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Finding healthy snacks can be a daunting task due to our busy lifestyles. Healthy snacking is also often taken to be boring. However, this does not have to be the case. You can make smart snack choices that will make you combat hunger in between meals and also taste good. Here are 10 healthy snacks that you will enjoy having.
1. Chocolate-Covered Fresh Strawberries
If you thought healthy stuff doesn’t have to be sweet then think again. Believe it or not, chocolate can be a healthy snack. One way to mitigate its unhealthy side is by using it as a jacket for a delicious healthy sidekick such as strawberries. You should use the dark variety of chocolate because it is the healthiest.
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 16 ounces dark chocolate chips
- In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate, stirring occasionally till smooth
- Use a toothpick to hold each strawberry and dip it into the chocolate mixture.
- Turn the strawberries upside down and allow them to cool. You can keep them in the fridge for a cold treat on a hot day.
2. Pita Chips
The pita chip is a fairly healthy chip. These chips are delicious and can be bought in single serving packs. Their flavor is similar to that of potato chips but they contain half the fat. These crispy chips are a great after-school or after-work snack. You can choose to buy branded pita chips or make your own by cutting pita bread into chip size pieces.
- 4 pitas
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut each pita into 6 wedges and place them in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the wedges with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Combine salt, chile powder and cumin in a bowl and sprinkle gradually over the wedges.
- Spread a single layer of the wedges on two large baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden and crispy. This takes about 12 minutes.
3. Kale Chips
These chips are a great alternative to potato chips. They are crispy, crunchy, salty, easy to make and way healthier than potato chips. You should therefore opt for them next time you crave a salty snack. They are delicious and have no underhand methods of murdering your body with sodium and cholesterol.
- 1 pound of kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch red pepper
- Rip the kale’s leaves from the stem. Chop them into chip-sized pieces.
- Wash and dry the chips.
- Spread the chips across a baking sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of red pepper and salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Once the kale cools, its crispiness will resemble that of thin potato chips.
4. Turkey jerky
This is a healthy alternative to beef jerky. It keeps fat and sodium to a minimum. It is a great fuel for a long, active day. It is also easy to make. As a matter of fact, you can make it without using a dehydrator. It is super delicious particularly if you preserve the turkey flavor by avoiding use of too much sauce and sugar. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the same beef jerky that you are trying to avoid. Here’s a simple way to prepare turkey jerky without masking its “turkeyness”.
- 2 lbs turkey breast
- A few kabob skewers
- Cut the turkey breast into very thin slices. Try to maintain evenness in the thickness of the slices to make them dehydrate at the same rate.
- Sprinkle the slices with a little salt and pepper.
- Skewer the slices and hang the skewers from your oven’s upper rack. Turn your oven to 200 degrees F and don’t fully close the oven door. Leave an inch or so of opening to allow humidity to escape as the turkey dehydrates.
- Check on the turkey strips periodically. Your jerky will take 6 to 10 hours to be ready. The exact time taken depends on your oven and the thickness of the strips. Your jerky’s done when the strips feel completely hard and dry when touched, are darker in color and break gently when bent. The jerky should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool dry place. You can store it in zip top bags and keep the bags in the freezer.
5. Rice cakes with peanut butter, dried cherries and coconut
Rice cakes are a crunchy substitute for fatty snacks. They have a very low calorie count and are great for people on a diet. Actually, truth be told, they are not exactly a wellspring of nutrients. Fortunately, you can add a dimension of nutrition by topping them with peanut butter.
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- 1 rice cake
- 2 teaspoons of toasted shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons of dried cherries
- Spread the peanut butter on the rice cake
- Sprinkle the cake with the coconut and dried cherries
6. Honey-glazed almonds
This tasty snack is simple to prepare and won’t take much of your time. It can be stored for several days in an airtight container. This snack is a high source of protein and also provides your body with heart-healthy, unsaturated fat.
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cups tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- Cook the almonds over medium heat till lightly toasted while frequently shaking the pan. This should take about 6 minutes.
- Combine the other ingredients in a cup and microwave at high for 30 seconds.
- Add the mixture to the pan and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
- Arrange the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Break up any clusters.
7. Banana-Yogurt Smoothies
Banana and yogurt form a perfect pair in this smoothie which is not only delicious but also delivers a wide range of nutrients. A single glass of this shake delivers protein, calcium, potassium, omega-3s and fibers. You can make it your morning shake or even post-workout smoothie.
- 1 medium-sized banana
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons flaxseeds
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 2/3 cup ice cubes
- Place flaxseeds in a blender and puree until coarsely ground. This will take 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and puree till mixture is smooth and thick.
8. Spiced-up hummus
This is a quick snack that you can make before dinner. You simply throw all ingredients into a food processor, give them a whirl and there, you have yourself a healthy and delicious appetizer. The cilantro, cumin and ginger in the recipe are anti-inflammatory.
- 15 ounces drained chickpeas and 1/4 cup of the drained liquid
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 finely chopped plum tomato
- 2 thinly-sliced scallions
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Place the chickpeas, reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, cumin and ginger in a food processor. Puree until mixture is smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and stir in tomato, scallions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the hummus. If you wish, you can garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.
9. Goat cheese-stuffed tomatoes
This delicious snack will quickly become one of your favorite snacks. It takes a maximum of 15 minutes to prepare.
- 250g pack cherry tomatoes
- 200g soft goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons single cream
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
- 20 small basil leaves
- Use a knife to remove the tops of the tomatoes and a small teaspoon to remove their seeds. Trim the bases of the tomatoes to enable them to sit flat.
- Combine the single cream, pine nuts, goat cheese and chopped leaves, then season. Place the mixture inside each tomato and top with small basil leaves.
10. Red pepper and walnut dip
This is one of the healthiest dips that you can make on your own. Tomato paste and red peppers provide you with cancer-fighting carotenoids. Walnuts and almonds provide protein and unsaturated fat which is good fat.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/4 cup blanched, toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1 whole-wheat baguette cut into a 1/4 inch-thick slices and toasted
- Hold the peppers with tongs and roast them using a gas-stove burner’s flame or a grill until they are blackened all over. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover them with a plastic wrap. Let it stand for 15 minutes then remove skin and seeds.
- Place the peppers, shallot, vinegar, tomato paste, nuts, chili and garlic in a food processor and puree until the mixture is coarsely combined. Transfer to a bowl and serve with the sliced, toasted baguette.
The 10 healthy snacks above will make snack time healthy, tasty and hassle-free. Try and incorporate one or more to your diet plan and give us your feedback.
Did we miss any of your favorite healthy snacks? Which healthy snacks are in your current plan? Let us know your healthy recipes in the comment section below.