Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Q's Day: Snacking

Snacking can fit into a healthy meal plan, but be wise with what you choose to snack on.  You still need to practice portion control and watch out for extra calories, high fat, high sugar, and high salt.  Snacks can however help you meet your recommended daily servings.

Today for Q's Day I want to know:

What is your favourite snack right now?

I recently shared a homemade fruit and nut bar recipe from joy of baking with a group of Red Hat ladies, so I thought I would share it with you too.

Fruit and Nut Bars
1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (70 grams) light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (145 grams) walnuts (can also use pecans, hazelnuts or almonds), chopped
1/2 cup (65 grams) dried cherries or cranberries
1 1/2 cup dates, figs, and/or prunes (pits removed and cut into quarters)
1 cup (165 grams) dried apricots, cut into bite size pieces
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) square baking pan that has been lined across the bottom and up the two opposite sides with aluminum foil. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, walnuts, and dried fruit. Use your fingers to make sure that all the fruit and nuts have been coated with the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat (with a wire whisk or hand mixer) the egg and vanilla until light colored and thick (this will take several minutes). Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are coated with the batter. Spread into the prepared pan, pressing to even it out.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter is golden brown and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cooled, lift the bars from the pan by the edges of the aluminum foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into 16 squares.

Can be stored for about 10 days at room temperature or longer if refrigerated.
Makes 16 - 2 inch (5 cm) squares.

Happy snacking,
Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching