Brad Gruno, CEO of Brad’s Raw Foods (you know, the kale chips that actually taste good) and author of the upcoming “Brad’s Raw Made Easy,” shows us that we don’t have to sacrifice taste to incorporate some healthy, raw snacks into our lives. Remember that New Year’s resolution? So when the 3p.m. sugar pang hits, Gruno says try one of these good-for-you options. See below for alternatives to some of your favorite cravings. Bonus: try his recipe of an energy-packed snack below.
Instead of candy: Dried dates, raisins, plums, cranberries, apricots, and goji berries are foods (eat sparingly) that will satisfy your cravings for chewy, candy- like treats.
Instead of ice cream: In a blender, place two peeled, chopped frozen bananas, ½ cup of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and ½ teaspoon of salt (optional). Blend until combined. Try adding 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for a rich creamy treat, or ¼ cup of cocoa powder.
Instead of sorbet: Try 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1 cup of fresh orange juice, and ½ mango. Pulse in a blender until combined. Eat as is, or place it in the freezer for 3–4 hours for a firmer texture. Experiment with other combinations of frozen fruit.
Instead of pasta: Use a vegetable peeler or a spiralizer to make long peeled “noodles” from zucchini, summer squash, or cucumbers. Toss with your favorite herbs, fresh tomatoes, and a little olive oil.
Instead of chocolate pudding: Mash a ripe banana with a splash of almond milk and a few tablespoons of cocoa powder. Top with fresh berries and enjoy.
Instead of chips: Cut slices from large carrots at a diagonal and use them to scoop up some fresh raw guacamole or hummus. Munching on slices of colorful raw beets, jicama, or bell peppers also satisfies that need for a crunch.
Instead of sweets: Slice a ripe piece of fruit, or have dried fruit mixed with nuts or a bowl of fruit with honey. Roll grapes in coconut sugar (found in health food stores) and freeze, or have a homemade Energy Bar.
Instead of salty foods: Think celery, spinach, or sea vegetables, either as is or juiced. Rehydrate sea vegetables and add them to a salty spinach and celery salad.
Instead of fatty comfort foods: Avocados or sprouted nuts are a quick fix. Or spread nut butter on your favorite fruit and top it with cacao nibs.
MIAH’S ENERGY BALLS Servings: 16 (2 balls per serving)
3 cups ground oat groats* 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup dried cranberries 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon lucuma powder (optional) 1 cup raw cacao powder Cinnamon, to taste 1 cup vanilla agave (or plain agave with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract), or honey 5 tablespoons coconut oil, gently warmed to melt 1 cup almond butter
Place the ground oats, raisins, cranberries, sea salt, lucuma powder if using, cacao powder, and cinnamon in a blender and blend until combined. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the agave, coconut oil, and almond butter. Mix by hand until the mixture sticks together. Refrigerate for an hour, then remove from fridge and form into bite- size balls and place on a parchment- lined plate. Put the plate in the refrigerator until ready to consume. Or wrap individually and freeze — you can grab before you go!
*To grind, place the groats in a blender or food processor and pulse until coarse.