Most healthy snacks offer very little textural contrast — they're either all smushy, like smoothies and oatmeal, or all crunchy, like pretzels and granola bars. Having a little crunch with a little something creamy is more satisfying. I like crispbread crackers (like this) for the task because there is just the right amount of surface area to make things interesting without overdoing it. Their size also gives you a nutritional assist in the moderation department.
There are many brands of crispbread crackers, but one Swedish brand in particular (Wasa) is easy to find and has lots of variety, like sourdough, multi or whole grain, and sesame. All are attractive options as they are low in calories and fat but high in fiber, and they are often recommended by nutritionists as a satisfying, moderate snack. Really, it's a crunchy, hearty alternative to sandwich bread.
3 TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKING AT WORK
1. Keep an arsenal of snack enhancers at work so you are not schlepping stuff back and forth.
• small bottle of good olive oil
• kosher salt
• nice pepper grinder
• small jar of cinnamon
2. Keep a few tools at work too.
• cutting board
• cheap paring knife
3. Pack smart.
Pack your crispbread in Tupperware to keep it from cracking. You may even want to wrap it in plastic wrap so other ingredients in your snack pack don't get moisture on your cracker. Wet crackers are The Worst.
1. Apples and Honey with Nut Butter
Pack a whole apple in your bag. Smear peanut, almond, cashew — whatever butter you are into — onto your crispbread. Drape a small sheet of plastic wrap over the nut butter so it doesn't smear all over, then pack it up. At snack time, thinly slice your apple, and drizzle with honey and cinnamon, which you hopefully have at work. You can substitute the apple for a banana to mix things up.
2. Avocado and Mozzarella
At home, slice your fresh mozzarella and wrap in plastic wrap. Pack your crispbread and a whole avocado to go. When you are ready to eat, slice your avocado. Top the crispbread with the mozzarella, add your sliced avocado, drizzle with olive oil, and season with kosher salt and pepper.
3. Hummus, Carrot, and Cucumber
Before work, use a vegetable peeler to make long strands with your carrot and cucumber and pack in a plastic baggie or container. Pack your crispbread and a container of hummus. When ready, spread your hummus on the crispbread and lay down those carrots and cukes.
4. Egg White Salad
This is a good one to plan the night before. Hard-boil 2 eggs (place in a small pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover with a lid, and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the water, then place eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool.) Peel the eggs and then, using the whites only, chop them up and put into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine.
Load the egg white salad into a container and pack your crispbread separately. Spoon over crispbread at lunchtime.
Be aware that the smell of eggs may bum out some of your officemates. Tell them to Deal.
5. Dates and Goat Cheese
Cut up some goat cheese and place into a container. Throw in some chopped dates and sliced almonds, separated from the cheese by a plastic baggy. Pack your crispbread to go. Ready to eat? Smear the goat cheese on to your crispbread, top with dates and almonds, and drizzle with honey from your stash.
6. Tomato and Feta
Slice some tomatoes and place them in your container, then cover with plastic wrap. Crumble some feta into a pile in your container and sprinkle with dried oregano or Italian herbs. Pack your crispbread separately. When you get hungry, top your crispbread with tomato, feta and herbs, and drizzle with your stashed olive oil and freshly ground pepper.
7. Pineapple and Chipotle
At home, slice your pineapple (or you can use canned slices in juice), and scoop out ¼ cup cottage cheese. Place both in a container and sprinkle with a pinch of chipotle powder. Pack up your crispbread separately. Don't assemble this one until you are ready to eat or you'll have a sad, wet cracker. :(
8. Strawberries and Spice
At home, slice up some fresh strawberries and place in a plastic container. Spread a tablespoon of cream cheese on your crispbread and sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or vanilla salt. Wrap it in plastic wrap and pack in the container. When the time is right, layer the strawberries over the crispbread.
Jessica Seinfeld is a New York Times best-selling author of two cookbooks, Deceptively Delicious and Double Delicious, and will release her third book, The Can't Cook Book — Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified in September 2013. She is the founder and president of Baby Buggy, a nonprofit organization that delivers donations of new and gently used baby gear and children's clothing to America's most vulnerable families.