We crave so hard. Our bodies hit the afternoon backwaters and our attention wavers and, oh my God, we need Cheetos. We want Cheetos. We definitely don’t need them. But maybe because we’re tired or maybe because we’re dehydrated or maybe because we’re pregnant, our bodies send out a signal that drives us to the nearest 7-Eleven where we buy aisle six. And eat it all.
It doesn’t have to be like this. With just a little understanding and preparation we can subvert our cravings for diabetes chips and train ourselves to crave healthy snacks that won’t kill us.
Here’s the thing: You can’t taste calories. You can’t taste essential vitamins and minerals. So your taste buds tell you to stuff something salty into your mouth. Or get a soda. Or eat a whole jar of gummi cokes. But that craving for manchego might just be your meat-self telling you it needs protein. Your hunger for those weird gummy orange slices means you’re low on vitamin-C. If you keep a handful of healthy snacks on hand to meet these cravings with some less cardiac arresty, you’ll stop the craves in their tracks.
These four healthy snacks are designed to meet your very general cravings for textures and tastes but keep your waistline svelte and sexy.
Dipalicious Healthy SnackPrint
Green Goddess Hummus
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 Minutes
- Yield: approximately 20 ounces of hummus 1x
If you’ve had the dressing of the same name, then you know this flavor profile is lip smackable. Don’t skimp on the herbs.
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained (preferably low salt)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of pink Himilayan salt
- 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup frozen green peas plus some for garnishing
- 1/2 cup of water
- In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, green peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until smooth. Add water a teaspoon at a time until the hummus is silky smooth.
- Add the herbs and blend until the hummus is brilliantly verdant.
- Taste, adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Serve with your favorite healthy chips, sliced veggie wheels, carrot sticks, or just your fingers.
You can adjust everything in this recipe to your personal flavor profile. Don’t like tarragon? Don’t use it. Don’t have any frozen peas? Nobody will know. You can swap the green peas for spinach. It’s your hummus. Do what you want.
Salty Crunchy Healthy Snack
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, am I right? Chips have their own aisle in the grocery store for a reason. We like salty. We like crunchy. We eat them by the bagful. These peppers are almost as cheap as a bag of chips. They’re crispy and salty and a little spicy. Sabor!Print
Roasted Shishito Peppers with Steak Seasoning
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 12 minutes
You can roast the peppers in the broiler but don’t be afraid to fire up the grill. The steak seasoning adds a new savory dimension to this recipe–but you can skip it if it’s not your style. And don’t freak out if they over brown in spots–that’s the tastiest parts.
- About 1/2 lb. fresh shishito peppers (one bag if you get them at Costco)
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon Spice House Chicago Steak Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400° — or fire up the grill.
- Toss the peppers in a large bowl with the oil, salt, and seasoning to coat.
- Spread evenly on a sheet pan and place into the oven for about 7 minutes, or until the peppers begin to blister.
- Alternately, place evenly on grill and roast until peppers blister
- Serve hot
Shishitos are hit and miss with the heat quotient. They’re mostly mild but every once in a while you’ll bite into one that aspires to habanerohood. You’ve been warned.
Spreadable Savory Healthy Snack
I mean, it could be a dip. But it’s not. It’s a spread. You spread a tapenade on crudites or toast or a friend. It’s a schmear and it’s delicious. The black olives add umami (it’s a Japanese flavor that can only be explained through interpretive dance) and salt, the olive oil makes it all smooth, and the garlic just tries to take over.Print
The salt and the umami quickly satisfy your cravings. Spread this tapenade on baked zucchini wheels, veggie crisps, or toast wedges.
- 1/2 cup of pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons high quality olive oil
- a dab of anchovie paste
- a dab of sun-dried tomato paste
- Optional: 2 Tablespoons of capers
- Reserve a few capers and chopped parsley for the garnish.
- Blend everything else in a food processor to your preferred smoothocity.
- Put it into a bowl, top with a little olive oil, the parsley, and capers.
- Spread on stuff.
Tapenades are merciful conconctions. You can change the ratios a little to taste. You can use any pitted olives you want. You can use a lot more capers.
Sweet and Fatty Healthy Snack
My personal Sugar-coated Achilles heel. Sweets chase me down late at night and whisper in my ear, “Eat me I’m so sweeeet.” So I grab a chocolate bar, a shake, a handful of Swedish fish, a bowl of Frosted Sugar Bombs—and eat them all. My need for something creamy and sugary is perfectly satisfied by these frozen cherries coated in Icelandic Skyr, and they’re good for me.Print
Skir-Coated Frozen Dark Cherries
My need for something creamy and sugary is perfectly satisfied by these frozen cherries coated in Icelandic Skyr, and they’re good for me.
- One 8 oz. bag of frozen dark cherries
- One 8 oz. tub of vanilla Siggis Skir (or yogurt)
- Make some room in your freezer for a baking sheet
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper
- Use a toothpick, or a skewer, or a #3 philips screwdriver to dip each cherry into the Skir until it is coated, then place the cherry onto the baking sheet, leaving space between each. Remove the toothpick.
- Place the full sheet into the freezer for at least a half hour.
- Remove and serve. To yourself. Because you deserve it.
Skir is Icelandic yogurt. It’s denser than regular yogurt and has a less fragrantly fermented flavor. It balances very nicely against the cherries. You don’t have to use all the cherries and you might have Skir left over.
© Image: iStockphoto