10 Healthy Snacks for Nibblers
Got the Hunger Craving at 3PM?
If your usual snack consists of a candy bar or bag of chips, and you're ready to make some changes in your diet, then this article is for you. There are plenty of healthy snack choices out there if you know where to look. The key is to get prepared and ready so when you have a snack attack you'll have healthy choices to turn to. Try some of my favorites below.
Fresh fruit makes for a lovely snack. Examples of healthy fruit snacks include cold grapes, cherries, an apple, a ripe pear, a banana, or an orange or tangerine. Fruit makes an ideal snack because of its size and most of it is portable. Keep a large fruit bowl handy so when you get a craving for something sweet you can grab a handful of grapes or a pear rather than something you may regret later.
2. Dehydrated Fruit
Dehydrated fruit also makes a yummy snack. Examples include dried apple, dehydrated banana chips, dried apricot (my personal favorite), and everything from dried mango to dried pineapple. This also includes natural fruit leathers and dried fruit rolls, if the ingredients are simple, whole, and natural fruits. There are a ton of healthy choices, although you may want to watch how much you are eating of dehydrated fruit because it is concentrated calories. If you just want a little pick-me-up, dehydrated fruit can be very convenient to bring along on trips or to have waiting in the car for emergency snacking.
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3. Baby Carrots and Hummus
Baby carrots make for tasty snacks and eating them with with a low-fat dairy-free hummus can be delicious. You can also try bell pepper strips with hummus, which have a nice, light sweet crunch, and celery with hummus. All of these healthy veggies are low in calories and have antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber ~ all the things your body needs without causing weight gain.
4. Air-Popped Popcorn
Make your own oil-free popcorn easily by microwaving popcorn kernels in a paper bag. Avoiding oil means avoiding extra fat calories. Air-popped popcorn is low calorie and satisfies that craving when you want a crunchy snack. You can season your air-popped popcorn with Mrs. Dash, cumin or curry spices, tabasco sauce, or my personal favorite, nutritional yeast. Or just eat it plain. Try spritzing the popcorn with a fine mist of water to help the seasonings stick. If you're more adventurous, try an equal mixture of soy sauce and vinegar in the spray bottle.
5. Homemade Corn Chips
You can make your own corn chips by cutting a simple ingredient corn tortilla into 8 equal parts. Lay out the chips on a non-stick pan and spritz with water. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 and then take them out and spray again and put them back in to bake for another 5 minutes. Do one more spraying and bake for another 2-3 minutes. They should turn out crisp and delicious. These chips are healthy, lower calorie than fried chips, and can be eaten with an oil-free salsa. Once again, we remove the oil to lessen the calories and also to protect our heart vessels from the added fat in the oil.
6. Homemade Pita Chips
Choose whole wheat pita bread and cut with clean scissors or a knife into 8 equal parts. Separate the thin chips from the thicker chips and bake on a non-stick cookie sheet at 350 for about 5 minutes for each tray. They are done when the are crispy and just lightly browned. Homemade pita chips are great with a bean dip, hummus dip, or a healthy salsa.
7. Celery or Apples with a Nut Butter
This simple snack can satisfy but you may want to skip it or watch the amount of nut butter you use if you are trying to lose weight because nut butters are concentrated calories and higher in fat. If you are athletic and at an ideal weight, you may not have a problem indulging in this food and it can provide more calories for you for your workouts. I would choose a fresh, natural nut butter rather than a premade nut butter because that way you leave out the hydrogenated oils.
Edamame is the soybean pods. They're very yummy if you steam them then open them up and eat the soybeans inside. They make for a tasty and healthy snack.
9. Snap Peas
Snap peas also make for a yummy and simple snack. Simple eat them raw. You can dip them in hummus or salsa or just eat them plain. They are very low calorie and can be purchased separately or found at salad bars.
Berries are my favorite snack. Strawberries and cherries are very healthy, low in calorie, and full of antioxidants and other vitamins our bodies need to function well. Blueberries are also yummy snacks. If its out of season, you may be able to find frozen cherries and thaw them and eat them raw as snacks. You can also make a quick bowl of oatmeal and throw some berries on top for a more hearty snack that is still very healthy.