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Healthy snacks for students on a budget

Easy eats that won’t break the bank
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REBECCA ROCCO/THE VARSITY
REBECCA ROCCO/THE VARSITY

Many of us have come to believe that the affordable college diet can only consist of ramen noodles, luncheon meat, and energy drinks. After some trial and error, I’ve learned how to make delicious, healthy snacks that are easy and quick — and affordable. Here are some of my favourite healthy recipes on a student budget.

Peanut butter and jelly — and banana — sandwich 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon jam 

2 slices of bread

1 banana 

Nothing beats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which has been hailed by many as the best post-workout meal. One tablespoon of peanut butter already packs 3.5 grams of protein! Adding sliced bananas in between the sandwich is also a game changer, giving you the added nutritional content of potassium, fiber, and important vitamins. 

Microwave protein cake 

Ingredients: 

1 scoop of protein powder

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

¼ mug of almond, cashew, coconut, or skim milk — the measurement does not need to be exact 

This is an easy dessert to make for those who have a sweet tooth and are cognizant of their fat and caloric intake. In a mug, mix in one scoop of protein powder, three tablespoons of all purpose flour, and some dairy-free milk — or skim milk for lesser fat content — until it is a thick batter. Throw the mug in the microwave for a minute and a half and boom: you should have the perfect workout dessert. 

Sweet potato chips

Ingredients:

1 pound sweet potato, thinly sliced

Paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt to taste

Store-bought potato chips not only sell you air at criminal prices, but are also less healthy than what you can do at home. By making them at home, you can circumvent the detriments to health caused by store-bought chips and get some nutritional value from sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and protein. Simply skin the sweet potatoes, and cut them into thin slices. Season them with spices of your choice, and throw them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, but make sure to flip them at the 15-minute mark. 

Buffalo cauliflower tacos

Ingredients:

9 cauliflower 

3 soft tortillas

Buffalo hot sauce to taste

Cauliflower has very few calories and contains two grams of protein per cup. Marinate your cauliflower in buffalo hot sauce, and then bake it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for around 15–20 minutes. Meanwhile, either in a pan or a microwave, warm up your tortillas. After that, assemble the ingredients and you have a perfect lunch or snack.