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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Snacks on the run

It can be hard to come up with a healthy snack on the run, especially if you’re always on the run. So it’s a good idea to plan ahead and have snacks with you.

I often carry a granola bar (Nature Valley Original Honey and Oat Granola Bar’s the one for me, as it has no high-fructose corn syrup). Another thing I often carry with me is a measured amount of mixed fruits and nuts in a zippered sandwich bag. (These also will keep well in a desk drawer, along with other snacks, such as instant oatmeal packets. They are not just for breakfast!)

Women have a bit of an advantage in that we can carry either of these snacks in our purse. (I’m frankly of the opinion that it’s amazing how much stuff the huge “mom” bags will hold, anyway. There’s definitely room for a granola bar or the fruit/nut mix, preferably in a side zipper pocket so it’s not squished at the bottom of the purse.)

Guys: your lunch bag, briefcase or a zippered coat pocket would be a good location for the dried fruit and nuts. Even the glove box works, although the mixture gets a bit too hard when it’s below freezing. You’ll want to thaw before eating in that case.

Fruit is another good snack to keep in your desk, work frig or in your car. Don’t leave fruit in the car in the heat or in freezing weather. I can attest to the fact that hot bananas do not taste good. Also, most whole fruit — aside from berries — will not have a very desirable texture after it’s been frozen.

Other healthy snacks include:

Hummus and your choice of cut veggies (red pepper and cucumber slices are good choices, but I also like hummus on crackers)

Rolled-up lunchmeat and soy/dairy cheese slices, which will give you a protein boost.

English muffin “pizza.” This can cross the line into meal territory. I use a half-muffin for a snack or two halves for a light lunch. Toast the whole-wheat or other high-fiber English muffin half or halves first, then lightly top with tomato sauce, low-fat soy or dairy cheese, and your choice of veggies or lean meat, such as ham or Canadian bacon. (It just doesn’t work with too many toppings on it.) Put in microwave for a few seconds, until the cheese is melted. You could heat the already-topped muffin half/halves in a toaster oven (usually about 5 minutes on “toast” in mine; yours may be different). Be sure to keep an eye out for your “crust” burning.

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Let me know and include your name and city. I’ll feature any snacks I like in another blog and credit them to you!

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