We're a nation of grazers. Like our animal friends, we travel from one meal to another, interspersed with between-snack snacks! The low-carb way of life doesn't have to exclude snacking. So whether you're in a mood to nibble or just plain hungry, here are lots of snack ideas that will keep you satisfied, energized and low-carbing it!
The best part of the snacks listed below may very well be that you can share them will your family, friends and colleagues whether they are eating low carb or not. It will give you a chance to show those you love that everyone can appreciate a low-carb boost.
On the go high-protein snacks
1. Hard-boiled eggs. What's not to like about hard-boiled eggs? They travel well, store for a few days in the refrigerator and give low-carbers a boost of high-protein.
2. Deli meat roll-ups. Start with a slice of ham, smear on some chive cream cheese (for sticking power) and add a slice of provolone. Roll them up. Thanks to the cream cheese's adhesive personality, you can slice the ham roll-ups into pretty pinwheels, or eat as one long snack.
3. Cheese crisps. It may take a few tries to get these just right but it's worth it. Grate cheddar cheese and form into flat patties. Lightly oil a skillet and place over medium heat. Place one or two patties at a time into pan and let them cook until they are bubbly. Use a spatula to move the melting cheese around, as if you were scrambling eggs. Cheese will turn a golden brown. Flatten and remove from heat. Let cool until crisp.
4. Nuts and seeds. When snacking on nuts and seeds, keep track of the amount you are eating to avoid packing in too many carbohydrates. A handful of macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds can break a mid-afternoon slump. Need to munch while watching television or reading? Buy sunflower seeds in the hull to slow down your eating.
5. Leftovers and extras. Make a little extra for dinner so you'll have something you can pack up or just snatch and snack on. Meatballs, chicken drumsticks, shrimp and steak strips are all tasty cold, or quick to warm up.
Can't wait to eat snacks
6. Olives. Keep a jar of black olives in your refrigerator for a quick stomach filler between meals.
7. Pork rinds. These have satisfied the potato chip and cracker longings of many a low-carber. The crunch is great and if you can't get past the idea of eating pork skins, try the hot or barbecue flavored ones.
8. Toasted almonds. Almonds are packed with nutrition. Make them special by heating up an skillet (cast iron skillets are perfect for this) and tossing kosher salt, chile powder or onion salt in to warm up. When seasonings are warm, add almonds and cook until the nuts release their warm scent.
9. Pepitos. Toast the same way you toast almonds, except these green pumpkin seeds plump up when toasted. This is a great snack for children and adults alike.
10. Raw vegetables. Keep sliced red peppers, cherry tomatoes, sliced celery and cucumber coins in the refrigerator for a satisfyingly cool retreat from a busy afternoon.
Elegant snacks to share
11. Artichoke appetizers. Just open a can of artichoke hearts (not marinated), crush one-half cup of pork rinds and grate one-half cup of hot pepper cheese. Either halve the artichoke hearts if they are canned whole, or use as is if you have a can of artichoke halves already. Stuff the rounded out part with cheese and roll the whole thing in pork rind crumbs. Bake on an oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees for 13 minutes. Eat warm.
Per artichoke heart: 3.1g carbs; .5g fiber; 4g protein; 3g fat; 9mg cholesterol; 186mg sodium; 57 calories
12. Stuffed zucchini boats. This is a delicious way to use up all the zucchini your neighbors keep dropping off when you're at work. Wash two medium-sized zucchini. Cut off ends. Slice down the middle lengthwise and scoop out seeds leaving an indent big enough to stuff. Place zucchini halves on oiled baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the zucchini can be cut easily with a fork. Take one cup softened chevre and mix with 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives and 1 tablespoon diced black olives. Stuff warm zucchini with cheese mix and return to oven for five minutes. Serve warm.
Entire batch: (divide by amount made to determine per serving count)14.2g carbs; 4.9g fiber; 50g protein; 53g fat; 113mg cholesterol; 954mg sodium; 724 calories
13. Avocado salad. Peel two avocados, pit and slice them. Cut slices into cubes, or smaller slices. Sprinkle with one teaspoon lemon, toss with five cherry tomatoes, halved, and 2 tablespoons minced red onions. Top with 2 tablespoons of sour cream.
Entire batch: (divide by amount made to determine per serving count) 37g carbs; 21.4g fiber; 10g protein; 68g fat; 13mg cholesterol; 64mg sodium; 735 calories
14. Shrimp cocktail. Steam 3 pounds of shrimp until pink, let cool. To make the shrimp stand at attention, prepare a sauce of one-half cup sour cream, one-half teaspoon wasabi, and one tablespoon grated cucumber. Serve shrimp on a bed of 2 cups of mixed baby greens.
Entire batch: (divide by amount made to determine per serving count) 8.3g carbs; 1.9g fiber; 290g protein; 39g fat; 2,705mg cholesterol; 3138mg sodium; 1,613 calories
15. Scallops cooked with bacon. For this dish, fry up a half pound of bacon. Remove bacon from skillet, let cool and crumble. Drain all but approximately two tablespoons of bacon grease. Add two teaspoons chopped scallions and two pounds of thawed scallops. Pan sear the scallops just until translucent for maximum tenderness. Serve with bacon crumbles sprinkled over and around the scallops.
Entire batch (divide by amount made to determine per serving count): 23.7g carbs; .33g fiber; 222g protein; 119g fat; 492mg cholesterol; 5,082mg sodium; 2,109 calories