Here’s the snack Joanna Gaines loves to make for fall

Joanna Gaines has always said that because a snack is sweet doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. That’s why I went searching through Joanna’s blog, Magnolia, for ideas on fall snacks that we’d be happy to serve our kids—and to sneak a few for ourselves.

10 PHOTOS10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna GainesSee Gallery10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna Gaines

Stock up on crescent rolls

To get that homemade feel you don’t always have to make everything 100% from scratch. In Magnolia Table, Joanna relies on refrigerated crescent roll dough for a few tasty recipes, like her quick orange-walnut sweet rolls and her classic chicken potpie. This cuts the prep time down significantly, and the results can taste just as good as something made all by hand.


Save time with rotisserie chicken

While everyone loves a perfectly roasted chicken for dinner—and then the leftovers used in tasty dinners all week—it can be hard to find the time to roast one on a busy evening. That’s why Joanna grabs a grocery store rotisserie chicken to use in a handful of recipes, like her cozy chicken potpie.


Turn tricky dishes into casseroles

Have a favorite dish that you always order at a restaurant but is just too tricky to make at home? Joanna says turn those into a casserole! She explains in her book that Chip loves eggs Benedict, but making individual servings at home can be a real hassle. So to get that same flavor with less work, Joanna turned it into an easy-to-make, easy-to-serve casserole. Genius! 


Use store-bought crust

Pie crust serves as the foundation for so many of our favorite dishes—pie (obviously!), quiches and tarts—but making your own crust from scratch is sometimes too time-consuming. According to Joanna, don’t worry about it! She writes in Magnolia table that she subs store-bought crust for homemade all the time, especially when she’s whipping up a tasty quiche.


Refrigerated biscuits are your friend

We all know that Joanna is a true Southern gal with an authentic recipe for buttermilk biscuits (you can check out how to make them right here), but we also know she’s a busy woman! That’s why when it comes to chicken and dumplings, Joanna says that you can easily substitute packaged biscuits for her biscuit and dumpling recipe.


Focus on the main dish and take shortcuts on the sides

In Magnolia Table, Joanna explains how enchiladas are a family favorite in her house. The cheese-filled chicken enchiladas are the star of the show and the side dishes—beans and rice—are just supporting players. So when time is tight, focus on the main, and used packaged rice as a quick substitute. Joanna prefers Knorr brand Mexican rice mix.


Transform your condiments 

We love our sandwiches layered with flavored aiolis, but we never think to make those fancy types of mayonnaise at home. After all, mayonnaise from scratch can be a real chore. But to get that same effect, Joanna takes her favorite mayonnaise (she says she prefers Hellman’s) and stirs in a handful of herbs and spices. For her version, add chopped chives, garlic, dill, parsley, paprika and a bit of lemon juice. Feel free to add your favorite flavors to dress up your sandwiches.


Have a boxed pancake mix on hand

While Magnolia Table has an exceptional recipe for fluffy pancakes, Joanna writes, “I always have a boxed mix in the pantry for when I just don’t have the time.” It’s always smart to have these backup plans, plus boxed mixes serve as a great foundation for all sorts of recipes like these pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and even this five-star breaded catfish.


Use basics as a base

Even the most unassuming ingredients can turn into a craveable snack. In Magnolia Table, Joanna describes how her friend makes the tastiest seasoned crackers, perfect for parties. Try our version with these seasoned crackers—only four ingredients!


There’s always pizza

No matter how carefully you plan or how carefully you read a recipe, sometimes dishes can just go wrong. If something goes wrong and your dinner flops, take this advice from Chip and Joanna from Magnolia Table, “there’s always pizza.”


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I found Joanna’s recipe for a treat she calls Power Balls, which taste like cookie dough but are super-high in fiber and protein. What better way to tempt the kids away from junk food than a healthy treat with peanut butter and chocolate chips? Find out more about Joanna’s healthy diet that’s actually incredibly easy to follow.

Joanna’s formula for guilt-free snacking

Joanna’s recipe is about one-third oats (think: fiber and complex carbs), one-third nut butters and seeds, and one-third coconut and chocolate with a touch of honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

The ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup organic almond butter
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

The prep

Mix together all of the dry ingredients (the first five) in one medium bowl. Mix together all of the wet ingredients (everything else) in another medium bowl.

Once both mixtures have an even texture, pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture while continuously stirring.

Scoop out the mixture and shape into 1 inch balls. A large kitchen spoon is great to use for rounding out the shape, or you can just use your hands.

Joanna’s Pro Tip: If the mixture is too gooey, try putting it in the fridge for 20-25 minutes.

Last but not least, pop your energy bites into the refrigerator so they stay firm until they’re ready to be eaten. Interested in another popular cookie recipe? Check out this 3-ingredient recipe more than 40,000 people have viewed.

The takeaway

With only a handful of ingredients, Joanna’s recipe is a cinch and it’s also super customizable. It’s easy to substitute another nut butter for the peanut butter. It’s also easy to toss in a handful of coconut flakes to taste. For an extra boost, Joanna recommends 1 Tbsp. of vanilla protein powder. You could even add raisins or any of your favorite dried fruits! Feel free to double the recipe since you’re going to be competing with the kids over who gets the last one… Then check out 30 more snacks you don’t have to feel guilty about.

The post Here’s The Snack Joanna Gaines Loves to Make for Fall appeared first on Reader’s Digest.

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