Thursday, February 7, 2013

10 Simple Healthy Snacks

Try some of my favorite Healthy Snacks with your 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 my 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 my 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. Almond Oatmeal Bars 

These quick, easy bars make a great snack or a unique and nutritious breakfast-on-the-go. Imagine having your cereal, milk, and fruit all rolled into one delicious bar. 

Makes 8 servings

1    cup rolled oats, uncooked (3 ounces)
   cup nonfat dry milk 
½   teaspoon baking powder 
½   teaspoon baking soda
½   teaspoon ground cinnamon 
¼   teaspoon ground nutmeg 
¼   cup raisins 
1    cup applesauce (unsweetened) 
3    tablespoons sugar
1    teaspoon vanilla extract
¾   teaspoon almond extract 

Preheat oven to 350°. 
Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
In a large bowl, combine oats, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix well and stir in raisins.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix well. 
Add dry mixture, mixing until all ingredients are moistened. 
Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. 
Bake 30 minutes, until lightly browned. 
Cool in a pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.  

Calories: 129, Protein: 5.6g, Fat: 0.8g, Carbs: 24.8g, Sodium 158mg, Cholesterol: 2mg 

8. Strawberry Ice Cream

There's just a trace of fat in a frosty, cold dish of this easy ice cream-type dessert. Just throw a few ingredients in the blender and enjoy.

Makes 2 servings

⅓  cup nonfat dry milk
2   tablespoons sugar
½  cup ice water
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
2   cups frozen strawberries (unsweetened), still frozen 

In a blender, combine dry milk, sugar, water, vanilla, and 1 cup of the strawberries.
Blend just until berries are chopped into small pieces. 
Add remaining berries. Blend until smooth.
Spoon into 2 serving bowls and enjoy.

Calories: 209, Protein: 8.2g, Fat: 0.4g, Carbs: 43.2g, Sodium: 111mg, Cholesterol: 4mg

9. Oven-Baked French "Fries"

Can you believe it? These taste so much like the real thing, you'll make them over and over again. Just a spray of nonstick spray and you still have all of the taste without the gobs of fat. 

Makes 4 servings 

4  medium baking potatoes, unpeeled (about 5 ounces each) 
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut Potatoes into strips to resemble French fries. Place on prepared sheet in a single layer.
Spray potatoes lightly with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 
Bake 10 minutes, then stir potatoes and bake 10 minutes more, or until desired crispness is reached. Enjoy!

Calories: 115, Protein: 2.9g, Fat: 0.1g, Carbs: 25.5g, Sodium: 9mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

10. Red, White, and Blueberry Parfaits

This colorful, patriotic dessert is perfect for that Fourth of July picnic. Fresh summer berries are always delicious.

Makes 4 servings 

1   cup strawberries, sliced
½  cup blueberries
2   tablespoons sugar
½  cup part-skim ricotta cheese
½  cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  teaspoon almond extract
  teaspoon orange extract

Place strawberries and blueberries each in a separate small bowl. Toss each with 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
In another bowl, combine ricotta cheese with remaining sugar, yogurt, and extracts. Mix well.
In each of 4 parfait glasses, place 2 tablespoons of the strawberries.
Top each with 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture. Divide blueberries evenly over the parfaits. Divide remaining ricotta mixture over blueberries. Top with remaining strawberries.
Serve right away or chill for up to several hours before serving.

Calories: 113, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2.6g, Carbs: 17.2g, Sodium: 56mg, Cholesterol: 11mg

1 comment:

  1. Love the ideas......Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick