(Family Features) When it comes to snacking, there are dozens of ways to answer your cravings.
Sometimes your snack cravings are tied to flavor; other times it’s a texture that you’re yearning for. When you feel a tinge of hunger, give yourself permission to put down the grab-and-go bar or bag of chips, and instead take a moment to have a mindful snacking experience that allows you to truly savor your food.
Reinvent your approach to snacking with guidance from some of the nation’s most prominent chefs.
Contrast flavors. If you’re hesitant to mix and match flavors, you might be surprised by what you find when you step out of your comfort zone. Chef Paul Osher, with Porkchop & Co. in Seattle, suggests looking for creative blends of sweet and sour. “The Laughing Cow cheese is creamy and just a bit tart, so it pairs well with sweet and sour flavors,” said Osher, who recommends hitting a farmers’ market or orchard for seasonal stone fruit and other produce to match The Laughing Cow’s delicious taste and rich, creamy texture.
Embrace variety. A snack that creates an explosion of flavor and texture is a winning approach, says Chef Tanya Baker of The Boarding House in Chicago. “When building a menu item, I make sure to have a variety of flavors and textures – salty, sweet, acidic, creamy and crunchy,” she said. But she cautions that all of that flavor need not be complicated: “Try The Laughing Cow Creamy Original Swiss cheese with sliced prosciutto, grilled fruit and toasted nuts to achieve a perfect balance of flavors and textures.”
Go for crunch. There’s something simply satisfying about crunching your way through a delicious dish, says Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds & Bubbles in New York. “I think it’s important to have crunch in a snack,” she said. “People love chips for their crunch as much as their flavor. I try to contrast crunchy and creamy textures to create fun and unique snacking experiences.”
Simplicity rules. Simmons is also a big advocate of flavor over fuss when it comes to small plates such as snacks and appetizers. “When creating a snack, remember to keep it simple – no more than three components,” she said. Remember, limiting the number of ingredients lets the individual flavors shine.
Rediscover the simple joy of snacking on Facebook at TheLaughingCowUSA or follow the hashtag: #ReinventSnacking on Twitter and Instagram for snack time inspiration.