Snacking is a habit. It’s a need and it’s a compulsion that we as humans are weak for. However, what is our preferred salty or sweet snack? Where do we go to grab our first snack?
Usually, we head to the first store in our vicinity. Either dressed in our typical Friday sweat pants or dressed in a sunny sunflower dress with peep-toed sandals — we sneak through the aisles of the forbidden prying on chips laced with preservatives or peanut butter saturated in fully hydrogenated vegetable oil.
So what is the best way to calm our cravings? Giving in to the taste by not giving up our health?
Well growing up, we had a rule that no snacks were allowed in our rooms. Having chips is a luxury permitted by the rule book once in a blue moon. However, it’s impossible to deny the need for some occasional snacks so we had 3 main ingredients in our rooms. To keep us company while we study.
Sweet For The Sweet Tooth — Everything For Kaya (Coconut Jam)
What is Kaya (Coconut Jam)?
Kaya is a typical Malaysian spread usually eaten with bread, flatbread, homemade crackers or made into amazing pastries. If it’s made in the right way, it’s both nutritious and sweet.
Kaya is generally either eaten as a snack or breakfast. It’s high in protein and carbohydrates replenishes the energy in our body. Pandanus or Pandan leaves which would be one of its main ingredients definitely has it’s list of benefits however the one that interest everyone the most is Pandan acts as an anti- anxiety and stress reliever. It acts as a buffer for your morning dullness.
For women — Pandan acts as a “Cramp Healer” and “Cravings Superhero”. Ladies, we all deserve something better than Chocolate Ice-Cream and Ibuprofen.
So how do you make Kaya (Coconut Jam) at home?
What do you need?
4 Large Egg Yolks
3/4 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk
100g of Palm Sugar — chopped finely.
– Palm sugar is the natural substitute for sugar which tastes less sweet and full with vitamin C, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc.
3 Fresh Pandan Leaves
– You can find it in Asian stores — dried ones would be good too. However, if you can’t find them then you can choose to skip.
1 Pinch of Fine Salt
So Now Let’s Start Mixing
1. Beat your egg yolks using a fork. Avoid beating it too hard as the eggs will start foaming.
2. Using the Bain-Marie technique where the ingredients are heated over a pot of boiling water. Fill half a pot with water and place a stainless steel bowl or heat resistant bowl over the pot. Then add in the coconut milk, palm sugar, pandan leaves and salt and start heating.
3. You’ll start noticing tiny bubbles once it starts boiling. Therefore, move it from the heat.
4. We shouldn’t forget your eggs. Start adding the mixture using a ladle — without removing it from the Bain-Marie structure as you would need it next.
5. Constantly, stir as you’re adding the mixture — this is to avoid the eggs from curdling.
6. Next transfer the egg mixture into the balance mixture on the Bain-Marie structure and shift it to the heat again — constantly keep on stirring.
7. Keep stirring for about 15–20 minutes — Keep the heat to a medium as you don’t want to curdle your eggs. You should notice the change of color and texture. Your Kaya should have a smooth custard-like consistency.
8. Don’t worry if it still holds a slightly liquid consistency. It hardens as it cools.
9. Remove the Pandan leaves and transfer it into a jar. You can store it up to 4–6 weeks if it’s in the refrigerator.
How Can You Be Creative With It?
Hearty Breakfast Meal
– Soft Boiled Eggs with a dash of soy sauce and a touch of pepper, accompanied with Whole Grain Toast with A Spread Of Kaya.
Rice Cake Snacks
– A spread of Kaya sandwiched between Rice Cakes is nature’s burger.
Use Kaya instead Of Chocolate.
– Instead of melted chocolate on strawberries — substitute it with Kaya.
Perfect Company For A Cheese Plater and Crackers.
– Use whole grain, almond and quinoa crackers paired with Kaya Spread and accompanied with thin slices of cheese. Subtle flavors or salty cheese fits best with this combination.
The Salt Haven For The Salty-Savory Cravings.
Hummus has become the trend of the century these days however it’s been a form of food for centuries in various countries especially in the middle east. It’s main ingredients chickpeas, beans, and olive oil has high amounts of fiber and a perfect plant-based protein that keeps your body upbeat.
Due to its fiber contents helps you with digestion hence keeping your tummy healthy and happy. With only about 25–35g of fiber according to your gender helps you maintain a healthier body weight and reduces the risks of obesity-related diseases.
Typically in countries such as Israel, Iran, Syria, Egypt and other Arabic countries — people tend to practice community eating. Hence, eating in a large group — sharing dishes and conversation — hummus is generally a big part of that eating fest. Although in the western world we tend to prefer more lonesome eating sessions — It’s been proven that community eating is both physically and psychologically beneficial.
And Now it’s become the ruling recipe in major vegan and vegetarian communities.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a jar at home at your disposal?
So how do you make it?
What Do You Need?
1 Cup of dried chickpeas.
2 Large Garlic Cloves- Minced
2 A teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon.
2 A teaspoon of smoked paprika powder. Add more according to your preference.
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.
2 Tablespoon of finely chopped parsley.
14 Cups of extra virgin olive oil including for garnish.
13 cups of Tahini
You can also add some extra flavors such as roasted bell peppers and roasted garlic for the extra punch.
— The key to hummus is to being simple yet packing it with flavors.
Let’s Get Cooking!
1. Add the chickpeas into a pot and cover them up with cold water and soak them overnight. Put them in the refrigerator — it keeps them fresh.
2. Next, drain the chickpeas and add new water to cover them up by 2 inches and bring them to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover them and let them simmer for about 50–60 minutes.
3. Make sure they’re tender and drain them to let them cool. Make sure to reserve half of the water from the boil.
4. Once it’s cooled, add the garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika powder, salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil, tahini and your additional flavors such the roasted paprika or roasted garlic.
5. Mix them finely and then add them in a food processor. Add some of the liquid reserved from the boil. Blend them till their smooth and silky. If you find it too thick add more liquid.
6. Once you find the hummus to your expected consistency, scrape them and store them in a mason jar.
7. Store them in the refrigerator and your hummus would be amazing for about a week.
8. To serve them, plate them on a bowl and add a drizzle of olive oil to it.
How Can You Enjoy It?
-Use it a spread on your morning bread. Use whole grain, olive bread or sunflower seed bread.
-Use them as a snack, as a dip for your chips. Instead of potato chips, you can try alternately baked chips such as kale, sweet potatoes or carrot.
-Use them as a vegetable dip if you’re on a diet.
-Use them on healthy crackers while studying.
-A party dip when having a gathering.
-Finally, a gym snack to keep you pumped out during your workout sessions.
I’ve been a person who loves to snack. However, when I decided to keep the temple of my body clean and happy — I choose a few snacks that would keep me energized, attentive and allow my munching to continue. So what do you say?
Try it out and let me know, how your spread tastes like.