Eating healthily is a challenge for anyone, but when you are pressed for time, it becomes even more difficult.
The biggest culprit in ruining a day of healthy eating is snacks. Creating a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner is usually simpler because you are taking time out of your day to eat these meals. Snacking is often done on the go and is where many people trip up.
The best snack foods are almost always filled with calories, preservatives and other things that are bad for you. Luckily, choosing healthy snacks is not too difficult. It just takes a bit more willpower and a changeup of your grocery list.
Some of the best things to snack on are fruits and vegetables. Most people do not get their recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables, and eating these foods when you snack can help you reach that.
There are many dips and things you can mix into fruits and vegetables that will not only make them yummier, but will also help boost your energy. Hummus is great for dipping vegetables. It is made with crushed chickpeas and can give you added protein, along with the vegetables.
Fruit goes great with low-fat yogurt. Buying a plain container of Greek or regular yogurt and adding in chopped strawberries, pineapples or any other fruit of your choice can help satisfy a sweet tooth without adding unneeded extra calories.
Many people choose granola bars when they are on the go and want a healthy snack. One of the best things to do to save money and ensure that you are eating something that is good for you is to make your own granola bars. This recipe only takes about an hour to make, but will provide you with snacks all week. It is also gluten-free and vegan. These bars can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month.
Backed Zucchini Chips:
Canola oil spray
Seasoning of your choice (ex. Seasoned salt, chili powder, Cavender’s)
Preheat the oven to 225 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and then spray with canola oil.
Slice zucchini into small pieces (about the thickness of a quarter).
Lay out slices on the baking sheet, and spray the tops lightly with the canola spray.
Season slices to your own taste (less is more, though, considering that the slices will shrink a great deal in the oven).
Bake chips for 45 minutes.
Rotate tray, and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, depending on your desired level of crispiness.
Nuts, cottage cheese, string cheese, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, rice cakes, air-popped popcorn and dry healthy cereal are also good options for those looking to snack smarter.
Choosing to eat healthier is a conscious decision and must be made every day, but healthy food gives you more energy and nutrients without any unneeded calories, sugars and fats. Snacking healthier can be the first step toward leading a healthier lifestyle.
Dried Fruit Snack Bars:
1 cup dried fruit of your choice
8 ounces unsweetened applesauce (Musselman’s makes an organic, sugar-free applesauce, which can be found at local stores like Walmart and Harp’s)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/3 cup chia seeds
¼ cup flaxseed meal (this, along with the seeds and oats, can be found at natural food stores, like Ozark Natural Foods, and in organic/natural sections of regular grocery stores)
½ cup water
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the flax seed meal with the water in a bowl, then wait a few minutes until it becomes gelatinous.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl together until they are combined.
Put mixture onto the baking pan and bake until set, but also still soft (about 25 minutes).
Let cool completely, then slice into bars.
For those of you that love crunchy chips, using other, healthier, fruits and vegetables to make chips can help you satisfy your need to crunch. Apple chips and banana chips are some of the better-known snacks like this. But if you want something less sweet to snack on, slicing up veggies to make into chips is definitely something worth trying.
This recipe makes one serving of chips (about 1/3 of a cup). These chips are best to consume a few hours after baking because they are most crisp then.