SWEet Study Snacks

If you’re anything like me, then you absolutely cannot focus during your study sesh in the library without thinking about food. You know the eternal struggle that is finding a healthy, easy-to-make, AND tasty treat to satisfy your study snack cravings without having to leave your coveted third-floor table spot in Thompson. I’m here to answer your prayers with some advice from OSU food engineering major Jamie Heidel, and snack recipes that will both fulfill your cravings, and also help you study better!

Major keys:

1. Jamie says: “Definitely avoid anything high in sugar, which will only cause short energy bursts. Fruit is definitely better than candy.” Glucose, which your body produces from digesting carbs, is good in moderation as it helps memory and temporary energy, but overdoing it can result in the opposite effect. Dark chocolate, however, naturally contains caffeine, which can help you focus! If you have a sweet tooth, fruit or chocolate should do the trick.

2. Fruit and other sweets are good to boost your energy, however for longer study sessions, eating something more substantial is necessary. “I try to pack almonds and protein-rich greek yogurt when I’m on campus studying,” says Jamie. Protein is great for boosting brain activity and alertness, and proteins like fish contain omega-3’s, which are key in boosting cognitive function and memory!

3. Healthy blood flow is crucial to a healthy brain, and so is starting your day with a nutritious breakfast! Knock both of these off your checklist with picking foods high in protein to give your day a jumpstart coupled with some carbs for energy. Eggs, and especially egg whites are a great source of protein. Avocados, in addition to being a ~trendy~ food right now, also provide omega 3-s, plenty of nutrients monounsaturated fatty acids that help promote healthy blood pressure levels! Add that to some toast or oatmeal, which will give you a healthy amount of carbs without making you feel sluggish, and you’ll be ready to start a productive day!

Below I’ve attached a few of my favorite recipes! Happy Studying!

Egg white and oatmeal pancakes with blueberry topping

* 1 cup instant oatmeal

* 1 cup egg whites

* ½ cup blueberries

In a bowl, mix the egg whites and oatmeal together until it becomes a thick paste. Let the oats absorb the egg whites, about 5–10 minutes. While the oats are soaking, in a small pot heat the blueberries with a small amount of water on low, stirring frequently. The blueberries will form a hot, tasty sauce! Spray a frying pan with a small amount of Pam. Then, form patties about ¼ inch thick with the oat mixture (should make about 2) and let them cook in the pan, about 5–7 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan, top with the blueberry sauce, and enjoy a filling and healthy breakfast!

Avocado spread on whole grain toast

* Slices of toasted whole grain bread

* ½ avocado

* ½ tsp salt

* ½ tsp pepper

With a fork, mash the avocado in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Spread on toast, that’s all!

Greek yogurt and granola parfait

* 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

* ¼ cup crushed almonds or walnuts

* ¼ cup whole grain granola

* ½ cup fresh fruit

All you have to do is get a container (my personal favorite is a mason jar- cute and convenient!) and layer all the ingredients on top of one another- greek yogurt first, then granola, then fruit, and repeat!

Baked kale chips

* raw kale

* olive oil

* garlic salt

The healthier alternative to potato chips, kale is high in fiber and packed with nutrients, but when baked has the same satisfying crunch and salty flavor. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tear the leafy part of the kale into small pieces, leaving out the spine. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and garlic salt. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the kale is crunchy.