Five Healthy Snacks for the Next Time You Have the Munchies

Posted by on Feb 12, 2011 in Nutrition | 0 comments

What makes a good snack?

Clearly, it should be yummy. And it should satisfy whatever craving you may have (if you want sweet, then endless bags of salty chips may make you feel sick, but they won’t satisfy the craving for something sweet). It should be quick to prepare, and easy to carry with you to wherever you may want to eat it. It shouldn’t be overly high in calories, or messy to eat. And it should have some nutritional value (protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals…)

Each of these snacks has 250 calories or less.

Something salty?

Black bean dip with tortilla chips and celery sticks. Low glycemic load, so it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike after eating it.

Black bean dip recipe (serves 6):

– 1 can black beans (rinse thoroughly), 1/4 c cream cheese, 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese; heat in microwave on high for 1 minutes, stir til creamy

– add 1/2 cup salsa, 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeno peppers

10 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and only 7 grams of fat (which could be reduced if you choose to use fat-free cream cheese and low-fat tortilla chips).

Something sweet?

Banana date shake – Super-sweet, with the consistency of a milkshake, but the protein in it keeps the gylcemic load fairly low.

Banana date shake recipe (serves 2):

– 3 cups water, 1/4 cup almonds, 6 dates (pitted); blend in blender til smooth

– add 2 frozen bananas (peels removed); blend til smooth

8 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat (including significant Omega 6 fatty acids).

Something crunchy?

Hummus with sugar snap peas, carrot sticks, and celery sticks. Creamy, crunch, and full of flavor (I hope you like garlic!)

Hummus recipe (serves 4):

– 1 cup of chickpeas (canned, or boiled), rinsed, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini, 1 tbsp sesame oil, mixed thoroughly (use a food processor, or hand-held blender).

7 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat (low in saturated fat, high in Omega 6 fatty acids)

Something creamy?

Lemon yogurt with mixed berries and chopped almonds. Full of sweetness, and tartness, and flavor, and creamy, and crunchy. Protein keeps the glycemic load low.

recipe (serves 1):

– 100g low-fat lemon yogurt, topped with 1/4 cup mixed blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and 2tbsp chopped almonds

4 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat (low in saturated fat, high in Omega 6 fatty acids)

Something else?

Sliced apple with peanut butter and chopped cashews. Sweet, tart, crisp, crunchy, smooth…

recipe (serves 1):

– 1 sliced apple, 2tbsp peanut butter, and 1tsp chopped cashews. Spread peanut butter on apple slices, and dip in cashews.

6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat (low in saturated fat, high in Omega 6 fatty acids)

All of these snacks are high in fiber and protein, and have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Keep your pantry stocked so you can snack healthily when the cravings hit.

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