It might still feel like summer outside, but there’s no denying that it’s already back to school season. Cue Debbie Downer music! Although it’s been years since I last set foot in a classroom, I still get that optimistic, hopeful feeling whenever early September rolls around. Living in a university town helps fuel that nostalgia and excitement, and I never get tired of it.
It’s been ten years since my first year of university, and this fall my “little” (a.k.a. six-foot-tall, eighteen-year-old) cousin John begins his studies at McMaster. This is craziness, people! He was a little kid, like, two minutes ago. I’m so excited for him to start this adventure and wish him an amazing, unforgettable year.
I’m now an adult with a day job, but those little things that mark the back to school season are still there – they’re just a bit different. Instead of new coloured pencils and a fresh agenda, for example, it’s a new laptop bag and 3 TB hard drive. Actually, I have yet to find a nice laptop bag…I’m thinking brown leather…but you get the point!
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is that I’m still constantly on the lookout for healthy and convenient snack ideas come September.
Whether you’re a student or office dweller, it helps to have a few nutritious snack recipes in your arsenal that you can rely on even when things get busy. We all know it’s all too easy to turn to the wide variety of cheap, easily accessible snacks at school and in the workplace, but they’re typically nutrient-poor and high in calories.
The solution is to bring your own snacks whenever possible. Might I suggest the classic ants on a log?!
The ants on a log of my childhood were celery sticks spread with either peanut butter or Cheez Whiz and topped with raisins. More grown-up ingredient combinations that provide a hit of protein and fibre are perfectly suitable for adults and just right for the office, especially during that 3 pm slump.
The three versions I made for this post are:
- Ricotta cheese + cherry tomatoes + fresh basil
- Hummus + pumpkin seeds
- Vegetable cream cheese + black beans
In addition to these, you could also try:
- Herbed goat cheese + dried unsweetened cranberries
- Greek yogurt + chickpeas
- Peanut butter + crumbled pretzels
- Mashed avocado + corn niblets
- Almond butter + raisins
What’s your go-to snack for school or work? Leave a comment and let me know!
- 3 ribs celery
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 2 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp light vegetable cream cheese
- 1 tbsp black beans
- 2 tbsp light hummus
- 1 tbsp raw hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Spread each celery stick with either the ricotta, hummus or cream cheese. Top the ricotta celery stick with the tomatoes and basil, the cream cheese celery stick with the black beans, and the hummus celery stick with the pumpkin seeds. Cut each celery rib into 3 equal pieces. Serve immediately.