Let’s be honest—most people love to nosh a bit if they become engrossed in a new TV series or a big-screen film they can finally watch at home. But is it possible to snack healthfully? Yes, it is.
As a nutritionist who has done her own share of late-night snacking, here are my four favorite yummy treats—each under 200 calories…
• Dark-chocolate covered banana.Get your potassium from the banana and a heart-healthy dose of dark chocolate with this sinfully delicious dessert treat. Cut a ripe banana into slices and place them on a plate. Melt a tablespoon of dark chocolate baking chips in the microwave and drizzle over the banana slices. Top with a tablespoon of fat-free whipped topping—all for just 190 calories.
• Pumpkin pie Greek yogurt.Pumpkin is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and a generous punch of protein. Plus, it’s low in calories and it’s filling. A six-ounce serving of plain 0% Greek yogurt contains no fat, about 15 g to 20 g of protein (equivalent to two to three ounces of meat) and 20% of your daily recommended calcium intake.
Directions:Take one small container of 0% fat plain Greek yogurt, add in two tablespoons of pure canned pumpkin…sweetener of choice (to taste)…and one-half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Mix together and top with fat-free whipped cream and one tablespoon of diced walnuts for an approximately 170-calorie sweet treat.
• Red bell pepper slices with a zesty dip. Red bell peppers are packed with nutrients such as folate, potassium and vitamins A, B-6, C, E and K. And all this for a mere 30 calories per pepper. Dip the slices in honey mustard for added zip (two tablespoons has 140 calories)…or salsa (nutrient-rich, no fat and about 10 calories in two tablespoons).
• Cinnamon apple chips. For a sweet and healthy, high-fiber snack, grab some nutritious apples, add some cinnamon and a touch of sugar.
3 small Red Delicious apples, cored
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar (Optional: To reduce the sugar and carbohydrate count, substitute one tablespoon of Truvia Baking Blend or Splenda Sugar Blend for the sugar.)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 200°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the apples as thin as possible (leave the nutrition-packed peels on the apples). Place the apple slices on the parchment paper in one layer. Mix the cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle half of it onto the sliced apples. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, flip the apples, add the rest of the cinnamon/sugar mix to the other side and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes. The apples will be a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the chips cool. The chips are best eaten within a couple hours of cooling. Makes two servings (each less than 200 calories).