Many behaviors can undo a healthy diet and derail your New Year’s resolution to eat better. Chief among those behaviors is unhealthy snacking.
Foods like chips, pretzels, candy, and sweet treats—while yummy—add an unnecessary amount of fat and calories to your diet. The good thing is, if you’re smart about snacking, you can still enjoy foods full of flavor that will keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Who said healthy foods can’t be delicious?
Of course, fresh fruit is enjoyable all by itself, but if you’re looking for a snack that is even more enticing, try dipping your fruit. Combine fresh fruit with Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or hummus. You can even make fruit-flavored hummus like banana or blueberry. When choosing fruit, look for produce that’s in season, like melon during summer and apples or pears during fall.
Next time you’re hungry, try a handful of dried fruit—which is fruit with all of the moisture removed. However, watch your portions with dried fruit—they contain more calories and sugar than their fresh counterparts. Stick with about a quarter cup. And remember, some dried fruits—pineapple, banana chips, cranberries—have more sugar than others to enhance their natural sweetness. Instead, choose dried fruits like apples, apricots, mangoes, cherries, raisins, figs, or papayas.
Craving something crunchy? Skip the chips and pretzels and go with granola instead. It’s tasty eaten plain, but you can also add in yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or cereal. Make sure you’re eating whole grain granola to take advantage of the fiber and antioxidants. Stick to the correct serving size and you’ll have an easy and healthy snack.
Sometimes I forget to count the amount of calories I drink each day. And I’m not the only one. People often forget that beverages like soda and juice can have more sugar and calories than most food.
Next time you’re thirsty, try a big glass of water. Nothing satisfies like it or is better for you, naturally. But, I get it, water isn’t always the most exciting thing to drink.
For extra flavor, you can infuse your water with anything from fresh mint and cucumber slices to oranges and limes. Or get really creative and add frozen fruit to your water to both keep the beverage cold and incorporate more taste and antioxidants.
In addition to our suggestions on how to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, try dipping your favorite vegetables in Greek yogurt or hummus for a great between meals snack.
But you can also transform your vegetables into chips! This way, you can enjoy the crunchy nature of chips without the added fat and calories. For example, beet chips (recipe below) are super simple to make, and only contain a bit of olive oil and sea salt for some seasoning. Eat them plain or with your favorite dip.
Another savory and healthy snack to enjoy are Stuffed Cabbage Bites. For this snack, pieces of cabbage are filled with corned beef and seasoned with ingredients like parsley and horseradish. Not only are these a great snack, but you can serve them as a flavorful appetizer at your next get-together.
In addition to being a great source of whole grain, popcorn is a perfect option to hold you over until the next meal. Why? Because it’s packed with many hidden health benefits. For example, polyphenols are found in popcorn, which contain disease-fighting properties.
But there is one way to take away the healthy nature of popcorn—smothering it in salt and butter. There are many ways to give this snack flavor. Instead of salt and butter, try topping it with 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Or, sprinkle your snack with 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon orange zest, and a pinch of garlic powder for a citrus flavor.
2 medium beets, any variety
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste (optional)
Notes: To create thin, even slices, use a mandoline slicer. We’ve also sliced beets with a sharp knife. The slices, however, were thicker and uneven, requiring longer baking times.
If you’ve worked with fresh beets, you know beet juice stains everything from fingers and cutting board to favorite aprons and dish towels. To prevent staining, wear food-safe gloves while handling cut beets and wash or wipe tools and surfaces immediately after slicing the beets. Makes 1 to 2 servings
Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in middle positions.
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (optional if using nonstick baking sheet).
Gently scrub beets to remove dirt and debris. Rinse well, pat dry, and trim ends. Peel beets with vegetable peeler if outer skins are tough. Slice into 1/16-inch thick slices using a mandoline slicer. Place beet slices in a large bowl and toss with extra-virgin olive oil. Each slice should have a thin coat of oil.
On each baking sheet, arrange slices in a single layer. Note that beets shrink significantly during baking.
Transfer hot chips to a wire cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Chips crisp even more as they cool. Store cooled chips in an airtight container. Enjoy plain or with a favorite dip.
12 Savoy cabbage leaves, washed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 cup parsley
4 slices rye bread
1 pound corned beef
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 carrots, julienned
Boil a large pot of water. Place cabbage leaves in water and cook until tender (about 2 minutes).
Remove from boiling water and rinse with cold water. Pat dry.
Mix mayonnaise with horseradish and parsley.
Spread mixture onto cabbage leaves.
Cut rye bread into thin strips.
Slice corned beef into strips and toss with whole-grain mustard.
Top each cabbage leaf with a few slices of bread and a few slices of corned beef.
Sprinkle each leaf with julienned carrots.
Roll up leaves with ingredients inside and slice in half.
Serve cold. Serves 10-12.
Categories: Food & Recipes