Welcome back y'all. As promised there have been some changes to the blog and I'm happy to introduce you to the first FOOD post! Woo hoo! Yippy! Aye yi yi!
To gets things kicked off, I'm going to start y'all off with a little "woe is me" story. A few months ago I was told by my doctor that I had high pressure and was prescribed medication. I knew it was coming as hypertension runs in my family, but I didn't think it'd happen while I was in my 20's. My diet desperately needed to change as it is now a life or death issue and I do NOT have the time or patience to deal with having a stroke or a heart attack! The biggest changes I needed to make, aside from over eating, were to cut down my sodium, sugar and alcohol intake. As difficult as this is I've started cooking more, eating out less and put more of an effort into eating organic produce and lean proteins. Still, one of the biggest problems I have is snacking between meals. Which brings us to why we are here, healthy, homemade and incredibly tasty snacks!
We'll begin with my take on the classic potato chip, Baked Sweet Potato Chips! You can have all the flavor and satisfying crunch of a regular potato chip without the grease, sodium and impending artery blockage. These suckers are incredibly easy to make; all you need is a couple sweet potatoes, melted coconut oil, salt and pepper. Slice the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add just enough oil to coat the potatoes, salt and pepper and mix. Throw these babies evenly on a baking sheet and put in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and BAM! Baked Sweet Potato Chips at your service. Just make sure you flip them halfway through the baking time to make sure they're not squichy on the bottom.
This one is the simplest to make and one of my person favorites. Bell Pepper Strips are coming atcha. Literally all you do is buy some bell peppers, wash them, cut out the center core, slice these things up like you're Edward Scissorhands and you're all set! Being from the South my favorite thing to do with these is dip them in Ranch Dressing but given that I have to make better food decisions, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is the perfect companion to these bell pepper strips.
Now for those of us with that dreaded sweet tooth I give you, Granola. I do have to admit its not as satisfying as biting into a piece of cake or a brownie but its still really good and way better for you than that cake is. Most prepackaged granola isn't as good for you as you think. I made this super simple recipe so I could be in charge of what went into it and make sure it was all natural and non-processed. This is as easy to do as the sweet potato chips. In a large bowl combine 4 cups of uncooked oats, 1 cup of almonds (or any nut of your choice), 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil and 1/2 cup of natural honey. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey if you like. Spread an even layer onto a baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees. Toss around halfway though bake time and let sit 2 minutes after you take out of the oven. Break it apart with your hands and get to eatin! Homemade granola is great because its so versatile. Eat it by the handful, add some milk and eat it like cereal or add it to some yogurt!
I hope you've enjoyed these quick and easy, better for you than most, snacks. Let me know if you try em out and what you think or if you have any recipes of your own! Catch y'all on the flipside. Adios!