Got the munchies? Try this….
By Laura Kelly-Pifer
If your family is like mine, snuggling on the couch catching a movie on a Saturday night is a fairly regular thing once colder weather hits. For other folks, it might be a football or hockey game. Regardless of what you enjoy doing there may be a time or two that you get the munchies. Today I want to share with you a few snacks that you can enjoy without all the extra calories. These are some that I make here in my own home and are family friendly too.
– Popcorn. It’s one of my favorite snacks hands down. If you decide you want to have a bowl, go ahead and do so. Three cups of “air-popped” popcorn have just 93 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. If you don’t have access to an air-popper and using a microwavable version, just make sure you read the label and go for a plain version. You can then add your own toppings like herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, some garlic powder or cayenne pepper. Here’s a tasty version of popcorn that I just discovered and made the other day.
Chocolate Shakeology Drizzled Popcorn
Ingredients: 1/4 c unpopped popcorn popped in a hot air popper, 2 tsp Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, 1/4 cup coconut oil, sea salt to taste
Directions: Pop the unpopped popcorn in a hot air popper. Melt the coconut oil. Add Chocolate Vegan Shakeology to coconut oil, stirring thoroughly. Drizzle over popcorn. Season to preference with sea salt.
– Bean dip. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and don’t have tons of calories like other dips do. They are very versatile too. Normally you might think just used for a main dish, but using a can of beans already in your cabinet, you can make your own dip. Here’s how: Using your food-processer, empty one can of black or pinto beans and then add water to create your desired consistency. Next, add some chopped bell or jalapeño peppers, green onions, or canned corn to add a crunchy texture or some chopped tomatoes for a little extra flavor and vitamins. Instead of tortilla chips, use baked chips or, better yet, some raw, crunchy veggies, like carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower.
– Salsa. This is the perfect mix of tomatoes, onions, and peppers—all members of the top tier of my “New You” Food Guide. It’s low in calories and high in fiber. When I have the opportunity, I make my own by dicing a few tomatoes and onions and then mix with minced jalapeno and/or garlic. (Just be sure to ear gloves when mincing the jalapeno.) You’ll then want to add fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste and toss the veggies in the juice of two limes and then refridgerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
– Mini-pizzas. These are my absolute fave’s. Here’s how the girls and I make ours. Just take half of a whole wheat English muffin add a little tomato sauce or low-sodium pizza or spaghetti sauce and then a sprinkle of low-fat mozzarella cheese. Then broil until the cheese melts. Feel free to add your own toppings. Peppers, mushrooms, and onions are few that I like and are healthy. Just stay away from processed meats like pepperoni, which are often loaded with saturated fat, carcinogenic nitrates, and sodium.
– Pita chips and hummus. These are great for snacking, taking to a party or serving along side a salad. You’ll want to use a large whole wheat pita and then cut around the edge of the pita with a small paring knife, so you have two discs. Then with a knife or pizza cutter, cut the discs into eighths or smaller chip-size pieces. Arrange the pieces on an aluminum-foil-covered cookie sheet, lightly spray with some olive oil cooking spray, and sprinkle with a little salt or low-fat Parmesan cheese or your favorite dried herbs. Cook in the oven or toaster oven until lightly browned and crispy and serve with your favorite hummus or the bean dip recipe I gave you earlier.
– Relish tray. This is a Sunday staple in my home during football season. Some of our favorite snacks are cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers, radishes, broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and olives to name a few. Once again, that versatile bean dip can be used or you can mix a container of low fat sour cream and a packet of dip mix and you’ve got a snack that will work for any occasion.
So, inquiring minds want to know…. What do you like to snack on? Do you make your own or buy prepared? I’d love to hear your comments.
Wishing you good health!
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Laura Kelly-Pifer is a Fitness Coach who strives to help others by giving hope and support to those that are dissatisfied with their current situation. Whether you are lacking physically, emotionally, financially, or nutritionally she is here to help you see REAL RESULTS!