A New Nutty Snack

By: Marnely Rodriguez

For the past week, I've been snacking constantly on a crunchy new snack. It's naturally sweet, nutty, with a bunch of clusters packed with good for you ingredients. It's called Snackle Mouth and has become my go-to snack during the afternoons.

Snackle Mouth is all about "clumpability". You know those clusters you love to find in granola? Well, Snackle Mouth is ALL about those clusters around some of the best nuts in the world. What do they add to those nuts? Well, better yet, let's start with what they don't add: no refined sugars, no trans-fats, and no fake tasting flavors. My favorite has been the Almond Pecan Maple and it contains goodies such as Organic Blue Agave, Pecans, Oats, Cranberries, and more!

Recently, I had the pleasure of asking James Moreau, Snackle Mouth's Community Director, a few questions about this newfound snack of mine!

How did Snackle Mouth start?

Snackle Mouth started when our founder, John Raptis, wanted to make a healthy, tasty, energy packed snack for his son, Costa. He wanted to make it all natural yet appealing for his young son. Snackle Mouth was born in John's kitchen.

How did you choose the ingredients that go into Snackle Mouth flavors?

We go for the highest quality ingredients we can find. If we can get organic, we go with that, but otherwise, we only source fresh and healthy ingredients. We also try to limit the amount of ingredients that go into each box. As for the flavor combinations, we just get fun and creative in the kitchen. We throw ideas out, try them and run with them if everyone feels like they're addicting!

Will you be developing new flavors in the future?

We want to be the Ben and Jerry's of snack food. We will be developing many new flavors!

What's your favorite Snackle Mouth flavor?

My personal favorite is our new Salty Chocolate flavor that we unveiled along with Bacon Maple at Expo West this past week. It's so amazing and easy to eat by the handful! But, I do love all of the other flavors too, particularly the Pecan Maple and Almond Berry.

Is Snackle Mouth Gluten-Free?

We don't use any wheat products in our snacks, however we don't have gluten-free certification. With any oats or grains, there's always a concern over cross contamination, but we always source the best quality oats we can find and do our best to keep all gluten out of our snacks.

For more information about Snackle Mouth, visit their website here.  

Photos: Marnely Rodriguez

Marnely Rodriguez, author of the food blog, Cooking with Books. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, has worked as an Overnight Bread Baker in Colorado, a Chocolate Maker in Virginia as well as a Pastry Cook on the whimsical island of Martha's Vineyard, just to name a few. Currently residing on Martha's Vineyard, where she is an endless search of flavors, tropical fruits and gastronomic inspiration. Follow her on Twitter: @nella22 

For more tips and recipes from Marnely, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Healthy Snacks for a Summer Road Trip

Even if you've planned your road trip around food, you will undoubtedly get hungry between stops. On the highway, you'll see many rest stops with fast food outlets. These might seem like an easy way to stop and get a quick lunch.

But, if you pack your own food, you can keep up a healthy lifestyle even when you're on a long road trip.  By bringing planned snacks, you will be able to stay on the road, stay away from unhealthy food at rest stops, and still enjoy yourself! Check out these ideas for healthy road trip snacks.

Fruits - Fruits like grapes, apples, bananas, and cherries are tasty snacks that will fill you up and minimize a mess in the car. Make sure you wash everything before you start your drive and consider cutting up larger things like apples before heading out.

Vegetables ¬- Like the fruits, bring vegetables that you can snack on easily and that will have little clean up. Cut up carrots into sticks or bring cherry tomatoes. Both snacks are things that you can pop in your mouth while keeping your eyes on the road.

Bread and spreads - For something a bit heartier, bring a healthy dip and whole-grain bread or pitas.  White Bean, Sage, and Roasted Garlic Spread and Chickpea-Eggplant Dip are both great choices.  For a sweeter spread, mix maple syrup, honey, or cinnamon into yogurt.  Packed ahead in reusable storage containers, you will be able to portion individual dips for easy eating while keeping your eyes on the road.  (And no worries about double dipping!)

Nuts - For a quick energy boost on the long drive, grab a handful of peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, or a mix.  For portion control, pack the nuts into separate containers and pair them with a piece of fruit or a few of those carrot sticks.

Water - On a long trip of any sort, it's very important to stay hydrated. Make sure you bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill along the trip, without creating excess waste.

What do you bring on your roadtrips?

Photo: alanflai on flickr

Get Fit for Summer: Almonds


Get Fit For Summer!

If you're looking for a healthy nut to add to your morning bowl of yogurt and granola, then pick up a bag of almonds. Almonds are high in healthy fats and protein. Stocked with monosaturated fats and protein, almonds are heart-healthy, and when combined with fiber, help keep you full longer.

In fact, dieters that eat almonds tend to experience decreases in LDL, or the "bad" type of cholesterol.

Almonds have great health benefits. Stocked with Vitamin E and B-17, almonds help decrease the risk of cancer. Even better, almonds actually encourage good bacteria to grow in your intestinal track, improving your digestive health.

For a delicious, almond-packed treat, try these almond and orange biscotti. Breakfast is better with a bowl of almond-spiked granola. For more than just mixing almonds into your breakfast, try making almond milk!

Power Snacks: 5 Healthy And Easy Snacks


By Leah Riley

Snacking has become a big part of our culture whether you're at the movies or just watching TV at home. All to often, however, snacking equates to not unhealthy eating. 

There are generally two complaints when it comes to healthy eating: a) I don't have the time to conjure up anything healthy and b) I need something for a quick boost of energy. Thankfully these 5 easy to prepare power snacks are sure to get you through the day with minimal effort.

1. Nuts: A handful of nuts is a great snack for when you're on-the-go as it's packed with protein and will help give you energy throughout the day. If you're looking for an added boost and have 30 minutes to spare, spicing and baking the nuts with the 3 C's of spice (cayenne, cumin and cinnamon) as well as adding flaxseed and sunflower seeds will be sure to add some zest to your snack.

2. Greek Yogurt: Another great protein treat is Greek yogurt. Packed with vitamins and calcium means it is a great healthy snack as well. Since it has become such a go-to item for healthy eating, it can be found easily in any grocery store but if you are feeling adventurous, go ahead and make it on your own. If you are worried you will tire of it quickly, try drizzling in some honey and cinnamon or even spread it on some toast!

3. Apples and Peanut Butter: Cut an apple into four quarters and remove the core parts from each. Serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (look for the kind that just lists two ingredients: peanuts and salt) and enjoy!

4. Avocados: Avocados are rich in unsaturated fats, which means they are good for your heart as well as for your skin. Eat an avocado halved, pitted, and straight from the skin with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt.

5. Quick Cherry Tomato Whole-Grain Bruschetta: Lightly toast a slice of whole-grain bread and rub with a garlic clove. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta on top, season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with a handful of halved cherry tomatoes. Season again and enjoy!

Photographer: Lindsay Hunt

Try These Healthy And Delicious Cinema Snacks

From Sour Patch Kids to neon yellow popcorn slathered in butter, movie theaters serve nutritionally devastating treats. Some movie theaters are stepping up their dining options, but most make smart eating tough. Whether you're renting on a Saturday night or heading out to the theater, try these healthy and delicious cinema snacks.

1. Popcorn: It's too bad that most movie theaters load up on the fat, since popcorn is actually a whole grain! Exceptionally filling and low on calories, unbuttered popcorn is satisfying and tasty. Instead of using a butter-based topping, think about adding a little olive oil, sea salt, and chili powder. Garlic and chives are other good options that don't destroy your daily calorie count.

2. Frozen yogurt: If you're craving something sweet while curled up on the couch, skip the ice cream and choose frozen yogurt. High in protein, low in fat, and helpful for digestion, frozen yogurt is a better nutritional option than ice cream. And frozen yogurt is delicious, too, tangy and well suited to fresh fruit toppings.

3. Tortilla chips and salsa: Rather than nachos, warm some tortilla chips in the oven and serve with salsa. Homemade guacamole is a fun as well, and avocados deliver a dose of "good" fats.

4. Nuts: Cashews, pecans, and peanuts-roasted and dusted with salt, nuts are a great way to get your daily protein. Definitely snackable, nuts are also easy to portion, allowing you to control your eating.

Movie-going doesn't have to be a caloric disaster. Pop in one of these food movies and pick a healthy snack.