It’s 3 o’clock, and that after-school, mid-afternoon hunger hits. Most people reach for a sugary granola bar, cookie or potato chips to satisfy their snack craving, but there are actually great tasting, healthy alternatives to all your favorite snacks!
If you’re craving something salty, try fresh popcorn! Air-popped is best and easy to make. Combine kernels, a tablespoon of oil, and salt to taste in a pot over heat, put the lid on and let pop away. If you’re looking for something slightly faster, many microwave popcorn brands now sell all-natural, lightly salted varieties. For an on-the-go fix, try bagged popcorn brands like Skinny Pop and Boom Chicka Pop. Seasonings like cinnamon, red pepper flakes, or even a small amount of sprinkles can all make homemade popcorn extra special.
Ice cream lovers, consider swapping the dairy for banana “nice” cream! Freeze two bananas overnight and combine the peeled bananas and 1 cup of skim, soy, almond or coconut milk in a blender. It should reach a soft serve texture, and tastes just like ice cream! Adding chocolate chips, peanut butter or other frozen berries is a great way to add something extra to this “nice” cream.
Another healthy frozen snack is frozen yogurt grapes. Poke frozen grapes with a toothpick and dip the grapes in yogurt. The yogurt should set on the frozen grapes quickly, and if you want to save them for later, store them in an airtight container in the freezer.
If you’re a chips n’ dip kind of family, swap out the chips and French onion for veggies and hummus! Sliced peppers, baby carrots, cucumbers and sugar snap peas all have the same satisfying “crunch” as chips. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors- garlic, jalapeno, pumpkin, you name it! If tortilla chips and dips like salsa, queso and guacamole are more your thing, try dipping fresh veggies in guacamole. Avocado is a healthy fat and full of vitamin E.
Next time you feel a major sweet tooth or salty craving hit, consider choosing one of these healthy alternatives to keep you both satisfied AND fueled to conquer the day!