Being a college student is demanding, and it’s not easy to transition from eating home-cooked meals to cooking on your own. Additionally, deciding on the perfect mixture of affordable, healthy and delicious becomes more difficult when the real world truly hits and we’re faced with the problems of time management and financial responsibility.

Thankfully, Health & Wellness hosted a workshop at the Tenaya Market, conveniently located in the San Joaquin Villages, which featured a quick tutorial on how to make healthy and affordable snacks for us college students making the transition to adulthood. The event was called “New Year, New Snacks” and was held on Jan. 31. It was thrown by UCSB’s Health & Wellness department, and they were generous enough to give us three quick granola bar recipes and samples to try.

Leonard Paulasa / Daily Nexus

These are my personal opinions on each bar:

This one was my personal favorite. The texture was consistent and chewy throughout. Furthermore, it’s the quickest to make, considering the lack of baking, and its ingredients were the easiest and most fun to substitute for different flavors.

Oats & Honey
The oats and honey bar was my second favorite of the three. The only reason it wasn’t my favorite was simply because the sample offered was a little crumbly. However, the recipe can’t be blamed for the bar being crumbly. I was told that it could’ve been baked longer, and the oats used were gluten free. Normal oats and a longer baking time would’ve made it the perfect granola bar. Add in some chocolate chips, and it would’ve tasted exactly like a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar.

Cherry & Almonds
This one was great, but I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t get to try it out. I can see how people like it, but I personally found it too salty. It could do with some unsalted almonds or even just a change in the type of nut used. The almonds were too crunchy and ruined the consistency of each bite. This was noticeable when a bite had both dried fruits and almonds. I had to continue to chew the almonds for quite some time after I had already chewed every other part of said bite.

Leonard Paulasa / Daily Nexus

Furthermore, the staff had said the ingredients are substitutable! As long as the same ingredient conditions are met, the recipe can be changed to make the granola savory, spicy or whatever other flavor you’re craving. The interchangeability adds an exciting new dimension to these delicious snacks and gives us the opportunity to make it healthier or to accommodate food allergies. You can even add in protein powders!

Overall I found the “New Year, New Snacks” event to be helpful. Adulting is difficult as is, and Health & Wellness was considerate enough to provide us with quick, affordable and tasty recipes. I would definitely continue to keep an eye out for more of their food events because they’re useful, and I’ll personally take all the help I can get.