I don’t really like sugar.
There, I said it. Think what you will of me.
Now salt on the other hand…
It’s lucky that I have POTS (or maybe it’s because I have POTS!), because I love me some salty goodness. Salty-sweet is pretty high up there, but sweet on its own? Not so much.
I’ve written a post before about eating a high-salt diet in order to increase sodium levels, which in turn raises blood pressure, a good thing for low blood pressured POTSies like myself. Pretty much I eat a “healthy” (for POTSies) version of what I like to call The Heart Attack Diet. This means I eat all the stuff a cardiologist tells most people NOT to: high sodium yumminess. See that post here: https://iamchronicallywell.com/2014/06/25/the-heart-attack-diet/
When I wrote it, I was mainly talking about what I eat for my government-issued Three Square Meals-a-day. With the exception of going on a tangent about my love of deep fried potatoes, I didn’t really talk about the most fun food to eat:
I know, I know, snacking isn’t really “good” for us. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how delicious salty snacks can be.
It is the holiday season.
There are parties to be had and Snacks to be served at said parties.
First up: The Pretzel
A long, long time ago, when I was just a baby Chronic, a well-meaning, yet grossly uninformed cardiologist told my mother to go to Costco and buy the value size barrel (yep, the barrel) of pretzels and feed them to me religiously. Pretzels would cure me of my ills.
Well, ok, the saltiness would, but you get the point. Pretzels are wonderfully portable; a quality you want in a magic cure-all food.
Spoiler Alert: Pretzels don’t cure POTS, let alone anything else (perhaps The Munchies? I wouldn’t know).
Plus the barrel at Costco happens to be gluten-filled, which meant I didn’t get to eat them for a few years until those brilliant minds over at pretzel-megafactory Snyder’s invented the Gluten-free pretzel! (I think Glutino actually made theirs first, but as theirs doesn’t really taste so much like a pretzel as a mouth full of cardboard, I don’t count them.)
Fun things to do with pretzels: Dip them in stuff!
My mom thinks I’m a weirdo because I like to dip my mini-pretzels in (no-sugar-added) applesauce. I think she’s a weirdo because she won’t even consider tasting the salty-sweet wonderful concoction. Try it. Angels might not sing, but the next time you eat a pretzel, you may think to yourself, “Hey, something is missing here.”
Chocolate is wonderful. Let me just put that out there. Pretzels dipped in chocolate are really wonderful. Pretzels dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles are really, really wonderful. Salty-sweet, my friends, it’s a gift from the universe.
While I’m on the topic of chocolate, I have to tell you about my favorite kind- Sea Salt Chocolate. I don’t know who their PR person is, but Sea Salt Chocolate and its cousin, Salted Caramel, are on a roll. They are everywhere. This makes me very happy because if chocolate is good, salty chocolate is better. I’m going to go so far as to say it is an essential health food item for POTSies.
“It’s for medicinal purposes…” she mumbled from behind the crumpled pile of empty wrappers.
I recently discovered gluten-free graham crackers that I can actually eat. It was quite the discovery for me, as I have seen numerous brands, but they tend to use gluten-free flour blends that include flours that don’t agree with me (I’m looking at you, Garbanzo Bean flour <–who even thinks of this?!). These ones are oat-based, and while they do have just a bit of an overly oat-y flavor to them, I don’t mind. I usually dip them in applesauce (applesauce really is a greatly underrated dipping sauce) or you know, make s’mores.
Sea Salt Chocolate + G-free Graham Crackers + Marshmallows = Snack Nirvana
I realize that I started this post saying that I don’t like sugar, and every snack suggestion I’ve made pretty much negates that fact.
The first step is recognition of the problem?
Maybe I kind of do like sugar.
I think I will like sugar more once I finally sit down and make myself some Chex Mix. Chex went gluten-free a couple of years ago, and while I have heard of the wonders of Chex Mix (recipes available at http://www.chex.com/recipes/gluten-free), I’ve never had it myself. There seems to be quite a lot of sugar involved, so I will have to pace myself.
If that’s even possible.
A lot of these recipes call for peanut butter, and nut butters and I are not friends. What’s a girl to do?
Call up her true friend, Sunflower Butter, that’s what.
Sunflower Butter is yummy, salty, and high in good fat. It tastes super good on apples or sandwiched between gluten-free crackers. It’s even got a bit of protein in it, so it can help fuel your holiday shopping escapades.
Superfood? I think so.
Now, let’s see… if you dip one pretzel end in melted sea salt chocolate, roll it in chocolate sprinkles, let it cool, then dip the other end in sunflower butter…I think that counts as a well-balanced super snack. Salt, carbs, protein, good fat, and um, chocolate in one neat package.
Let the snacking commence!
IamChronicallyWell encourages you to snack responsibly!
Writing this post made me so hungry! What are your favorite holiday snacks- salted or unsalted? I’d love to hear about them (and get your recipes!) in the comments or over on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/iamchronicallywell