Beyond Chips and Candy: Exploring Unique and Healthy Snack Alternatives
Chips, cookies, candy - they're tasty treats we're all used to snacking on. But these conventional options are often packed with sugar, unhealthy fats, and excess calories, while lacking nutritional value. If you're looking to boost your snacking game and nutrition at the same time, it's time to think beyond the usual bags of chips and handfuls of sweets. There's a whole world of interesting, good-for-you snacks out there!
Satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt
Dried fruits offer a sweetness reminiscent of candy, but with the benefit of fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. Raisins, apricots, cranberries - they all make portable, energizing snacks. You can buy dried fruit pre-packaged, but for added freshness, consider making your own by slicing fruit like apples, bananas or mango and drying them in the oven at a low temp. Mix up an enticing trail mix by combining dried fruit with nuts and seeds.
Super seeds the powerhouse of energy
Speaking of seeds, these nutritional powerhouses deserve a spot in your snack rotation. Pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flaxseeds offer a hefty dose of protein, fiber and healthy fats. For added crunch and flavor, try tossing raw seeds in olive oil and spices before lightly roasting in the oven. Then enjoy sprinkled on yogurt, salads, oatmeal or all on their own.
Nuts are another smart snack option with their protein, fiber and healthy fats. Almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios are all tasty choices. Go for raw or dry-roasted over heavily salted. Since they're calorie dense, keep portions in check - a small handful is plenty.
For a flavor punch, make your own roasted, spiced nuts. Toss raw almonds, cashews or peanuts in spices like cayenne, cinnamon, cumin or garlic powder before roasting them in the oven until crispy. The enticing spices add lots of flavor without extra calories or sodium.
Jaggery Coated Nuts
Give nuts a sweet touch by coating them in jaggery, an unrefined natural cane sugar. Simply melt jaggery in a pan with a bit of water over low heat. Then toss in your nuts of choice until coated. Let them cool and enjoy this healthier take on sweet, candy-coated nuts.
When that snack craving strikes, resist the urge to default to chips, cookies or chocolate. With ingredients like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and jaggery, you can make smart snacking choices that satisfy your tastebuds and give your body lasting energy and nutrients. Mix up your on-the-go options to add a tasty dose of nutrition to your day. Your body will thank you!