The Super Simple Series aims to be super simple. That’s that.
I snack constantly throughout the day. It’s a blessing and a curse. I get to eat so many delicious things, but I take in so many calories. Now, I’m not a calorie-counter, but I understand how much food my body needs in a day… believe me, if it were up to my belly, I would eat 5 times how much I need.
So, sometimes in the afternoon, I need a little sweet. As you all know, I avoid added sugars at all cost, but I’m fine with some natural sweetness. One of my favorite things to eat as a kid was peanut butter and jam/jelly on toast. Something about that classic sweet/salty combination got me through an afternoon of homework and helping mum cook.
When I was around 14 or 15, I woke up and ate some yoghurt. I walked upstairs, flicked on the shower and then woke up again on the floor of the shower. I had passed out and, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had part of the drain cover lodged in my foot. That was fun.
A couple of doctors later, and I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Now, in my mind, that was freedom to eat as much sugar as necessary to keep my levels up. I was running through the candy and fruit that I could munch on all day – doctor’s orders! But then, my kindly doctor explained to me that in order to stabilize my blood sugar, I actually had to do the exact opposite. I had to eat things that my body converted to sugar slowly, regulating the spikes that are commonly associated with diabetes and the dreaded 3pm slump. Simple carbohydrates were off the menu. White rice, in the trash. All candy, binned. White bread, no no no no no noooooo!
I ended up cutting out all bread and most carbohydrates for about 5 years. The first few months were hell. I’d smell the waft of the yeasty bakery as I was walking down the street or come past the baked goods section of a supermarket and almost have to eat my tongue in order to get out of there alive. Luckily, as time passed, so too did the cravings.
After 5 years, I didn’t miss bread, at all. Nowadays, I know that elimination isn’t necessary unless you’re struggling with an allergy. I allow myself a bit of bread every now and then (I’m talking like once a month, perhaps), but I still feel that tingle of sadness when I think about my childhood habit.
Enter the apple slice! A perfect vehicle for the salty (now all-natural, no salt-added) peanut butter, it also doubles as the sweetness that you would normally get with jam/jelly. Honestly, it’s a bit of a pain to cut the apple into circles and punch out the middle as I don’t own a corer. When I do this at work, I normally just slice down the sides of the apple as you normally would if you liked eating your apple cut up.
I like to add some salted pepitas or sunflower seeds on top of the peanut butter to give a little more crunch and that soul-cuddling salty/sweet flavor. The peanuts and the seeds give you the fat and protein content to make this snack more satisfying and filling than just eating the sugar-laden apple alone.
Try it out the next time you hit a 3pm slump.
Peanut Butter and Apple
- 1 apple, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons of salted sunflower seeds
Method (and a touch of madness)
- Top apple slices with peanut butter and sunflower seeds. Simple.
Guide for the ‘arians:
- Flexitarian – good
- Pescetarian – good
- Omnivore – good
- Vegetarian – good
- Vegan – good
- Gluten free – good
- Lactose free –good