snack attack

Nick and I are not “snack” people. Wait, let me rephrase that: Nick and I both love snacks, and as such, don’t keep many in our kitchen for fear that we will eat them all. Because we absolutely will.

There are a few snacks that we often have on-hand, including microwaveable popcorn (we like the individual 100 calorie bags), Fudgsicles (40 calories, no sugar added), reduced fat Triscuits (which I fatten up with whipped cream cheese, YUM), and cereal. The problem with all of these snacks is that they just feel like empty calories to me lately, even if they’re “low fat” or “low calorie.” And, most importantly, I rarely feel satisfied after eating them. As I’ve been saying basically forever, I need to get some healthy foods into my day-to-day diet, and I just never try hard enough to make the change… but after lots of over-indulging this summer (hello, Phillies games, beach house, and birthdays!), it’s time to get serious.

I don’t love lots of vegetables, but I have to start eating some snacks that are guilt-free and more satisfying. I have overdone it with baby carrots in the past and sometimes now I feel sick just looking at them, but perhaps in moderation I could get back into them. I like most kinds of fruit, but don’t want to overdo it with sugar, either, even if they are “natural” sugars. (Then again, I guess a piece of fruit is still better for me than a plate full of Triscuits and whipped cream cheese. Yummmm.)

Readers, help me out of my snack rut. What is your favorite somewhat healthy snack, and why do you love it?

comments

  1. Greek yoghurt, because it’s super filling while still being relatively low-cal. Also, club crackers with Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Bell peppers were on sale at the grocery store the other day, so I cut up a bunch to snack on… but they aren’t very filling!

  2. My recent go-to snack that I’m in love with (I’ve even craved it lately) is this:
    Whole wheat Ritz crackers (five is a serving)
    1/4 of an avocado
    1/2 tomato, sliced
    salt and pepper

    mash up the avocado and put it on top of the crackers. Salt and pepper the avocado to taste. Top avocado with tomato. Ta-da! It’s delicious and filling. I wish avocado wasn’t fatty, even if it’s the good fat, but this will usually keep me full for a couple hours.

  3. Cottage cheese with berries. I eat it for “breakfast” every day (I bring it to lab and often don’t have time to sit and eat it until after noon but it’s still my first meal of the day) and it is both filling because of the protein and quite healthy. I always get the 1% no sodium added and eat a half cup of cottage cheese with a half cup of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or pineapple stirred in. If you prefer savory, it is also excellent with some diced tomato and basil.

  4. Celery sticks with hummus. The celery is so healthy it’s like not eating at all… and the hummus is all good fats, so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

  5. I like granola bars, fresh fruit, mixed nuts + dried fruit (not too much though), hummus with whole grain crackers and/or fresh veggies. I also like cereal but be careful not to overdo it. I’ve read it’s important to get a mix of carbs (with whole grain/fiber), healthy fat, and protein to keep you full and keep you’re blood sugars balanced. Last year Real Simple magazine had an article about healthy snacking and snack ideas for under 200 calories – not sure if it’s still online, but you might google it!

  6. I love bean dips–hummus is great, but I’m also a fan of this one too: http://themanhattanfoodproject.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/02-06-10-appetizer-no-football-games-required-to-consume/

    Avocado smashed on whole wheat toast with a little olive oil and lemon juice is also really tasty, and I strongly recommend Alton Brown’s spiced almond recipe as almonds make for an excellent snack: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/ginger-almonds-recipe/index.html

    Greek/Greek-style yogurt is AWESOME. It’s great as a snack and it’s also makes for a healthier creamy sauce on braised lentils or some pasta dishes when some garlic is freshly grated into it.

    Part-skim ricotta cheese with a little honey on toast is also really tasty.

  7. Ants on a log! You put some peanut butter (or almond butter) on celery sticks and top them off with raisins.

  8. I LOVE just chopping up a cucumber and tossing it with just a dash of salt. SO delicious!! Also – red bell peppers with hummus are delish. I also love Wasa crispbreads with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. Yummers!

  9. Like others, I would suggest hummus with your choice of veggies. Also, I’ve gotten on a kick of eating Laughing Cow cheese with a gala apple. Surprisingly yummy!

    Another good treat – frozen grapes…or frozen Gogurt!

  10. Hummus! The Sabre brand makes hummus with lots of different flavors in the middle, Chipotle, Supremely Spicy, Jalapeno, Garlic, that are all delicious. I love it with pretzel sticks and baby carrots.

  11. Thanks for all the great ideas. I am totally trying your recipe Jessica! I love hummus and cottage cheese with fruit too.

  12. Granny smith apples. I use an apple slicer so it’s less messy to eat and you get more of the fruit. I also make smoothies with a blender stick: 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup of any fresh or frozen fruit (I love using strawberries and bananas), and a squeeze of honey. Super tasty and so easy to take on the go.

  13. I shall join the hummus bandwagon. We are hummus fiends here. Also regular cheese. Try the mini Laughing Cow ones and maybe some very plain crackers like the Premium Unsalted Tops. Also fruit and baby carrots (usually eaten with hummus). I also like trail mix (try not to get one with chocolate chips) or nuts.

  14. Hummus! I love taking some pita bread, brushing it with a bit of olive oil, baking it in the oven for a few minutes till it’s just crispy, and spreading my hummus straight on those babies.

    I also like brie on Kashi TLC crackers – not so much low-calorie, but oh-so-good, and not terrible if done in moderation. You can also add a piece of pear or granny smith apple to give a little sweetness :)

  15. I too love hummus-with veggies or pita bread. Also love nuts, just a handful of unsalted cashews or almonds does the trick. I also buy bags of frozen berries or pinapple and have some of that when I’m craving something sweet-and I like to eat them frozen! Or in a smoothie with yogurt, some juice and ice. I’ve also heard it’s yummy to pour your leftover smoothie mix into ice trays and eat those as smoothie popsicles!

    I don’t know if you have a Trader Joe’s where you live, but I also get these fruit pieces-sort of like fruit snacks, but 100% fruit, so much healthier for you! Good luck with your healthy snack search!

    (ps, here via weddingbee!)

  16. granola bars are amazing, but if you are trying hard to watch the calories and sugar intake, read the labels, as some of them are high in sugar. on the other hand, if you want to eat them, go for it and don’t worry – you could be eating a lot worse.

  17. Almonds – straight up or with craisins. These are perfect because they store well (in the freezer), aren’t messy and have the good kind of filling protein.

  18. I’m not really sure if this is considered “healthy” but I love a fresh, crisp apple with slices of cheese. Can be any cheese – but usually havarti tops my list. Yes, I eat them together and no, this didn’t start after pregnancy :)

  19. Thank you all for such great ideas! We do eat hummus sometimes but haven’t in a while, so I picked up some last night, as well as some Greek yogurt (I’m not a huge yogurt fan, but I’m trying), Laughing Cow cheese, wheat crackers, carrots, celery, cottage cheese, bananas, an avacado, and a mango. We have no excuse now to pig out :)

    @Audra, we do have a Trader Joe’s (right down the street!) and definitely eat our fair share of those fruit strips! So good. I should have mentioned them in my post!

  20. Yet another vote for hummus. I love TJ’s edamame hummus and also horseradish hummus for a little kick. I eat it with carrots/celery/cucumbers and also TJ’s pretzel slims (I set out my portion beforehand so I don’t go nuts — I can definitely over indulge in salty snacks). I eat a ton of fruit — whatever’s in season. I love half a cup of fat-free greek yogurt and a few frozen mango chunks thrown in. I pack that in the morning and by the time I eat it for an afternoon snack, the mangoes have kind of melted and you don’t need to stir in honey or any other sweetener. Yum. I also am a big fan of almonds. I get the unsalted kind because they don’t taste as good to me as the salty version and I therefore won’t eat the whole pack in one sitting.

  21. I love a big ol’ glass of vegetable juice as a snack. I add hot sauce and lemon juice. It gives me a good dose of vitamins and fills me up!

  22. Raw fruit or veggies! Right now – peaches, avocado, sliced tomato with cracked black pepper. YUM! So much better for you than anything else…I don’t know why people get so bent out of shape over the naturally occuring sugar in fruit. The Atkins Diet scared everyone away and it is so silly!

  23. I would not worry about the sugar in fruit. Like you said, it is still way better than processed snacks and if you actually LIKE it you are more likely to eat it as opposed to choking down more carrots.

    I second the recommendations for greek yogurt – that stuff is awesome and full of protein!

  24. CELERY! I like it with peanut butter, cream cheese, or hummus. Delish!

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