Five Snacks to Wean You Off Carb Season

I have never admitted this to anyone. Here it goes. I’m ready to get this off my chest. I’ve lied to everyone I love and myself for years.

I’m a serial killer. Just kidding. *Nervous laughter*

I love winter. Hate being COLD, but love winter.

An excuse to do jack shit! Actually, good movies come out! Fireplaces! I feel like I’m living in a Harry Potter Christmas scene! Yeah I have mad seasonal depression and call my boyfriend crying too much, but my favorite part of the colder months almost makes up for it:

BEIGE FOODS.
Noodles galore, all of the pizza, mashed potatoes as the main dish, thick-ass soups with a cream base, fries with toppings that don’t even make sense, a lot of dumplings.

It just feels GOOD for my soul. Yeah okay, I sometimes feel like crap afterward maybe but, Hygge life, or whatever. I get to the point where if it even comes with parsley on top I’m like, “Wow cool a vegetable!”

Then, the earth does the thing where it keeps on truckin’ around the sun and the weather gets warmer. The sun comes out for days at a time and you’re like, “What’s going on? What is this orb thing? In the sky? It’s bright; it feels good, but I’m suspicious?”

I can’t just cut my eating habits cold turkey and set myself up for failure. You gotta ease in. Go from large pizza with extra cheese to eatin’ a bowl of spinach? Bruh. No.

Barely any of this is measured. I’ll let you know when measurements are essential but other than that just wing it, babe, you got it. That’s the best part about snacks: you can’t really screw them up.

Okay, let’s cook.

Sweet Potato Toast With Avocado & Fried Egg

I can’t completely give up potatoes (I literally would never) but there are clear nutritional pros to switching over from a russet to a sweet potato (which I tend to do when the grass gets a little greener) and adding some substance on top makes me feel like this will all be okay. Plus, egg yolks make anything feel decadent. You could even do this on whole wheat toast, though; I’m no snitch.

– 1 Sweet Potato
– 1 Avocado, spooned into a bowl and mashed with a fork
– 2 Radishes, thinly sliced
– 1 Egg, fried
– Salt & Pepper
– Your fav herbs, torn or cut up

Slice the sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Slip one (for a snack) or two (for lunch) into the toaster for about five minutes, or until you feel they’re cooked through and slightly crispy (You’ll probably have to toast it a few times).

Top with avocado spread, sliced radish, fried egg, salt and pepper, and then the herbs.

Rosemary, Parmesan, Garlic & Olive Oil Popcorn

*Claps at you* POPCORN! IS! THE! BEST! SNACK! It’s filling, and a great base to get creative on top. This is one of my favorite combinations.

– 1/4-1/3 Cup popcorn kernels (I seriously never measure)
– 1 T Vegetable or canola oil (you can use whatever oil you want, I use vegetable oil because I think it works best and I am not above occasionally clogging my arteries)
– 2 Sprigs of rosemary, minced
– However much parmesan you’re down with (no judging), grated
– 2 Cloves garlic, minced

– 2T Butter

Heat your oil over medium-high heat in a reasonably big saucepan that looks like it could feasibly fit some popcorn in it. Let it heat a little bit then pour in your popcorn kernels so that they evenly cover the bottom. Cover with a lid. Let it pop until you hear a one-second pause between pops.

Remove from heat.

Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add your garlic and rosemary. Cook until it’s fragrant. Remove from heat.

Put the popcorn in your fav bowl and top with the garlic butter situation followed by the grated parmesan cheese and some sea salt.

Kimchi, Broccoli, Beet Hummus Bowl

This bowl is witchcraft. It’s perfect. It’s everything I crave. Plus, like, vitamins.

– Broccoli (cut off the tops and separate them into bite-size pieces)
– Kimchi (I like Mother In Law’s from Whole Foods)
– Beet Hummus:
    – 1 Roasted beet (40 minutes at 450 degrees), then cut up into 4 chunks
    – 1 Can of chickpeas
    – Zest of a lemon
    – Juice of half a lemon
    – 3 Cloves of garlic
    – A nice healthy tablespoon of tahini

    – Sea salt & crushed black pepper

To roast a beet: preheat your oven. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Use kitchen shears to trim leaves and upper stems of the beets, leaving about 2 inches of the stems intact at the top of each beet. Don’t trim those tails! They keep juice in. Gently scrub the beet clean (if you’re aggressive you’ll peel the skin off) and pat dry. Put the beet in the baking dish and cover the top with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for ~40 minutes (larger beets will take longer). After it’s done cooking, pull out the beet and pull back the foil. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut off the stem and tail. Under running cool water gently peel off the thin outer layer with your fingers – I do it under running water so that the beet juice doesn’t stain my fingertips. Cut into four sections.

Hummus: Put all ingredients in your food processor or blender and watch hot pink magic happen. This can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange them on a baking sheet so that there’s a little room between each. Roast them in the oven (without flipping or stirring) until they’re crispy (about twenty minutes).

Section the broccoli, hummus, and kimchi into a bowl and go at it.

Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato & Granola Bowl
– 1 Sweet potato, cut into bite size pieces
– Dash of cinnamon, allspice, & nutmeg
– A scoop of your choice of granola (I like Purely Elizabeth)
– A scoop of whole milk yogurt (go big or go home)

– A spoonful of almond butter or cashew butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with a little olive oil, and a dusting of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Spread out your bite-size pieces of sweet potato on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, tossing occasionally. Can be made ahead of time.

Section the sweet potatoes, a handful of granola, yogurt into a bowl. Top with your nut butter of choice.

Apple Donuts 

I’m not going to sit here and tell you when you bite into these you’ll barely be able to tell the difference from a real donut. This is fruit, you will absolutely not be confused as to which is which. Don’t ever trust anyone who tries to tell you you’ll never be able to tell the difference between cake and something that grows from a tree. However, these are delicious and can soothe a sweet tooth!

– 3 Apples makes about 9-10 “donuts”
– Melted almond or cashew butter

– Toppings! (We did mini dark chocolate chips, crushed pistachios, crushed walnuts, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, chia seeds, dried cranberries, and granola, but the sky’s the limit!

Slice apples horizontally into 1/2 inch pieces. I use the cap of an olive oil or twist-off wine bottle to push a hole through the center. Melt your nut butter in the microwave for 15 seconds and spread on top of the “donut” like frosting. Top them however the heck you’d like!
Images by 2nd Truth

Liz Welle  is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.