Clean up your snack habit
When the warm spring sun hits your skin, you're reminded of the summer swimsuit season that is not so far away - and of the holiday food fest you've just left behind. From sweet treats to crunchy munchies, snacking is a habit you don't have to ditch once the holidays are over. Just reach for healthy foods and clean up your snack habit with these healthy snacks for spring.
Reach for fresh first
Spring brings an abundance of seasonal delights, from cherries to spring onions. Choosing the freshest foods available will help you get the most nutrients out of the goodies you're nibbling while satisfying your cravings. Check out your local farmers market and farms for the freshest seasonal snacks.
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Snatch up crunchy snacks
Pack up fresh radishes, carrots, green onions, and other crunchy spring produce and dip them in a savory, low-calorie yogurt dip for a snack that will satisfy your yen for something crunchy without tipping the scale.
Indulge in sweet treats
Combine chilled strawberries and fresh grapefruit slices with sparkling cider and spring mint for a delicious spring treat. For a sweet-and-sour snacking indulgence, try pickled sweet beets, called cwikla, which is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sink your teeth into savory snacks
When you're craving something salty to snack on, skip the chips and pick up some healthy snacks like phyllo-wrapped asparagus, which is high in folic acid. "Folate, a B-complex vitamin, is essential in the diet for cardiovascular and nervous system support and is important in everyone's diet to keep our minds sharp and our bones strong," advises nutritionist and personal trainer Tiffanie Barton MS, CSN, CSCS, od ffitlifellc.com. Be sure to also take advantage of smoked wild salmon and fat-free cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel, or baked new potato wedges.
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Dip into dips
Snacks are commonly associated with dips, so make sure you're diving into the nutritionally optimal concoctions. A Moroccan dip called bessara combined with pita chips is packed with protein and fiber, thanks to spring ingredients such as fava beans and in-season lemons.
Think outside the salad
Although lettuce is a spring ingredient, try mixing it up a bit with a minted fruit salad to make your midday snack more appealing. Or whip up a fresh mango salsa with whole wheat tortilla chips to get your snack on in a healthy way.
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The produce available in each state varies, but other fresh spring ingredients ready for you to create your own healthy snacks include apricots, artichokes, arugula, avocados, beets, cardons, chard, chives, fennel, garlic scapes, green garlic, greens, kiwi, kumquats, leeks, navel oranges, peas, pineapple, rhubarb, scallops, spinach, turnipsa nd watercress. Just be sure to plan your springtime snacks in advance to help you make healthy food choices and keep you on track as you clean up your snack habits with healthy snacks for spring!