Book Review: "365 Snacks For Every Day of the Year"



I was happy to see a package at my doorstep. It’s the little surprises at the end of a long day that count, right?

I opened it up to find a copy of Sarah Koszyk’s new book, 365 Snacks For Every Day of the Year.  Sarah is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and blogger at Family.Food.Fiesta. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book to review. I was not paid for the review nor was I told what to say. The opinions expressed here are my own...

Sarah starts with a little introduction. She snacks, just like the rest of us, and sometimes those snacks come from convenience stores.

She also provides a little bit of information about why we need to snack. She keeps it easy to understand, which is great because not everyone has taken anatomy or biochemistry.

Sarah wrote this book to help others determine the healthier snack options available at stores. It is not so much a cookbook as it is a list of snack ideas.

Sarah breaks down her snack ideas into 5 categories: for home, for school and work, on the go, convenience store, and sweet.   

I was excited by the idea of the book. After all, I love snacks and have the nickname the “Junk Food Nutritionist.”

As I paged through the book, though, I became a little disappointed. Some of her ideas were foods I was already eating. Most of us have probably eaten a banana with nut butter before.

I've even eaten jicama and sacha inchi seeds before, but I'm not the average American.

If you haven't eaten these, this book might inspire you to try new foods. And, if you are familiar with them, it might inspire you to try them in a new way. I've never thought of pairing jicama with sliced mango and a little lemon juice, which is one of Sarah's suggestions.

Edamame Hummus
Although some of her ideas are as simple as putting nut butter on a banana, chapter 2 has “Snacks at Home” which Sarah describes as taking more time and effort.

While there might be some cooking, these aren’t complex, 15-ingredient, multi-step recipes. For example, Sarah's edamame hummus has just 6 ingredients and only one step: blend in a food processor. I think we can all appreciate the simplicity of that snack.


Some of the snacks could double as breakfasts or side dishes, such as Sarah’s cauliflower casserole with Parmesan cheese. I think this gives the book some added value; it’s not just a snack list.  
 
Roasted Chickpeas, Carrots, and Quinoa
Additionally, you can adapt Sarah’s recipes to fit your tastes. For example, Sarah suggests roasted carrots with quinoa and a balsamic glaze, but I've made roasted chickpeas, carrots, and quinoa. Many other roasted vegetables and seasonings would work as well.

Once you find a snack idea you like, trying new variations will help keep you from getting bored.  Although, with 365 ideas to try, you're sure not to get bored. 

While I’m mostly pleased with Sarah’s snack ideas, I was disappointed by the amount of branding.
Admittedly, Sarah discloses which companies provided compensation to her and she marked the snacks "sponsored product." I appreciate her honesty.

That said, some of the brands I’ve never heard of. I don't think I've ever seen Ak Mak crackers at the stores I shop in. So, it would have been nice if Sarah said “Ak Mak Crackers or another whole wheat cracker,” so I’d know what to substitute if I can’t find that particular brand.

Conclusion
Overall, I'm satisfied with Sarah's snack selections. The large variety meets different tastes and diets. I appreciate that many ideas are vegetarian and even vegan. It's also nice to see unique ideas that I haven't heard anywhere else.

Because of the simplicity of the recipes, it'd be a nice gift for a college student or someone else just starting to cook. But it's also a great resource for a busy family, who wants snacks that can be assembled in advance or foods the kids can prep themselves.



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