You’ve likely heard of the benefits of snacking regularly throughout the day, but many options touted as healthy snacks can be surprisingly high in calories. Fuel up without overeating with the help of these nutritious, low-cal selections.
Naturally flavoured and sweetened yogourt
Many store-bought flavoured yogourts are loaded with artificial sweeteners, additives and flavourings. Make your snack the natural way by stirring together 3/4 cup of 0 per cent Greek yogourt (100 calories), 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (25 calories) and 1/2 a tablespoon of honey (30 calories) for a creamy, sweet and delicious 155-calorie treat. You can add a touch more strawberries or honey to achieve your desired sweetness.
Trail mixes are high in protein and other nutrients that give you the energy you need to get through your day. The only risk is how easy it is to munch away on handfuls of the stuff and overeat without realizing it. To ensure you get the energy boost without overindulging, make small batches, such as 3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts (120 calories) and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries (45 calories), or 2 tablespoons of raw cashews (85 calories) and 2 tablespoons of raisins (60 calories). Place your mixture in a small zip-lock bag, and take it with you on the go.
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Sweet and delicious berries are low in calories while high in vitamins and antioxidants. One cup of sliced strawberries is 55 calories; a cup of raspberries or blackberries is 65 calories; and a cup of blueberries is 85 calories. So the next time your sweet tooth calls, mix and match these tasty little fruits into a scrumptious bowl of powerful nutrition.
Slice three dried, pitted dates (20 calories each) down the middle so they open like a hot dog bun. Spread 1 teaspoon of smooth or crunchy peanut butter (30 calories) along the centre of each date. Enjoy your mini dessert “hot dogs”!
Bake a small potato (130 calories) in the oven, and enjoy with a pinch of salt and 1/2 a tablespoon of butter or margarine (50 calories). Sprinkle with sliced green onions and chives for added flavour.
Nutty banana towers
Cut half a banana (50 calories) into thin slices. Divide 1 tablespoon of almond butter (100 calories) evenly among the slices, and then do the same with a sprinkling of 1/2 a tablespoon of raw hemp seeds (30 calories).
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Refreshing chickpea salad
Toss together 1/4 cup of cooked chickpeas (70 calories), 2 diced plum tomatoes (25 calories), 1/2 cup of cucumber slices (10 calories), 1 teaspoon of olive oil (40 calories) and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (10 calories). Sprinkle with your favourite herbs or spices if desired.
There’s no denying that fruit and cheese pair exceptionally well. So the next time your tummy grumbles, treat yourself to a plate of 3/4 cup grapes (75 calories) with a 1-ounce slice of low-fat mozzarella cheese (80 calories).
Exotic fruit-and-cheese plate
Want a fruit-and-cheese plate with a more exotic flair? Pair two fresh medium-size figs (80 calories) with a 1-ounce slice of brie cheese (95 calories).
Cook 1/3 cup of rolled oats (120 calories) in 1/6 cup of water or non-fat milk (15 calories). Use more or less liquid depending on how you like your oatmeal. Then stir in a 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (25 calories), 5 chopped almonds (35 calories) and stevia (0 calories) to taste.
If you’re at home during snack time and have a few minutes to spare, whipping up a simple stir-fry is a nutritious option. Heat 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil (60 calories) in a pan over medium-low heat. Toss in a variety of vegetables, such as 1 cup of chopped zucchini (20 calories), 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (15 calories), 1 cup of broccoli florets (30 calories) and 1 cup of sliced bell peppers (20 calories). If the amount of oil isn’t enough, add a splash of water as needed to ensure the vegetables don’t burn. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until all the vegetables are tender. Add in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (10 calories) and 1/2 a tablespoon of sesame seeds (25 calories) for an added crunch, if desired.
Fibre-rific tropical smoothie
Combine half a banana (50 calories), 3/4 cup of mango (75 calories) and 1/2 a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (30 calories) in a blender. Pour in unsweetened almond milk (30 calories per cup) until desired consistency is achieved, and enjoy.
Egg salad on toast
Begin by hard-boiling one large egg (80 calories). You can even hard-boil a few and keep them in the fridge to snack on throughout the week. Once your egg has cooled and you’ve peeled it, place it in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of ripe avocado (15 calories), 2 tablespoons of sliced green onions and salt, to taste. Mash all the ingredients together, and spread the mixture over a piece of whole-wheat toast (70–100 calories depending on the brand).
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Natural dark chocolate
When your sweet tooth simply cannot be denied, dark chocolate is a great way to satisfy your craving. One-third of an Endangered Species natural dark chocolate bar is just 140 calories, so you can treat yourself guilt-free!
That’s It fruit bars
Every That’s It fruit bar offers several vitamins, 3 grams of fibre and just 100 calories. And better yet? They’re made entirely of fruit. No preservatives and no added sugar, just naturally sweet and delicious fruit that’s easy to take with you on the go.
Mary’s organic crackers
Mary’s organic original crackers are made of nutritious ingredients, like short grain brown rice, quinoa and flaxseeds, and ring in at 140 calories for 13 crackers. Or halve the serving of crackers, and enjoy them with a 1-ounce slice of cheddar cheese (115 calories).
Peeled Snacks dried mangoes
Dried fruits make convenient and nutritious snacks, but just be sure to keep an eye out for added sugar — fruit is sweet enough on its own! Make a healthy choice by opting for these Peeled Snacks much-ado-about-Mango single-serving packs. They’re just 120 calories and contain nothing but dried mangoes.
Pacific organic cashew carrot ginger soup
When you need a warm and comforting dish, dig into Pacific organic cashew carrot ginger soup. It’s loaded with natural organic ingredients, and a satisfying 1-1/2 cup serving is just 180 calories. Or if you have a little extra time, make your own homemade carrot soup.
Apple Pie and Blueberry Muffin Larabars
Larabars are made entirely of whole foods, and no bar has more than nine ingredients. The bars contain unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices, with no added sugars or preservatives. Plus, both the satisfying apple pie and blueberry muffin flavours are just 190 calories.
Tribe Organic hummus
A little dip can make snacking on vegetables much more tasty and exciting. But instead of turning to an artificially flavoured, cream-based dip, rely on the healthy, organic goodness of Tribe Organic hummus, available in three yummy varieties. Three tablespoons of this creamy dip rings in at just 90 calories and can be enjoyed with a combination of 1 cup of carrot slices (50 calories), 1 large, sliced celery stalk (10 calories), 1 cup of cucumber slices (20 calories) and 1 sliced medium bell pepper (25 calories).
All calorie quantities are approximations. To ensure you’re making the healthiest choices possible, always read the nutrition and ingredients labels, and consult your health or nutrition professional if you have any questions or concerns.