After Work Vegetarian Snack Ideas
Love to hear that from your kids and your stomach don't ya? :) I will post 5 of my favorite after school or after work snack ideas. These "recipes" (more like ideas) are generally not too sugary and will keep those afternoon pangs away. I love to take some of these with me to work as well... you never know when a hunger pang hits and it's always great when I am prepared.
Hummus and Pita
Protein and Carbs
This is one of my all time favorites. It is really easy to pick up some bread (pita bread or flat bread usually works best) and hummus from the supermarket.
To transport: Take one round of bread and cut it into little triangles and place it in a plastic bag. Take a dollop of hummus and put it in a small container. When hungry, take a bread piece, dip, and eat! Mmmmm!!!
Extra options: To make this into a full meal, bring along some celery or carrot stick to dip into the hummus too! Protein, Carbs, and Veggies all knocked off in one meal!
You can easily make hummus yourself! Check out these affordable garbanzo beans varieties to make your own!
Grapes and Cheese
Fruit and Dairy
It took me a while to be daring enough to try something sweet and salty like this, but it's actually a wonderful combination. I love walking through the grocery store's cheese selection and trying out the different cheese that are compatible with fruits. I traditionally eat a light brie cheese with grapes.
Transport: If you have the rind on the cheese you can just take a hunk wrapped in saran wrap. If you have time at home, you can pick off the grapes from the stem and carry them in a plastic sandwich bag. Otherwise, just get a little larger plastic bag and take the grapes, stems and all with you. You can pick em off at work. Then, at work, either dip the grapes into cheese if the cheese is soft enough; or take a knife and cut slices of the cheese and munch with the fruit.
Extra options: Ask your dairy specialist about their selection of light cheeses if you feel like being daring one day or if you get tired of brie cheese - this is an easy way to spice up an afternoon snack without any hassle at all. Grapes are traditional served with cheese, but you can also eat strawberries, blueberries, and pears. To make this into a full meal, try adding some crackers into the mix for a healthy dose of carbs!
There are certain restriction on brie cheese in the US because the French (who are experts at cheeses) traditionally don't pasteurize the milk. You might be able to get lucky on Amazon finding these French kinds.
Fruit and dairy
Mango lassi is not exactly fantastically healthy, but it sure does keep away hunger pains because of its high dairy content. This drink is traditionally made in India and it is quite easy to make a version of this drink. The original is much more thick because it uses yogurt instead or milk, but for a quick whip-up, I like this version. The recipe is in the module below.
Transport: A small thermos or coffee cup will do very nicely! Don't spill.
Extra options: Try substituting yogurt in for milk; or even better, Greek yogurt. This will up the protein in this drink as well as make it smoother and thicker.
Total Time: 5
- 1/2 cup mango pulp
- 2 cups cold milk
- Put ingredients into a blender and blend for 5-10 seconds (or until smooth and blended). Or, put ingredients into a glass and whisk by hand until smooth.
You can buy mango pulp in some specialty stores or here on Amazon!
Healthy chocolate cake and applesauce
Carbs and fruit
One of my favorites is the chocolate cake version of a healthy after school snack. It's obviously not THE healthiest option, but it certainly can be. Take any chocolate cake recipe and substitute 50% of the flour with whole wheat flour. Cut down the sugar by 1/3. If the recipe calls for chocolate bars, use a higher cocoa content. Substitute the oil with unsweetened applesauce. All of the small tweaks lead to a healthier chocolate cake with less fat and calories, thus allowing it to be a sufficient hunger squelcher. Applesauce can also be eaten on the side with this treat, thus adding in a healthy dose of fruits.
Transport: Cut only a small slice of the chocolate cake so you don't eat the entire pan in one sitting. Pack it in some aluminum foil or in a small sandwich bag. If you have a small ziplock box, take it in that so it doesn't get smashed on the ride. Applesauce can also be transported in a ziplock box or just buy the prepackaged from the store.
Extra options: Experiment with ways to remove sugar from the chocolate cake. There are many ways new options for sugar including Splenda ; but there are also other sources of natural sugar in the market now, including agave sugar. Check some of these out!
This is an interesting option I learned about through my local newspaper. It is 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar and is sometimes used as a vegan substitute for honey. The higher sweet density allows less of it to be used to achieve the same sweet taste of sugar, thus reducing the number of calories.
Watermelon and Lemonade
Fruit and ... fruit
I just had to add this combination into the lens. Oh, how many days have I passed with dripping watermelon juice trickling down my chin on a hot summer day. It really was a thing to look forward to when school let out. Watermelon has an extremely high water content so you aren't consuming many calories when you shove piece after piece into your mouth. The water content of the melon and the lemonade will keep you hydrated on a warm summer day. And needless to say, the sugar in the lemonade will keep those sugar cravings away too!
Transport: Use a melon scooper to get small balls of melon and pack into a sandwich bag. Carry the lemonade in a thermos or any old cup with a lid... hopefully spill-proof! If you can, carry it in a bag with an ice pack to keep both items chilled throughout the day.
Extra options: To make this combo healthy, make your own lemonade with a little less sugar and NO preservatives. To spice up the watermelon, try creating balls by using a melon scooper. The water-dripping-down-the-chin fun is great for outside, but maybe not so much for work :P
If you'd like to mention some of your other favorite recipes, let me know and I will post them!