Ugh! You’re hungry but you have already eaten breakfast and it’s only mid-morning. To snack or not to snack is the question. The answer? It’s okay to snack. If you are hungry and you try to hold out until the next meal, you may tempt yourself to overeat during your next meal. Healthy snacking part of a well-balanced diet. The key, though, it to make sure your snacks are more apples and almonds and less chips and candy.
In order to motivate yourself to keep to a healthy snacking routine, make sure your snack time is interesting. The thought of carrots and celery sticks may not excite you. That’s okay because there are many options you can create to ensure snacking is both satisfying and tasty, without being boring.
Try the parfait
Usually, parfaits are loaded with toppings that will derail any diet. However you can revamp the parfait to make it healthy and taste great. Instead of syrups, candies or other high-calorie toppings, use antioxidant rich fruits, greek yogurt and whole grain granola (preferably the kind that is not candied) to create the perfect parfait for your diet. Mangos, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries…the parfait possibilities are endless!
Apple pita pizza
I have to admit that I have never heard of this delicious treat. I learned that this snack is a great alternative to a slice of apple pie. In short, sautÃ© half an apple in butter (a little dab will do) and lightly sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar onto the apple. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese onto one side of the pita, place in the oven until cheese is melted, add the apples and enjoy!
Tomato and egg
At first glance, tomato and egg may not seem to be a perfect match. But, with eggs being so packed in protein and tomatoes being so rich in vitamins and nutrients, it’s no wonder why this is a winning snack combo. To enjoy, hard-boil and egg and allow it to cool. Slice it, and stack each slice onto a slice of tomato. Drizzle with salt and pepper and you’ll have a unique, tasty and fun way to enjoy eggs and tomatoes.
Red hummus and baked pita chips
But, not just any pita chips will do. In order to enjoy this snack in a healthy way, make sure the pita chips are whole grain. The fiber in whole grain will provide a more filling, crunchy snack. To make the red hummus, use kidney beans in a food processor, puree one 15 ounce can of rinsed and drained kidney beans. Add a dash of lemon juice, some salt, garlic powder and olive oil. To make the pita chips, cut a few pieces of whole grain pita and place them onto a non-stick pan in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees. Once the chips are crisp, remove them and begin dipping away in your homemade red hummus.
Pumpkin smoothie with a twist
While, a smoothie made with pumpkin might be enough of a twist, adding coconut can take the extraordinary to the max. Pumpkin has the added benefit of being low in calories (40 per cup) and rich in beta-carotene and phytonutrients. In a blender puree 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (either canned or fresh), 1/4 cup vanilla soymilk, 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes, and 1 tablespoon agave nectar. For extra flavor, add a dash of ground cinnamon and a drizzle of sugar-free coconut syrup, or subsitute chocolate soymilk for vanilla soymilk. To thicken, add a handful of ice cubes or a third of banana.
Roasted asparagus and yogurt dip
Eight asparagus spears are less than 30 calories. I could stop right there because that alone is enough to make any diet conscious eater happy. But, there’s more. Instead of the run-of-the-mill olive oil, salt and pepper drill with asparagus, there is a different way to enjoy them. Sure, you will start by grilling or baking the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, but once they have cooked, you can add a yogurt dipping sauce to them. Combine 1 cup of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of chopped mint and a squeeze of lime juice.
Pineapple is a tasty treat for sure. It’s rich in flavor and as good for you as it tastes. For this next snack, you can substitute any 100% juice flavor in place of pineapple (if that’s just not your thing). Mix 1/4 cup pineapple juice and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a bowl. Bring 4 cups of 100 percent pineapple juice (or the juice of your choice) and 3 tablespoons honey to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pudding coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and divide into six cups. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with fresh diced pineapple and a sprinkling of minced macadamia nuts.
With this list of inspired treats from Sheknows.com, I hope you realize that snacking never has to be boring again.