So the food world is starting to change as people start making better choices for their health and eating better. So the are many still struggle with is snacks. Sure, we all enjoy a bowl of baby carrots, celery, and cucumbers with greek yogurt dip but there’s days where you just can’t help but crave for a chocolately cupcake or bag of your favorite chips. I know I crave snacks bad as I near my *TMI Alert* menstrual period. But there are times that I just want a snack just bcuz.
Well, like the rest of you I try to look for healthier snacking options but tasty and satisfying ones. Nothing that limits me to apple wedges, veggies sticks, or oatmeal. But what I have found is making your own snacks in your own kitchen which is a healthier option than running to the store for a bag of lay’s potato chips. When you make your own snacks at home you know what goes into it and how much. If you noticed most potato chips are high in Sodium and sweet snacks have High Fructose Corn Syrup or high amounts of Sugar.
From back in my High School Nutrition class I remember that any ingredient with the three(3) letters O-S-E at the end of it is a form of sugar. (i.e Fructose, Sucrose, Lactose, Glucose, etc.) Another ingredient that I tend to avoid is MSG *Monosodium Glutamate*. It triggers migraine like headaches in me and that isn’t very pleasant. So I try to buy healthier snack options or just make my own bcuz that way I know what’s in them.
One of my favorites is Popcorn. You can buy a bag of popcorn kernels which usually don’t cost more than $2 a bag and you can cook them over the stove using a small amount of healthy oil like Coconut, Peanut, or Olive oil but if you wanna avoid the oils you can go down the air-popped route but that tends to make the popcorn taste a little like styrofoam. Even salt doesn’t seem to help flavor that mess and it doesn’t last long. The next day air popped popcorn becomes stale and worse than it was freshly popped. It’s not gonna hurt too much to just use a tablespoon of oil to your pot to pop the popcorn. Try buying an organic bag of popcorn kernels. Now flavoring wise is all up to you. I tend to enjoy using either just plain salt, combo of salt and a bit of sugar, garlic parsley salt, lemon pepper, chili limon *Chili Lemon* powder I use a brand called Tajin, or just use Mrs. Dash to season your popcorn.
Another favorite at home snack I like to make is my own chips either Tortilla chips or Potato. With Potato chips you’ll need a mandoline to make those very thin potato chip slices and for Tortilla chips just buy organic tortillas I like corn as they’re great to use with homemade salsas. But I’ve made organic wheat flour tortilla chips before as well. With a corn tortilla since they’re normally a smaller circle than a flour tortilla just cut them up like you would a pizza into small triangles. But with a flour tortilla since they’re larger circles I cut them into rectangular strips. But I don’t really like using flour tortilla for making chips as they tend to curl up a little. I just fry them up in about a inch of oil in a frying pan.
If you use a healthy oil such as olive oil or maybe Coconut it’s still a tiny bit a guilty pleasure but at least alot better than a opening up a bag of Lay’s or Doritos. Plus you know what’s in it so you’ll feel alot better consciously. My Favorite seasonings for homemade chips are either just Sea Salt and Pepper via grinders or again Tajin *Chili Limon* seasoning. If I’m in the bit of a sweet mood then good old Cinnamon and Sugar sprinkle is great.
As for sweets I still haven’t found any healthy alternatives that can satisfy like a chocolate cupcake or a donut. But I do find fruit to be a easy alternative but if you’re not so good at picking fruit then it may not be such a positive switch as eating a bowl of sour melons or oranges isn’t so great. But if you’ve got the energy and patience to make the extra effort buy a bunch of different fruits, peel, seed, core, and cut them into a bowl and satisfy that sweet craving with a delicious fruit bowl. (n_n) I enjoy a bit of a tropical taste by cutting cubes of Papaya, cracking and shelling the flesh out of a coconut, mangos, and such. Don’t forget you can always mix in dried with the fresh cut fruits. Sprinkling of raisins if grapes aren’t in season and certain dried fruits have a different flavor than fresh ones. For example … Dried Mangos or Prunes.
Now I’m always curious and love trying new things. I saw a fruit called a Mamey in my local mexican grocery store the other day and I might give that a try. Also saw Dragonfruit in my local filipino market that I might wanna try too. There’s many different fruits from around the world that are worth trying. Even some that you might need to pinch your nose to eat like the Durian AKA Jackfruit with it’s very stinky aroma. But If you’re like me and not very lucky at picking sweet fruits a little drizzle of Agave syrup, Brown Rice syrup, or organic honey is the way to sweeten up sour fruits. Another hint to add to fruits is greek yogurt or some cheese like a feta or cottage cheese mixed into your fruits.
Remember to always go with Organic when you’re going to make a at home snacks. I think making snacks at home is the best option than store bought bcuz you know what went into them. I like that I know how much sodium or sugar went into my snack and that the ingredients aren’t artificial or something I’ve never heard of or can’t even pronounce. You’ll notice you start wanting to think outside snacks and make healthier swaps/alternatives for other foods as well not just snacks. It’s one step closer to healthier lifestyle !
Oh and PS for chocolate lovers who just can’t shy away from a chocolate bar. Try picking up Dark Chocolate over Milk Chocolate. The Dark Chocolate is healthier and the higher the percentage of cocoa the better.