What Makes a Great Snack?

How many times has this thought ran through your mind after a long day (maybe during a long day) or even standing in front of the fridge or pantry? And what exactly do you eat that's tasty, not too bad for your health and takes the edge off your immediate hunger.

Progressive Grocer reported recently that two thirds of American adults are snacking at home more, and nearly three in five are choosing better-for-you snacks and meal solutions more often than they would have prior to the pandemic.

In this culinary moment of trendy charcuterie and food boards, snacks have been elevated to a lot more than a bag of peanuts, handful of candy, or cheese and crackers.

I enjoy a good snack like nuts, granola, tortilla chips and guacamole or salsa, cheese, fruit and crackers, Not fancy.

Last year during lockdown, I started preparing small plates, really just snack foods (bits and bites of favorite items). We seemed to want less formal meals. What was on these plates? Hummus, toasted pita chips, olives, cheese, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, cut up raw veggies, assorted dip and nut butters, 

When I asked my sister about snacks, her immediate question was what kind? When I didn't specify, she shared "I have been eating low fat cottage cheese with fruit. I never thought I would embrace cottage cheese. I also sometimes eat a handful of walnuts."

If you feel ravenously hungry as many of us have especially if you've been chained to your computer on Zoom calls, then snacking might just be your best friend. I try to choose foods that are enjoyable, are easy to prepare, filling (but won't put me to sleep), and nutritious. 

I learned a few tips years ago from a friend who was an airline stewardess. She shared with me that many airline personnel always bring their own food to ensure they're eating healthy. They scope out the grocery stores on layovers to pick up fresh foods. They tend to eat smaller, lighter meals more frequently and rely on fruits and veggies, canned tuna or salmon, apples, oranges, granola, almond butter, hard boiled eggs and oatmeal. Their rule of thumb is to eat less than you think you need. And, drink lots of water! Sounds like good advice.


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com

Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net

Rittman Orchards and Farm Market www.rittmanorchards.com

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com

Locle Box www.loclebox.com

Market Wagon Northeast Ohio www.marketwagon.com

Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com

Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com

Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com

Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share 


Hear Pat's story on Food Founders Podcast.


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