Cancer-Fighting Recipes for Portable Snacks

When you’re receiving chemotherapy, eating a little something to prevent a sour stomach is particularly important. Many treatment facilities make snacks available, but they may not be as nutritious or as pleasing to your palate as your own. So, it’s generally best to bring your own snacks when you can.

Fortunately, there are a vast variety of transportable snacks, and here, you find numerous options to try, from wholesome baked goodies to nutritious bites that can be easily bagged.

If you don’t have the energy to prepare any snacks, you can ask friends and family to prepare them for you. Of course, there are plenty of options that require no preparation at all. Some of these options include nuts, plain popcorn, whole-wheat crackers with some hard cheese or a nut butter, yogurt, bananas, or carrot sticks.

Homemade Granola

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

2-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup untoasted sunflower seeds

3/4 cup untoasted almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, if possible)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss well to evenly distribute all ingredients.

  3. Add the honey or maple syrup and the vanilla to the dry ingredients, and mix well to combine all ingredients.

  4. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally for even browning.

  6. Remove from the oven, add the raisins and cranberries, and stir to combine.

  7. Let cool, stirring occasionally until the granola reaches room temperature.

  8. Store in an airtight container up to 7 to 10 days in the pantry or up to a month in the refrigerator.

Per serving: Calories 403 (From Fat 167); Fat 19g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 81mg; Carbohydrate 55g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 9g.

Avoid buying dried fruits and nuts from bulk bins — particularly if you have a low white blood cell count — to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Instead, look for smaller packages of nuts and dried fruits in the baking section of the grocery store.

Sour Cream Banana Walnut Muffins

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15–20 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Sucanat

1/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)

1/3 cup egg whites

1/3 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the muffin pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and Sucanat until well blended.

  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg whites, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended. Then mix in the mashed bananas.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing by hand until well incorporated. Then mix in the walnuts.

  5. Spoon the batter into muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

  6. Cool a few minutes, and then move the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Per serving: Calories 197 (From Fat 76); Fat 8g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 2mg; Sodium 150mg; Carbohydrate 29g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 4g.

Sucanat is sugarcane juice that’s dehydrated. It retains the molasses that gets stripped away when sugar is refined. Because it contains molasses, it has a distinct molasses flavor and provides iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, and chromium. If you don’t have Sucanat, you can substitute sugar or another granulated sweetener in this recipe.

If you have diarrhea, it’s best to avoid whole grains and nuts, because they can be difficult to digest, making the diarrhea worse. Instead, substitute white flour for the whole-wheat flour in this recipe and use only three mashed bananas and omit the walnuts. You can substitute 3/4 cup of whole-wheat flour for every 1 cup of white flour in most recipes, or you can try to increase the moisture content by adding additional milk.

Fresh Strawberry Bread

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45–55 minutes

Yield: 14 servings

1-3/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

One 6-ounce container strawberry yogurt

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-x-5-inch metal or glass loaf pan and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and nutmeg.

  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until well blended. Then fold in the strawberries.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  6. Cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled.

Per serving: Calories 139 (From Fat 41); Fat 5g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 37mg; Sodium 108mg; Carbohydrate 27g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 4g.

This recipe is very versatile. Try different yogurt and fruit combinations. For example, you can make blueberry bread by using blueberries and blueberry yogurt instead. Or you can try vanilla yogurt and any fruit or berry of your choice.

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