Can you believe it’s April already?!
I can’t! Although I wish time would slooooooooow down a bit, I have a few fun things to look forward to this month…including one of my best friend’s weddings AND a much-needed vacation to the Dominican Republic. I absolutely cannot wait to hang out in the sunshine on the beach for a whole week. It sounds amazing after the ridiculous winter we’ve been having!
Alright, so…what’s on my mind today? SNACKS. Snacks are important, you guys. Although I try to make sure my meals fill me up enough so that I don’t need to snack (it can be inconvenient), sometimes those hunger pains hit mid-morning or afternoon & it is absolutely necessary to have something close-by to munch on. Here are the 4 things I look for when choosing snacks:
- A source of protein, carbs and fat – these are the three macronutrients that our bodies need for energy. You need ALL of them for optimal health. Including all three in your snacks is helpful for promoting fullness and keeping your energy levels up.
- Something that has some fiber, which is filling & will help keep you satisfied until you’re able to eat a full meal.
- CRUNCHINESS. Enough said. I have a thing for crunchy snacks…if it’s not crunchy, it’s not worth it (is anyone else with me on this?!)
- Good taste & flavor! If a snack is boring or doesn’t taste great, I’m not into it. To me, snacks are more exciting and satisfying if they are pleasing to the taste buds.
When it comes to “typical” healthy snacks that are often recommended, such as raw almonds, plain fresh fruit, veggies & hummus, and so on…they’re all great but I get bored with them easily. If you like them, that’s fantastic. If you don’t, I’ve got a yummy snack recipe for you to try: BLUEBERRY COCONUT GRANOLA!
Blueberry Coconut Granola
Making homemade granola is one of my favorite things. It just tastes better, and it’s cheaper (store-bought granola often comes with a hefty price tag). I also enjoy making it because it meets all of my “snack requirements” that I listed above: it contains protein, fat, carbs and fiber, it’s crunchy and it’s delicious. If you have a thing for crunchy like I do, you’ll be sure to love this granola! What also makes this recipe great is that it’s lower in sugar than a lot of store-bought granola. Although it contains 1/4 cup of maple syrup, you can choose to leave that out of the recipe.
I know, I know…granola can be addicting and it definitely is easy to overeat. What I do to make sure that doesn’t happen is pre-portion it into baggies or containers immediately after I’m done making it. A reasonable portion size is about 1/4 – 1/2 cup, depending on your hunger level. If you make a big batch of this granola on the weekend, you’ll have snacks to munch on allllllll week long!
- 2 cups oats, dry
- 1 cup coconut chips (or flakes)
- 1 cup nuts of your choice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup dried blueberries
- Optional: chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix all ingredients, except for the dried blueberries, together in a bowl.
- Spread the granola mixture out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until lightly toasted.
- Let the granola cool, and then mix the dried blueberries into the granola.