3 Classic Snacks Redesigned in a Healthier Way

What are your favorite childhood snacks? I grew up on Oreos, Cool Ranch Doritos, White Cheddar Cheez Its, Hostess Cupcakes, and Little Debbies. All very bad junk food items, but oh so delicious! It’s very obvious that these types of foods are not good for your health as they offer no nutritious value whatsoever. But for some reason, we all love them- especially the kids. So how can we have our snack cakes and eat them too? Well, by remastering the recipes to include healthier ingredients, we can still enjoy our favorite classic snacks and feel good about it too. Today, I’ve rounded up (3) recipes for a healthier alternative to: Moon Pies, Pop Tarts, and Cheez Its. Each one with its true nostalgic taste, but less the calories and less the guilt!

Moon Pies

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter spread
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.

2. Cream granulated sugar and spread with electric mixer in large bowl. Beat in egg white and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.

3. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Beat dry ingredients gradually into wet ingredients, alternating with milk. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto pans to make 32 cookies. Press each cookie with a spoon dipped in water to flatten slightly.

4. Bake until cookie springs back when touched lightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

5. Beat marshmallow cream with electric mixer, gradually adding confectioners’ sugar. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat well until smooth, about 3 minutes. Drop about 1 tablespoon of filling onto a cookie and top with another cookie, pressing so filling spreads.

Nutrition Info (per serving): 231 calories, 3 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium

Pop Tarts

2 cups of flour
2/3 cup of cold vegan butter
pinch of salt
2-4 tbsp of ice cold water
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp raw sugar (for topping)
Vanilla glaze

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the compote by placing berries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally and smashing down with a spoon. Add a few teaspoons of sugar to sweeten if preferred. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  3. To prepare crust, mix flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter until well combined.
  4. Using a tablespoon, drizzle cold water over the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to form a dough. It should be moist enough to form into a ball, but not too sticky to knead. Add more flour if it gets too wet.
  5. Turn onto a floured surface, shape into a disc, and then use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.
  6. Cut into 12 equal squares and carefully transfer each to the baking sheet.
  7. Place about 1 Tbsp of filling onto 6 of the squares, leaving a 1/4 inch border to seal the edges. Then use your finger to dot water around the edges so the two squares stick together. Top the squares with their matching halves and then seal lightly with a fork.
  8. Poke a few holes in the top of each, rub a tiny bit of vegan butter on top of each, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes, then top with glaze if desired. (Vanilla glaze: Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tbsp melted butter spread, and a splash of almond milk)

Calories: 335 Fat: 18 g Saturated fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 35 g Sugar: 3.5 g Sodium: 298 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 4.5 g

Cheez Its

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp iced water

  1. Using a stand mixer, blend the cheese, butter, and salt. Add the flour and mix on low (dough will be pebbly). Slowly add the water and mix as the dough forms a ball.
  2. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin (1/8 inch or less) 10×12 in rectangle. Using a pastry cutter, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer them to the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until puffed and browning at the edges. Immediately move the crackers to racks to cool.

Calories: 118 cal Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 7 g Sodium: 226 mg Protein: 5 g

homemade_crackers

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