“I want a snack!” – do you ever feel like that phrase gets uttered repeatedly in your household? Either by kids or by your own subconscious? It is really easy to fall into the trap of grabbing whatever is in plain sight to satisfy that urge whether it be good, bad, or ugly. A great way to set yourself up for snacking success is to have things prepped and ready to go for when the urge strikes. You’ll make more mindful choices, and your health will thank you (and likely repay you). Here are a couple of grab and go options that won’t break the caloric bank, or leave you feeling guilty:
Vegetables and Hummus
I know, I know, hummus. But the reality is hummus is made of chickpeas and chickpeas serve up both protein and fiber…things that keep your system humm-ing along. You can purchase hummus at the store or, for a fraction of the cost, throw a can of chickpeas in the food processor along with olive oil and whatever “flavor” you are in the mood for. Add olive oil little by little until you reach your desired consistency. Lemon juice can also be added when in need of more liquid. Lots of people love red pepper hummus, or garlic hummus, or kalamata olive hummus. You can be the master of your creation by adding in whatever accouterment you are in the mood for. Set the hummus aside and chop up some veggies and you’ll have a great option to satisfy your need to dip.
Popcorn is another great fibrous solution that will help to quell that snacking urge by giving you something salty (or savory) and crunchy to chew on. An air popper is ideal for this as you can, again, master your creation. A little butter and/or olive oil with some lemon pepper or parmesan cheese can do wonders for a salty craving. If you are after spicy, a little Frank’s Red Hot sauce will go a long way. If you are lacking inspiration, perhaps one of the following recipes from the Food Network will pique your interest: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-flavored-popcorn-recipes. Store your popcorn in an airtight container and you can snack on it for a couple of days (if it lasts that long!).
As far as advanced prep snackability, not all fruits are created equal. Certain fruits like melon, pineapple, watermelon, and blueberries are a little easier to wash, prepare and set aside for future consumption than raspberries, strawberries, and nectarines, for example, which tend to get a little soggy once they’ve been sliced. Keep this in mind if you want to have prepped container, which is a great way to increase your fruit intake on a daily basis.
There are loads more options available for nutritious snacking, but these are a couple that doesn’t require any unique ingredients and won’t break the bank. Happy snacking!