Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Apple "Sandwich" a Day. And Chocolate.

It's already that time of year again, when many of us are asking ourselves that dreaded question, "What on earth are we going to cram into the kids' lunchboxes, from now until next stinkin' Summer, that won't end up in the trash can, or traded for some other kid's fake food product?  If you're trying to avoid highly processed foods, it's a task that can seem overwhelming.

Today I'm going to share with you, my favorite snack, that I eat nearly every single day.  Because I love it.  And because it only takes minutes to prepare.  It's totally lunch-packable, too.  I first saw this chocolate and apple combo idea on Dr Oz, and it was one of those moments that left me with a craving so intense that I wanted to drop everything and run like a mad woman, to the nearest grocery store. 

But if you don't like chocolate, don't worry.  There are other options coming up.

First, I grab a large-ish bar of organic dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which means you should totally eat it.  Read here about how you can use it to lower blood pressure. And if it's organic it won't be made from cocoa beans that were coated in pesticides, or contain scary additives.  More info on the difference here.
Pictured is a Hershey's MILK chocolate package.  This contains artificial flavors (chemicals we don't get to know about) and soy (a high risk gmo ingredient) And other weird stuff.

I cut the bar into 8 equal pieces. (They usually crack up, but I keep them separated.)  Then I bag them separately in snack sized zip bags that I use over and over.  That way, whenever anyone in this house gets a craving for chocolate, they can grab a bag, instead of scarfing down a whole bar.  This portion control also makes organic chocolate more affordable.  It works as long as you don't have a chocolate fiend on your hands.  If that's the case, you will need a good hiding place.. unless it's yourself.

So for this snack, you'll want to set aside 2 squares, or eighths.

Next, you'll need an apple.  I think this one is a Pink Lady.  Sometimes I use Fuji or Gala.  Use any kind you like!  And don't be afraid to try different varieties.  I grew up mostly only being exposed to Red Delicious, and I HATED THEM.  So for many years, I wrote off apples altogether.  But later in life, I realized I actually like pretty much all others. Since apples are included on the Dirty Dozen List, (A list by the Environmental Working Group that reveals which produce contains the highest amount of pesticide residue) it's better to only eat organic ones.  According to Shape Magazine, this delicious fruit, known for keeping the doctor away, lowers cholesterol, keeps you feeling full longer, helps with breathing problems, decreases the risk of diabetes, prevents cancer, and boosts the immune system! Source

First, I cut the apple in half, horizontally, and core it. I find it easier to half, before coring.  But do whatever brings you joy.

I put one half in the fridge, to use next time.  You could rub it with a piece of lemon if you're concerned about browning, but I don't really find that to be a problem.

I take the remaining half, and half it again. 

And then again.

Finally, you should have 4 slices from one half of the apple.  If you don't have a good knife, or if you have a big mouth, you can stop at 2 slices.  Next, place a chocolate piece on two of the apple slices.

Then top with the remaining slices, and you have healthy chocolate and apple "sandwiches" totaling about 165 calories for the two. If you think you don't like dark chocolate, you should try this!  The sweetness of the apple really mellows the bitterness of the chocolate.  You could also use milk chocolate in these.  

So tomorrow, when you want this tasty snack again, all you'll have to do is slice up that cored apple half you stored in the refrigerator, and grab a couple more pieces of chocolate.  If something has gone horribly wrong, and all of the remaining chocolate is missing already, allow yourself one small hissy-fit (a tantrum had mostly by Southern women), cut up another bar, and hide it this time.  You live with people who can't be trusted.  It happens.

These apple slices are also delicious with your favorite nut butter, or chicken salad! Lots of people put fruit, like apples or grapes in their chicken salad.  With this, you're just putting it ON the fruit! If you're trying to eliminate wheat and/or grains, this is genius!  Well, to me it is.

What kinds of healthy snacks do you enjoy?  Also, if you have little people, what snacks will you be packing for them this school year?  Answer in the comments. :)


  1. Delicious and simple! I love the idea of using apples as "bread" for any kind of sandwich! Genius!