Culinary professionals are just like the rest of us. They are busy, time-stressed, and always looking for ways to save time when it comes to eating healthy. But due to their culinary training and expertise, they are also super smart about food pairings that make their snacks more delicious and crave-worthy. Here are some of their ideas we hope to bring new Have A Plant® inspiration to your snack habits.
Dukkah Delivers Deliciousness
What’s dukkah, you ask? It’s a Middle Eastern condiment made with spices, dried herbs, and nuts. Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDN, a PBH Have a Plant® Culinary Ambassador and Associate Professor at The Culinary Institute of America says, “My new favorite snack is carrots dipped in extra virgin olive oil and then in dukkah, which I buy at a local store. This delicious flavor pairing is part of my regular 4 p.m. hunger rotation.”
Chips & Salsa
Chips and salsa is an awesome way to boost fruit and veggie intake while enjoying the satisfying crunch of corn tortilla chips. Chef Lesley E. Schatz, MPH, RD, LDN, PBH Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador and Clinical Dietitian, gave us her secret for making an awesome homemade salsa. “I use No Salt Added crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, diced Vidalia onion, minced jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and granulated onion and garlic. This salsa is great right when it’s made, but it’s even better the next day after having a night in the fridge for the flavors to meld.”
Kim Galeaz, RDN, LD, Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador and Culinary-Focused Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Consultant to the Food, Beverage, Restaurant and Agriculture Industry, gave us her recipe for her “Six Pack Salsa” made with three cans of fruit (pineapple, mango, and peaches) and three cans of veggies (tomatoes, corn, and black beans). She adds fresh diced onion, diced jalapenos, minced garlic, and freshly ground black pepper.
Raw Veggies & Creamy Yogurt Dips
Two of our Ambassadors shared recipes for yogurt-based dips they love to pair with raw vegetables. “I love the crunch of fresh vegetables paired with dips. My favorites are bell pepper slices, green beans, and cucumbers cut into long strips. For eating on the go I’ll put Curry Yogurt Dip in the bottom of a Mason jar and then add the veggies,” says Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RDN, PBH Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador and Senior Director, Nutrition Communications for Compass Group.
PBH Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador Chef Garrett Berdan excitedly told us, “I really like this recipe for Kale Dip. It is garlicky with a kick from some chili flakes. It’s so easy to make and is very satisfying to scoop up with crunchy veggies like fresh rainbow carrots, sliced red bell peppers, or kohlrabi.”
Have A Plant® with Nut Butters
Many Ambassadors told us they love pairing fresh fruit with nut butters, but Sanna Delmonico mentioned her love of sugar snap peas dipped in peanut butter. Chef Lesley Schatz has reinvented a childhood favorite, Ants on a Log, by mixing cocoa powder with just enough hot water or hot coffee to make a thin slurry, then mixing this into peanut butter or sunflower seed butter to create a flavorful dip for celery sticks.
Tik Tok Temptations
Even talented culinarians get inspiration from Tik Tok. We love that Jennifer Roberts told us, “I’m not going to lie. I’ve tried the Tik Tok popular mini sweet bell peppers with cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning. It’s pretty good!” We agree; this is another winning flavor combination that’s as easy to make as the baked feta-tomato-pasta dish.
Wait! Isn’t this article about snacking on fruits and veggies? Yes, and PBH Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador Micheline Cormier and Manager of Culinary Systems for Sodexo gave us her favorite ways to create fruit-forward cheesecake bites for snacks:
- Stuff Medjool dates with cream cheese and a few mini chocolate chips.
- Stuff Medjool dates with cream cheese and toasted, shredded coconut.
- Stuff Medjool dates with peanut butter and a few mini chocolate chips.
- Schmear cream cheese on a dried apricot, add some toasted slivered almonds, and top with another dried apricot to make a cute little sandwich.
Surprise & Delight
Snacking can not only ease hunger and boost produce consumption; it can also boost your mood. PBH Have A Plant® Culinary Ambassador Marie Whelen, MS, RDN, LD, told us, “When I’m on the go, I often fill a container with what I call “little round things,” two to three fruits or veggies that don’t need peeling and travel well together for a no-fuss snack on the road, or between meetings. When I’m hungry, I just reach into the bag and get a surprise from a grape, a few blueberries, some fresh or dried cherries, dried cranberries, figs, or apricots, or even a grape tomato. Depending on what’s handy, I may toss in some nuts for crunching. Sometimes I guess what the next bite will be, and I enjoy the sense of whimsy that it adds to my day.”
Margherita Pizza Bites
As a gardener, one of my favorite summer snacks combines a pantry staple, a favorite cheese, and a few items from my garden. I put a few Ritz crackers with an aged white cheddar cheese on an outdoor table to warm while I gather a few cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. The warm, fresh-from-the-vine tomatoes and basil combined with the sunshine-warmed cheese and Ritz crackers tastes just like Margherita pizza.