Stuff We Like: Snacks & Skillets
Craving something spicy, sweet, or nutty? We’ve put together a list of the yummiest snacks that have come across our desks recently, including spicy specialty pickles, whole-grain and low-cal cookies, and granola with just the right amount of crunch. And while these picks are delicious, we know that a parent can’t live on snacks alone, so check out the sleek and affordable new wok set that will help you whip up family dinners in no time.
Crunchy, fiery, sweet, and sour—Lynnae’s Hot Mama Gourmet Pickles hit the pregnancy craving jackpot. But trust us, these dill chips with a jalapeño kick will satisfy spicy hankerings even after baby is born, so keep some on hand for hamburger add-ons or straight-from-the-jar snacking. ($7 for 2-lb. jar; available at Fairway stores and at lynnaesgourmetpickles.com)
Cure for Hunger Pangs
What time does your afternoon hunger pang kick in? Debra Holstein, the Westchester mom of three behind The 4:00 Cookie Company (box of 6 cookies, $15; available at 4oclockcookie.com), say most women start reaching for the sweet stuff around 4pm. Snacking on foods with white flour or refined sugar can cause a spike in blood sugar and trigger more cravings, though; instead, her cookies pack a wholesome and filling punch with ingredients relatively low on the glycemic index, such as whole grains, oats, flax, nuts, bittersweet chocolate, and coconut sugar. Bonus: The cookies clock in at fewer than 200 calories each and are preservative-free. Even better: Every flavor (yup, we tested them all) is scrumptious and satisfying!
You don’t have to be “crunchy granola” folks to enjoy Mona’s Granola ($5.99 per 11-ounce bag; monasinc.com)—even the hippest city kids will love a little of this family-recipe cereal sprinkled on yogurt or crunching up their fruit salad. Made of rolled oats, nutrient-rich nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, pure honey, and other all-natural ingredients, each mix provides protein and good fats, making it an ideal snack. We tried—and added to our baking repertoire—Mona’s Granola and Banana Bran Muffins; find the delish recipe at nymetroparents.com/food-stuff.
Wok Wednesdays—Why Not?
Weeknight dinners—after a day jam-packed with errands, work, and after-school activities—don’t have to be unhealthy on-the-go options. While pizza’s an okay fallback, having a wok on hand makes it easy to literally throw together a happy crowd-pleasing plate in minutes. Prep veggies and even cooking sauce (as simple as low-sodium soy sauce, corn starch, and a bit of sugar) on Sundays for a quick Wednesday dinner. This 7-piece IMUSA nonstick wok set ($28.99) includes wok, wire rack, cooking chopsticks, bamboo spoon, tongs, bamboo turner, and spatula. The stay-cool handle means older kids can help out, too. Go to nymetroparents.com/food-stuff for a tasty recipe for basil pineapple fried rice.