-half a package of mint M&M's
-a few spoonfuls of pomegranate seeds
-a quarter of an onion bagel
-far too many Cheeze-its (aka: the snack that proves God loves me)
I ate all of this between the oatmeal I had for breakfast and my late lunch of a simple salad of bok choi salad with croutons, oil, and vinegar.
Snacking has become my new bad habit. No longer a conscious act, it's become totally reflexive. Simple potato chip syndrome: my hand mechanically moving in a perpetual cycle between snack and mouth. Half the time I don't even realize I'm eating.
Worse is the control issue; like a salt hungry zombie I'll shuffle over to the kitchen in a daze and bust our a bag of kettle corn and bring it back to the couch where I'm working. Five minutes later, it'll dawn on me that, holy crap, I'm eating popcorn! Again! Ten minutes after I just put it away!
What's scary is the speed and quantity I shovel it into my face. Like a disciple of Eat Beast I just shove it into my maw in such quantities, my God, it's surprising my jaw doesn't just unhinge like an anaconda. Certainly, I was hoovering it in so fast enough that somewhere starving orphans spontaneously broke out into tears without understanding why.
In a huff of frustration I gathered up all the evil snacks in my house and put them on the community table in the kitchen at work (I'll be damned before I throw out go food, so instead I'll just take everyone down on the train to Chubbyville with me). No more chips and sweets for Garrett.
Still, let's be honest, stopping a bad habit cold turkey isn't that simple. Smokers use patches to ween themselves away from their sweet siren nicotine. I had to do the same.
Fruit, usually, are the snacks that our mothers gave us. A big bowl of pomegranate seeds is always swell, but quite a bit of work and not the stuff of a simple snack. Pears are great, and to help ease the pain I put a huge bowl of them at my desk. Sadly, it's not uncommon for one or two to go missing thus leaving me hungry. (Note to coworkers: I WILL find out who keeps purloining my pears.)
I have plenty of persimmons though, a fruit that I have an awkward relationship with. For me, persimmons are like someone you always go on bad dates with but always have great sex with afterwards. I hate persimmons cut up and served straight; they're far too sweet, like biting into floral, saccharic flesh. However, when cooked, dried out, baked, or candied they're awesome. In other words I only enjoy them in certain instances for specific reasons.
I decided then that I needed to make a sweet and easy snack using these persimmons. Something I could prepare ahead of time then whisk to my desk or to work to nibble away at uncontrollably sans guilt.
Recalling a simple recipe for persimmon chips I went to work while restraining myself from sneaking a piece of cranberry cake as I prepped. A quick bath in some simple syrup and then baked on low heat for a few hours (not all of us have dehydrators) and the persimmons would become a crunchy sweet snack that would keep my mouth and hands occupied.
If you're planning to be around your home doing house work or writing a blog post or something these are the perfect background recipe for you. Very little work with tasty payoff. A novel solution for any other snackers out there.
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
kosher salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpats.
2. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin set to 2.0, make thin slices of persimmon. Place in a bowl and toss with the lime juice.
3. Bring the sugar an water to a boil and then bring down to a simmer over low heat. Place in the persimmon slices and let cook for two minutes.
4. Using a slotted spoon or a fork transfer the slices to the prepared baking sheets. If you want give them a tiny dash of kosher salt, being careful as too much will cover up the delicate taste of the persimmon (personally, I prefer them with no salt).
5. Bake for 2 hours then flip the slices over and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks.