Not only the top five best snacks, but all of these recipes are made with three ingredients.
Last week was one of those especially stressful weeks of semester, with two tests, two papers, and a speech looming over my head. After my week from hell was over, I wanted to celebrate my survival. So some friends and I went to Jalapenos, a local Mexican restaurant to let off some steam. We decided to get a bunch of appetizers and all snack on them for our meals, thinking it would work out to be cheaper than a full meal. I got my check to see that I had a $15 bill, all from drinks and snack foods, which was actually more expensive than my typical veggie quesadilla order.
This got me thinking about all the money I spend on just snacks. My Tuesday/Thursday classes are back-to-back from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. During my 15 minute break, I make a visit to the ol’ vending machines in the basement and buy a bag of chips to hold me over until lunch, which doesn’t seem like a big deal. But after doing the math, I’m spending way more on snacks than I would ever want to. So I decided to dig around the internet and find some snacks that wouldn’t break the bank. While conducting my research, I was inspired by some of the recipes I found, that were quick, easy and cheap to make. So I did the unthinkable. I took that criteria and added the idea of three ingredient snacks. Don’t be fooled, three ingredients go a long way and these recipes are full of flavor. Here are some of the most mouthwatering recipes I’ve found.
Cheese Dip and Chips
I found this recipe on Buzzfeed a couple of months ago and was immediately obsessed. Three ingredients, with one of the being beer? Sign me up. I actually had an extremely traumatizing experience with Velveeta in middle school, where I attempted to make cheese dip, but ended up scorching and curdling the cheese. Since then, I’ve been hesitant with melting cheese, thinking that it took a lot of time and work to make the perfect cheese dip. But after trying this recipe, my faith in queso has been restored. The video below shows how easy this recipe really is, and will definitely have you opening up your bag of tortilla chips and digging in. The recipe is:
*Additional ingredients could also take this cheese dip to the next level. I’m thinking bacon, jalapenos or chorizo. Get creative and customize for a new cheese dip every time you make it.*
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers:
These little poppers are another three ingredient recipe that never fail to impress at a party. I’m a girl who loves spice. I’m constantly adding Sriracha or red pepper flakes to all of my meals while all of my friends look at me with wide eyes. My 13th birthday was held at the classiest of establishments, Hooters, because of my deep love for chicken wings. Spice is a way of life, and these little poppers fit right in.
This recipe is great for just one person too. A lot of recipes are created with serving sizes for more than one person, and you’re either left with trying to half the recipe or leftover that you’ll never eat. But with this recipe, it’s easy to make one or two if you have the ingredients just laying around. The recipe is:
*I didn’t include exact measurements because this recipe is extremely relative depending on the size of your jalapenos. If you are making this for a party, I would suggest trying to pick jalapenos that are around the same size.*
Slice your jalapenos in half, length-wise and de-seed them with a spoon. The seeds are the spiciest part, so make sure to remove them all. I leave the stem on the jalapeno to give them a rustic feel. Once they’re all cleaned out, you can start smearing the softened cream cheese into the peppers. Fill each half of the pepper generously with the cream cheese. Then take your half piece of bacon and wrap the pepper. The recipe I used for reference used bacon cut into thirds, but I like the bacon to fully wrap around the jalapeno. Use a toothpick to keep the bacon in place while it cooks in the oven. A racked pan is suggested so that the grease won’t make the peppers soggy. Cook for 20-25 minutes on 375 in the oven.
These jalapeno poppers are awesome compared to the fried alternatives often sold at restaurants or in the frozen food isles. Like the cheese dip, this recipe could be customized with additional fillings like sausage, pecans or dill just to name a few options.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Sometimes, you’re in the mood for a little sweetness, and that’s where these little gems come in. Everyone loves Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, but with the majority of the ingredients needed to make a homemade version of one found at home, it might be easier to bake your sweet treat instead of going out and buying one. I like these for those midnight chocolate cravings and it’s easy to make a bunch and save them for later. The recipe is:
*This recipe makes 24 peanut butter cups, you can adjust the measurements for the amount you want.*
Line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners and set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, until almost melted, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring once or twice, until almost melted. Divide evenly, using a spoon to layer semisweet chocolate and peanut-butter mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate. Place muffin pans in freezer until peanut butter cups are firm, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*Before popping these chocolate peanut butter cups into the freezer, you could add some extra ingredients like chopped peanuts, mini M&M’s or coconut flakes if you’d like.*
Any kid that grew up in the ‘90s knew the magic that was Dunkaroos. I remember that little blue container like it was yesterday. Whoever made the executive decision to stop selling one of my favorite childhood snacks needs to reevaluate. But don’t fret, there is a copycat funfetti dip that mimics the classic dunkaroo flavor. This dip is also kind on the waistline with a serving size of ¼ of a cup coming in at 105 calories. Sounds like a win-win to me. Here’s the recipe:
*Additional ingredients like rainbow sprinkles, chopped banana or cinnamon could personalize this recipe.*
Homemade Pizza Bagels
College students love two things, pizza and bagels. So it you put those two foods together, you have a snack that will surly impress. Bagel Bites are a product based off this idea, but why buy the frozen version when it’s so easy to create your own. Plus the ingredients you need are probably either already in your kitchen, or easily accessible in your dining hall. Here’s the recipe:
*I felt measurements weren’t need because you can add as much sauce or cheese as you want.*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange your bagels on prepared baking sheet, cut sides up. Spoon a thin layer of pizza sauce over each bagel half and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, or about six minutes.
*Additional toppings like pepperoni, vegetables or herbs could personalize your pizza bagels. You could also do a themed pizza bagel like Hawaiian, meat lovers, barbeque chicken. These are great for kids, guests or picky eaters.*
Three ingredient snacks are so convenient, especially for college students. These snacks will keep you fueled and ready to take on whatever your professors throw your way. So next time you need to blow off some steam after a long week, learn from my mistakes and make your own snacks instead of spending money at a Mexican restaurant.
Nutritional, Efficient & Simplistic
The College Chew is a blog all about maximizing your college culinary experience. Enjoy and chew on.