Monday, April 28, 2008

{MONDAY'S MENU} Healthy Snack Ideas


Alright, I really need to get better at getting these on earlier! :)
So I have a few recipes that I need to post, with pictures, however today I wanted to post a little something different. Amber....I hope you are alright with this! :)

Amber Linderman is a cousin of ours, well technically Ryan's, but after 10 years....well, I get to claim her too! Amber is a total inspiration to me! There are so many things that she does that make me want to be just like her! She is such a good mom and so fun with her kids. She is so creative and a FANTASTIC cook (which I know she gets from her mom). One of the other things about her that is motivating to me is that Amber also has PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome), however, she has done everything she can to take care of her body and eat healthy so that it has really become a non-issue.

So, this morning I wanted to post some of Ambers Healthy Snacks, WHICH I TOTALLY LOVE and thank her mom for emailing them out! The dark chocolate and almonds is a personal favorite!

Healthy SnacksSnacking is good for you! It keeps your metabolism going and prevents you from overeating at mealtimes. Here are a few tips to snack smart.
Always have your favorite fruits and vegetables on hand for snacking, berries, bananas, apples, carrots, cucumber etc. Whatever you like! If you take a few minutes to cut your fruit and vegetables into snacking size portions, you will be more likely to grab it for a snack when you’re hungry. Always have a plate of cut vegetables in the fridge for easy access.
Dried fruits are also a great for snacking, just make sure they don’t have lots of added sugar. My favorites are dried strawberries, cherries and prunes.
Crackers and cheese are some of my favorite mid-afternoon snacks. You can get whole grain crackers (like Wheat Thins) at the regular grocery store now, no need to go to the health food store. Also, if you buy extra sharp cheddar cheese, a little goes a long way and you can use less and still have great flavor.
Do you have a craving for soft drinks? Try mixing frozen fruit juice concentrate with seltzer water instead of regular water…. You can have your carbonation fix without the high fructose corn syrup.
We’ve all had days when going without chocolate just isn’t an option. Don’t ignore the need for chocolate! Try dark chocolate, it’s rumored to have antioxidants, so a little bit is good for you.
Don’t forget nuts! Nuts are an excellent snack. I always have a bowl of raw almonds on my counter for snacking on. Try to avoid nuts that are “roasted” that’s usually a code word for cooked in oil, as if nuts need any more oil!! I usually have a bag of dark chocolate chips close by my almonds, it’s a great combination.
Water, water, water…… I drink a glass of water every time I pass by my fridge, I probably drink 10-12 glasses a day.
Edamame, ever heard of it? Now you have… it’s one of the best snacks out there… full of protein, fiber, low fat and it’s delicious! It used to be inconvenient to fix as a quick snack since you had to boil the water and wait for it to cook. Now they come packaged in small servings at Sam’s Club and they’re microwavable!
Granola with fresh berries and skim milk or vanilla yogurt. Yum….
If you have the time, smoothies are always a great snack. Just make them with the right ingredients and you’re set.
Bottom line… snacking the healthy way is darn tasty. Just be smart and try to avoid refined carbs, hydrogenated oil and loads of sugar. A little chocolate with your nuts or dip on your vegetables isn’t going to kill you. Just keep everything in moderation and you’ll be fine. Happy snacking!
Vegetable dip1 cup lowfat cottage cheese (I used 2%) I think skim would taste chalky
2-4 T milk
1 T mayo
1-2 tsp. ranch dressing powder mix
Mix all ingredients in blender and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Tadd’s Famous SmoothiesWhen I was pregnant with my babies, Tadd made me a smoothie every morning. He added protein powder, but if you don’t need it, I would leave it out, it tastes chalky!
1 cup skim mik
2-3 T. frozen OJ concentrate
½ cup PLAIN yogurt
1 ripe banana
2 cups frozen fruit, any combination (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, pineapple etc.)
Blend milk, OJ concentrate, yogurt and banana until smooth, add berries and continue to blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Crunchy Granola6 cups rolled oats, regular oats, NOT quick or instant
2 cups nuts, I like sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.
1 cup dried coconut (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt
1 cup honey or maple syrup (I used half & half)
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350. Combine oats nuts, seeds coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener in a large bowl. Place on a sheet pan (I used 2) bake for about 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring every 10 minutes and rotating pans from top to bottom. Mixture should brown evenly.
Remove from oven and cool, stirring occasionally to break up chunks. Add dried fruit if desired. Transfer to sealed container and keep in the fridge. Makes about 16 servings.
Amber’s Favorite Late Night Snack
Mix equal amounts of the following items:
Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
Dry roasted salted almonds- or plain almonds.
Dried tart cherries (Trader Joe’s)
It doesn’t get much better than that…. seriously

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