Tuesday, June 26, 2012

7 Easy Summer Snacks!

Try making some of these summer favorites for you and the family!


 1. Cinnamon Popcorn

This truly nutritious snack is low in calories and high in protein and fiber. Unfortunately, most of the popcorn available in the grocery store, even the type of microwaves, has fat added. The best popcorn is made with a hot air popper. That way, you can control the toppings. In this recipe we’ve added cinnamon for an unusual flavor.

Makes 4 servings (1 cup each serving)

2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups freshly popped popcorn (Use a hot air popper.)
    Nonstick cooking spray

Combine cinnamon and sugar.
Spread popcorn on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Calories: 35, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 7g, Sodium: 0mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

2. Frozen Juice Cubes

When you crave something sweet, why not try a frozen juice cube. They’re icy cold and delicious, and take a while to eat. For a special “reward”, place a raisin, an almond, or any small piece of fruit in the center of each cube.

Makes 6 servings (2 cubes per serving)

1-1/2 cups orange juice, or any flavor unsweetened fruit juice

Pour juice into an ice cube tray. Add any "reward". Freeze. When cubes are solid, place them in a plastic bag and return to freezer.
Enjoy them right from the freezer.

Calories: 28, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 7g, Sodium: 0mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

3. Nutty Frozen Banana

When our children were small, this was one of their favorite snacks. It’s a wonderful alternative to an ice cream bar.

Makes 2 servings (1/2 banana each serving)

1 medium, ripe banana
½ ounce finely chopped walnuts

Peel banana and cut in half, crosswise.
Spread chopped nuts on a piece of wax paper. Roll the banana in the nuts, carefully pressing the nuts into the banana. (Feel free to add any other nut or even raisins)
Roll up the banana in the wax paper and freeze 1 hour. (If you have 2 ice cream sticks, insert 1 into the cut end of each banana before freezing.)
Enjoy them right from the freezer.
Calories: 98, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 15g, Sodium: 1mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

4. Cinnamon Bread Sticks

These crisp snacks are so easy to make. Why not make a lot of them, so they’ll be handy to munch. And, for an interesting variation, omit the sugar and cinnamon and lightly sprinkle with garlic powder instead.

Makes 4 servings (6 sticks each serving)

4 slices thin- sliced whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons reduced-calorie margarine
 1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Spread margarine on bread, using ½ teaspoon for each slice.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly on bread.
Cut each slice into 6 even strips. Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with a nonstick cooking spray.
Bake 18 minutes, until crisp. Remove to a rack to cool.

Calories: 53, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 10g, Sodium: 115mg, Cholesterol: 0mg 

5. Fruity Gel

Here’s a gelatin dessert that’s as easy to prepare as the kind in the box, but with no added sugar. And, you can make it any flavor you like.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups orange juice (unsweetened) or any other flavor fruit juice or combination of juices
1 envelop unflavored gelatin
Extra fruit chunks (optional)

Sprinkle gelatin over half of the juice in a small saucepan. Let soften a few minutes.
Heat, stirring frequently, over low heat, until gelatin is completely 
dissolved. Remove from heat.
Stir in remaining juice.
Pour mixture into 1 serving bowl or 4 individual bowls, or a pan if you prefer to cut into small pieces. 
(At this point, you may add fruit chunks if you'd like) 

Calories: 62, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 13g, Sodium: 3mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

6. Frozen Banana Yogurt

So cool and refreshing, this dessert is one of our summertime favorites.

Makes 4 servings

2 medium, ripe bananas cut into chunks
¼ cup orange juice (unsweetened)
½ cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener equivalent to 9 teaspoons sugar)
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white

In a blender container, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan. Place in freezer for 1 hour, until crystals form around edge of pan and mixture is slushy.
Remove from freezer. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute on medium speed and then 1 minute on high speed.
Return mixture to pan and freeze at least 1 hour.

Calories: 143, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 30g, Sodium: 64mg, Cholesterol: 3mg

7. Chocolate Raisin Crunch

Makes 4 servings

2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cocoa (unsweetened)
   Sweetener equivalent to 8 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons raisins
1-1/2 ounces corn flakes cereal

In a small bowl, combine dry milk and cocoa.
Add remaining ingredients in order given, mixing well.
Press mixture into the bottom of a 4 x 8-inch nonstick loaf pan.
Cover and refrigerate until firm.
To serve, cut into squares.

If you use sugar or fructose as sweetener, use only 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons water.

Calories: 111, Protein: 7g, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 20g, Sodium: 199mg, Cholesterol: 2mg

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