We all get those midday or late night “snack attacks” Some people crave sweet, others crave salty — and sometimes only something sweet/salty will fill the void. I’ll be posting on the sweet ones down the road, but here are my 5 favorite ways to satisfy those salty or sweet/salty urges, while sticking with relatively healthy choices, that won’t wreak havoc with my blood sugar, like chips would.
Good for you, not boring
We all know that we are best served by snacking on crudites, like carrot and celery sticks and hummus has become the new onion dip, but there’s not tricking our palates when we want to munch something. The snacks listed are all super satisfying and anything but boring!
Dehydrator or Oven
The more foods that you can keep raw, meaning cooked at temperatures 115 degrees and below, the more nutrients and enzymes your body will be able to absorb. This is why having a dehydrator might be a good wish list item; There are very low cost units (the round stackable kind) that can cost as little as $20 that work very well for kale chips, as well as the savory sunflower seeds you will see below.
In the interim your oven can be a pinch hitter. Make sure to line any cookware with parchment paper, to keep the food from overheating. Get the temperature down as low as you can; You can even prop open the door with an oven mitt. Dehydrating is about drying and removing moisture, not about carmelizing or crisping, but their is a magical transformation in the taste and texture when you use dehydration techniques to liven up your raw fusion diet.
TWO INDISPENSABLE TIPS FOR MAKING KALE CHIPS:
1. Make sure to remove the rib as when it dehydrates it becomes very hard and bitter. This is why buying pre-washed and chopped kale — while it seems much more convenient — is not recommended. Those pieces have the rib in them and those chips will be rather unappealing.
2. Keep them fresh by storing the leftovers in a baggie or container in the freezer. The don’t freeze! They don’t even get very cold – just stay crisp and delicious for up to 3 months.
We have a whole series of outstanding Kale Chip recipes in my book Raw Fusion Living: Recipes for Healthy Eating, Natural Weight Loss and Anti-Aging.
Cheezy Chili Kale Chips
½ cup raw macadamia nuts (you can also make these with raw cashews)
½ cup water
1 clove garlic
juice from ½ lemon
½ tsp. cayenne or chili powder
Celtic sea salt to taste
1 bunch of curly kale, wash and pat dry – then remove from stems, tearing into bite-sized pieces and place in large bowl.
Preparation: Blend first 5 ingredients together and taste, adding sea salt as necessary. Mixture should be liquefied but it is fine if there are still small pieces.
Pour over the kale and massage mixture well, distributing throughout all of the pieces.
Place pieces on parchment paper or non-stick sheets and dehydrate for 1 hour at 145 degrees. Lower temperature to 115 and continue drying until top is dry, about 4 hours. Turn over and continue drying until crispy. You can shut dehydrator off for 1-2 hours to allow internal moisture to surface and then re-dry for another hour or two. Kale chips will store longer and taste better when completely dry.
2. Cheezy Cashews
A super simple mixture of nutritional yeast, a bit of your favorite oil and sea salt in a baggie – toss in the cashews and shake and you have a fully satisfying nosh. What is especially nice about nutritional yeast is that it also helps fulfill cravings for cheese. And whether you consume cheese or not, it’s always good to have an alternative.
3. Savory Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
Soak a couple of cups of raw sunflower seeds for at least 6 hours and then let them sit for 8-24 hours in a paper-towel lined colander to awaken the bio-essence — the first step in sprouting. This makes the seeds much more bio-available. Then flavor as indicated below and dry until crunchy. This snack is an ultimate crunchy satisfier! I have yet to meet anyone who does not love them.
Another recipe that uses cheeza-licious nutritional yeast (which is also a great source of Vitamin B12) – this can be made in the dehydrator or a very low temp oven. Here’s the recipe.
5. Avocado Miso Spread
When I do want to munch some crispy veggies (and I’m tired of the ubiquitous hummus) I make this ultra-simple spread that is an indescribable taste sensation. For one serving, all you need is one half ripe avocado and a tablespoon of Mellow (White or Light) Miso. This particular miso is a bit on the sweet side, but it also satisfies a salt craving. With a fork, just mash it together. That’s all! Serve with your favorite crudites. This is actually my main meal dish at least twice a week. You can also use this as a base for wraps.