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.

Snack Review: Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt

I sprinkle these nuts in my cereal, oatmeal, and granola, I use them in homemade trail mixes, and I eat them plain by the handful!

Why I like them:

  • The flavor. Most flavored nuts are either too salty (e.g.,smokehouse almonds) or too sweet (e.g., honey roasted peanuts). And plain, raw or natural almonds are too bland for some people. But Blue Diamond’s Oven Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt are the perfect happy medium—just the right amount of flavor without all the unhealthy gunk. I love the roasted flavor, the crunch, and the delicious addition of sea salt. (The Oven-Roasted line also comes in No Salt, Vanilla Bean, and Cinnamon Brown Sugar. The No Salt ones are great, too—you still get the roasted flavor, so you don’t reallymiss the salt. I’ve never tried the vanilla or cinnamon ones.)
  • The handy container. The Oven-Roasted varieties all come in special, easy-to-open containers (you twist off the top, which is great—I hate nuts where you pull back the sharp aluminum lid; I’ve cut myself twice that way!). The container also has a cool scale on the side so you can measure 1-oz portions. (Speaking of portion control, Blue Diamond does makewhole natural almonds in 100-calorie packs, but the Oven-Roasted flavors only come in the large containers for now.)
  • Their versatility. As I mentioned in my intro, I eat these several different ways! I usually eat them with breakfast food or by themselves as a late-morning or afternoon snack. Nuts are a great option for a morning snack because they help give you energy.
  • The health benefits. Almonds are a good source of the antioxidant Vitamin E, as well as calcium, magnesium, protein, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
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