Sweet and Salty Plantain Chips

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I have a thing for sweet and salty. If I have something salty, I definitely need something sweet to chase it down. There’s something about the combination that is so incredibly satisfying. Our bodies are actually genetically programmed to crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods. When we eat (or smell) these foods, it triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which releases a chemical signal to our brain. This dopamine signal is associated with “reward,” and gives us a positive association when released. It has been proposed that the sense of reward that we get from eating energy dense food (sugars, salts, and fats) developed as a survival mechanism for early humans who didn’t have ready access to food as we do now. I’m pretty sure that these chips elicit a massive dopamine burst in me. The best thing is that I get my salty-sweet fix in one sitting. Slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. These are probably my favorite snack food to date.

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Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

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Our society loves options, and I admit, I do too. When I’m home in Maine for the summer, I love that I have 4 local ice cream parlors within a 3 mile radius from my house, have a variety of beaches to choose from, and have what seems to be an endless amount of options for day hikes available. I love to mix and match my exercise activities-maybe I’ll run, go for a long walk, swim, bike, or attempt to do yoga. I may switch from reading a book to a magazine to a newspaper in the same day. And, along with everything else, I like options with my food as well. This fruit and nut granola bar recipe, gives you full freedom with whatever dried fruits, nuts, seeds, or sweeteners you so choose. You don’t even have to keep them in bar form if you don’t want to. I often crumble them up into yogurt as granola. The point is, you have options with these bars; embrace them!

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