Snack attack: Keep hunger at bay with healthier options

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Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Step away from the vending machine. Seriously, say goodbye to it. You’re breaking up — effective immediately.

When you’re hungry and in a hurry, there is a healthier way to snack — one that doesn’t require excess change or waiting to see if the bag of chips gets caught in coils. Homemade treats that you can make in advance, such as bliss balls, are the best way to keep your hunger at bay in between meals. 

Snacking brings back up energy levels, helps you focus and stabilizes your metabolism. If you’re not choosing the right snacks for your body, you’re just consuming empty calories that don’t provide any nutrition — keeping you hungry, and putting you at risk for weight gain.

Swap out candy bars for more complex snacks that are full of fiber, protein and natural sugar — crucial nutrients that keep your body running strong all day. 

Whip up some hummus in a blender and use raw or steamed veggies as the dipping vehicle. Don’t know how to put down that can of Pringles? Fill it up with homemade kale chips that require less than five minutes of prep time.  

If you have more of a sweet tooth, there are still healthy options available that won’t cause a crazy spike in your blood sugar. Look for an easy option, such as pairing an apple with homemade nut butter or sprinkling cinnamon on stovetop popcorn, to keep you wide awake during that 3 p.m. class. 

Dates, a fruit high in fiber and minerals, are found in the bulk or refrigerated sections of grocery stores around Austin. Bliss balls, a combination of dates and nuts, are an excellent option to bust your sweet cravings. Make them on a Sunday and keep them in your fridge to snack on all week long. Dates, although sugary, are full of fiber and minerals that promote overall health, making them the perfect base for a very blissful snack.

 

Bliss Ball Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • - 1/4 cup almonds, unsalted
  • - 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • - 15 soft Medjool dates (soak in warm water if hard)
  • - 1 tablespoon warm water

Optional toppings:

  • - Chia seeds
  • - Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • - Cacao powder
  • - Freeze-dried fruit

Directions:

  1. - Pulse almonds and rolled oats in a food processor until a semi-fine meal forms. Remove into a bowl and set aside. 
  2. - Process dates in a food processor until a ball forms. Add one tablespoon of water and process until a paste forms. Add in almond oat mixture and process until thoroughly combined. 
  3. - Using a spoon or one-tablespoon scoop, scoop mixture onto a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With slightly wet hands, roll into balls. Roll ball in optional coatings, if desired. 
  4. - Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.