30 Healthy Snacks No Adult Has to Feel Guilty About Eating
Snackaholics, rejoice! Beat between-meal blahs with a month’s worth of tasty and creative healthy snacks for adults.
Snacking should be as mandatory as breakfast
Dietitian Rachel Beller, a nutritionist on The Biggest Loser, told Redbook magazine that grazing during the day is a healthy habit and has a big impact. If you get too hungry between meals, that can deplete your willpower and make you consume more calories overall. The trick to snacking for health? Choose nutrient-rich foods and filling combos of protein and fibre, like these popular picks from top dietitians and weight-loss bloggers.
Baked sweet potato fries
This vitamin A-rich snack is a healthy kid favourite, but there’s no reason you can’t also enjoy this Parenting recipe that swaps bad carbs for good ones: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut four sweet potatoes into 1-inch-wide wedges, place flesh-side down on a roasting pan, then brush with a mixture of 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, turning once, for 20-25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
One serving of these Roasted Sweet Potato Fries contains only 200 calories!
Crispy kale chips
This unbelievable source of vitamins K, A, and C may become your new go-to late-afternoon snack. From Self: Place 1 large bunch raw kale leaves, stems removed, on a cookie sheet, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Love it? Check out this creative kale recipe.
Popcorn with a kick
A favourite, family-friendly snack for dietitian and Real Mom Nutrition blogger Sally Kuzemchak is popcorn—a surprising source of fibre and antioxidants. (That’s just one reason why you NEED popcorn in your diet.) Among her favourite toppings: garlic, Parmesan cheese, and sugar/salt.
Homemade kettle corn
DIY kettle corn can eliminate some of the artificial chemicals from processed versions. Greatist recommends tossing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of Stevia with 2 cups of freshly popped popcorn. Shake in a paper bag for even distribution. (You can swap the Stevia for 1 teaspoon of honey plus 1 teaspoon of water, microwaved for 20 seconds to thin it out.)
Though she admits that she’s not a big snacker—“I really like to be hungry for meals”—Cara Eisenpress of Big Girls Small Kitchen says her favourite snack is healthier nachos: 3 to 4 multigrain chips, a few pinches of cheddar, a zap in the microwave, and a dollop of guacamole or sprinkle of scallions. Add more chips and cheddar, and you’ve got an easy Mexican appetizer anyone can make.
Brown rice bonanza
Feedmeimcranky’s Annabel Adams makes a big batch of brown rice on the weekends, and for weekday snacks heats up a small bowl and tops it with salsa, hummus, or Trader Joe’s ‘Cowboy Caviar,’ a mix of black beans, peppers, and roasted corn.
Low-carb turkey wrap
Make a snack out of a turkey wrap, which is one of Dr. Oz’s top snacks—and only 75 calories. Spread 2 teaspoons of honey mustard on 3 thin slices of turkey; top with 1/4 cup sliced apple and wrap in lettuce.
Too many turkey leftovers? Here are 6 tasty ways to use them up!
Cinnamon-spiced baked apples
These are a quick, healthy snack favourite of Diane Carbonell, founder of the Fit to the Finish blog. Core a crisp apple (such as Granny Smith or Fuji) and put the wedges in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, then toss to cover. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on high. Carbonell will sometimes add raisins or a dollop of nut butter after the apples cook. One apple is less than 90 calories and provides three grams of filling fibre; raisins also add more iron, vitamin C, and fibre.
Chocolate-drizzled fruit kebobs
Health magazine skewers 1 strawberry, 2 blueberries, 1 piece each kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, and then drizzling with 1 teaspoon Hershey’s chocolate syrup for a filling, fruit dessert that quenches a chocolate craving too.
Chocolate-dunked strawberries pudding
Try Prevention’s easy way to sweeten up strawberries: Drip 10 medium strawberries into 1 fat-free pudding cup for a light and healthy filler. Since this combo is a proven aphrodisiac, it’s best eaten with your significant other.
Goat cheese bruschetta
Try this Real Simple treat: Top five halved cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese, then sprinkle with chopped herbs (chives, basil, or parsley) that you can grow right in your home garden.
Gouda-topped apple slices
Thinly slice 1 ounce of smoked Gouda cheese on honey crisp apple slices for an ideal balance of protein, carbs, and fat, recommends Christine Avanti, chef, nutritionist, and author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food. For a different flavour (and fewer calories), swap out the Gouda for a naturally lighter option.
Check out this grown-up grilled cheese sandwich with apple and gouda!
Give boring nuts (the best disease fighter in your pantry) a healthy boost with Sweetish Nuts from nutritionist Brooke Alpert, which are sugar-free but still manage a natural sweetness from the spices. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive in a large bowl. Add 4 ounces shelled raw walnut halves, 4 ounces shelled raw pecan halves, and 4 ounces raw cashews. Massage in the spices well, then place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container once cooled.
Bagel with ricotta and strawberries
Sink your teeth into Real Simple’s tasty take on the bagel: Spread half of a small toasted whole grain “flat” bagel with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta, then top with 1/3 cup sliced strawberries and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar. (Incorporate these healthy breakfast ideas into your diet, starting today.)
Try Self magazine’s healthy bite: top a whole grain waffle with 1 teaspoon low-fat cream cheese and ¼ cup blueberries.
Oatmeal, with is whole grains, fibre, and protein, is a perfect all-day snack. Glamour recommends mixing one packet of the plain, instant kind with 6 crushed almonds, then sprinkling with cinnamon (which could help you lose weight!).
From theKitchn: A half-cup of boiled or steamed shelled young soybeans are rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants—and and only 100 calories. Splitting the pods open to nibble on the beans helps you eat more mindfully, which can reduce overall calorie consumption.
For her favourite snack, Keri Glassman MS, RD, author of The New You and Improved Diet, tosses pre-sliced cabbage and carrots with a ginger dressing and wraps the salad in a sheet of seaweed (nori).
Tuna seaweed wrap
Nutritionist Rachel Beller loves nori too, telling Glamour that it’s “chock-full of folate, iron, calcium and potassium.” She recommends rolling it around salmon or tuna salad for an omega-3-rich snack.
Planning on making fish for dinner? Learn what not to do before you start cooking.
Banana oatmeal walnut cookies
Gina Homolka, of skinnytaste.com, makes three-ingredient “guiltless healthy cookies” that are a great source of heart-healthy whole grains, good fats, and potassium. Combine 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed, 1 cup uncooked quick oats in a bowl, then fold in ¼ cup crushed walnuts. Place tablespoon-sized scoops on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Have a bunch of overripe bananas? Here are 5 New Uses for Old Bananas.
Chia seeds, a great source of omega-3s and fibre, are in this tasty tapioca-like pudding from NYC nutritionist Brooke Alpert’s new book The Sugar Detox. Place 2 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, until it has a pudding-like consistency.
Always have avocado around to add a healthful fat for a filling snack, recommends Annabel Adams from feedmeimcranky.com. They’re a good source of heart-healthy and belly fat-blasting monounsaturated fat. Adams loves mixing blackened tempeh—a good source of protein and probiotics—with the green flesh.
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Avocado rice cakes
Avocados also make for a great rice cake topper, says greatist.com. Top an unsalted brown rice cake with 1/4 of an avocado, mashed, then sprinkle with black pepper and paprika.
Check out these 8 powerhouse food pairings to improve your health.
Blogger Caffeinated Chronicles of a Supermom uses a toothpick to dunk individual blueberries one at a time into a container of Greek yogurt; a second toothpick helps push the berry off onto a baking sheet. Freeze for one hour, and store any leftovers in the freezer.
Pumpkin spice yogurt
Perk up your go-to yogurt with this version from Greatist: Combine 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree (a low-fat way to boost fibre and flavour). Sweeten with Stevia, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pumpkin pie spice blend or cinnamon.
For another twist on the vegetable, try Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal!
Nutty watermelon fruit cup
This Real Simple salad refreshes: Toss two cups of watermelon cubes with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and ½ teaspoon grated lime zest, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons chopped unsalted roasted pistachios.
Love watermelon? Check out 16 Easy Summer Cocktail Recipes.
From registered dietitian Cynthia Sass’s new book S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Fold whole corn tortillas with organic strawberries (or any of the healthiest fruits for your body), edamame, ripe avocado, cilantro, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Raspberry banana bites
Satisfy a sweet tooth with Health magazine’s treat: top three, 1-inch banana slices with ¼ teaspoon Nutella and 1 raspberry. That combo also makes a deliciously healthy fruit smoothie.
Hummus among us
When Rebecca Regnier of doesthisblogmakeuslookfat is hankering for something savoury, she goes for a mini pepper sliced with a little hummus. It’s especially good as a bedtime snack, since chickpeas help you sleep.
Stuff mini whole wheat pitas (about 2 inches in diameter) with different tastes, such as salsa; cashew butter; low-fat cheese; or hummus with cucumber and tomato, recommends Samantha Heller, RD, clinical nutrition co-ordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut.
Originally published as 30 Healthy Snacks No Adult Has to Feel Guilty About Eating on ReadersDigest.com.