Malika Ameen's Healthy Snacks

January 17, 2012 9:43:10 AM PST
Many have resolved to eat healthier in the New Year. Snacking during the day is an easy way to pack on the pounds. While it's almost impossible to avoid snacks, you can make healthier choices. Former ''cheftestant'' on Bravo's first season of ''Top Chef: Just Desserts'', Malika Ameen has some healthy homemade options including her healthy oat clusters. Ameen says the healthy snack is not only high in flavor, but it's also high in fiber. It's a great yogurt topper for breakfast or simply on its own as a snack throughout the day. The ingredients are also interchangeable and could be substituted with other favorite nuts and fruits.


Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

1 1/2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract , mashed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup thick rolled oats
1/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons coarsely shredded tart apple, drained of excess liquid

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients from bananas through oil and whisk together. Add all dry ingredients and combine well. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop dough 1 tablespoon at a time and bake for 10 minutes. Turn tray in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: 12 squares

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds with skin
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Line an 8x8 square baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a double boiler on a gentle simmer melt butter and chocolate on low heat and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute to cool slightly. Add marshmallows, almonds, and nibs. Spread evenly in pan and sprinkle with salt. Refrigerate until chocolate sets (at least one hour). Cut into 12 squares and serve

Crispy Earl Grey Meringues
Yield 1 dozen

3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup organic cane sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon organic sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons earl grey tea powder (from about 3-4 tea bags)

procedure to make tea powder:
Cut open the tea bags and in a clean spice grinder, grind the earl grey tea leaves into a fine powder. Measure out 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons and set aside

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld beater whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract on high speed for about 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes foamy. Reduce speed to medium and gradually add the organic cane sugar in a steady stream. Increase speed to high and beat on high about 3 minutes or until thick (whites should be stiff and shiny)
Sprinkle cornstarch, salt, ground tea, and grated orange zest over whipped whites , and gently fold in until incorporated. With a 1 1/2 ounce ice cream scoop , scoop 12 meringues onto a parchment lined baking tray( if you don't have a ice cream scoop, just spoon out 3 tablespoon portions). Place meringues in oven and immediately reduce heat to 300 degrees
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn tray and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Meringues shells should be hard to the touch and if not, bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Once cooled, meringues should be crispy and firm. If not, return to the oven and bake an additional 7-10 minutes. Store in a airtight container for up to 3 days.

Substitutions and additions:

  • You can substitute any of your favorite flavored black teas for the earl grey
  • You can add up to 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped toasted nuts or chocolate chips(these should be folded in with the tea)


2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch of sea salt
1 cup raw walnut halves
3/4 cup thick rolled oats
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit(optional)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together egg whites, honey , vanilla, spices and salt. Add nuts, oats and flax seeds. Spread onto a greased baking tray (with pan spray) and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and then add dried fruits and chocolate if you like and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week