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One of the advantages of being food bloggers is that we can pretty much work anywhere we choose to... except when we're working in the kitchen obviously! I, personally, find it almost impossible to focus when I'm at home (there's always something that needs to be done!) and honestly, it's waaay too quiet for my own sanity. So I pretty much spend a good portion of my day sipping coffee out of green and white cups (you know, the ones you pay lots of bucks for), where lots of noise and commotion surround me. And yes, I do get my work done there, but a little bit of people watching is almost impossible to avoid.
The scene is particularly interesting when the 3pm hour approaches. At 3pm it is way different than it is at noon, where people mainly come in for food. I call it the "blood sugar drop / hanger" rush. Almost every single order that is yelled out is for either a blended frozen drink, or a fancy hot coffee beverage (and I'm using the term coffee very loosely here!). Either way, hot or cold, they both have one thing in common: sugar. Lots of it.
Did you know that these beverages have an average of 45-50 grams of sugar? And I'm talking about a small size here! That means (and I hate to break it to you) that your triple vanilla dulce de leche half caf mocha latte macchiato isn't just the harmless coffee afternoon pick me up you were hoping for... And hey, that's totally cool, we all deserve a treat sometimes, but let's not sugar coat things (no pun intended) and call it what it is: pretty much a liquid candy bar. Here's the thing though: these drinks might hit the spot at the moment, but after that sugar high wears off, you will crash harder than Vince Vaughn at a fancy wedding ("Wedding crashers" anyone??).
When that time of the day hits, when most of us have been at work for hours, tired, probably bored, stressed and starting to get hungry, we all crave that little something sweet. I know it. I've been there myself. And that's totally normal, we're looking for that serotonin boost. Wouldn't it be nice if it lasted a little longer though?
So rather than choosing something that might cause you to crash and burn, how about trying a different approach? We have a suggestion. Hang tight....
We've been big fans of non dairy nut based beverages for a while now. And every time something new hits the market, we cannot wait to try it!! We found Silk's newest product, Nutchello, at Walmart last week.
Nutchello is a nut based beverage that is dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, casein and carrageenan free. It's also free of cholesterol or saturated fat, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. It comes in 3 yummy flavors, Caramel Almond & Cashew, Dark Chocolate & Walnut and Toasted Coconut & Cashew, all with 90 calories or less, smooth, creamy and delicious. And with just the right amount of sweetness (14 grams or less of sugar) to hit the spot, so you don't become the next hanger games tribute.
As the chocolate lovers that we are, we went for the Dark Chocolate & Walnut flavor. Chocolaty, rich and decadent with a touch of roasted walnuts, it reminded us of one of our favorite childhood drinks. To make it a hearty, satisfying snack, we decided to pair it up with these homemade vegan whole wheat crackers. Made with dried cherries for a touch of tartness (and for that great cherry chocolate combo!), chia and sunflower seeds and walnuts (to bring up the walnuts notes of Nutchello), these crackers are high in fiber, good fats and have that satisfying crunch we look for in a snack. They are easy to make and one batch will last you a while!
So, next time 3pm hits and you're thinking about grabbing a snack, try a glass of Nutchello over ice with a few crackers. It will knock out those hanger pains... and save you a few bucks!!
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, lukewarm
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper
- Combine almond milk and chia seeds in a small bowl and set aside
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add walnuts, cherries and sunflower seeds and mix again
- In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt and maple syrup. Add soaked chia seeds and mix until well combined. Pour into flour mixture and mix until the ingredients are just incorporated
- Spoon batter into lined 8x4x2.5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 55 minutes. Let it cool completely (the longer you let it cool, the better)
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Remove the loaf from the pan and slice in half length wise. Slice each half about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick (see note) (we found that flipping it over and start slicing for the bottom makes it easier). Arrange the slices over the lined baking sheet (you might need to do it in more than one batch) and bake again for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip them over and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes (time may vary depending on the thickness). The crackers might feel slightly soft straight out of the oven, but they will crisp up as they cool
Prep time does not include cooling time
For thinner crackers, slice the loaf to desired thickness, but keep in mind that the baking time with be shorter (keep an eye to make sure they don't burn)
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 40 mins
- Category: snack
- Cuisine: Kosher / Vegan