The Good Life Snack of the Week: Chocolate-Banana Donut

The Good Life just isn't The Good Life without some tasty snacks. Here are some of our favorites.

National Donut Day

We take our midday pick-me-ups very seriously here at Dr. Oz The Good Life, and for good reason! A great snack is more than just fuel; it's also a little dose of joy, and it can make the difference between a happy afternoon and a hangry one. Every week, we'll be sharing one of our favorite super-charged bites — so stay tuned, and snack on.

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Chocolate-Banana Donut

Snackers, when it comes to donuts, we have a philosophy: if you're gonna eat one, make it a good one. By good, we don't mean "well-behaved." And we also don't mean "there's secretly spinach in the batter." We mean make it the best darn donut ever. And save it for a special occasion – like, ahem, National Donut Day.

Roll up your sleeves for these holy-wow chocolate-banana donuts from Baker by Nature… or just go out and buy one, with all the deliciously donutty works. Remember, living la vida Good Life means treating yo'self sometimes — so snack on, and enjoy.

- Rebecca Santiago

So-Weird-It-Works Trail Mix

Make no mistake, snackers: 9.9 days out of 10, we're really good about keeping fresh fruit and veggies on hand, for snackability's sake. But sometimes, even the snackiest snackmasters among us just can't with the crazytown hot mess that is Sunday night grocery shopping. (We'd rather watch Game of Thrones than experience it in the produce aisle… though be warned, we get Lannister-level ruthless with anyone standing between us and the last just-ripe avocado.)

This week was one of those, so we're subsiding on desk snackage for now. Sounds a little sad, but don't pity us one bit — because, in a moment of sweet snackspiration, we realized that our desk goodies could be repurposed into a totally weird, totally tasty, trail-mix-like snack.

Here's how it happened: One snackspert noticed that, though her desk snacks varied far and wide, they were often united around similar flavor themes: salt and pepper, for example, or cinnamon spice. Craving a kick, she rounded up all of the snacks spiced with chili — pistachios, roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, a chopped-up fruit bar, even turkey jerky — and mixed 'em on up in a bowl. The result? Spicy snack heaven.

- Rebecca Santiago

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Oof, snackers. Is it just us, or was this week an extra-busy one? At The Good Life HQ, we've been noshing our way through the crazy, as we do — but we've been so slammed there's been no time to replenish our snack stores! The horror!

Don't worry, we haven't gone hangry. After all, limited snackage can lead to serious snackspiration. What we did have: a package of tortillas and other random-but-vaguely-intended-for-lunch ingredients. What we made: superfood-stacked snack tacos.

Swipe some kind of spread on fiber-filled corn tortillas, like nut butter, hummus, or mashed avocado if you've got it. Load it up with cut-up veggies, fresh fruit (like this one from Two Healthy Kitchens!), dried fruit, nuts, seeds — really, whatever's lying around… and give yourself a hand for snacking outside the box.

- Rebecca Santiago

Frozen Fruit Salad

Snackers, today we're noshin' like it's 1990. The soundtrack for this post? Ice, ice, baby. (Go ahead, put it on. Bob your head a little. We won't judge.) After we made those stone-cold kiwi pops last week, we got to thinking: What else could be made infinitely tastier via minimal work and two hours in the freezer? Well, $46-worth of Whole Foods fruit salads later, we can scientifically declare: Almost all fruit benefits from a big chill. Seriously! Pineapple, mango, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries… all super-snackalicious frozen; there wasn't a rotten apple in the bunch. (Though, actually, apples were maybe the one fruit we didn't freeze.) So bite to the beat and then sing it with us: Ice, ice, baby… fruit salad!

- Rebecca Santiago

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Chocolate-Dipped Kiwi'sicles

Happy St. Paddy's day, snackers! Chartreuse-dyed beers aside, we say this holiday has real Oz potential. (Shamrocks are literally leafy greens, people.) We're color-coding snacktime accordingly with these chocolate-dipped frozen kiwi lollipops from Barefeet in the Kitchen. Beyond vaguely resembling clover leaves — bundle four together for a good luck snack (we've just decided: that's a thing) — they're healthy, luxe, super-easy… and they pair well with a Guinness. Hey, the occasional drink can be heart-healthy.

- Rebecca Santiago

Grain Salad

It's snack time, and we've got grains on the brain. Probably because the cafeteria at The Good Life HQ has cupfuls of grain salads on offer almost every day… so we're basically conditioned to expect them around 4 p.m. at this point. And that's not a bad thing — they may not be as conventional as ye old carrot sticks and hummus, but since when were we ever conventional snackers, anyway? Try this quinoa-cranberry-feta concoction from Dinner with Julie for dinner one night, and eat the leftovers as a late-afternoon snack. (Feelin' fancy? Riff on it endlessly. We added chickpeas to ours.) Hangry vibes don't stand a chance.

- Rebecca Santiago

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Marinated Feta

Snackers, the time has come to talk about one of the greatest snacks ever snacked upon. We're referring, of course, to cheese. Specifically to feta cheese, which just so happens to be a fave of our founding doctor. (Yep, Dr. Oz eats cheese — and you can, too, BTW.)

Now, let's pause to acknowledge the feta-phant in the room: Once you get going on this salty, crumbly stuff, it's kinda hard to stop… That is, unless you're eating Abby Langer's craze-amaze marinated feta. Not because it's not delicious — because, oh, wow, is it ever delicious — but because it's so flavorful that it only takes a little bit to hit the spot. Get the recipe here, and serve it up with whole-grain crackers, olives, nuts, sliced fruit… or all of the above for a cheese plate you'll never for-feta 'bout.

- Rebecca Santiago

Flourless Black Bean Avocado Brownies

Be honest: When you think Valentine's Day, the first thing that pops into your head isn't flowers or teddy bears or frilly cards — it's chocolate. Just like the rest of us. Right? Right. If only sobbing quietly into an empty box of foil wrappers while watching The Notebook was a way to burn calories rather than rack them up — don't Google the actual number. It's more than 1,500. Let's just say that. But there's another chocolatey treat that you can munch on guilt-free.

Behold the best brownies you'll ever try. Or at least the best brownies that are actually packed with good-for-you ingredients. Ambitious Kitchen created a version that uses black beans instead of flour and avocado instead of butter and oil. Crazy, we know. But trust us on this — they're still creamy, decadent, and the perfect Valentine to cozy up with this weekend.

- Tehrene Firman

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Banana 'Ice Cream'

Ice cream? In February? No, snackers, we haven't lost it. Here's why: Donning your snuggliest sweats, burrito'ing yourself into a super warm blanket, and snacking on a scoop of ice cream is a scientifically indisputable (…probably?) cure for the winter blahs. Go on, test it yourself with this no-guilt banana ice cream recipe from The Kitchn. Sweet, frozen bliss is as easy as freezing sliced bananas, blending 'em, adding any mix-ins that tickle your fancy (we like unsweetened shredded coconut), and refreezing the mixture until solid. Cold comfort at its finest.

- Rebecca Santiago

Cracker Stacker

When your run-of-the-mill snacker looks at a box of crackers, they see… a box of crackers; nothing more, nothing less. (Hardly the end of the world. Crackers are delicious.) But in the eyes of a true Snack Master, a cracker is merely a canvas — rather, a foundation — for some serious snack-itechture. Ready to try your hand at cracker construction? Grab a handful of the healthy whole-grain ones, schmear 'em with something yummy, load on the healthy, tasty extras… and demolish deliciously. Try a few of our favorite toppers, and feel free to riff wildly:

  • Nut butter + pear slices + a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Cream cheese + berries + (for mega bonus points) fresh lemon zest
  • Cottage cheese + diced veggies (like cukes and peppers) + fresh herbs
  • Mashed avocado + lime juice + pumpkin seeds

- Rebecca Santiago

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