The Best Snack Hacks of 2019

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Photo: Claire Lower

Best of LifehackerBest of LifehackerWhether we’ve made a complicated recipe absurdly simple, illustrated how to survive a natural disaster, or explained a political crisis in terms even your great-grandma would understand, these are some of our favorite stories from the past year.

Snacking is an art form. Unlike meals, which should be substantial and sustaining, snacks should be edible entertainment, with intense flavors, varying textures, and unexpected tasting notes. From giant pickles to waffled prosciutto, these are our favorite snack hacks of 2019.

This Green Garlic Sauce Tastes Like a Pringle

Photo: Claire Lower

Because I am a lady of low birth and no breeding, that kinda onion-y, kinda garlicky, noticeably green flavor has always reminded me of a sour cream and onion Pringle, if that Pringle had been dipped in aioli. You can use green garlic just like you would adult garlic (soups, stews, braises, sauces), but you can also treat it much like you would a raw scallion (pesto, salads, garnishes, etc.). For my part, I like to sauté the lighter parts until they are soft, then whirr them together with some blanched greens for a fresh, savory, slightly pungent sauce that’s good on almost anything. (I literally ate half a cup of it on saltines.)


Sprinkle Ramen Powder on French Fries

It’s such a simple, obvious pairing. As a noted fan of both msg and seasoning things with ramen powder, I’m frankly shocked and appalled I haven’t tried it already. Unlike most of the international fast food I have tried, it’s something that’s easily replicated at home. Just order some fries—or make them yourself—then sprinkle on your favorite packet of ramen powder which, if you are anything like me, you already have a collection of.


Make a Giant Jar of Giant Pickles With a Giant Zucchini

Photo: Claire Lower

Huge zukes tend to be bland and watery, with woody seeds and cottony flesh. Cooking one is rarely a sauté-and-enjoy kind of deal. At first I considered treating it like eggplant—maybe making a parm or something—but then I remembered Hamburger Stackers.


Snacks You Can Safely Make While Super High

Photo: Claire Lower

Surrounding yourself with easy to prepare and eat snacks is of the utmost importance, but those snacks should do more than provide sustenance—they should be entertainment for your mouth. Though there is nothing wrong with eating a plate of microwaved cheese—or pouring shredded cheese into your mouth directly from the bag—I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few somewhat refined stoner snacks and strategies that I think you’ll enjoy.


Make Prosciutto Crisps in Your Waffle Maker

Photo: Claire Lower

Prosciutto crisps, which I fondly call “pork chips,” can function as a fancy snack, highfalutin’ bacon bit, or—in the case of one cocktail I had one time—unexpected drink garnish. Usually the paper-thin slices require at least 15 minutes in an oven to get them nice and crisp, but you can speed up the process considerably if you have a waffle maker.


Put MSG in Everything, You Cowards

Photo: Claire Lower

What, exactly, should you add it to? Pretty much any non-dessert item that could use some umami. If you would add soy sauce to it, you can add MSG. If you would add Parmesan to it, you can add MSG. If you think “this could use some fish sauce/tomato paste/nutritional yeast,” you can (and should) add MSG.


Build Your Nachos on Doritos

Photo: Claire Lower

Honestly, I’m surprised—and a little frustrated—that Taco Bell hasn’t been doing this for years. They already have a Dorito taco—why not add another item to their expansive menu by loading up a pile of cheese dust-covered chips with their Nachos BellGrande toppings? It’s an easy way to add more flavor (and MSG) to an already delicious mess of food. It just makes sense. Even if Taco Bell won’t take my advice, you still can.


When You Buy Edibles, Buy a Cannabis-Free Version As Well

If you’ve ever eaten too much weed, you know it’s not enjoyable. Unlike smoking, the effects of an edible take a while to kick in, but then they kick in hard. This is why you’re only supposed to eat a little at a time, and wait at least an hour before ingesting (or smoking) any more marijuana product. A particularly delicious edible is therefore a dangerous thing, particularly if you are prone to the munchies, or oddly confident about your tolerance. This is why you should always—always—have a cannabis-free dupe of your edible at the ready.


Marmite Makes Any Dip Better

Photo: Shutterstock

Marmite is the Fernet-Branca of the condiment world. Like the bitter amaro, the super salty yeast spread is extremely polarizing, and people tend to either despise it on a visceral level or love it with their whole heart. But even if you aren’t one to spread Marmite on toast, you can use it to add oomph to creamy spreads and dips.


Pulverize Seasonings Before Sprinkling Them on Popcorn

Photo: Claire Lower

You see, when pulverized into a fine powder, salts and seasonings stick to kernels with unprecedented power. Blitzing blends into oblivion—such as the spicy-sweet salt mixture you see below—means it will cling to your snack, rather than fall (tragically) to the bottom of the bowl.


How to Make a Ramen Egg

Photo: Claire Lower

Any egg, be it hard-boiled, soft-boiled, seasoned, or poached, is welcome in a bowl of ramen, but the king of the genre is ajitsuke tamago, soft-boiled eggs that have been marinated in soy sauce and other flavorful friends. They’re often referred to as “ramen eggs,” but you don’t need a bowl of noodles to enjoy them—they make a great breakfast (smash ‘em on some toast), umami-packed salad topper, or simple snack.


Pickle Grapes for a Surprisingly Good Time

Photo: Claire Lower

The most commonly lacto-fermented pickles are cabbages and carrots, but a Twitter friend suggested lacto-ing some grapes, and I am now obsessed with the savory, tangy morsels, which are perfect for cheese plates. Though you can lacto-ferment grapes in a liquid brine, you can forgo all that by using a vacuum sealer, which creates a fantastic environment for our friendly bacteria.


How to Stop Hating Candy Corn

Photo: Claire Lower

This year I’m calling off my campaign against candy corn, and am instead trying to understand its appeal, and maybe even enjoy it. Though Lifehacker is fairly divided on the fondant-like candy, two connoisseurs—our managing editor Virginia Smith and deputy editor Alice Bradley—were kind enough to share their tasting notes and serving suggestions.


Make Cookie Butter From Danish Butter Cookies

Photo: Claire Lower


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