are great on salad or in soup.