Sticking to your resolutions
Healthy snacks to kick your cravings in 2017
By Kourtney Meldrum, Food Columnist
The first month of 2017 is swiftly passing, and if you’re like me you’re still at the point where you’re trying to stick to those New Years resolutions. It’s not easy (it never is) to make these drastic life changes. Maybe you’ve promised yourself that you’ll try to hit the gym more, stop procrastinating as much, or, like a lot of people, try to eat a little bit better.
Eating healthier is a transition into a healthy lifestyle, and takes time to get yourself into the groove of. In a society of relentlessly busy individuals, convenience often trumps the decision to find a healthier food alternative. But the reality is that making your own healthy snacks to bring on the go with you doesn’t have to take tons of time and can also be delicious!
Here are three of my favourite quick, simple, and delicious healthy snacks. And the best part? All you need is a handful of ingredients and about 30 minutes.
Sugar Free Chocolate Oat Cookies
What you’ll need:
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats,
- 3/4 cups honey
- 2/3 cup peanut butter (I use Kraft Smooth and Light)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
The best thing about this recipe is that you probably have most, if not all of these ingredients in your house anyways. The second best thing is that these cookies need no baking at all.
To begin, you’ll line two baking sheets with parchment paper (make sure your baking sheets fits in your freezer before you get started).
Then in a saucepan on about medium-high heat you can begin to combine the honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Stir all of these ingredients until they’re blended together smoothly and then stir in the oats, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt until the entire mixture is evenly coated.
Use a spoon to make balls and drop the cookies on the baking sheet before placing them into the freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.
After the 15 minutes is up take your treats out of the freezer and have a taste without feeling guilty! Make sure to store these bad boys in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer (unless you eat them all in one sitting like me).
Sugar Free Chocolate Oat Cookies
All you’ll need to make this is:
- 1 cup of peanut butter (non-natural)
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of honey
To start, get a 9×9 baking tray and line it with non-stick foil (or regular foil if you use non-stick spray). Next, melt together the honey and peanut butter in either the microwave or on the stove so that the mixture is smooth. Next add in the oats and combine so that everything is equally coated.
Pour everything into your pan and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and when it is set you can cut it into squares to enjoy. Store them in the fridge to keep them sticky, or keep them out to have them warm and soft.
You can always add to this snack and customize by adding in chocolate chips, dried fruit (Uhm goji berries please) some small cut up peanuts or other nuts, or maybe a mixture of all of them!
Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”
Okay. I’ll be upfront with you. This isn’t ice cream but it very well may as well be, and dare I say it’s even better?! Not only does it taste delicious but you don’t have to feel bad about every bite you put in your mouth.
To make this, all you’re going to need is:
- 2 frozen and chopped bananas
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (could this be any easier?)
Start by taking your two chopped up and frozen bananas and placing them in either a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (you may need to add water to have a perfect mixture). I would suggest a food processor over a blender, because I found the blender had mine ending up more like a milkshake, though it still tasted delicious.
Next add in the peanut butter and cocoa powder and blend again until the mixture is evenly mixed. This is best when eaten immediately, and the recipe can be easily doubled to make more than a single serving. You could also add other fruit, nuts, or crumbled cookies to make your own version of a sundae!
The best thing about all of these recipes is that they’re relatively simple, quick, and require few ingredients. You won’t have to worry about the thought of healthy eating hanging over your head when you bite into these treats, because they taste amazing without taking up too many calories. Go into the 2017 with a little bit of fun and healthy indulgence!