Sarah’s Favorite Quick and Easy Snacks

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Holy heck do I get hangry.  If the man and I are ever having an argument he usually pauses the fight to get me a snack. Seriously. It usually works too. Being hungry can hijack your brain and cause you to do and say crazy stuff. It’s all about survival though so before we blame our monkey brains, let’s just make a snack instead.  Here are my favorite quick and easy snacks.

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Seven Delicious Popsicle Recipes

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Happy Monday!  What’s in store for your week?  I’m attempting to squeeze forty hours of work into three days before skipping off to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  I’ve never been there before so I’m SUPER excited to explore the coast yet equally pumped to sit back, sun it up, and finish my book.  While I’m wasting away in front of my monitor editing, designing and emailing, you should probably mix up one or all of these delicious popsicle recipes that we’ve featured in the past.

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Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

Nuts are our ingredient of the season. We’ve been using them for sweetsdrinkssnack bars and savory condiments!

With summer approaching I began fantasizing about the hiking, camping, and other outside fun that we’re going to have. I also started thinking about snack ideas for those adventures, and having nuts on hand are a great, healthy option, but to keep things interesting, I like to swap out basic roasted nuts for this sweet and spicy option. A bag of roasted or spiced nuts holds up much better than our favorite fruit and nut snack bars, when stuffed into a pack, but those snack bars do make a great fast breakfast when you’re running out the door to get an early start on that hike!

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Cashew Lime Crema and Sweet Potato Fries {Vegan Option}

Nuts are our ingredient of the season. We’ve been using them for sweetsdrinks, snack bars and savory condiments!

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Happy Monday errrrr Wednesday!  We’re not the type to make excuses, but we’ve been busy!   This past week I spent my days in Boulder with Katie, Calder and their two boys.  It was such a blast! I can’t even think about all the fun I had or I might cry.  I’m not sure when my tears started flowing so freely, but I cry A LOT these days.  Usually it’s about happy moments or cute videos, but sometimes I tear up when people win on Wheel of Fortune. Yeah, what the hell is happening to me?! Anyway, when I think about how much fun I had this past week and how cute the kiddos are and how far away we live from each other I want to cry, but I won’t because I’m in control, right? Right.  

If you want to feel in control like me, you’ll totally make this lime crema because it’s the easiest and tastiest dipping sauce on BOTH sides of the Mississippi and as you’re shoveling spoonfuls into your mouth you’ll think “Holy cow that was easy. I rock. I’m a cuisine queen. I’m in control of my supper and my life.” At least that’s how my thoughts played out as I was dipping my sweet potato fries.   Oh and lime crema is adaptable too!  It’s basically an equation: cashews, liquid, salt and seasoning.  That liquid could be any type of milk, vegan or not, or you could use water; I promise it will taste just as creamy with water.  It’s amazing. Don’t ask questions.

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Nut & Fruit Bars

Nuts are our ingredient of the season. If you’re as excited as we are with this selection, you can get a head start with some of our past nut recipes, which we’ve added to the archive.

We end up eating a lot of snack bars in our house, most often packing them for hikes and days out, but also as a little treat at the moment when you realize that there’s too many hours between now and the next meal. I’ve never made a homemade snack or granola bar before, but have wanted to try for a long time because of the opportunity to personalize the ingredients. When I saw today’s recipe on Food52, I was excited to try it, partially because it’s simple enough, that it’s the perfect base for experimentation. Lo and behold, just six short months later I’ve finally put a batch together! We’ve been snacking on these all week, and I’ve quickly decided that this recipe is a keeper. Even little Alex, with his mouth full of teeth has no trouble eating these and always requests another.

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This couldn’t be a better first recipe for our nuts category, since it’s packed with walnuts, almonds, nut butters, coconut, and pumpkin & sunflower seeds (we’re being liberal with our nut category!).  Consider this nut & fruit selection below a suggestion and feel free to swap in your favorites and/or change the ratios to your liking. Of the few changes I made to the original recipe, I was most excited about my decision to add a touch of spice with the Baharat spice mix, which adds a bit of complexity and depth to the nutty flavors. I’ve included a link to our previous post with the Baharat blend if you want to try it, but using it is not necessary. You can completely leave out the spices or modify them to your liking ~ adding a pinch of whatever spice you like!

Nut & Fruit Bars

Nut & Fruit Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Baharat spice mix
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Line a baking dish with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until everything is well blended.
  3. Dump the mixture into a backing dish and press down to flatten.
  4. Freeze the mixture overnight, then cut into bars, and store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers in either in the freezer (my preference) or the fridge.
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The original recipe recommended keeping the finished bars in the fridge, but we first sampled them straight from the freezer (when I was cutting them), and we really liked how firm they were then as opposed to their softer texture after we moved them to the fridge; in the end we decided to keep them frozen. And really, that would be my one complaint with a recipe like this ~ that the bars have a tendency to crumble and fall apart if they get too warm. As a result, I’m still on the hunt for a homemade bar that’s just like this one except with a sturdier disposition for taking on hikes. If you have any recommendations, send them our way!

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Garlic + Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas

liveseasoned_winter14_chickpeas-5I’m a big fan of crispy, salty snacks, but I feel pretty bad about myself when I eat an entire bag of kettle cooked chips.  Maybe you don’t, which I applaud you for, and that case go open another bag while you read this recipe.  I think these garlic and parmesan roasted chickpeas are the perfect substitute for potato chips because they provide the crunch and the salt that I’m craving, but they also pack some protein.  They’re baked, not fried like chips, and really you could season them however you see fit.  I recently kicked my chips and dip habit (thank you, thank you very much) and I found I’m baking these up quite often to satisfy my salt tooth. Is that a thing? It is for me at least.

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Almost Vegan Jam Muffins

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A couple months ago, I was invited to a JAMboree hosted by a dear friend.  She described it as, “a sweet swap and contest of sorts.” She had us all cook up a favorite jelly, jam chutney or conserve and bring eleven quarter-pint or half-pint jars of our entry to her home.  She served wine as everyone had a taste of all the entries.  After all the wine sipping and socializing all the guests voted on their favorite and a winner was chosen.

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I’m not here to tell you I won. Before this, I had never canned solo.  I’ve done it plenty of times in my mom’s or Katie’s kitchen, but never in my own little apartment.  I was a little bit intimidate and overwhelmed by the possibilities.  I went to the farmer’s market to purchase supplies and I came home with 12 pounds of onions.  I was in a burger with blue cheese and onions phase.  I decided to can caramelized onions, which I now realize was the most unexciting offer, but at the time I was really excited about to make a big batch of them.  I cried. A lot. It was glorious.  Anyway, I mailed in my entry because I couldn’t attend in person (you’ll see me at the 2nd annual JAMboree!) and a month later my mom gave me eleven jars of delicious and interesting jams to try.  I had totally forgotten that I would be receiving jars of jam in exchange for my caramelized onion slop.  I’m over my blue cheese burger phase and well into my what do I do with all this jam phase.

I intended on creating a vegan jam muffin recipe, but in my morning daze I added honey to the muffins.  Technically honey isn’t vegan, which is why I hereby name this batter creation the almost vegan jam muffins!  You could swap out the honey for maple syrup or another preferred sweetener, but I love them just the way they are.  For the milk, I simply used almond milk; you can use whatever you prefer.  Instead of adding an egg, I created a flax meal egg substitute, the easiest and most reliable in my experience.

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 Ingredients:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup jam (I used a friend’s strawberry balsamic)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP ground flax meal
  • 3 TBSP water

 The How:

  • In a small cup stir 1 tablespoon of ground flax into 3 tablespoons of water and set aside.  This will transform into your egg substitute.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a standard-sized muffin tin.
  • Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, honey, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • By now the flax and water mixture should have a gelatinous texture resembling that of an egg. Incorporate the flax egg into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Pour the jelly into the batter and stir just a few times.  You want the jelly to appear in large swirls throughout the batter.  Add some more jelly if you want sweeter muffins.
  • Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way.  Batter should make 12-15 muffins.
  • Bake for 16-20 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the center of the largest muffin.  If it comes out clean they are done.  Remove the jam muffins from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Enjoy with tea, coffee or juice 🙂  These almost vegan jam muffins are hearty enough for breakfast, but delicious enough for dessert too!  The strawberry balsamic jam was SO tasty.  I was tempted to add nuts or oats to the muffins, but I really wanted the jam to shine in this recipe and it really does.  These whole wheat muffins have the perfect about of moisture and sweetness for a breakfast snack.  Now that they’re all gone, I’m left wishing I had more strawberry balsamic jam!

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