By Chef Rodney Cole, Parkland Clayton Park
How often, during the day, do you reach for a quick snack? Sometimes our choices are based on convenience, so we reach for cookies, ice cream, or snack crackers. The main reason we snack is a decrease in blood sugar and an urge for quick energy. This means we might reach for something sugary and that is not our best choice.
So, what are some great snack choices to have on hand? Here are some ideas:
1. Almonds – sometimes we avoid eating nuts because we are concerned that they are high in calories. However, we can eat them in small amounts, and they are beneficial to our health. Choose almonds that are toasted but not salted for a delicious snack that is affordable and stays fresh. Try sprinkling them in your morning oatmeal or chop them and put them in muffins.
2. Fruits – these are often the best snacks. They are packed with nutrients and fibre plus they taste great. There is such a variety of apples at your supermarket so try something new. Bananas are very affordable though not as shelf stable and they are a reliable source of potassium. Grapes have become a favourite snack for many during the COVID pandemic. They last well in the fridge, are sweet and are so easy to enjoy.
3. Yogurt parfaits – parfaits offer a wonderful opportunity to be creative and to use what you have on hand. Top your favourite type of yogurt with fresh or frozen berries or mix in some bran buds for extra crunch and fibre.
4. Oatmeal – it is so simple to make and very shelf stable. Treat yourself to a warm bowl of instant oatmeal any time of day.
Here is a simple recipe using ingredients we often have on hand. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. It is quick and makes our sweet tooth content, too.
Three Ingredient Healthy “Cookies” 1 ripe banana, mashed ½ cup dry quick rolled oats 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips
Add ins: Vanilla extract, almond extract, pumpkin seeds, coconut – be creative! I like the combination of a small splash of the two extracts.
1. Mash the banana in a small bowl
2. Stir in the dry oatmeal and add water till the combined ingredients look like wet cookie dough
3. Add the chocolate chips or other add ins
4. Drop by spoon “cookies” on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet – do not skip the liner or your cookies will stick, even on a nonstick baking surface
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes
6. Enjoy these fresh from the oven with a large green tea or glass of cold water. You can eat the whole batch!
Nutritional information for 1 batch of cookies: Carbohydrates 45g, Protein 6g, Fat 7g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium, 24mg, Potassium 438mg, Fibre 6g, Sugar 7g.