Hungry? Try these snacks to stave off a serious case of the munchies.
Cream Cheese in a Tube
Yes, cream cheese, that tough-to-spread-but-delicious treat for bagels and toast is now available in a tube. Arla has made it possible to squeeze out just the right amount of original, or strawberry-flavored, cream cheese right from the refrigerator. No more sticky knives and torn bread. The tubes work for you or for your favorite child since they’re curved and can easily be squeezed by hands both big and small. Squeeze a line of cream cheese down a celery stick or make circles on top of toast and peanut butter. It’s cream cheese made without preservatives - just buttermilk, cream, skim, whey protein concentrate, salt and cheese culture (and strawberries, sugar and strawberry juice in the strawberry-flavored version).
$2.99 per 6.2-ounce tube. Available at Publix. http://arlausa.com
An Easy Way to Flavor Crackers
At the Woodstock Farmers Market we ran into Cracker Magic, a seasoning mix that makes it super easy to dress up a box of saltines. You mix one packet of seasoning into 2/3 cup canola oil, and pour it into a food safe plastic bag. Then you add two sleeves of saltines. (We found we liked it best with unsalted saltines.) Shake it around every few minutes for about an hour, then let it sit. Done. You have perfectly seasoned crackers that taste fancy enough to be served alone, but would be great with a cup of soup. Germaine Blasius of Stoneridge Foods in Roswell carries Cracker Magic and she has mixes in Parmesan Herb (the one we tried), Cheesy Garlic, Dilly and Original flavors. Stoneridge Foods also makes cookies, cakes, dipping blends and an ancho chili and coffee steak rub.
$4 per 1-ounce packet. Available at the Woodstock Farmers Market opening in early May and at http://stoneridgefoods.com .
Hummus in a Dozen Flavors
Hummus is the new peanut butter. High in protein and fiber, delicious with vegetables and just as good spread on crackers or used to dress a salad, hummus is everywhere. We just tried five flavors of organic hummus from Hope Foods, a company out of Boulder, Colo. Like so many of our favorite food makers, Hope Foods started off selling at local farmers markets and now their products are available nationwide. Their website explains their high pressure processing and the philosophy behind their flavors. We loved them all (although be warned, that Buffalo Bleu is definitely hot) but the Black Garlic was the standout for us. Expect the texture to be is a little looser than some hummus you may have purchased.
$3.99 - $4.99 per 8-ounce container. Available at Walmart, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Publix. http://hopefoods.com .