Eat Smart

College Cuisine: Snack Attack

by Alyssa Miron, food blogger

This week, I took a break from cooking in the kitchen. After a long week of midterms, it was crucial, for my mental sanity, to have a relaxing weekend and escape Syracuse. I decided to go to New York City and leave behind all my schoolwork and responsibilities. Because I’m quite stingy when it comes to traveling, and I didn’t want to take my car into the city, I took the cheapest route possible: a bus. Anyone who has taken the bus can vouch for me when I say while it is relatively simple; it’s not a pleasurable experience. The ride is just more than five hours and that last hour feels like the longest 60 minutes of your life. All you want to do is tell that mother to “please” shut her kid up, kick the person’s seat in front of you who extended their seat all the way back to your knees, and find a comfortable way to sleep without your neck becoming deformed.

Ok, so I complain a lot, but I don’t mind taking them because they’re convenient. Yet I find the little things can help you get by on these trips such as a recently charged IPod, a laptop or a good book, and especially a great snack. Often the bus will stop at a rest stop and everyone gets off to grab McDonalds. I personally despise this because the bus quickly gathers a greasy aroma that makes me nauseous. So I often come prepared with snacks. These snacks are perfect for travelling purposes or even when camping out at Bird library all day. They are packed with energy that keeps you alert and will help you make it through the day when you cant grab a real meal. Take some tips for what to bring on your next road trip or library marathon:

Ants on a Log. These are really fun to make and nibble on. They consist of celery, peanut butter, and dried fruit like raisins. You take rinsed celery sticks and cover the concaved side with peanut butter. Then you put your little ants (raisins) on top of the peanut butter. Plastic bag them and your ready to go! I love this recipe because the celery is a low-everything vegetable that contains essential vitamins and minerals. The peanut butter is a great energy booster full of protein that tastes delicious. And the raisins are just a fun little extra that completes the snack.

An Apple a Day. I live by the “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” saying. My love for them stems from the wide variety you can choose from in supermarkets and the diverse things you can do with them. While I personally think there is nothing better than a crisp Fuji apple that you can toss into your bag with no hassle, there are wonderful things you can do to tantalize your taste buds. On popular thing is to slice up an apple and dip into peanut butter. This can be easy to bring around if you put the slices in a container along with a tablespoon of rich peanut butter. Another great way to enjoy apples is to cut them in to slices and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them. Who doesn’t love apples and cinnamon? For those with a sweet tooth, it’s easy to cut up your apple and dip it into some caramel. All of these are simple to do and can provide a boost of energy when you are running around.

GORP. If anyone is like me and enjoys hiking, a snack you may have heard of is GORP. This extraterrestrial sounding name stands for “good old raisins and peanuts” or “granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts.” I used to fill bags with nuts, granola, dried fruit, cereal and M&M’s. A healthy alternative to this is to cut down on all the added salt and sugar by mixing together a bag of whole-wheat cereals of different types for mixed flavors (which are available at dining halls), some granola and/or nuts like almonds, peanuts, and pistachios, and fresh fruit instead of the innutritious dried fruit. By adding simple fruits like grapes or even strawberries, you have wonderfully crisp and sweet added to your nutty and grainy tastes.

The Snookie Snack. Okay, so here’s the grab bag of my snack choices. Whenever I step into a Jimmy Johns, I’ll order my Vegetarian Unwich. When they ask, “anything else?” my inner Snookie blurts out ,“And a pickle please!!” Personally, I think pickles are underrated as they are constantly thrown on the side of a deli sandwich and forgotten. But pickles are low-calorie snacks that are high in fiber, antioxidants, and contain sources of calcium, magnesium, and iron. Fermented pickles also contain good bacteria that help with digestion and other awesome health benefits. Plus, they are filling! They are so easy to carry around as a snack, and a great choice to curb hunger when you’re on to go and you don’t want to ruin your appetite for dinner.

The great thing about all these snacks is the ingredients can be found in dining halls and around campus; plus, they are straightforward and healthful. These are my typical routine of snacks and there are plenty of healthy varieties you may indulge in, but if you ever need a creative change up, these four options wont let you down!