Fig Bars / Jeeah L.
How many times do you end up forgetting to eat during work? As mentioned in the previous post, sleep plays an essential role in resting your body and mind so that you are ready to go the next day. No one would argue that food is the other critical component that acts as a fuel to your engine.
Having go-to snacks is one way to keep your energy level from dipping low into the negative range throughout the day, but let’s be honest here. It is far too easy and tempting to pay a quick visit to the nearest vending machine or the cafeteria where a whole host of salty and sweet bags of unhealthy but addicting goodies are waiting for you. Even the ones that are considered healthy, such as granola bars, are just not up to the level of satisfaction in terms of taste to curb hunger.
There is, however, a solution that I would like offer to this dilemma: homemade snacks. Yes, you heard me. Homemade snacks are not only satisfying for your belly but also cost-saving in the long run, especially when you stock up on your pantry with the following basic baking ingredients: rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts, honey and the likes.
I’m a proponent of baking to unwind after a long, stressful week. The Internet has a plethora of inspiring recipes, so it’s not as hard as you think. Here are some quick-and-easy granola bar and energy bite/ball recipes that you can prepare during the weekend for the week ahead.
I tend to make tweaks to a given recipe, depending on what I have at hand: substituting peanut butter with almond butter, adding nuts, not including coconut flakes (if I run out), etc. And although the above recipes don’t require the oven, I still bake the energy bites/balls for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let them cool before freezing them. You can pretty much create your version as you see fit, so don’t be afraid to experiment and let your creativity juice run wild!
If you master the art of making energy bites/balls, then hooray! Now you can upgrade to the next level of making granola/fruit bars. Here’s one that incorporates strawberry preserves and oats by The Pioneer Woman on Food Network. Again, I adjust the ingredients to my liking, such as using fig jam (I happen to have a jar of homemade fig jam), cutting back on the amount of butter and substituting brown sugar with honey.
You might still be thinking, ‘Man, this is too much work, and I have to buy all these ingredients in the first place.’ I assure you that getting started is the hardest part but once you get into the habit of preparing them ahead of time — and this goes for cooking meals for the week as well — it won’t be much of a chore. Note that it only takes 30-40 minutes of your time, so what are you waiting for? Grab that mixing bowl and turn on the oven (or not even) and start baking away!