Snacking plays an important role in staying energized, healthy, and happy. But so many “snack foods” are packed with sodium, sugar, and empty calories. A great way to avoid these processed foods while still getting the advantages of a snack is to make your own.
The Mayo Clinic recommends shooting for moderation when it comes to snacking. These tasty recipes for snacks are easy to prepare, and can even be used for an appetizer or hor d’oeurves the next time you host a party.
Baked Kale Chips
Green, leafy kale is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Many times it is lightly sautéed or eaten raw in salads, but it can also be used as a great snack. Delicious kale chips are crunchy, salty, and will satisfy the urge to munch. Start with one bunch of curly kale, olive oil, and salt. Remove the leaves from the stems and cut into 1-½ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt and lay on a baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes on 275, flipping halfway through.
Roasted Green Beans
Like kale chips, these roasted beans will satisfy anyone who loves salty, crunchy snacks. Begin with 2 pounds of green beans, 1-2 tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Wash, dry, and prepare the green beans by trimming off the tips and tails. Place the beans on a jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the beans into one layer, then bake at 400 degrees in a preheated for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Beans are ready when they turn golden and shrink up a bit.
Homemade Apple Sauce
This childhood favorite is chocked full of fiber and other nutrients. The small amount of sugar and cinnamon make apple sauce feel like a special treat, while still providing a healthy serving of fruit. Start with four peeled, cored, and chopped apples, ¾ cup water, ¼ cup white sugar, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Combine ingredients in a saucepan, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat. Once apples are soft, let them cool then puree with a fork.
Next time you are in the mood for a snack, reach for something homemade and nutritionally balanced. These simple food recipes are not only delicious, they will boost your daily fruit and vegetable intake and leave you feeling energized.
- “Snacks: How they fit into your weight loss plan”, Mayo Clinic
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