Eric and I were on an soccer team together at an FCA retreat in college. Our motto, which we shouted loudly and frequently, was "You've got to CHEAT to win!" The catchy little line was followed by an even catchier (dorkier???) clapping rhythm. College, now those were the days...
Anyway, I do believe in cheating occasionally, and snacks, treats, and convenience foods can be areas that see a lot of "cheating" if you're trying to stick to a real food, nourishing diet. So, based on last weekend's snack cravings, here are two of my winning cheats.
1. Hot cocoa made with coconut milk. I found this great, basically healthy, cocoa mix recipe here. BUT at our house last weekend, we had Swiss Miss in the big blue container on hand. So, in order to improve the value some, I heated up 1 part canned coconut milk and one part organic whole milk. We dumped in a few heaping teaspoons of cocoa mix and voila! The resulting cocoa was really rich, creamy, with a delicious hint of coconut. It was also loaded with beneficial medium chain fatty acids found in coconut products. Score!
2. Cheesy popcorn made with nutritional yeast. I think our usual popcorn recipe is nutritionally satisfactory and delicious, but with "cheesy popcorn" I faked the girls out while simultaneously maximizing the health benefits. If you're not familiar with nutritional yeast, it comes in a few different forms (we have a powder) and has a definite cheesy, slightly nutty flavor. Esther will eat it mixed into just about anything, but the older girls are sometimes a bit suspicious. Nutritional yeast packs a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including a high level of B vitamins and protein. To make my popcorn, I use organic, non-GMO, yellow corn popped in a bit of olive oil or coconut oil, drizzled with melted butter. This time, I also generously sprinkled one big bowl of popcorn with about 3 T. of nutritional yeast. The girls loved munching it as they watched The Swan Princess, and I loved the added B vitamins and protein. Double score!
Now, I know I'm not the only cheater out there... if you have any other tips, I'd love to hear your comments on how you "cheat to win" (including an audio clip of your hokey hand clap is optional...).