When Snacks are FOOD

Snacks are important. They sate the hungries in between meals, particularly important for that mid-afternoon sprint. Good snacks prevent the big blood sugar dips and peaks during the day and help us avoid the sugar-laden Snickers temptations that really don’t do much for us nutritionally and just make us hungrier in a short time. Good snacks, for me, are mini-meals with a good amount of protein to make them satisfying and they appeal to my craving desires, whatever that might be at any given moment. Since I track and limit calories, it’s important to me that snacks are reasonably low in calorie as well.

I’ve already shared several recipes that make for excellent, wholesome snacking such as:

Other quick-fix favorites include:

Shrimp Cocktail: 6-7 large boiled shrimp (I buy the pre-cooked frozen shrimp for quick, easy snacks or appetizers) with Cocktail Sauce: ketchup, horseradish, and lemon juice. Really. That’s all that’s in there. Give it a Southwest kick by replacing the lemon juice with fresh lime juice and adding fresh chopped cilantro. About 100 calories total.

Pintos ‘n’ Cheese: 1/2 cup fat-free Refried Beans topped with 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Nuke for about a minute to get the cheese all melty. 200 calories. Add a little salsa or Pico de Gallo for added yum.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit: 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with canned pineapple chunks or peach slices, mixed fruit, etc. Under 200 calories.

Latte: I don’t have an Espresso maker so I make strong coffee in my French press, then add scalded milk with a little vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon, and pinch of Stevia sweetener. I mix about half coffee, half milk. Under 100 calories.

Apples ‘n’ Cheddar: Sweet Red Delicious apple slices with slices of sharp block cheddar cheese. About 200 calories.

Tuna, chicken, or egg salad with whole grain crackers. I pre-portion these before I sit down to munch to avoid over-doing it to keep calories at 250 or less. Great take-to-work snack in a 1/2 cup container with small baggie of crackers.

Stuffed Jalapenos: Slice large, whole canned jalapeno peppers lengthwise, rinse out seeds, and trim away veins. Stuff each half with about a tablespoon of Neufchatel cheese (also sold as low-fat cream cheese). 55 calories each. Beats the hell outa stuffed celery!

Tomato ‘n’ Cheese Toast: Top a slice of whole wheat bread with tomato slices (or Pico de Gallo is even better if you happen to have some made.). Top with a slice of Pepper Jack, American, or Swiss cheese. Toast in toaster oven or under oven broiler until cheese melts and starts to brown. Under 150 calories.

Know what else is food?



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