The Silly Nutrition Undergrad

Posts Tagged ‘snack

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To celebrate the end of the school term and to reward myself for the hard work I’ve done, I decided to make a small batch of biscotti (this was really just an excuse, I just wanted to bake during the weekend!). I had lots of dark chocolate chips and peanut butter at home, so it was only right that I made the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti from Food Network.

This was my first time making biscotti and it was super easy to make. It was very fun and if you haven’t tried before, I highly recommend trying this recipe out. Simple ingredients, easy steps, exceptional flavour!

I made a few small changes to the original recipe. I added in a tablespoon of cocoa powder (gives it that extra chocolaty flavour) and substituted in walnuts instead of peanuts. The original recipe makes 3 logs, I roughly modified the amount of the ingredients to make 1 log. The recipe posted here reflects the amounts I used for my recipe.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti

Slighted modified from Food Network

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4/5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/5 cup sugar
  • 2/3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 40g (40ml) peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The butter will foam and when the foaming subsides, the butter will brown fairly quickly. When it starts to brown and develop a nutty aroma, quickly remove from heat and let cool slight. This step should take about 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg with an electric mixer until light and pale yellow. Gradually add sugar while beating. Then, slowly add the butter and vanilla extract until evenly mixed. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.
  • While mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet, in 2 additions, mixing just until absorbed.
  • Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips (it will look like an awful lot amount when you dump it into the batter, but trust me, the amount is just right!).
  • Dump the dough onto the parchment paper. Using clean hands, shape the dough into a fat log (about 2-inches wide and 15-inches long).
  • Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool log on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lower the oven temperature to 325°F
  • Remove log from baking sheet and place onto cutting board. Cut crosswise at a 45-degree angel into 12 to 14 pieces using a long serrated knife.
  • Place cookies cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake until golden brown, about 8 more minutes.
  • Cook them on the baking sheet. Makes 12 – 14 pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Store well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I just had a biscotti today after a long walk in the cold, chilly winter afternoon. It was SO good! Nothing can be more relaxing and heart-warming than a crunchy, chocolaty, homemade biscotti dipped in a glass of hot, frothy cocoa! SO good…

How do you like to eat biscotti?


Photo by FotoosVanRobin

The Silly Nutrition Undergrad has moved. Come to Juicy Fresh Bites for new content on health and nutrition!

Cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts — I love them all!

What’s so great about nuts?

Nuts are not only tasty, they are also a superfood that offers many health benefits:

1. Keeps the heart healthy. They are a great source of heart-healthy fats — unsaturated fats and omega-3 oil. Numerous research have indicated that unsaturated fats can help to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). High LDL is linked to increased risks of heart diseases so keeping LDL level low will have protective effect against heart issues. Omega-3 fatty acids helps to prevent blood clot,  thereby reduces the risk for strokes. Also, Diets rich in omega-3 oils have been shown to improve blood lipid profile by lowering triglycerides levels. Plus, studies have shown that nuts can help to relax blood vessels and aid in keeping blood pressure in check. All in all, the heart-healthy fats in nuts work in multiple ways to protect the heart and reduce the risks of developing heart diseases!

2. Help reduce saturated fat intake. Nuts and nut butter serve as a great meat alternative. By swapping out some of the meats in our diet with nuts, you can decrease your consumption of unhealthy saturated fats and increase the intake of heart-healthy fats at the same time (sounds like a 2 bird in 1 stone deal to me!).

3. Help to lower blood cholesterol level. Nuts contain fiber and plant sterols. Fiber may reduce blood cholesterol level. Having similar function to fiber, plant sterols, a  naturally occurring component in plants, is a potent substance that has been clinically proven to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels.

4. Protective effects against Type 2 Diabetes. The latest studies suggest that eating nuts on a regular basis can improve insulin sensitivity, which will have a positive impact on Type 2 diabetes risk. Scientists propose that the many nutrients in nuts (fiber, healthy fats and magnesium) work in a synergistic manner to regulate and improve blood sugar levels and insulin levels.

5. Keep you full and satisfied. Packed with many nutrients and fiber, nuts will keep you full longer so you will be less likely to nibble on unhealthy snacks. Nuts make a great snack choice since it is packed with many nutrients, easy to carry around, and costs comparatively cheaper than other snack items. In addition, research has shown that including a small amount of nuts as a daily snack in a energy-restrictive diet can actually enhance weight loss. Stop loading empty calories into your body, grab a handful of nuts and nourish your body!

How to eat it?

Nuts are so versatile, you can practically add it to anything. To help you get creative as to how to enjoy nuts, here are a few of my favourite ways:

How much to enjoy?

Nuts offer a wide array of health benefits, but keep in mind that it is a high-calorie food. The key to eating nuts is to choose them instead of, not in addition to, other foods. Try to stick to a serving of nuts per day. A serving of nuts is a quarter (1/4) cup , or about an ounce (30g). Be sure to choose no-salt added variations and avoid candied nuts so you don’t get extra calories that you don’t need. When choosing nut butter, try to keep the limit to two tablespoons. Make sure to find a brand without added sugar, salt or vegetable oils (look for these keywords: “no added salt”, “natural”, “100% peanuts”). Nuts and nut butter are an excellent source of protein and according to the Canada’s Food Guide, they are considered a meat alternative — use them as a substitute for meats!

More Resources:

Do you have a favourite to enjoy nuts? Share it here!

Maple Glazed Walnuts

Delicious maple-glazed nuts that taste a-a-a-amazing!

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It’s rainy. It’s windy. It’s the winter season approaching Vancouver. What’s better to do in this weather than staying indoors – dry and cozy – and cooking up a delicious snack for myself? I’ve wanted to make Ellie’s Maple Glazed Walnuts for a really long time now, and finally, here it is!

Plain walnuts taste good on its own, but when you add on a warm maple glaze, it’s truly satisfying. Perfect with a hot cup of tea and a great novel.

I mostly followed Ellie’s instructions, except I added in sesame seeds (I absolutely adore sesame seeds!).  Ellie’s original recipe makes 2 cups of walnuts — I modified the recipe to make only 1 serving (1/4 cup).

Maple Glazed Walnuts

Serves 1.

  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • A pinch of salt
  • A sprinkle of sesame seeds
  1. Preheat a dry skillet over medium high heat. Add in walnut halves and slightly toast until warm, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes. (This step makes the nuts extra crunchy.)
  2. Add in maple syrup, salt and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

Warning: This snack is truly addictive and it will probably not last you more than 1 day! (Mine was gone within 10 minutes, no joke.)

Nuts make a delicious and healthy snack. They are a great source of protein, unsaturated fats (a.k.a. heart-healthy fats that helps to protect your heart) and antioxidants!

Maple Glazed Walnuts on Foodista

Chewy Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries

The perfect healthy snack cookie! Eat a cookie or two during the afternoon to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your hunger at bay.

Photo by Stephanie Chung

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After reading about the post on Apricots-Maple-Oatmeal Cookies by AsiaJo at Frock and Fork, I knew I had to make these cookies this weekend!

Despite not having apricots or cane sugar around the house, I did not push this recipe aside. Instead, I substituted in dried cranberries and brown sugar.

The end result was fabulous. It was chewy and dense – just the way I love my oatmeal cookies! I absolutely adore how much oats and dried fruits this recipe has. Not only do they enhance the flavour of the cookies, but they also transform these cookies into a healthy snack option! The oats makes the cookies chewy and they add a great deal of soluble fiber.  The dried fruits add in sweetness and they also provide a little more than 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables (1 serving = 1/4 cup dried fruits).

So, now when I indulge in 1 or 2 cookies during my afternoon snack, I’m not only satisfying my sweet tooth, but I’m also making a smart healthy investment by boosting both my fiber and fruits intake. How awesome is that!

Chewy Maple-Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (I actually forgot to add this in…)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined. Add in lightly beaten egg. Stir well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg). Slowly add into the butter mixture. Stir well.
  4. Add in rolled oats and cranberries (make sure to drain well before adding in). If batter seems too dry, add in a small amount of milk until the cookie dough is just moist.
  5. Using an ice-cream scoop or two teaspoons (or your clean hands!), shape dough into small balls and place onto parchment paper. Slightly flatten.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (the longer you bake it, the crispier the cookies get). Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove and place onto wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies are truly the perfect healthy snack. Have a cookie or two during the afternoon to curb your hunger and keep your energy up until dinner time!

Seriously, you’ve got to try these for yourself to know how gooey and delicious they are!