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Jun 11, 2008 06:52 AM

Shelf-stable healthy food?

(Is there such a thing?) Anyway, my apologies if this has been done before, but I'm looking for reasonably healthy/low-calorie snacks or lunch items I can leave at the office for "snack attack" days, to keep me out of the office vending machines or for days when I'm late leaving the house and don't have time to pack my lunch. The only healthy thing that we have in the office vending machine is peanuts, which certainly have nutritional value, but they are a bit high in fat to indulge in regularly, plus, I hate paying the 85 cents...

I was thinking along the lines of beef jerky... Or, maybe oranges that would keep in the office fridge for a week or two... The idea is that I want to make one grocery run and bring a big bag of stuff to the office that would keep for a few weeks.

Any other ideas for me?

Thank you!


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  1. So you DO have access to a fridge? If so, hummus is great...I love it with celery and more recently snap peas. How about some greek yogurt? For your drawer, maybe some dried fruit? I keep a baggie with unsalted dry roasted peanuts combined with raisins or low-salt mixed nuts with raisins. Apples keep at least a few days in your drawer, might depend on how cool the a/c is in your office, though.
    Whole-grain cereal might be nice too if you like to munch on it dry.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Yes, I have access to a fridge (and a freezer), though, it's usually quite full, so I can't take up too much room. But, your suggestions (and everyone else's) are great!

      P.S. aircon in our office is barely functional in summer. So, anything that will spoil, like apples, must be kept in the fridge.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Heh, I'm in SW Florida...and our office is well, downright frigid...some days I cannot wait to get out in the 100% humidity 90 degree heat just to thaw out!

    2. I'd look into the various Indian foods that are shelf stable. I haven't found any that are really good yet, but a few that are good.

      If you have a trader joes, I would suggest you try some of their shelf stable Ind food, and also check on their dried fruit / granola / nut section. They have dried bananas with only one ingredient: Bananas.

      1. My office drawer includes tuna pouches, ryvita crackers and cherry tomatoes, Trader Joe's miso soup, trail mix, oats, Barbara's puffins, rice crackers, and occasionally, the odwalla/luna-type bar. I bring in apples and bananas every day.

        1. I always keep a box 100-calorie packs of microwave popcorn and a tin of lightly salted almonds in my desk and a package of 2% milkfat string cheese in our small office fridge.

          If I'm getting snacky, or if I forget my lunch, I pop the popcorn, split the string cheese in tiny bite-size pieces and dump it and the almonds in the popcorn bag, shake and eat. Not very chowy, but not a bad nibble when you need one.

          I usually have individually wrapped servings of quality dark chocolate for sweet tooth cravings.

          Other things I often keep at my desk include peanut butter, rice cakes, dried fruit (which can also join almonds and string cheese in the popcorn bag).

          1 Reply
          1. re: alexajord

            I love your spontaneous "trail mix" of popcorn idea!


          2. How about energy bars, e.g. Luna Bars, Lara Bars or Clif Bars?

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Many aren't necessarily "healthy" in that they have preservatives, high sugar and, fat contents (and trans fats at that). Some are good though, just read your labels with caution. They are often intended to pack in a lot of calories into a tiny punch in something easily digestable for athletes. For the typical office worker, many will have the same effect as a Snickers.

              1. re: enbell

                Larabars and Clif's Nectar bars are good -- fruit, nuts, maybe some cinnamon, no preservatives or added sugar. I like the Larabar "apple pie" and "cherry pie" flavors, which I can usually find at Trader Joe's. (Ingredients on the "apple pie": dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon. 180 calories.

                Of course, you could achieve a similar effect with bags of raisins and mixed nuts, but then you have the issue of going back to the bag for one more handful, rather than having a discretely packaged snack.