Text, recipes and photos by Chef Joey
We all know that having a good breakfast is the foundation to a good day. Well the roof is a healthy afternoon snack. The British call it High Tea. You figure we eat between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., then four hours later it is lunch, then maybe seven hours later it is dinner. So in between a snack is in order!
Afternoon snacks were an integral part of my youth. My mother made cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, sugar sandwiches, which is bread with butter and a little honey or maple syrup drizzled on it, or she simply gave me a piece of chocolate! Having no Internet and just one household television, we were active, so calories were not a consideration.
Nowadays, with working parents, computers, games and smart phones, one can keep busy and snacks can be dangerous and full of hydrogenated oil and empty calories. For smart snacks, I buy the “go-gurt,” basically yogurt in a tube, and I freeze them as a healthy Popsicle.
Hummus is always a great snack with carrots and celery! Hummus is always on sale at the supermarket … OR you can make some. It is very easy to make! You need chic peas, tahini, which is sesame paste, garlic and lemon juice.
Simply drain the chic peas, add to a blender
toss in 1 clove garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
and ¼ cup tahini … and blend.
If it is too thick, add a little more liquid from the can.
Add a pinch of salt, if needed.
You can put into a container and refrigerate – this snack lasts up to two weeks … and it costs less than $2 a batch.
If your craving is chocolate, take a small bag of white chocolate morsels, a bag of dark chocolate morsels, 1 cup of dried cranberries (craisins) and ½ cup slivered almonds.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler
Add the craisins and almonds
Mix well and drop by the teaspoonful on a cookie sheet and refrigerate – or freeze for instant bonbons!
High tea has interesting little snacks, especially the tea sandwiches: egg salad, cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, tuna and chicken salad, to name a few.
These are all incredibly easy to make, and cut into four triangles, they make a tasty bite-sized, hand-held snack for that kid on the go.
We never really had chips and dip growing up: the European instinct is definitely to make something fast and nutritious.
My really favorite snack was a banana milkshake that my mother would make when the bananas were a little too brown to hold.
She simply put 1 banana into a blender, 1 cup milk and 1 teaspoon sugar, if needed, and blended. She said she added an egg if she felt we needed a protein blast – we never knew! Other smoothies can be made with any fruit really, and the milk can be eliminated and lemonade or simply water added for vegans. Fast and easy.
Snacks should not be complicated.
I have a 2 ½ year old and her snacks of choice are raisins, dates and deluxe mixed nuts – cashews being the preferred nut! She also loves grapes cut up into small pieces mixed with blueberries and strawberries. Small crackers and peanutbutter or cashewbutter are another quick fix that will not break the bank.
If we all took a few minutes to get back to basics, we would save money, get reconnected with our kitchens, and “grow” strong, healthy children. Remember: we are teaching them healthy habits that last a lifetime.
We never had sweetened carbonated beverages (soda) when I was growing up, and I can honestly say that I have not had any soda for 45 years or so. It is horrible for your bone marrow and can promote osteoporosis, as it is not a natural beverage you would find in the wild. That’s why water is your best bet.
Now that we have access to the Internet there are hundreds of easy to follow recipes and snack ideas to look up. But remember the easiest ones are the simplest ones!