Fight unhealthy snack attacks with guilt-free munchies

Fight unhealthy snack attacks with guilt-free munchies

Let’s face it. We all get the munchies. Whether we’re winding down the evening in front of the TV, working on a project or catching up with friends, it’s easy to whip out a bag of greasy chips, carb-laden pretzels and a big bowl of ice cream with all the fixings. We even snack out of boredom, not of hunger, according to an article on WebMD.

Sadly, we end up regretting it and beat ourselves up. We either try to deprive ourselves from food to make up for overindulging, squeeze in an extra-long workout to shed those empty calories or our unhealthy habits get even worse. But fret not: If you’re a big-time snacker, we came up with a list of tasty treats fit for every foodie. These are enjoyable for kids and the kids-at-heart.

Savory sweets

1. Fruit popsicles: Why get a pricey sorbet when you can make your own tasty treats? For something creamy, mix milk (or a yogurt) with fresh fruit juice, pour in a popsicle mold and freeze for a few hours.

Or, cut watermelons in small cubes and poke them with skewers. You can even add some flair with pineapples, grapes and berries. For an refreshing drink, add in a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade – the perfect summertime treat.

2. Frozen chocolate banana pops: For this easy treat, cut bananas in slices and place a small scoop of peanut butter in between two pieces. Push a Popsicle stick through the middle. Dip into melted dark chocolate and place on parchment paper. Freeze pops for 10 minutes and voilà!

3. Apples with almond butter: This is a glorious combination. Not only do you get the sweetness from the apple and the creaminess of almond butter, you’re taking in all the healthy fats and proteins from the nuts. Apples are a good source of fiber.

4. Chocolate pudding: This nutritious recipe calls for avocados. While it sounds like an unusual ingredient, the results are creamy and fantastic. Plus, you’re getting a great health boost.  Add this with cocoa powder, pure maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract.  You can even add sliced bananas or fresh berries for a kick.

5. Brownies: If you’re following the Paleo diet or heard about its benefits, these Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies are sure to be a hit.

Also, fruits alone work as a healthy “fast food” option. Read more about the benefits of blueberries and citrus fruits.

Salty snacker

Some of us would rather devour a plate full of French fries or a bag of chips over a sundae. These recipes will fulfill your “salty” tooth.

1. Kale chips: Kale chips are a great alternative to regular potato chips. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a knife or kitchen scissors, remove leaves from stems and tear into bite-size pieces. Wash leaves and dry. Drizzle kale with olive oil, sprinkle kale with sea salt and bake for 10-15 minutes.

2. Eggplant “fries”: Slice eggplant and sprinkle with olive oil and flax seeds. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

3. Hummus: This convenient snack can be eaten at home or at the office. Chickpeas are a great source of omega-3, which is found in fish. For vegetarians, this is a smart way to get this nutrient in. Hummus is also rich in protein. Eat with raw veggie sticks or whole grain pita bread or chips.

4. Zucchini Guacamole: A lot of guacamole recipes call for cream cheese and/or sour cream. Why not indulge in a veggie-packed guacamole instead? The crew includes zucchini, onion, garlic, cilantro and roma tomatoes. Mix together with lemon juice, hot sauce and salt. ¡Muy delicioso!

5. White Bean Macadamia Dip: For this tasty dip, add white beans, olive oil, fresh basil and macadamia nuts pureed in a food processor.

On-the-go salty snacks include snap peas, edamame, unsalted nuts, roasted nori and salsa with veggie sticks.

The fun part about whipping up your own snacks is that it also sparks creativity. You may add your own variation to the recipes we suggested, or even explore and discover tasty accompaniments.

If your cabinet is running low on your favorite go-to snacks, now’s a great time to go shopping. Don’t deprive yourself to boring treats, either! The more you enjoy munching on healthy snacks, the more you’re likely to stick to it. Here are tips for smart snacking:

  • Freeze fruit and use them to make a smoothie. Blend with ice, almond milk and even cocoa powder for a power smoothie.
  • Be mindful when you buy groceries. If you’re not loading up your pantry with doughnuts, chips and other unhealthy items, it’ll be a lot easier. Stock up on fruits, veggie sticks and whole grains.
  • Make sure when you’re snacking, get a great balance (healthy fats, unrefined carbohydrates and protein) so you can fuel your body.
  • When are you snacky? When you pay attention to the times that you’re craving, you’ll already be stocked with healthy goodies instead of resorting to the vending machine. Find yourself tiptoeing to your fridge past your bedtime? Here are 10 tips to avoid a late night snack attack.

Once you start snacking in a healthy way, not only will you have room to indulge but your body will thank you. And we’re all about delicious, guilt-free munchies. For more healthy snacks, click here.

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