I’ll admit that I do make trips to the refrigerator late at night for a snack at times. Sometimes I want “something-to-munch” and sometimes I want something more. I have a list of treats that I will hunt out during the night foray to the kitchen.
From my kitchen to yours, I’ll share my top three treats. Eaten at any other time of day, they can be a side dish, a snack or become the center part of a meal.
My Baked Potato
You’ll need: One potato, baked in either the oven or microwave, butter, bacon bits from breakfast, green onions, leftover veggies, beans and cheese. Also salt, pepper and herbs and or spices to enhance the chosen ingredients. I prefer black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, onions and leftover salsa or pico de gallo.
Scoop out the potato’s insides and mix gently with the chosen ingredients. If moisture is needed, milk (cow or non-dairy, even yoghurt can be used), water or olive oil can be added. Water from cooked veggies adds taste and nutrition. (I’m really giving away my secrets here.) Coat the outside of the potato shell with butter or oil and microwave for 3 minutes on high. Take the shell out and fill with the mixture. Return to the microwave and cook for one more minute; top with cheese and microwave for up to 30 seconds, just until the cheese is melted.
It’s terrific with a glass of water, tea, milk or if you prefer, wine or a cold beer. If you want to make it a meal, add leftover meat to the mixture.
Frozen Choco Peanut Butter Treat
I learned this one from Shape’s online magazine. If you like frozen treats and need to add protein to your diet and can’t stand protein shakes every day as well as being a healthy chocoholic like me, read on. I add a few things to this delightful treat just to make it mine.
For the treat, mix together three scoops of chocolate protein powder and a half cup of peanut butter. If you want more protein, mix in a quarter cup of flax seed. Mix in a little water or milk if needed to make it smooth. It does not matter if you use creamy or crunchy peanut butter; sometimes I like the crunch. It’s easier to mix the peanut butter when it’s at room temperature. There are nights I’ll mix in some carob chips or chocolate candies (I know, I know).
You can use an ice cream scoop to create half round balls or freeze the whole mixture in one container. It should freeze for at least a couple of hours. When I take it out, I can scoop out what I want, top it with fresh or frozen fruit (see, that’s a healthy ingredient), and perhaps a little whipped topping.
My Favorite Munchie Bowl
Sometimes I don’t know what I want, so I take a plate down and begin to raid the frig and pantry. One night’s fare may be black beans with salsa, a chunk of cheese, a roll or slices of whole grain bread, various fruits and sometimes between four to eight ounces of leftover meat. A single chicken leg works well.
The idea behind my late night snacks isn’t to load my stomach up until I can’t sleep or to pack on pounds during the night, it’s to “take the edge off” of my hunger until morning. If I can’t finish the snack, I wrap it and place it in the refrigerator to be eaten the next day.
If I need to lose a few pounds or if I’m on a healthy streak, I pay attention to portion sizes and limit items such as candy, whipped topping and sauces.