There are three things I’m really good at: snacking, always having my favorite snacks on hand, and not overpaying for snacks. I don’t mean to brag, but that pretty much sums up my strongest talents. I was recently asked to join the Ziploc® Fresh 180˚ challenge to sneak a snack and take my food to forbidden places. Been there, done that, and don’t plan on stopping! Sneaking snacks for me isn’t about being a rule breaker — it’s about eating the snacks of my choice instead of paying for the limited options at overpriced concession stands. Here are some tips to help you follow in my rebellious footsteps.
If you plan on being a professional snack smuggler, avoid larger items, such as an entire sandwich or pizza. Instead, make bite-sized versions of the foods you’re craving so that you’re less likely to get caught. For example, instead of a pizza, make mini calzones. Use a drinking glass or cookie cutter to cut out small circles of pizza dough, fill each circle with your favorite toppings, fold over and seal before baking. Bring fruits and veggies that are small or can easily be cut into smaller pieces. Grapes, tangerine slices, baby carrots, and sliced cucumbers are just a few great examples of the perfect-sized produce for sneaking. Pack them into Ziploc® brand snack bags that can easily fit into your purse or coat pocket, and you’re ready to go.
I’ve been caught (more than once) eating in a library, only a few feet away from a large sign stating: “No food!” Eventually I learned my lesson. Instead of bringing a loud bag of chips, pack your own food in a Ziploc® Brand snack bag. Opening a Ziploc® bag makes almost no noise, unlike those loud cellophane chip bags. Instead of potato chips, make cheese crackers. I find that the homemade version of cheese crackers (recipe below) is quieter than the store-bought version, plus I love knowing the ingredients in my snacks and avoiding a bunch of preservatives.
On busy days, I might want to sneak a healthy snack that will give me energy instead of making me crash. Places like movie theatres and amusement parks don’t offer a lot of healthy snacks, so packing my own just makes more sense. Healthy doesn’t necessarily have to consist of just raw fruits and veggies. One of my favorite snacks to take along when I need energy is Date Cocoa Balls (recipe below). They’re bite-sized and taste like dessert, but are actually made from dates and walnuts (and no processed sugar), both of which are great energy boosters. Remember, healthy snacks don’t have to be boring snacks!
If you can think small, think quiet and think smart, you can be a successful snack-sneaking rebel, too. And if being a rebel means saving a few bucks, packing healthier snacks and making sure you never go hungry, then I’ll wear that rebel title proudly.
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp is fine)
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until fully incorporated. Remove from the food processor and, using your hands, bring the mixture together into a ball of dough (the mixture might be flaky and falling apart, but just keep working it into a dough). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a thin layer. Cut into small squares and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.
Date Cocoa Balls
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until extremely fine. Taste the mixture. If the mixture isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add a few more dates or a bit of honey. Process again. Shape into 1- to 2-inch balls. Store in a Ziploc® Brand container.
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.
Photo credit: Kristina Kuzmic