When you’re in the mood for a salty snack, a big, shiny bag of potato chips is hard to resist. Tempting as they are, the next time you’re craving a crunchy, handy treat, keep in mind these eight healthier alternatives.
- Baked Plantain Chips: Plantains, a green cooking banana, are quite different from the yellow bananas many have for breakfast. You can slice them thin, spread them on a pan and bake them up for a pretty healthy snack. A cilantro or garlic sauce makes a great dip.
- Roasted Morrocan-Spiced Chickpeas: Chickpeas, with their high protein content, are one of the healthiest foods out there. This recipe combines a recipe for roasted chickpeas from the South Beach Diet Cookbook with an exotic blend of spices.
- Olives: These are available with an assortment of fillings and all shapes and sizes. Stuffed with almonds, capers, red peppers or even garlic, these tiny delights are great to pop in your mouth as a snack. For the best flavor, head right to the deli section at the supermarket or gourmet shop and buy the cured ones by the pound. And don’t be scared off by the large selection — take a bunch of each and give them a try! When entertaining, it might be easier for your guests if you serve olives that have had the pits removed.
- Edamame: Fresh or dried, these soy beans are an awesome snack. If you like going to Japanese restaurants, you’ll probably recognize them as a common appetizer. You can buy bagged, frozen edamame and steam or boil them quickly. Or, you can buy shelled, dried soybeans, which you just pop in your mouth like peanuts!
- Snack Mix: These DIY mixes typically combine a crunchy cereal, pretzels, nuts, savoury seasoning and perhaps a handful of something sweet, like chocolate chips. They’re kid- and grownup-friendly, and make for a party in your mouth.
- Homemade Granola: Why buy hard, processed granola when you can make a warm, fresh batch at home? This is my favorite recipe because of the blend of nuts, seeds and the flavorful surprise twist of coconut. I make a big batch on a Saturday night and cozy up on the couch with a big bowl, and then save the extra to have at my desk at work. Yum!
- Spiced Popcorn: As long as you don’t drench it in melted butter, popcorn is a low-calorie, high-fibre snack. This recipe uses Parmesan cheese and rosemary to add flavour to a bag of low-fat microwave popcorn. If these flavours don’t appeal to you, simply spritz your popcorn with an oil spray and add your favourite spices.
- Animal Crackers: There are some days when I just have to have a cookie. Eating animal crackers just makes me feel like a mischievous little kid and, luckily, they’re fairly healthy in comparison to other cookies. Many brands, like Newman’s Own alphabet crackers have no cholesterol, no trans-fats and are made with oils that are not hydrogenated. The chocolate ones are great!
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