Especially over the weekends, I classify late-night snacks as mandatory meals. This year, my roommate introduced me to several, life-changing snack combinations. Salty? Sweet? Somewhere in between? These combinations have it all. Adding to the appeal, they are easy, time-efficient and tailored toward specific cravings. Also, these snack combinations are perfect for college students shopping on a budget — the ingredients required are both accessible and affordable. For instance, every snack item can be found at Harris Teeter, Kroger or Wegmans.
Regardless of what you are in the mood for, I have crafted the perfect snack combinations that will satisfy any and every obscure craving that possesses your taste buds late at night.
For when you’re craving a charcuterie board in a bite
Although delicious on their own, the combination of green grapes and Cheez-Its are a match made in heaven. For the best effects, use crunchy green grapes — but red grapes will work if you already have them — and original Cheez-Its. If I had to choose one word to describe the match, it would be ‘explosive,’ with the zesty, peppery Cheez-Its and juicy, tart green grapes. Also, it is absolutely necessary to sandwich the green grape between two Cheez-Its. Not only does this method ensure that, for every bite, the saltiness of the Cheez-It balances with the freshness of the grape, but it is also the most convenient way to hold the snack.
Since the snacks can be eaten individually at any time of the day, green grapes and Cheez-Its are great kitchen staples. Personally, this snack reminds me of an easy, inexpensive charcuterie board with cheese and fruit pairing — I highly recommend it.
For when you’re craving a blast from the past
Club Crackers defined my childhood. As a typical after-school snack during my elementary school days, these crackers never let me down. So when my roommate proposed peanut butter and jelly Club Cracker sandwiches, I knew this combination would be fantastic. Especially since, in my eyes, peanut butter and jelly will always be a classic, top-tier flavor.
True to form, this snack combination did not disappoint. Essentially, the combination is a miniature peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but even better with the inclusion of the flakey Club Crackers. In other words, the flavors are phenomenal. The combination of the sweet jelly — which I always layer on thick — with the salty peanut butter and crispy Club Crackers proves the superiority of peanut butter-jelly once again. If you are craving a twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly and a hint of nostalgia, definitely give this combination a try.
For when you’re craving a sweet treat
If you are like me, you have no freezer space to spare, meaning you often need to get creative with your sweet treats. Orange slices with whipped cream are a great solution to this dilemma. This combination, like the others, requires minimal effort. You just spray some whipped cream onto a sliced orange — I used a navel orange — and enjoy. The acidic nature of the orange coupled with the sweet whipped cream mimics an orange creamsicle and is simply delicious. The burst of the tangy citrus flavor and fluffy whipped cream melt into one amazing bite.
For when you’re craving a sensational duo of flavors
Throughout high school, I discovered my love for Pretzel Crisps and ate them nearly every day. However, I never tried them with a dip or toppings, so this snack combination was pretty intriguing. I found spreading the cream cheese — preferably whipped cream cheese — on the thin pretzel to be most effective, allowing each part of the pretzel to be evenly coated.
I quickly became a fan. In a nutshell, this combination is great for when you are craving chips and dip, and the opposing textures of the two individual snacks — the crunchy pretzel thins and smooth cream cheese — work wonders. Fair warning, though, the salty-sweet combo packs an addictive punch.
For when you’re craving something buttery yet explosively sweet
The next time you are going to the movies, sneak in a bag of mini marshmallows to mix with your popcorn. I will admit, before I tried this combination, I did not anticipate liking it as much as I did. I thought the pairing seemed a little boring, but I quickly realized I was mistaken. Especially when the popcorn is still hot and extremely buttery, the marshmallows slightly melt, sticking to the popcorn and practically melting in your mouth. The savory, light popcorn and spongy, sweet marshmallows are the perfect combination for movie nights with friends and a great salty-sweet pair.
Simply put, these snack combinations are must-tries. Nearly all of the individual snacks are inexpensive kitchen staples, making the pairings both affordable and delicious.
Depending on my mood, my preferences tend to fluctuate. Grapes and Cheez-Its are great for late-night study sessions, orange slices with whipped cream are perfect for a midnight debrief with friends, Club Cracker peanut butter jelly sandwiches are my go-to when I’m up late reading, thin pretzels and cream cheese are essential when watching TV and, lastly, popcorn and marshmallows are a midnight movie staple.
My final consensus — grapes with Cheez-Its are my favorite combination, followed closely by orange slices with whipped cream, then by pretzels with cream cheese, Club Cracker peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and finally, popcorn with marshmallows.