Smart Snacking

Image Copyright Kalleboo.

Kathy is posting with us this week about Smart Snacking.

Snacks can be a very helpful way to get you from meal to meal and keep you on track.  The important thing to remember is to make sure that your snack fits into your healthy plan.

I like to eat a little protein.  It helps when you are hungry and hangs with you a little longer.  A container of yogurt, a glass of milk or even a slice of turkey can be a great snack.  A little bit of peanut butter or a few nuts can also be good.

There are many different fruits and vegetables that are easy to snack on.  If you are looking for something to munch on in the car; apples, grapes, bananas, celery, carrots and sliced peppers are just a few that aren’t too messy and you can eat them on the go.  Most of the time it doesn’t matter if you eat a few extras because they are very healthy especially the veggies.  Fruits have a little more sugar so you don’t want to eat too much.  As I have mentioned in the past, try to have them cut and in containers ready to reach for and go.  Fortunately, some of the fruits are already in a serving size.

There are plenty of other snacks but many of them you really need to be aware of portion control.  If you want to have baked potato chips or chips with salsa, that’s fine just read the nutritional facts and know what a serving size is.  This is something that you really only want to have one serving of.  These are empty calories and really don’t have a nutritional value.  Many times you only get 10-15 chips.  You have to decide whether it is worth it to you.  Even pretzels, which are a healthier choice especially if you get ones that are made with whole wheat, need to be counted out for your serving.  I have found that counting out your portion, putting them in container and then putting the bag or box away works best.  Leave the bag in the cabinet or the drawer before you start eating your snack.  You don’t want the bag sitting there and mindlessly reaching in and eating more.  If you want more bang for your buck, try popcorn.  Get the light kind or better yet, pop your own in an air popper.

Just like your meals, you want to plan ahead for your snacks.  You can portion them out and have them in little baggies or plastic containers so they are ready to go.  You can buy the 100 calorie packs but they are more expensive and you can do the same thing for yourself.

When you choose your snack, look at what you have had to eat all day.  If you are behind in your vegetables or fruits, have that.  I try to avoid empty calories.  They don’t have a nutritional value and many times they can leave you hungry shortly after you eat them.

Don’t be afraid to have a snack or two throughout your day but make sure they are in your healthy eating plan.  This is an area where portion control is a must.

Kathy has been posting with us every Wednesday and sharing her story and ideas for weight loss and a healthy life. Miss any of the previous posts?

Find them here:

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Apple Muffins | Recipe

This apple muffin is AMAZING, its great with a cup of hot tea and perfect for a cool fall day. Recipe will make a dozen muffins.

Apple Muffins

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 Cup apple cider
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Grated apple
  • 1 Chopped apple, small pieces

 

For topping:

  • 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Create the topping by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon or your fingers.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, I like to use a large measuring cup, mix the wet ingredients. Create a well or hole in the middle of the dry ingredient mound and pour the wet mixture into the dry. Mix until combined. Gently fold apple ingredients into the mixture.

In a lightly greased muffin pan, fill each muffin 2/3 of the way full. This should make a dozen muffins. Evenly divide topping between each muffin, sprinkle on top.

Bake in the oven for 20-24 minutes.

Note: Depending on what apples you use, and if you leave the skins on your apples (I do), your muffins may have a green color, but no need to worry, its natural and perfectly fine.

 

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Recipe | Banana Bread

I love this recipe, It’s a great bread to share with friends over tea. What makes this recipe special to me is that it’s adapted from Mr. Rogers’ recipe for Banana Bread. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 4 Over-ripe bananas
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Egg or 1/4 cup of apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 Cups of bread flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of melted butter

In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add ingredients in order as given – this makes it easier to mix. Bake in a bread loaf at 325 degrees F for 1 hour.

Notes: Over ripe bananas are best this provides a great banana flavor. A sprinkle of chocolate chips adds a little extra. If you don’t have bread flour on hand, by all means, use all purpose flour. However, I find that bread flour adds a little extra to the bread.

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How To Smoothie

Image copyright khawkins04.

Give your morning a boost with a smooth. Smoothies are a versatile breakfast food. You can whip a smoothie up with pretty much anything in the house. These are are my staple ingredients:

  • Banana – preferably frozen
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries

Use these and mix and match with any of the following for a delicious morning treat.

  • Yogurt
  • Orange juice
  • Water / ice
  • Milk – dairy, almond, rice, or soy
  • Oranges
  • Berries – any kind
  • Spinach
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax meal/ flax seeds
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein powder

I like to start with a banana and a liquid like orange juice, if you’re using it. Using these first allows the ingredients to blend quickly. If you have a super powered blender like the vita-mix, I’m fairly certain that you can add all ingredients at once. I have a blender that is less than super powered so I find that starting out with a liquid base helps the process. Once you have your banana mixture, add frozen or fresh fruit and/or spinach. Then toss in any seeds, powders or toppings. Blend until smooth. I know spinach in a smoothie sounds off putting but with the right combination it’s quite good, and healthy too. 🙂

What are your favorite smoothie combinations?

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