OK, I’ll fess up: my bedtime is pretty early (in the morning); the bags under my eyes are getting darker (and I’ve given up on concealer); and I’ve spent more time with my textbooks this past week than my friends. Sounds like it’s November.

With sleep deficiency and the high stress levels, it’s the most important time of the year to make sure that you’re not running on an empty stomach and are fueling your hard work. And, no, that doesn’t mean chugging a couple of energy drinks or popping half a dozen loonies into the nearest vending machine.

The following recipes are simple, flexible, and sure to satisfy your appetite for a long period of time. You can make them in double batches at the beginning of the week, so they’re ready to eat at any time and easy to divide into single servings and slip into your backpack before you head to class. Because—let’s be honest—with everything that’s on your plate at the moment, you don’t need one more thing to worry about.

NO-BAKE ENERGY BITES

PREP TIME: 10 MIN
CHILL TIME: 30–60 MIN

What serves up energy better than a bite-sized ball of Nutella covered goodness? Chilled to perfection, these energy bites are sure to give students the boost they desperately need when studying for their exams.

Can’t make the Sophie’s choice between using peanut butter or Nutella? Use 1/4 cup of each. Make sure you store the bites in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS

1–1½ cups large-flake oatmeal (vary the amount depending on your desired consistency)

½ cup peanut butter or Nutella

⅓ cup honey

1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut or coconut flakes

½ cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix the oatmeal, peanut butter or Nutella, honey, coconut, and chocolate chips in a bowl.

2. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

3. Roll into bite-size balls.

HONEY-ROASTED NUTS

PREP TIME: 10 MIN
COOK TIME: 30 MIN

If you’re feeling adventurous, add some of your favourite spices, such as cinnamon, ground ginger, or cayenne pepper for an added kick.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups  unsalted nuts, any kind

¼ cup honey

¼ cup granulated white sugar

¾ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 300 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil.

2. Mix the nuts, sugar, salt, and spices (optional) in a bowl.

3. Heat the honey in a large saucepan on high heat until boiling. Cook for 2 minutes and take off the heat.

4. Quickly pour the honey over the mixture until the nuts are coated.

5. Place the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet.

6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the nuts every 10 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and cool.

GARLIC PARMESAN POPCORN

PREP TIME: 5 MIN

Buying a bag of popcorn kernels and popping them yourself is cheaper and healthier than the premade version. Below is one option for seasoning it; also, try replacing everything that’s not popcorn with a teaspoon of melted butter and either hot sauce, Kraft Dinner cheese, or the seasoning from a kimchi-flavoured ramen package. You can also omit the olive oil/butter.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup popcorn kernels

1 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe container or brown paper bag and microwave for 2  minutes. If not all the kernels pop, keep putting it in again for 30 seconds at a time until they do.

2. Add whichever seasoning mix you prepared to the popcorn and shake until the popcorn is coated and the cheese is melted.

MUBASHIR BAWEJA/THE MEDIUM