On-the-Go Snacking: Strategies for Work Days, Road Trips, and Keeping Carbs at Bay

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Catherine Newman

Catherine shares her favorite low-carb, high-protein snacks that you can buy at a convenience store, make at home, or keep in your pantry

If you’re reducing the carbs you eat, then you already understand why snacks are so uniquely challenging. Because, for so many of us, snacking has always been about the chips and the muffins, the cookies and crackers and donuts. Or at least, it used to be. But we’re changing our ways so that a sudden pang of hunger doesn’t mean we end up crashing just when we need our energy and stable blood sugar the most. High-protein, low-carb snacks. It’s got a holy grail kind of feeling to it, I know. But we’re on it.

Our advice here is divided into three components, all of them focused on savory snacks that have less than 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Click to jump to a section:

  • How to snack on the road and/or from a convenience store, because stopping to refill your tank doesn’t mean you can’t get a reasonable bite to eat.
  • Our recommendations for snacks to stock up on – plan-ahead stuff you can buy at the store or order online and tuck into your desk drawer, briefcase, or glove compartment for daily, occasional, or emergency snacking situations.
  • Our own Zucchini Chip recipe for at-home cravings. You didn’t know you needed a zucchini chip recipe? Ah! You were wrong.
  • More recipes for make-at-home snacks.
  • For airport/airplane snacking after the pandemic, please see Adam Brown’s article.

We typically recommend whole foods versus processed foods, but we’re not doing that here. Or not exclusively, because many packaged snacks have been processed. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just do your best to get some nutrients into your body, and to minimize your carb load. You’ll feel so much better – we’re almost sure of it.

On-the-Road Snacking

Ideally, if we’ve got to be in the car for a while, we would all plan ahead and pack up deviled eggs and cut-up veggies. But so often we don’t, and we’re pulling into the snackmart hungry and scanning the aisles for our best bets. Plus, with many of us trying to minimize time in grocery stores during COVID-19, here are three parts of the store to focus on:

  1. Snacks

    Image source: Catherine Newman

    The refrigerated case. Specifically, the cheese sticks and discs, and the shrink-wrapped hardboiled eggs—all high-protein, no-carb options. You might think you don’t want a shrink-wrapped hardboiled egg, but I’m here to tell you that if you keep salt and a bottle of hot sauce in your car, it’s really a pretty good snack.

  2. Snacks

    Image source: Catherine Newman

    The jerky/sausage aisle or endcap. Is jerky an ideal food? Well, not exactly – I mean, it’s processed and salty, and the meat might strike you as sketchy. But also? It tends to be very high in protein and very low in carbs, making it a very good choice in a pinch. Read the ingredients to make sure there’s no (or barely any) added sugar. This photo is from a run-of-the-mill middle-of-nowhere gas station, and it shows three of my favorite processed meat items: Duke’s Shorty Sausages (these come in a bunch of flavors, and offer 7 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbs per serving), Tillamook Zero Sugar Beef Jerky (14 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs per serving), and Vermont Smoke & Cure meat sticks (these also come in many flavors, and have 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of carbs per 1-ounce stick).

  3. The place where the nuts and seeds are, which might be kind of spread out around the candy. Look for products with no added sugar: sunflower seeds in and out of the shell, peanuts, smokehouse almonds, and pumpkin seeds are all good options. These tend to be high in protein and relatively low in carbs, plus they give you the crunchy-salty-filling trifecta you might be looking for in a snack.

If you’re thirsty, grab a bottle of water, unsweetened iced tea, or unsweetened flavored seltzer from the fridge!

Plan-Ahead Snacking

Once you’re planning ahead, snacking gets a lot easier, and you might already have plenty of good, snackable, packable food at home: nuts and seeds; cheese sticks; cut-up veggies and dip; cottage cheese; hard-boiled eggs; avocados; pickles, olives, and the like. Invest in some reusable small containers, and consider prepackaging what you’ll need for the week.

But I also like to have more grab-and-go style snacks on hand, with a few especially delicious items in the mix so that I don’t succumb to the temptation of the vending machine Cheez-Its. These are all low-carb, some are high-protein, and most of them are fairly expensive. I try to think about these a little differently to offset my concern about the cost: unlike most junk food, these are actually made from whole, high-quality ingredients. In other words, they’re more like food than like snacks, which makes them worth investing in (at least for me). All of these snacks have the added advantage of being gluten free.

Trader Joe’s Norwegian Crispbread

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These have answered my cracker-lover’s prayer. They seem a little. . . seedy at first. A little excessively wholesome. But the more I eat these, the more I love them: they’re nutty-tasting and crunchy, and one cracker slathered with mustard and piled with cheese makes a pretty perfect mid-afternoon meal (my daughter spreads hers with peanut butter).

Per serving: 4 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; 6 grams carbs

$4.29 per (7.55-ounce) package at Trader Joe’s

Whisps

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

We’re pretty much crazy about all the single-ingredient cheese crisps out there (can you guess the single ingredient?) but these are our current favorite. They are SO CHEESY! They’re like the part that leaks out of a grilled cheese sandwich and crisps on the grill. And we can’t keep them in the house, whatever flavor we get, because everybody loves them so much. Other brands we like include Moon Cheese and Just the Cheese.

Per serving: 6 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 1 gram carbs

$15 for 12 (.63-ounce) packages on Amazon

Epic Pork Rinds

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

I grew up seeing pork rinds in the bodegas of my childhood, but I’d never tried them until recently. And they’re really good—or at least these are. They’re like popcorn, but if popcorn were meat flavored and crunchier than anything you had ever bitten into in your life. Not crumbly-crunchy, but hard-crunchy, which is strange and nice. They’re also very filling. We like the Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt flavor, which have a happy two ingredients: antibiotic-free pork and salt. (Or three ingredients, if you count the two types of salt.)

Per serving: 11 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 0 grams carbs

$4-4.50 per (2.5-ounce) bag at Whole Foods or epicprovisions.com

Flock Chicken Chips

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These are basically the pork rinds of the chicken world. If you’re a person who volunteers to carve a roast chicken so that you can pull off its crispy skin and stuff it into your mouth before anyone else even knows it existed, then this is the snack for you. The chicken flavor is shockingly fresh and good. Be warned, though, that these are almost eerily filling. They come in different flavors, but we’ve only tried the original ones.

Per serving: 14 grams protein; 0 grams fiber; 0 grams carbs

$24 for 8 (1-ounce) bags from flockfoods.com

Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Snacks

Image source: Catherine Newman

These are those papery little sheets of seaweed that are a little fishy, a little salty, and strangely satisfying, if you like seaweed. Seaweed has lots of micronutrients (it’s especially rich in minerals) but it doesn’t have a lot of protein, so these won’t satisfy actual hunger. But if you’re just feeling a little snacky, seaweed snacks can really hit the spot. Our favorite flavors include the Seasnax lime flavor and the gimMe Organic sesame or teriyaki.

Per serving: 1 gram protein, 0 grams fiber; 1 gram carbs

Around $1 to $2 per (.35 ounce) package at many stores and online

And! The recipe.

Zucchini Chips

Image source: Catherine Newman

Nobody ever says this about zucchini, but bigger is actually better here, since these are like Shrinky Dinks in the oven. You can season them however you like once they’re baked: a sprinkle of curry powder, a shake of cheese powder, a dash of smoked paprika. But we love them plain, too. There’s something about the shrinking process that concentrates all of their sweetness. Maybe you didn’t even know that zucchini had any sweetness to begin with! Now you will.

View the recipe.

More make-at-home snack recipes:

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book “How to Be A Person” was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes

Splenda brand has launched Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes, the first-ever no added sugar shake specifically made to help manage blood sugar and support the needs of people living with diabetes. These shakes are a delicious option for people looking for a healthy snack and/or meal replacement that is good for both their body and blood sugar.

I noticed the launch announced on Instagram and knew I had to give these shakes a try. While it says “diabetes care,” these shakes are suitable for anyone looking for a nutritious snack or meal replacement. I received Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes at no charge and all opinions are my own.

Who Are They?

Based outside of Indianapolis, Indiana, Heartland Food Products Group, owner of Splenda, produces low-calorie sweetener products, creamers, beverage concentrates, coffee and nutritional drinks that are all healthy without sacrificing flavor. Most known for their yellow packet low-calorie sweetener, Splenda has sold 100 million packets since they started out in 1992.

What Is It Made Out of?

Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes come in 3 flavors–milk chocolate, French vanilla and strawberry banana. They each contain 16 grams of high-quality, slow-digesting protein and healthy fats, helping to keep your blood sugar in range. The net carbohydrate content is 9 grams per serving. They are sweetened with allulose and sucralose, which are both also low-calorie. They are high in fiber, which will help keep you fuller longer. The shakes are also soy-free and gluten-free and suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

How Do They Taste?

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I am not usually a fan of packaged shakes. I expected them to be thick and chalky but it was quite the opposite and actually very creamy. Each shake had a perfect consistency with just the right amount of sweetness. They didn’t taste artificial at all and had no aftertaste. I was pleasantly surprised and found the shakes to be the perfect size for a quick snack or breakfast on the go.

Where Can I Purchase It and How Much Does It Cost?

Splenda Diabetes Care shakes are 8-fluid ounce shakes that are available in both a 6-pack or-24 pack and retail around $9.99. Currently, you can purchase the shakes in Walmart, Amazon and on their website. You can also check here to see if any other grocery stores sell by you.

Conclusion

I highly recommend Splenda Diabetes Care shakes if you are looking for a nutritious snack and/or meal replacement. We are all so busy; it is nice to be able to grab this shake on the go and know it is a healthy choice and won’t spike my blood sugars. Oftentimes I find myself grabbing something out of convenience but it snowballs into hours of trying to get my blood sugars back in range. These shakes also boast plenty of vitamins and minerals that I otherwise wouldn’t get. I will definitely be getting these shakes again and highly recommend them.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Keto Mock “Little Debbie Be My Valentine Snack Cakes”

This content originally appeared on Caroline’s Keto Kitchen. Republished with permission.

I don’t know what it is about these little cakes that scream Valentine’s Day to me. They must have been at eye level at every store I went to with my mom as a kid or something, because seriously, these are the first things I picture when I think of Valentine’s Day. So when it was time to create a Valentine’s Day dessert, you bet I was going to recreate the Little Debbie Be My Valentine Snack Cakes!

For those of you who don’t know what these are, they’re basically a 2-layer vanilla cake with frosting between the layers and a pink white chocolate coating with a white chocolate drizzle. It does take a bit of work considering there’s a cake step, an icing step, and a white chocolate coating step, but I promise, it’s worth it, and none of the steps are hard.

Keto Mock "Little Debbie Be My Valentine Snack Cakes"

Share the love this Valentine's Day with this heart-shaped vanilla cake. Coated with white chocolate, this dessert is low-carb, filling, and delicious.

Cake

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup granular Swerve
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 stick salted butter (melted)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp monk fruit juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Icing

  • 1 stick salted butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered Swerve

White Chocolate Coating

  • 7 oz cocoa butter
  • 1/3 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream powder (I used the Nekstella brand)
  • 1/2 cup powdered Swerve
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • food coloring
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together all dry cake ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, Swerve, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium husk powder).
  3. Add in all wet ingredients (eggs, melted butter, vanilla, monk fruit, sour cream), and stir well.
  4. Line a cookie sheet that has edges with parchment paper. (Mine was roughly 13″ x 18″).
  5. Spread the cake batter evenly on the parchment paper. (You can wet your hands with a bit of water to help spread it more easily.)
  6. Bake for around 16 minutes or until cooked. (The edges may start turning a little bit golden at this point).
  7. While the cake is in the oven, begin making your icing by mixing the softened butter with the vanilla and powdered Swerve until smooth.
  8. Remove cake from oven, and let cool completely.
  9. Using a heart cookie cutter, cut as many hearts as you can out of the cake. (I had a big heart cookie cutter (~3.5″), so mine only made 18 hearts.)
  10. Put icing between the hearts to make 2-layer heart “sandwiches.”
  11. Now it’s time for the white chocolate coating. In a large saucepan, melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil on a very low heat.
  12. Remove from heat and add the heavy whipping cream powder, powdered Swerve, vanilla and salt. Stir until smooth.
  13. Spoon some of the mixture into an icing bag (this will be the white drizzle, so you need to put some aside before you turn the rest of the white chocolate coating pink).
  14. Add pink food coloring to the white chocolate coating mixture and stir until smooth.
  15. Dunk each cake into the pink white chocolate coating. Place on wax paper after dunk and allow coat to settle (you can speed this up by refrigerating it). Once settled, repeat, dipping each cake 2-3 times total.
  16. Once final pink layer is solidified, cut the tip of the icing bag and drizzle the white chocolate on top of each cake.

The nutrition facts depend on your specific ingredients and how big your cookie cutter is. My cookie cutter was quite large (~3.5″), so each cake was 2 servings at least (very filling!).

Keto Mock “Little Debbie Be My Valentine Snack Cakes” Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

NRG Bites: the Perfect Sized Healthy Snack

Often times, I find myself standing in front of the pantry looking for something small and healthy that I could take on the go. As someone living with type 1 diabetes, “grabbing something” takes more thought then you’d like, as you want this snack to be kind to your blood sugars…and your waistline. Since NRG […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

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