Student Life Recipe: Nutritious, healthy and delicious cheese sticks!

PARTY – The academic year is almost over… Time flies when you’re performing, studying & having fun! During these last few weeks of this year you may look back, recap, celebrate & party and surround yourself with your fellow students and friends. But tell us… what’s a party without some tasty snacks? Party bites are soooo yummy, but often not very healthy. Without noticing your caloric intake shoots sky high on an evening with drinks and snacks. So why not make your own healthy snacks? Completely responsible, nutritious, healthy, but above all: tasty! Below we share with you a recipe for a savoury cheese snack; a favourite at any party! By simply replacing the traditional ingredients with smarter choices, you can make a healthy snack in no time.

RECIPE

8 savoury cheese sticks
Preparation time: 20 min. + bake time: 15 min.
Goal: healthy nutritious savoury party snacks
Essentials: oven, rolling pin, baking tray and baking paper.

INGREDIËNTEN

  • 4 slices of savoury pie dough (‘hartige taartdeeg’ in Dutch – can be found in the freezer compartments at any supermarket)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60 gram grated 20+ cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds (nigella seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of dried (Italian)herbs
  • Pepper and lo-salt (mineral salt) mixture to taste

PREPERATIONS

  • Preheat the oven at 200 °C.
  • Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
  • Take the slices of the savoury pie dough out of the freezer and let them defrost. It’s okay if they feel cold when you start, but they should be soft enough too.
  • Sprinkle some flour on your countertop. Place two slices of dough with the ends together (let 1cm of the sides overlap). Roll the slices lengthwise with a rolling pin so that they become about 1,5 times as long.
  • Repeat with the other two slices.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a bowl and brush both slices with two thirds of the yolks. Sprinkle two thirds of the cheese on top of one of the dough slices and sprinkle the Italian herbs on top of the same slice.
  • Place the second slice on top of the other slice and press together firmly. Use a flat spatula if you want and/or moisten your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
  • Brush the top of the second slice with the remaining egg yolks and garnish with the sesame seeds.
  • Cut the slice lengthwise into four strips. Then cut the strips in half across the width so that you end up with eight strips of dough.
  • Take the outside corners of the dough and carefully twist the dough until you get a twisted spiral like shape. Repeat with all the slices and place them on the baking tray and in the oven.
  • Bake your cheese snacks in 10 to 15 minutes golden-brown and crispy!

Nutritional values
Per snack (±35 grams): 113 kcal | 6.3 grams fat | 3 grams saturated fat | 8.6 grams carbs | 5.2 grams protein | 0.2 grams fibre

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Variation tips

  • Choose other herbs such as rosemary or thyme.
  • Choose another cheese, like 35+ goat cheese or cottage cheese.
  • Combine/add a layer of fresh tomato sauce or basil leaf paste.
  • Choose other nuts or seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax seeds or poppy seeds.
  • Choose another type of pastry, such as whole wheat or spelt pastry dough.

SNACK ATTACK!
We all snack. But what makes snacks so mouth watering, appealing and tasty? It’s often the sugar and/or fats. Sugar gives us an energy rush and fats bring out the flavour of food, making it more tasty. Our desire for sweet and fat started in our younger years because breast milk is both sweet and fat… Two flavours that we learn to love from an early age. This is in contrast to sour, salty and umami; flavours that we only learn to appreciate later. It’s very smart and devious that the food industry play in on our natural cravings for sweet and fat. Another fact is that by adding fat and sugar to products they have a much longer shelf. Very convenient for products such as cookies, candy, cake, pastries, hamburger buns, meats and even tea! Healthy or nutritious for our body and mind? No..! Added sugars are also called refined sugars: they are artificially added. You should avoid them In order to stay healthy. And what about those fats? Some types of fats are healthy but others are not: go moderate on saturated fat and especially avoid trans fat. Trans fat is a factory transformed fat that is not recognised by our bodies as a good and easy energy source. So tell us, isn’t it much more fun to redesign the unhealthy snacks into healthy nutritious variants that can be fully enjoyed by our bodies and minds and that taste great? Let’s go!

Fun fact
The word ‘snack’ comes from the English term ‘snacking’ (eagerly latching on). Not all snacks are by definition unhealthy snacks. Take for example ‘onigiri’ (a Japanese rice snack) or dried shrimp in green leaves (a common snack in Thailand). Or how about ‘just’ a fresh fruit salad or a hand full of unroasted unsalted nuts?

The definition of a snack …
A snack or ‘in between bite’ is a small meal which is often eaten outside the normal main meals. Because they are an addition to a normal diet and people take them on changing times, snacks are often a major cause of obesity. That’s because most snacks in just a small serving size contain a lot of saturated fat and carbohydrates and thus contain a lot of ’empty’ calories. Oops!