What a difference a day makes! The extreme cold has departed, it was part of what the weather people call a polar vortex. it is a balmy -5C today. That was the temperature of the interior of our country house, the early winter when we had no source of heat. Not particularly comfortable for indoors, but downright balmy for a February morning!
I’ve been thinking about snacks. Snacks are tough. What I would love to eat for health are chocolate bars, potato chips, french fries, cheesecake, ice cream… well, you get the picture, all those decadent empty calories that pave the path to poor health.
I -L O V E- sugar. I come by this honestly, my Grandpa was the same way. I remember watching in fascination as he took a large slice of sweet fruit pie, poured heavy cream over it, and then sprinkled white sugar generously over all. He also smoked his whole life. He was lean and fit all his life, and lived to be 90 years old, in good health until the day he stopped being alive. I too love sugar, but unlike Grandpa, when I eat a lot of it my blood pressure begins to do funny things, not good funny either. So I have to accept that those are the cards I’ve been dealt, and play my hand accordingly.
Finding something to nibble on that tastes good, that is low-sodium, low-sugar, low-cholesterol, and low-calorie, is pretty challenging.
When I am craving something sweet, I take out the blender, a frozen banana, and a bit of 1% lactose free milk. Blending the banana and the milk results in a sweet, creamy concoction that I can eat with a spoon, I like it much better than ice cream! The blender we had was not able to function properly with the frozen banana, it was quite an ordeal to get the job done. So for Christmas I used the money my Mom gave me for Christmas, and some money I’d saved, and bought a 2 hp motor, 1500 watt blender that has no difficulty at all handling a frozen banana. The frozen banana/milk treat is my favourite.
Another snack I really enjoy is a little more decadent. A sweet potato cooked in the Instant Pot is mashed and mixed with a teaspoon of maple syrup, a teaspoon of oil, and a teaspoon of Roasted Garlic and Pepper herb mix. This is a warm, filling, and a simply delicious sweet and salty snack, that is low everything it needs to be.
Other snacks consist of Turmeric Cookies, and homemade muffins. Cookie and muffins can be very high sugar and high fat, but not these recipes. The cookie recipe calls for 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and the muffin recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Both recipes include a cup or more of pureed squash, or applesauce, or grated carrots, or a little of each. Both recipes are made with only one cup of all-purpose flour, and one cup of oatmeal. Well, they are healthy recipes, and the results are sweet enough for my sugar/salt/fat adjusted palate.
Of an evening, Attila has taken to preparing a green salad for himself, as a snack. I asked if he would make enough for me to have a small bowl as well, which he has gladly done. Not wanting to use the store-bought dressings, and not eating enough salad to warrant a batch of homemade dressing, I came upon the idea of using my canned applesauce as a dressing. It is delicious as dressing! I also top my little salad with a tablespoon or so of walnut pieces, and a light sprinkling of Roasted Garlic and Pepper herb.
When I seek a little bit of salty I turn to two herb mixtures bought at the grocery store. The first is Roasted Garlic and Pepper, which has 210 mg of sodium per teaspoon. The second is Garlic Plus, which has 110 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Salt has 2,325.5 mg of sodium per teaspoon, so you can see the benefit of the herb mixtures. Because my palate is adjusted to low-sodium, the Roasted Garlic and Pepper herb mixture tastes very salty to me, and the Garlic Plus just salty. I usually use Garlic Plus to sprinkle on bland food, or cooked vegetables, to give the a little flavour boost.
Sometimes for a snack I just grab a little dish of my canned applesauce, or my canned strawberry/rhubarb (which has sugar added, I won’t, can’t really, eat rhubarb without a bit of sweetening).
When feeling extremely decadent, I pop some organic popcorn, add a little butter and sprinkle it with Roasted Garlic and Pepper. I don’t do this often, i am also conscious of calories, and I am definitely not underweight.
Well there you have it, my snacking habits revealed.
Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 2 February 2019
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Dew point: -8.2°C
Wind: SW 27 gust 40 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km
“The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.”
1723 – 1815
Love the sound of your sweet potato snack! What is the brand of the Roasted Garlic and Pepper mix that you use? Oh, and is that black pepper or bell peppers as the ingredient?
Teri, the Roasted Garlic and Pepper I bought is Club House, I notice the generic brands have a version as well, but I haven’t tried it. The label says garlic, and red and green bell peppers. I bumped into this herb mixture by chance. I was looking for something to make the dip with, and found a small jar of this mixture on the shelf at Walmart. Loved it from the beginning.
Another spice mix I like is made by Tone’s (don’t know if it’s available in your part of the world) called Louisiana Style Cajun Seasoning. It, too, is garlic and pepper based. It has 250 mg of sodium per teaspoon, but I’ve never used that much at once by a long shot. I find that just a little sprinkling adds a “brightness” to some foods without making them peppery hot. The ingredients list does not include any preservatives.
Wow, that is something I’ll be on the lookout for Wendy, thanks! I found a Louisiana Style Cajun Seasoning in Canada, but it isn’t Tone’s, I also found some recipes to make it yourself, so I’ll be looking into that one!