Five Healthy Snacks You’ll Never See In a Vending Machine

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Does this sound familiar – it’s late afternoon, you’re beat but there’s tons still to do. You can’t nap because if you do either your boss will fire you or your family will, so the only option to boost energy reserves is to eat. And what you really want to eat are the kettle chips that are one dollar and one plunge off the vending machine shelf, away from your mouth, but you know you should eat the carrots you packed this morning, back when you were feeling rested and flush with resistance. But alas, it’s not 8 a.m., you’re not rested and the chips are staring at you longingly and you’re returning the affectionate gaze. Mae West famously said, “The only thing I can’t resist is temptation” and if I’m ever hit with the deadly triplets of tiredness, stress and hunger – I can’t either.  The chips win.

My philosophy is simple, “What you have is what you eat”.  Granted, you can’t control what’s stocked in the vending machine, but you can control what route you take back to your desk so you wont SEE the M&Ms. At home, unless you have a vending machine and unless it’s stocked by the same people that stock the one at your office, you DO have control of what food’s around you.   And what’s key here is to have the snacks grab-ready.  The “good for you” snacks need to be as accessible as the cookies or else they won’t be eaten. The only thing that goes faster than discipline when you’re hungry and tired is your desire to spend time making a healthy snack.

Here are five super easy-to-make snacks to can keep on hand:

Edamame: Cook the pods, add salt while they’re still warm so it will stick to them, put them in the fridge and then snack on them for days.

Sweet Potato Wedges: Cut a sweet potato into 8 pieces length-wise, drizzle with some oil and salt and bake on a cookie sheet for about 30 mins or until tender. They will last for about 4 days in the fridge. (The dip shown in the photo is simply Greek yogurt with some pepper flakes.)

Beet Chips:  Slice a raw beet quite thinly with a mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and bake on a cookie sheet until crisp.

Kale Chips: Don’t even think about buying these at the store as they are insanely expensive!  Instead, buy a head of curly kale, remove the stems, cut each leaf in three, coat with a little oil and salt, bake for about 20 minutes on low heat and that’s it!  You’ll be snacking on them like they’re kettle chips.

Curried Almonds:  I accidentally stumbled upon this “recipe” when I tossed some almonds into a cast iron pan that had remnants of a curry dish I’d cooked the night before (and out of laziness not washed the pan…Add some oil to a pan (cast iron preferably and a clean pan is fine!), heat, add whole raw almonds, some salt and a dash of curry. Shake the pan to get both sides brown.

What are your easy to whip up, snack favorites?

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Michelle

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