Current Favorite Snacks

My eating habits have had such a roller coaster ride over the last few years.

I’m pretty over labels and rules and restrictions and anything else that tells me I can’t have this or need to eat that.  However, I’m still into health and feeling my best. I’ve cut out certain foods off and on for years. Seriously, I’d say almost 15 years.  I was searching for that magic bullet, the mystical diet that would change my digestion, my body, and my life.

I’m here to say that diet does not exist. Maybe paleo works for you right now but it may not in a year. Maybe I feel better eating less sugar this month but by September I might feel just as good having dessert every single night.  Things change, so do I.

I know now that I can have whatever I want (except bananas. I really believe I have an allergy…), in moderation. “Moderation” can be an annoying term but it really means something different to everyone. I just had to figure out my own moderation.

Anyway, I’m talking about my current favorite snacks that make me happy and satisfied. Maybe you’ll find something new!

Epic Bars

I’m a little tired of most snacks, especially bars, being sweet. I’ve always been more of a savory/salty person so these are perfect!  It’s more portable than jerky and has great, clean ingredients.  Fave flavor is the Bison Bacon Cranberry but I’ve tried a bunch and they’re all good.

Siggi’s Simple Sides

So far I liked the Almonds and Dried Cherries flavor the best. I’ve eated these for breakfast along with a muffin or just alone for a snack. I love the crunch that the toppings add because I’ve never been one for the normal texture of plain yogurt. I love that there’s like 16 grams of protein in each one because I notice I feel fuller longer when I have enough.

Happy Yummies Gummy Bears

img_4179-1.jpg

I am not super into candies. Normally I’d rather pick chocolate but since I’ve been experimenting with running fuel (which gummies are great for!), I randomly picked these up at Marshalls on clearance the other week.  They really are some of the best gummies!  The bag I bought has 12 flavors, like Pink Grapefruit and  lemon, and they’re the softest, non-sticky gummies I’ve ever had. It’s nice to grab just like five or six of them after lunch for something sweet.

Black Bean Brownie Bites

And my final snack I’ve been having lately is black bean brownie bites! Really, this is such a good version of them. You would never know the beans are in them, but it gives them such a great, dense texture and really compliments the chocolate well. I love the bite size and the chunks of chocolate chips in them. I’ve been having one after dinner and it’s the cutest little dessert to end the night! This recipe made about 20 so I froze them to keep whenever I want a treat.

‘Till next time!

💕Whitney

Advertisements

Whitney Lately Vol. 1

Listening Lately:

Jess Glynne, Ella Henderson, and Leona Lewis

Those empowering girl singers were my music of choice this week.

I love this song.  It makes me want to smile and dance around in the kitchen.

Watching lately:

Grace & Frankie: Binge-watch an old lady show?  Check.  It’s hilarious and I’m sad I’m all caught up and have to wait months for new eps.

Drinking lately:

Mango LaCroix 

Love love love sparkling water for when I need something other than plain water or coffee. I picked up this flavor at Whole Foods.  It’s now my current fave.

Eating lately:

Gluten free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

This warm, melty chocolate cake was excellent with the cold ice cream from The Peanut Bar. I’m impressed it was gluten free! It would have been a little too sweet all to myself though. It’s meant to be shared!

Wearing lately:

Leather half gloves

I’m obsessed with keeping my hands soft, especially in the winter, but I hate the fact that gloves are either too big for my child-sized hands or they’re bulky and don’t let me pick up anything.  These are so cute.  (Butttt, not warm. I wore them in NYC in December last year and almost got frost bite. I had to buy thicker gloves in Bryant Park because I literally couldn’t use my fingers at that point. Sorry!  Style over comfort every time. )

Mine were from eBay like five years ago. Here is a similar pair.

Loving lately:

2018 Winter Olympics

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

The Olympics only happen every 2 years and obviously, the Winter is every 4 years, so this is big!  Closely related to my addiction to sports movies, the Olympics are the best of the best for inspo of all kinds.  Endless motivational stories and competitions and history-in-the-making for 2.5 weeks straight! I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember.  No lie. Like, probably since Keri Strug stuck her landing. I had a kid’s book about Michelle Kwan and I’m still semi-crushing on Apolo Ohno. Ahh, I can’t wait! Whitney heaven.

Have a lovely weekend!  Do something that lights you up.

~Whitney Victoria

Chocolate Chunk Blondies and

Excerpt from my cappie horoscope, courtesy of elle.com and the AstroTwins.  “For a mystical twist, play a game of bibliomancy. Pick a book, open to a “random” page and read the passage as if it was a tarot card. It may contain an important message for your day.”

I’m totally doing that soon!  Books give us wisdom and let us inside someone else’s mind. Even nonfiction stories get us thinking like we normally wouldn’t.

Ready for some blondie action?  I made these last week.

Rich.

Buttery.

Classic.

I had two huge epiphanies because of these little babies.

1. Ina Garten is a Hamptons baking goddess.  (Sugar-free be damned!)

2. Blondies beat brownies. Every single time.

My cookbook stand I got as a Christmas present from my aunt a few years ago is used literally every day.  I actually keep it up on my counter with a favorite cookbook out.  Currently, it’s open to the same Barefoot contessa volume, but to the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting recipe.  You act like I’m into Fall or something!?  I like to celebrate anything I can.  img_5104.jpg

This recipe is super easy.  Most of Ina’s are straightforward but I was still a little surprised at just how simple and tasty these bars were.  I guess I should have been tipped off by it being in Ina’s “Foolproof” cookbookIMG_5105Some white sugar and brown sugar were creamed with butter.  Mixing two types of sugar brings a depth to the sweet taste of the blondies.  All brown sugar, and the molasses would overwhelm the other flavors.  Just white sugar leaves it a little one-note.  IMG_5107

I usually use Enjoy Life chocolate chips or Nestle semi-sweet morsels.  I really wanted to find “chunks” not chips.  There’s something more decadent to the bigger pieces than the dainty little chips.  However, no chunks were to be found.  I ended up trying Ghiradelli baking chips.  They were good, melting just how I wanted them to, but I still prefer my other two brands.  These were a little too sweet for me, at least when I’m going for “semi-sweet.”  Have you seen that size bag, though??  It was like lugging around a newborn baby.  IMG_5130

I deserve a prize for not eating one lick of batter!  I did eat a chocolate chip or two…fullsizeoutput_1db6

The recipe had a crazy weird shaped pan and I didn’t have one even close to that.  Er’er go, two round cake pans.  I eyeballed it and split the batter in half, then smoothed the tops.  My Donna Reed vibe was unintentional but I went with it.IMG_5133

Because of my strange pan choice, I had to cut the edges for purely aesthetic reasons but don’t worry!  They did not go to waste.  I polished off the baggie full of cookie crusts in two days.

Mmm, straight out of the oven.  Golden, butter-crackled, crust. Walnuts and chocolate peeking out.fullsizeoutput_1db5You really can’t skip the step of letting it cool completely if you want any chance at cutting the blondies into pretty bars.

I think we’ve discussed my need for individual foods.  You can very well leave your blondies in the pan and cut as you go.  I just love the grab and go option with cupcake liners.

Up close and personal, they look even better.  img_5149.jpgDon’t judge my cutting skills.  I know they’re all over the size map. Someday I’m taking a knife skills class to learn how to get beautifully uniform mirepoix.   img_5145.jpg

That’s the last one that made it home with me!  It was thoroughly enjoyed as part of my Saturday morning breakfast.  Duh, of course I eat baked goods for meal one.  Just not every day.  I highly recommend warming them up for a maybe 15 seconds and putting some ice cream on top.  I did not do this at breakfast but that wold have happened if I thought of it before they were gone!img_5372.jpg

Tell me if you try the recipe!  What are your favorite chocolates to use in baking?

~Whitney Victoria