When I'm busy packing up my dorm or cranking out my last essays, I'm a much bigger fan of eating than cooking. That's why my fridge and pantry are full of my top five gluten free fuels for finals. Not only are these relatively healthy, but they also make whipping up a killer plate o' food pretty painless (depending on your level of clumsiness near hot pans or kitchen utensils).
First, the Potapas tortillas. I have a confession to make...I'm no longer a bread person. The last time I devoured a gluten free slice was Easter - mainly because it was toasted and then cooked into a homemade green bean casserole. When I want to spice up my usual meals of veggies, meat and avocado, though, I always go for a tortilla - the potapas tortilla to be exact.
Made almost entirely out of potatoes, I first stumbled over this gem at the GFFAF back last May. Soft, crunchy when toasted and free of that chemical aftertaste gluten free products love to boast, it was love at first bite. So when my local Sprouts started stocking them, my Mom and I immediately loaded our freezers with potapa heaven.
For easy reheating, I'll place sheets of parchment paper between each tortilla pre-freezing so I can grab one, microwave/pan fry it and go! I love making a simple daiya cheese mini quesadilla to accompany a big salad. On cold nights when only grilled cheese will do for supper, though, I'll enter full quesadilla mode and layer homemade pesto, spinach, sauteed sliced veggies, leftover meat/fish and daiya cheese between two potapa saucers. My gluten-eating boyfriend gets jealous it's so good!
The next savory secret weapon in my cabinet is, ironically enough, Bob Mills Buckwheat (or any other gluten free brand). This seed actually doesn't contain any wheat, making it celiac-safe and a great non-grain to add to your diet!
I'll often grind up my own buckwheat flour in my Nutribullet and pre-package my favorite pizza crust mix (a vegan blend of tapioca and buckwheat flour). Buckwheat also adds a delightful crunch in granola! Some can eat it raw on smoothies or oatmeal, but I've found that toasting it in the oven (alone or via granola) makes it more easily digestible.
And, if you want a meal side other than rice, quinoa, or bread, try cooking it in a pot like any other grain! Add cinnamon, sweeteners and fruit, and it can even fill in for your favorite hot breakfast. Versatile? Easy? Tasty? Buckwheat knows all the right taste buds to push.
When I'm busy with homework and tests, though, I find that snacks often dominate my daily eating! (Insert granola addiction confession here). To help me power through, I often enjoy some So Delicious Greek yogurt. Since I don't do well with dairy and avoid almonds (thanks to food allergy testing), coconut milk yogurt is my friend. I'd never tried regular Greek yogurt before, but I was immediately a fan of the coconut kind!
Thick, creamy and packed with probiotics, I love to eat a few spoonfuls before or after a hard workout. So Delicious offers four flavors that I've seen (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla) that I rotate between buying. To lower my shopping costs and sugar intake, though, I also buy a big container of "Unsweetened Vanilla" that I often mix with the Greek yogurt flavors.
Top it with trail mix, fruit, and a little nut/seed butter for a killer (dairy free) snack. For a bigger treat, try adding a rice cake (spoilers alert!), top homemade vegan pancakes with a big scoop, or layer it into a "horizontal" parfait with oatless oatmeal and chia seed pudding like all the
lazy cool kids.
No finals fuel would be complete without rice cakes and nut/seed butter, however! On cold nights, I love enjoying a bedtime snack of a rice cake smothered in sunflower seed butter, topped with banana and strawberry slices, and warmed up in the microwave for 45 seconds (or until deliciously melted and gooey).
When I need a quick breakfast for a morning workout, this combo also acts as great pre-workout fuel that won't upset the tummy! It's wonderfully versatile - add whatever berries are in season, try sprinkling cinnamon, cacao or maca powder on top, and add some extra cacao nibs or pumpkin seeds for crunch!
I usually eat whatever brands of rice cakes and nut/seed butters are on sale (hello college life), but I'm presently hoarding jars of Once Again's Sunflower Seed butter (the unsweetened and salt free version) and Maisie Jane's Creamy Cashew butter. Both are deliciously creamy, certified gluten free, and decently priced when sales pop around.
I'm also a big fan of MaraNatha's Sunflower butter, but the bigger (and therefore more convenient) size of Once Again has secured its victory in the last few months. And, for your information, both versions both act as killer bowls for oatmeal or nana ice cream after I've almost scraped them clean!
Finally, when "stressed" reversed spells "desserts," everyone knows some chocolate has to be within reach every day of finals. Although I'm a huge dark chocolate fan, I always keep a bag of Enjoy Life's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks next to my desk (a bad, but delicious idea probably!).
Even while dairy, gluten and soy free, these babies are packed with that same chocolate flavor I remember from childhood snacking. I'll often eat a small handful for a treat after lunch, but I also chocolate-ify my oatless oatmeal, granola, and yogurt snacks with some Enjoy Life squares.
We only live - and survive sophomore year finals - once, so it might as well include a healthy dose of chocolate!
One week of classes + five days of finals = freedom and the start of summer! Now that's an equation that's anything but square (insert obnoxious wink here)! In the mean time, though, I'll be loaded up on school work and dorm room packing.
|Or a combo of several fave snacks!|
Plus, of course, lots of my favorite finals week fuel.
What's your go-to snacks or products when stressed or busy? Do we share any favorites? Comment below!