3 healthy snacks you can’t live without

Was there anything better than snack time after school?! My mom would sometimes pick me up after high school swim team practice with a bag of still-hot bakery fresh cheese pizza bagels, and I’d devour two in the car before dinner, no problem.  Bring it on. Twenty years ago I was a lean, mean 14-year-old garburator.

Those days of consequence-free carb consumption are gone, along with my motivation for swimming one hundred laps of the butterfly stroke to balance out the bagels.  Today it’s all about healthy, gluten free (found out I was celiac in my late twenties) digestive-friendly snacks that are easy to prep and that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you’re paleo, vegan, dairy-sensitive or just trying to avoid the vending machines and drive-thru’s, there’s something here for you.

Black Bean Brownies: Don’t let the name fool you. These fudgey chocolate delights are packed with fibre and omegas and will satisfy the most discerning of snackers, even the chocoholics and those who “hate beans.” Puh-lease. Make a dozen in your muffin tin and see how fast they go! Thanks to Minimalist Baker for this recipe! vegan-brownies 2

Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 5 tbsp water)
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup raw sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you’ve rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

 

Salmon Avocado Endive Boats

Not just for fancy cocktail parties! This is one grown up snack that tastes so effing good.  Not everyone is a fan of these individual flavours, but something about the creamy avocado and salty smoked salmon balances out the subtle bitterness of the endive…and well, it’s divine. Check out some more health benefits of endives here. endives 2

Ingredients

  • endives
  • smoked wild salmon
  • sliced avocado

Instructions: put together and eat! Also doubles for a great lunch.

 

Celery and “Cheese-Whiz”

Vegan cheese is where it’s at. Don’t laugh or stop reading. I know it sounds horrific. But don’t knock it til you try!  Kids love it, it’s delicious AND full of B-vitamins. Did you know the majority of the population is deficient in vitamin B12? Fact. Don’t let that be you. Put this recipe into your snack rotation! You can have your cheese and eat it too. cheese 2

Ingredients

  • celery sticks (always buy organic as these are part of the dirty dozen with pesticide absorption)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in warm water for 1hr + , or in hot water for 5 if you’re in a rush)
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (SO high in B vitamins!)
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. dijon mustard
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Add all ingredients into your Vitamix or high speed blender and blend until thick and creamy. It will be the consistency of stirred cream cheese. This will harden more after it’s been chilled. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Spread on celery, or any veggies for that matter, and enjoy!

 

Happy snacking!!