Dark chocolate avacado pudding; Ginger molasses energy bar.
Why do we reach for a chocolate bar or a bag of chips when we feel stressed or emotional? People tend to grab the foods that comforted them during their childhood, which is why we all turn into a schoolkid when we are stress eating.
The downside to it all, however, is that stress eating doesn’t just wreak havoc on the waistline; it’s also bad for your health. Poor nutrition can compromise your immune function, and with the coronavirus spreading across communities, do you really want to increase your risk of getting infected?
When it comes to meals and everything else in between, staying healthy means watching not only how much you eat but also what you eat, along with where and when.
Here are some healthy snacks to munch on when you are stressed out.
DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING
Avocados provide healthy fat and make this pudding super satiating. You can play with the recipe by adding a little ginger, cinnamon or cayenne pepper.
If you’ve got cocoa nibs, they make a lovely and crunchy garnish. Substitute almond or coconut milk for the yogurt and skim milk for a vegan treat.
2 small ripe avocados, pitted and scooped from skin
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Ground ginger, cinnamon or cayenne pepper, optional
Whipped cream, berries and/or cocoa nibs, for garnish
In a food processor, combine avocados, yogurt, milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and spice(s), if using. Process until very smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.
Serve in individual bowls, either alone or parfait style, layered with whipped cream and berries.
GINGER AND MOLASSES ENERGY BARS
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable or avocado oil
2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, mix together oats, flour, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, molasses, brown sugar and egg.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine; the mixture will be thick. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and spread into corners. Sprinkle candied ginger on top, if using.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until top is golden and crisp and middle is just set.
5. Leave to cool in pan then cut into 24 squares. Will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.
If you love snacks with crunch, these toasted chickpeas will make you happy. They’re loaded with fibre, zinc, folate and protein and also are gluten-free and vegan. Feel free to experiment with a variety of spices.
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour chickpeas onto a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and thoroughly pat dry.
2. Place chickpeas in bowl, and toss with oil and spices. Transfer to baking sheet and spread out in single layer.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and return to oven for 10 more minutes or until extra crispy. Allow chickpeas to cool completely before serving.
Tribune News Service