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Super Snacks

17. May 2010

Super Snacks!

If it’s mid-afternoon and you’re already out of gas, you may be tempted to fill up on M&M’s and coffee (Two of my former favorite food groups!). But if you’re like me, the crash a couple of hours later is even worse (only now my head hurts, too!) Next time you bottom out grab something that will get you back up and running for the rest of the day. A handful of almonds, a couple of fig bars or a banana buys me a little time. But if you really need to power through a project, go for a high performance snack.

Nutritionist and community outreach specialist for “Jimbos Naturally,” Patti Milligan, recently turned me on to her secret snack. It’s delicious. It’s different. And it works! I convinced Patti to let me share it with you! “I love to experiment with snack recipes that combine unique flavors and creative pairings of ingredients,” says Milligan. “Not only is this a favorite of mine, but a popular strategic snack request for meetings. I also make it for the kids’ sports teams I consult.” Here it is!

Patti’s Power Snack: Spiced Nuts and Seeds

3 cups whole nuts (Pick your faves - raw varieties best)
¼ cup dry quinoa (Buy it in bulk at Jimbos. It’s yummy and super-nutritious!)
¼ cup flaxseed
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp each of sea salt, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper
2 egg whites

In a separate bowl, mix egg whites, honey and spices. Toss in nut mix. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees until dry, stirring occasionally about 20 minutes. Scrape from pan while cooking to avoid sticking. (16 servings. 178 calories each. Pack a bunch of Baggies and bring ‘em along with you!)

Here’s why it works!

~Nutritional highlights from Patti~

Quinoa and nuts – provide a great balance of complex carbohydrates and protein for steady blood glucose levels and weight control. The combo is critical for optimal brain function, especially focus and concentration. It combats energy dips and supports metabolism. It’s rich in VB vitamins and minerals essential for immune health and energy production.

Flaxseeds – good source of healthy fats such as Omega 3 fatty acids – essential for immune health and overall well being. (Nuts/seeds also contain these healthy fats, just in smaller quantity.
Cinnamon – spice known to help control proper insulin levels and steady blood glucose.

Cumin and Cayenne – spices known in ancient cultures to add heat to the body, helping fuel optimal metabolism and support for digestion.

Honey – contains B vitamins and immune-supportive nutrients.

Make a big batch and put heaping handfuls into air-tight plastic bags or containers.

Now that’s some “power snack!” Enjoy.