Bernice Zhao

Every time-pressed Yale student knows some variant of the cháhú yuánlǐ, or the kettle principle: Don’t just stand by the stove and wait for the water to boil; tend to your other tasks until you hear the kettle’s whistling. Simply put, multitask, but do so skillfully.

Indeed, time at Yale has hammered in the message that there are three things you always strive to save: time, time and time (and grades from time to time). But as always, you win some, and you lose some. Perhaps what you choose to sacrifice is the healthy diet you so meticulously blueprinted during a packed summer of workouts — the diet you hit the brakes on until New Year’s resolutions rolled around, then slowly forgot about till the following summer, when you were slammed with the dire need for a hot beach bod. Fret not, for saving time and whipping up homemade healthy snacks are not mutually exclusive.

Enter ovens, man’s new best friend.

All that is required of you is mixing up the ingredients and plopping them into the oven. Now you can “multitask” while you wait for the melodious alarm prelude to your satisfied stomach and fetch your snack while you drool like Pavlov’s dogs. Easy.

To make it even easier, here are three original, healthy recipes perfect for you to snack on while wrapping up that pset (having finished most of it while waiting for the oven to work its magic), chitchatting with pals or marathoning movies.

After all, the busiest people have the most leisure. Work smart, cook smart.

Mini Cinnamon Rolls


1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons dry yeast

60 mL lukewarm water

3 tablespoons sugar

200 mL milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

100 mL yogurt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder


4 tablespoons cinnamon

2 egg yolks or 1/4 cup applesauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon coconut water

5 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Mix water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl. Set it aside for about 5 minutes until it starts to become foamy.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, egg, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Add the whole wheat flour and baking powder into the liquid mixture in 2 editions. Add in the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly. Knead by hand until smooth dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel, and let it sit aside for 2 hours.

For the filling, combine cinnamon, egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla extract; mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Halve the dough, and roll each into a rectangular shape, approximately 2–3 mm thick. Spread the filling evenly onto the 2 pieces of dough, leaving a border on all four sides. Roll up the dough, starting at the longer end. Slice the roll into evenly-sized miniature fat logs. Place the rolls onto prepared muffin pan, and coat with leftover filling.

Bake for around 15 minutes; allow the buns to cool on a cake rack for 10 minutes.

For the icing, mix together the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and coconut water in a bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved. Drizzle onto the cinnamon rolls (remember to place a plate under the cake rack to avoid making a mess!), and serve while warm.

Fruit Bread Pudding

1 apple

1 banana

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

5 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

2 eggs

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cut the banana and apple into bite-sized pieces. Drench the fruits in lemon juice and mix well.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder and sugar.

In another bowl, mix together the eggs, yogurt and oil.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Flour the cake pan, and fill 1/3 with mixture.

Place bananas and apples on top of the mixture. Fill the rest of the cake pan with the remaining mixture.

Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until it gives off a soft, golden glow.

Spiced Crunchy Chickpeas (a great alternative to popcorn!)

1 can of chickpeas




2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Rinse chickpeas and peel skin off. Rinse and dry with paper towel.

Line baking pan with baking sheet, and spread chickpeas onto the pan. Drizzle on olive oil and spices.

Place into preheated oven for 30–40 minutes until crunchy.

Add spices again if needed.

Bernice Zhao | .