Snackers usually fall into one of two camps. There are the fans of the sweet treat and the devotees to salty snacks. Before you help yourself to either type of favorite snack, it is always a good idea to think about why you might want one. A midafternoon or mid-morning lag in energy can be remedied with a burst of protein. In this case, a snack is a great idea. However, if you are simply bored and are really just looking for a food distraction, you don’t need a snack. Try to find something else to do that will help you avoid mindless eating. Once you have decided that you really do need the fuel from a snack, look to these options to keep yourself safely on your conscious healthy eating program.
For the Sweet Tooth: If you indulge in sugary snacks, you will end up feeling worse, your energy will not be sustained, and you will continue to crave additional sugar laden foods. Instead, base your snack on protein to satisfy your hunger and up your energy level. There are a number of ways to enjoy a sweet taste treat without throwing your body out of whack and triggering a feeding frenzy.
- Montana Macro•Balance™ bars are a great option. They are delicious at room temperature and a real treat when frozen and cut into pieces. A few frozen pieces can make a great dessert when you are not really in need of more energy, but just want a little something sweet to top off your healthy meal.
- Healthy protein based shakes also make a delicious treat or dessert. Montana Macro•Balance™ shakes are a great, protein rich foundation for mixing up some delicious concoctions that will satisfy even the most serious sweet tooth. You can always mix them with water, but if you mix them with unsweetened Almond Milk or an Almond Coconut blend ( 35 Calories per cup, 3g fat, and ≤ 1 g carbs) you will be adding minimal carbs and really boosting the creaminess and taste of your shake. Putting the mixtures in the blender with a couple of ice cubes will also enhance the texture. Try some of these favorites:
- A Chocolate (or Vanilla) Montana Macro•Balance™ shake packet blended with unsweetened almond milk or water and a few fresh raspberries or Raspberry Stevia (can be purchased on Amazon) drops.
- A Chocolate (or Vanilla) Montana Macro•Balance™ shake packet blended with unsweetened almond milk or water and PB2. Add a half banana for an even richer treat.
- A Chocolate (or Vanilla) Montana Macro•Balance™ shake packet blended with unsweetened almond milk or water and orange Stevia drops.
- Quest bars are a delicious brownie like treat when put in the microwave for 15 seconds. They offer up to twenty grams of protein and relatively low net carbs because of volume of fiber.
- Montana Macro•Balance™ pudding with a few fresh raspberries or strawberries on top.
- Chocolate Filled Raspberries: WARNING: If chocolate is a trigger food for you, stay away! They are delicious and not too decadent. Place 1 Pint of fresh raspberries in a muffin top pan with the holes facing up. In the microwave, melt ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips with ½ tsp of coconut oil for 2 minutes at 50%. Pour the mixture into a Ziploc baggie and snip one corner to make a pastry bag. Fill the raspberry holes with a dab of chocolate. Freeze the filled raspberries. So good and so beautiful!
Salty Snack Lovers: Potato chips are not generally a healthy snack because excess salt, trans fats and high glycemic potatoes are not doing anything beneficial for your body. Quest makes a sour cream and onion protein chip that is not a complete substitute in taste but does pretty well in texture and is a good source of protein and low in carbs. You can also make your own salty snacks by baking low glycemic vegetables at low temperatures for extended periods. You can use a healthy oil or oil substitute and season them to your taste.
Zucchini Chips: Preheat oven to 225. Slice Zucchini into rounds, as thinly as you can slice it with a knife. Place zucchini slices in one layer (they can touch) on a parchment paper lined cookie tray. Cover with paper towels and press a flat bottomed tray on top of the towels to absorb excess moisture. Remove the towels. Lightly brush on olive or coconut oil and season with sea salt and spices of your choice. Garlic powder is tasty addition. Do not over season as the slices will shrink considerably. Bake for up to 2 hours. It will depend on how thick your slices are. Turning the chips half way through will make them crisper.
Jicama “Fries”: Preheat the oven to 450. The easiest starting place is to buy the pre-cut jicama fries that are sold at Trader Joes. Otherwise, you will need to peel the jicama and attempt to cut it into even fry shaped sticks. Take the cut up jicama and wrap in a paper towel and place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to get some of the moisture out so the fries will be crisper. Place jicama on a parchment lined baking sheet so pieces are not touching. Spray or brush with olive oil, and season with sea salt and optional Mrs. Dash Southwest seasoning. Bake for 20-30 minutes and serve immediately. Serve with Reduced Sugar Heinz ketchup, Dijon mustard or Greek yogurt mixed with dill. This same technique can be used with radishes, turnips, or rutabagas, but cutting them into fry shapes can be more challenging.