For many women, dieting equals food restriction. Snacks? They usually get eliminated in the name of saving calories. But snacking when you're watching your weight is actually a good idea. "[When dieting,] people often wait too long in between meals, so by the time they eat, they're so hungry, their portions or choices are out of control," says Linda McLachlan, RD, CDN, a New Jersey dietitian with Nutrition Matters, LLC. "Snacking helps keep you satisfied and wards off cravings." Here, seven low-calorie snacks to help you with your diet goals.
As a Web exclusive, we've included a bonus weekend plan so you can indulge (a little!) without sabotaging your success. The menus for Saturday and Sunday include fewer snacks to make way for a treat, whether it's a fast-food fix or glass of wine with dinner. Feel free to swap snack for snack during the week; on weekends, only the snacks that don't constitute breakfast, lunch, or dinner are interchangeable. Follow the plan for a month and you could lose up to eight pounds. Now, that's our idea of a treat.
I want to make fermented cheeses though and will be experimenting a lot. I did recently use sunflower seeds in a recipe for cashew cheese (who can afford cashews these days!) and it turned out amazingly cheezy. I was making a quiche but the texture of the quiche was off (I only had extra firm tofu) and although it was really tasty, it wasn’t a huge success. I didn’t want to waste it so I boshed the quiche (I made it crustless) into a large batch of bechamel sauce that I was making for a vegan lasagna and it made the sauce AMAZING. Here’s the sunflower seed recipe if you want. I do have a vitamix blender (prehistoric from WAY back last century when we worked) but I am quite sure as the sunflower seeds are soaked, that you could get away with a cheaper blender or food processor, just let it run for a bit. Hope you like it. It tastes really cheesy.
Granola bars are perfect for so many moments: breakfast time; an at-work or school-safe snack; a picnic, playground, or on-the-trail treat; an after-school “moooooooom I’m hungry” snack; or even (if they’re really good) an after-dinner snack to crush your sugar cravings. But did you know that homemade granolas are super easy to make at home and have way less sugar than their storebought counterparts? We’ve got this easy granola bar recipe for you today that is packed full of protein and healthy fats AND it 100% vegan!
But first, a bit of definition: "Free foods," in my opinion, are those that have 25 calories or less per reasonable serving. "Almost free foods" have 25 to 60 calories per reasonable serving. Portion control is key here. While 2 cups of popped, 94% fat-free microwave popcorn may contain only 40 calories, if you eat the entire bag you'll end up with closer to 200 calories -- definitely not an "almost free" food situation.
For this saucy Korean-style cauliflower snack, you can toss the golden-brown nuggets in either a sweet soy-garlic sauce or a sweet-and-spicy chili sauce, depending on your taste. The cauliflower florets' thin, shatteringly crisp crust is thanks to the same cornstarch, flour, and vodka batter we use for our Korean fried chicken—it's perfect for soaking up either sauce. We add sesame seeds and coconut flakes to the batter to give it a nice nuttiness and extra crunch. Leave out those ingredients, and your fried cauliflower is great for serving Buffalo-style.
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it's a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient-keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.
For the BOSH! Balls: Preheat the oven to 180℃. Place the oats, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut and pecan on a baking sheet and toast for 5- 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. Place the dates, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a food processor and puree. Remove and add to a mixing bowl. Add the cooled toasted oats, seeds and nuts and the chopped chocolate. Mix well together using your hands or a wooden spoon.
Although fall is the synonymous season of pumpkin EVERYTHING, if you’re on the keto diet, you shouldn’t skip pumpkin seeds. They’re loaded with healthy fats and protein, and this smoky snack only has four simple ingredients. Get the recipe from DeSantis here, which uses smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, and your choice of oil (for more healthy fat!).
Who doesn’t love a good snack? They’re essential for staving off hunger between meals and keeping you fueled from your early morning workout until your late night dinner with friends. But small bites can also be a nutritional trap, providing few nutrients and tons of unnecessary calories. A 2012 study examining the diets of nearly 5,000 adults found that almost a third of their daily calorie intake was from “empty,” or nutritionally void, snack calories.
One cup sliced cucumbers and 10 large olives makes for a great keto-friendly snack, with added benefits: “This is a great snack to help people in ketosis supplement their sodium levels." says Desiree Nielsen, RD, author of Un-Junk Your Diet. When you're in ketosis, your body needs more sodium, and “without adequate sodium, people are at risk for dehydration, constipation, and more dangerous electrolyte imbalances," she adds.
Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is exclusively found in animal products (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2016). This vitamin is important for red blood cell formation and metabolic processes. Non-vegan vegetarians may obtain vitamin B12 from eggs, milk, or other dairy products. Vegans may need a dietary supplement to get enough, although breakfast cereals and other products are sometimes fortified with the vitamin.
One cup sliced cucumbers and 10 large olives makes for a great keto-friendly snack, with added benefits: “This is a great snack to help people in ketosis supplement their sodium levels." says Desiree Nielsen, RD, author of Un-Junk Your Diet. When you're in ketosis, your body needs more sodium, and “without adequate sodium, people are at risk for dehydration, constipation, and more dangerous electrolyte imbalances," she adds.
If you're craving something sweet and sinful, grab this mini pack of jelly beans. With just 4 calories in each bean, they're the slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, toasted marshmallows, and strawberry shortcake. As an added bonus: Jelly Belly uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans. It's still candy in every sense, but it's certainly the lesser of many sugar-loaded evils.
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