My criteria for snacks are pretty simple: they must be delicious, healthy, convenient, and as minimally processed as possible. Oh and they must be vegetarian. Preferably vegan. And I’m conducting a gluten free experiment (partly for health and partly for Lent– whatup my Catholic peeps!), so they’ve also got to be gluten free. Simple, right?
Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally where Harry explains that Sally is the worst kind of girl? A high maintenance girl who thinks she’s low maintenance. Just popped into my head for some reason. Weird.
Back to snacks…
I do most of my shopping in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but I’m fairly certain that all of the snacks I’ve mentioned are available everywhere now. With the exception of the 50% less salt almonds. Why is Trader Joe’s the only store that realizes we want an option in between salted and unsalted? I want a little salt sometimes, please!
(And I know you can make your own kale chips, but let’s be real here. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Sadly missing from the above photo is hummus and red pepper strips since the worst has happened and I ran out of both.
(Hint– life is easier if you cut a crapload of celery, carrots, and pepper strips when you come home from the store. There are many days a week when it’s so easy to grab a sandwich bag full of those veggies and a little container of hummus or nut butter, throw it in my purse and lunch is done!)
I must admit that I find oatmeal to be kind of meh. First off, it takes forever to make (if steel cut, which is the only kind you should be eating), and I just don’t have that kind of time in the morning. Plus it tastes like warm mushy nothing. I much prefer the taste and texture of brown rice, so here is my formula for Elle’s Brown Rice Breakfast Bliss. It’s a formula not a recipe because no one should have to measure or think as soon as they wake up.
About 1/2 cup leftover cooked brown rice (quinoa or barley probably work too)
1/4 (if microwaving) to 1/3 (if stovetop) almond, coconut, or soy milk
Agave syrup to taste (can sub honey or maple syrup if you like
About a tablespoon of nuts or seeds (I used pepitas in the photo above.)
About a tablespoon of dried fruit or 1/2 cup of fresh fruit or both
Toss it all together (except for the fresh fruit) and heat. I prefer stovetop heating to the microwave. The microwave simply heats the food, while cooking it for five minutes in a pot allows the flavors to meld together and some of the milk to evaporate and thicken. It is just yummier from the stove. Top off with fresh fruit and eat!
I’ve put everything together in a bowl the night before and just popped it on the stove in the morning (as a time saving option). By the time my hair is done, so is my breakfast.
Complex carbs, fiber, and good sugars are the best way to start your day!
I love smoothies. More specifically, I love my smoothies. Jamba Juice and Smoothie King are okay, but I think mine are much better. Probably because I use all fruit and no yogurt, sherbet, or weird filler stuff.
This particular smoothie has frozen organic strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, in addition to almond milk*, and organic baby spinach. I swap the fruit out according to what is in my freezer. Frozen peaches, mangoes, and bananas are delicious too.
*I like to use almond, coconut, or soy milk, but use whatever works for you. Rice or dairy milk will be great too if that’s what you like. If you want to be really decadent, you could use chocolate almond or soy milk with frozen bananas or berries. It’s like the most delicious milkshake on earth. And much less guilt inducing than a real milkshake.