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A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Healthy Chocolate Goodies for Valentine’s Day

Gayle's

I have to be honest here–I really debated whether or not to post about healthy chocolate snacks for Valentine’s Day. This is The Healthy Snacks Blog, and Saturday is V-Day, so it makes sense… but here’s the problem: I don’t believe in healthy snacks for Valentine’s Day. I think you’re allowed to splurge on holidays and other occasions! (Especially on a  holiday in which chocolate plays such a big role…) Still, I realize that some people have dietary restrictions and always need healthier options. So here are two brands I recommend for those of you who are addicted to chocolate but want or need to stay on your health kick come February14th.

Gayle’s Miracles Dark Chocolate Truffles. These are tasty, soft chocolate truffles created by a nutritionist. Each one has only 30 calories and 1 gram of fat. Two truffles equal 1 Weight Watcher point. Many other truffles by companies like Lindt have over twice that number of calories and three times as much fat. So how does Gayle’s manage to make chocolate that tastes good but is low in calories? Remember my post about chocolate bars, where I explain that some companies use dates  to make chocolate products healthier? Gayle’s Miracles does something similar, but they use figs instead of dates. I noticed figs on their ingredient list, and I think that’s the secret ingredient that helps them achieve a soft center without all the butter and fat. 

 

 

Vere. I’ve been hearing a lot about this chocolate company lately. Their motto is "chocolate with benefits." The main thing they talk about is how most of their chocolate is dark, and dark chocolate has lots of health benefits. I’m not impressed with this part–many companies now have dark chocolate lines. What I do think makes Vere stand out is that their chocolate is not only dark (it’s all either 70% or 75%) but is also organic, sustainable, natural, and low in sugar. Plus, Vere has a line of vegan chocolate and a line of diabetic-friendly chocolate. Those of you who have to watch your blood sugar and are used to having limited chocolate options will be happy to know that  the diabetic-friendly bars come in several interesting flavors, including spicy, citrus, and vanilla bean. Yum. My only beef with this company is the cheesy tagline I saw on their Web site: "We only use the Vere best!" Gag. But the packaging is totally elegant and enticing.

Enjoy!

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