What can I eat for a healthy snack? It is the most frequently asked question in my line of work. And on some days, I even find myself asking the same question. Eating the same meals and snacks over and over again can get bor-ring so I’m always trying to jazz things up with some new ideas. Here are a few quick snack recipes to help break the monotony of tired trail mixes and yawn worthy yogurts.

Low Effort Snacks

  • Edamame lightly sprinkled with seasonings like garlic salt, tamarind, sea salt
  • Frozen grapes
  • 1 slice of angel food cake with low glycemic fruit like fresh berries
  • 1 small baked sweet sweetened with agave nectar and sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Cucumbers (or your favorite veggie) with Greek tzatziki yogurt dip (you can find this at Trader Joe’s)
  • Popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder
  • Whole toast with almond butter spread
  • Whole grain toast with apple butter (no sugar added version)
  • Whole grain toast topped with ricotta and sliced strawberries

Some Effort Required

  • Bruschetta – cut 1 slice of whole grain bread into 4 quarters; lightly drizzle with olive oil; toast; top with favorite fresh salsa
  • Nectarine sorbet – in a blender, combine 3 ripe peeled, diced nectarine; 2 tbs fresh basil, 2 tbs fresh lemon juice; 1 tbs agave nectar; and ½ cup fresh orange juice; puree until smooth; evenly divide mixture into small containers and freeze for about 3 hours
  • Yes, it’s true. Dark chocolate is healthy for you. It has more antioxidant power than a bowl of blueberries, thanks to the bioflavonoids in chocolate that help to protect against high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol. One study in the Journal of Nutrition found that the consumption of dark chocolate helped to improve the body’s skin-protecting abilities and help to defend the brain against cognitive decline.

Look for dark chocolate that is organic and contains at least 65 percent cocoa. I highly recommend using it for baking rather than the more common highly processed chocolate chips from companies like Nestle (sorry to put you on blast Nestle but it’s time to start making a better product). I also recommend combining a small amount of dark chocolate chips with a handful of raw almonds for a healthy afternoon snack. The protein and fiber from the nuts will help the sugar from the chocolate to be more slowly absorbed into your bloodstream so you can avoid a spike and sustain your energy through that tough part of the day.

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