Showing posts with label simple snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label simple snacks. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Guest Post: 7 Healthy Ways Satisfy Between Meal Munchies

I am a college student, it’s a Wednesday morning, and I have been sitting in class for about an hour.  Although I ate breakfast, I’m starving, unable to focus, and dreaming of lunch even though it’s only 9:30 a.m.  Then, a couple hours after I have devoured a huge lunch, I find myself quickly spiraling into an afternoon crash and falling asleep in my seat.  Next thing I know, I’m downing a coffee just to stay awake the rest of the day and be productive.  After a few hours at the library, my stomach starts to grumble and I’m cranky.  And forget my post-school day workout because I don’t have enough energy for that!  Although I had planned to cook dinner at home, I’m so starved that I stop and pick up a quick dinner on my way home.
I bet many of you have experienced a vicious cycle similar to mine.  Can you imagine how my day may have gone differently had I packed some healthy snacks in my backpack in the morning?
Blackberries and cheese on toothpicks
Snacking is often associated with guilt, cheating, or unhealthy food.  For this reason, many people avoid snacking in between meals because they don’t think they should or because they think snacking is bad for them.
However, don’t be afraid to satisfy your hunger with a snack!  According to a recent survey1, Americans with the healthiest overall eating practices were twice as likely to snack as compared to those with less healthy eating habits.  All statistics aside, this means that snacking done the right way can be a wonderful tool for making lasting improvements in your diet and health.  Being prepared with healthy options when a snack attack arises will help prevent mindlessly reaching for the candy jar, downing a pint of ice cream, stopping at the vending machine, or overeating at mealtime.  It will curb cravings, give your mind and body the energy to keep going all day, and help you make better choices all day long.  

Here are a few tips to help satisfy your between-meal hunger and make healthy snacking a way of life:

1.  Rid your pantry of tempting, processed snacks.  Avoid 100 calorie packs or packaged snacks high in added sugar.  These are not satisfying and may leave you just wanting more.  Leave healthy options in a convenient location and within reach.

2.  Get creative because your options are endless.  Yay, freedom!  Here are a few rules of thumb to help you make a healthy snack:
  • The more protein, fiber, and fat (no trans fats, please) your snack has, the longer you will stay full.  Choose items that you enjoy and are made with real food.
  • Include 2 different food groups in your snack.
  • Keep your snack around 200 calories.
  • Always keep it interesting with a wide variety of snacks and always try fun, fresh ideas every once in a while.
3.  Before you go to the grocery store, plan what snacks you are going to want.  Having a plan at the grocery store will help you stay on track and deny the tempting plethora of (not so healthful) snack options available to us.

4.  If you know you are going to be busy, prepare your snacks ahead of time.  Always keep healthy, pre-prepared snacks readily available and easy to eat.  This way you can easily slip something into your purse, briefcase, or lunchbox in the morning.  On the same note, having snacks divided out ahead of time will help you control the amount you eat so you don’t mindlessly eat more that you need or are hungry for.
5.  Listen to your body.  Be sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day so you don’t mistake thirst for hunger and then snack when you’re not really hungry.  Also, never deny the fact that you are hungry.  If you need 2 mid-morning snacks, perfect.  If you find that you are fine in the morning but need a snack right after work, go for it.  If you need small snacks in the morning, after lunch, and after work, more power to ya!  Don’t limit yourself to what you think you should be doing.  Go with what your body is telling you.
6.  While snacking, focus on eating and enjoy it.  Try not to multitask while you eat because you may consume more if you’re not thinking about what you’re eating.

7.  Snacking isn’t for everyone.  For some people, snacking can lend itself to grazing and overeating.  If you struggle with this, pay special attention to tip #2 above.
By now you’ve got to be craving some ideas for delicious, healthy snacks.  Wait no more!

Here are some of my favorites to help get you started:

Handful of dried fruit and nuts
Half an avocado with sea salt
Air popped popcorn and Parmesan cheese
Hard boiled eggs
Apple slices and almond or peanut butter
Dark chocolate square and peanut butter

Smoothie made with banana, strawberries, almond milk, and oats

Guest blog by Katie!

Katie is a former intern at Grass Roots Nutrition and a recent graduate of Miami University with degrees in nutrition and zoology.  She  is attending the dietetic internship program at Bradley University in order to become a registered dietitian.  She loves running, traveling, and cooking healthy recipes with friends and family.  Her favorite foods are dark chocolate and cheese!

Monday, March 10, 2014

No-Bake Energy Bites

It can be a challenge to find Real Food on the run. How to eat well on the go? Plan ahead and have a healthy, delicious snack with you! These bites are a great choice - a good combo of complex carbohydrates, protein and heart-healthy fats.

No Bake Energy Bites
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup  non-hydrogenated peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 4 dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Shredded coconut to top, optional
  1. Take the dates out of the water and mash them into a paste using a fork or a mini-food processor. Add some of the soaking liquid if needed. 
  2. Put all ingredients, including date paste, in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. 
  3. Put the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more so that the contents become harder and will stick to themselves.
  4. Using a one-tablespoon measuring spoon, spoon out the batter and roll into a ball.
  5. Press shredded coconut onto the ball of batter and then sprinkle more on top, if you wish. 
  6. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Makes 24 1-Tablespoon balls

This is a guest posting by Lydia!
Lydia is a junior studying Nutrition at Miami University, she is an intern at Grass Roots Nutrition and has a love for cooking and eating. Her favorite vegetable is kale she loves to eat it for breakfast!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pistachio Pairings: Exercise Recovery Snack

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Your recipe for exercise recovery?

Water + Pistachios + Banana!

This is a great snack to have in your gym bag ready to go after a tough workout at the gym or a long bike ride! The combo of nuts and fruit is a winning combo - you have a good amount of protein and heart healthy fats from the pistachios pairs with carbohydrates to replenish glycogen in your tired muscles. You replenish your electrolytes without needing to grab a sports drink - the sodium and magnesium from the salted nuts and the potassium from the banana has you covered. Don't forget the water!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Snack Attack: Baked apple chips

Let's face it - chips are pretty stinking delicious. Unfortunately, most chips aren't doing our health a lot of favors. Here is a sweet little snack that is both tasty and good for you.

Slicing the apples can be done with a sharp knife and a steady hand - or, you can use a mandoline. A mandoline is a handy kitchen tool that creates very even, thin slices. They range from basic to deluxe and are priced accordingly. Look for one that is easily washable and has the features you're seeking - basic slicing is sufficient for your cooking needs, or are you going to use crinkle cuts and dicing?

For the apple chips, simply rinse off the apples and slice quite thinly. You can dunk them in a solution of water and lemon juice if you wish - this will slow browning. Place them onto a cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper), sprinkle with ground cinnamon and bake in a 225 for an hour and then flip the apple slices. Bake for another hour or so. They won't be completely crispy until they've cooled.

Not crispy enough? Pop 'em back in the oven! Exact times depends on how thick or thin the slices are and the apple variety, as well as your personal preference - some folks like them to be more leathery and others prefer a crisp chip. You're the boss!

 Reader poll: What is your favorite healthy snack?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple snacks: Apple granola sandwich

I love apples. I love peanut butter. And who doesn't love chocolate? Here is a delicious hearty snack that satisfies that sweet tooth while still being healthy. Only a few minutes and an apple corer are between you and this treat!

An apple corer is a simple little kitchen tool that looked like an over-sized peeler. You use it to cut out the core from a whole apple and then can slice the apple into rounds. This is also helpful for making other apple dishes like apple chips or stewed apples.

Apple Granola Sandwich
  • 1 firm apple
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate granola
  1. Use apple corer to remove core from your apple. Watch your fingers! 
  2. Spread a thin layer of peanut or almond butter on each half of your sandwich. My apple made three sandwiches.
  3. Sprinkle granola on peanut butter and press the two halves to make your sandwich!
Note: if you don't have an apple corer, you can slice your apple into rounds and use a small cookie cutter to remove core, or a paring knife. 

Gather your ingredients
Core the apple
Assemble the sandwiches
Dig in!
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