No matter the time, the reason, or the season, the best kind of snack to fill you up (and keep you that way) is one that is filled with protein. Nuts are especially handy as a snack food, because they are protein-rich, portable, and give us a daily dose of heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
The downside to nuts is that they can get, dare we say it, a little bit boring. We can toast them, give them a light sprinkle of salt, and, well, that’s about it before we start heading into border territories of healthy snacking. Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to pass off a toffee-coated cashew as a heart-healthy snack.
If you’re fed up with your 3 p.m. handful of almonds and find yourself eyeballing the office’s snack machine, our Almond and Flax Crackers with Smoked Almond Spread is very much what you need. We made it a little fancy (more on that later), but at its core, this is “cheese” and crackers.
The crackers only have five ingredients, and they are vegan and gluten-free. They’re spread on a baking sheet and dehydrated in your oven (so, low and slow baking), which means no fussy rolling and cutting. You’ll love the bold flavor from a heavy dose of coriander seed, but you can mix and match any of your favorite seasonings, like fennel seed, curry blends, or even Korean-style chili paste.
The same is true for the almond spread we’ve made for a topper. This version relies on the flavor of smoked almonds, and substituting plain almonds would make it pretty bland. That is, of course, unless you add roasted garlic, fresh herbs, citrus zest, or horseradish. You can even add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, which is a deactivated yeast product that has a cheesy flavor.
And they aren’t just for office or after-school snacks. We piped the almond spread on the top of the crackers and garnished with some of our favorite microgreens and edible flowers. Not only do they add a flavor you just can’t get from potato chips, but they make for a beautiful presentation at a brunch or cocktail party. Now that’s how you dress up a snack.