5 Tasty (& Healthy) Unusual Snacks May 01 2018, 0 Comments


Summer is right around the corner and the warmer weather has us dreaming of beaches and summer vacations! This time of year usually means everyone is hitting the gym more and trying to clean up our eating habits to feel our best while wearing less clothing. Adding regular snacks throughout the day can decrease cravings, decrease over eating, and can help us make more mindful choices at meal times because we aren’t starving. The down side is typical snacks that are usually associated with healthy eating can get a bit boring. Who really wants to eat another boiled egg, a handful of raw nuts, or some vegetables with another basic dip?! It’s time to spice things up! Our newest BP contributor, Sarah Gifford, is going to show us her favorite unusual snacks, to help us not only stay on track but also enjoy what we are eating along the way!

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If we are chatting honestly, healthy snacks can get very boring, and boring is the quickest way to fall off new healthy changes to your lifestyle. That’s why we have created some unusual snacks, recipes that people might be a bit unsure of to try, but us trust, we’ve already done the taste testing part and these snacks are a pantry must! As the saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ or as us adventurous foodies believe, ’don’t knock till you have tried it.’  So what makes our unusual snacks, healthy snacks? Our list includes recipes that are high in protein, lower in calories (than anything you can buy in a bag), only contains natural ingredients and tastes out of this world good. Why does this matter? So we can all stay on track and reach our healthy goals without losing flavor or nutrients!

Egg salad, a love it or hate it recipe. For the lovers (like me) we grew up eating this dish and nothing tastes more nostalgic and delicious. On the other hand, the haters would rather stay as far away from egg salad as they can get. So this recipe is for the egg salad lovers, although it isn't made with your typical mayo. We have added in cottage cheese to increase the lean protein while reducing calories, fat, carbs, unnatural ingredients and unnecessary sugar. Our healthy take on egg salad will keep you full for a longer period of time and have you addicted to this unusual recipe. My only tip is just don't eat it at your desk or in a classroom, you might not make any new friends.

Egg salad:

-6 hard boiled eggs, diced
-3/4 cup cottage cheese
-2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
-1 tablespoon dill (fresh or dried)
- Salt/pepper to taste

Directions: 

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mash together until well combine and enjoy! Optional: top this egg salad with avocado! 

 

Everyone loves a good pb&j sandwich that’s smothered with lots of jelly and peanut butter, but the sugar and carbohydrate content can go through the roof. On top of that, your well-meaning snack has just turned into an unhealthy calorie bomb! Welcome to your new favorite combo, grapes and peanut butter. Grapes are rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and provide natural sugar instead of the added sugars and unnatural ingredients found in common store-bought jelly. The peanut butter has a great source of muscle-friendly potassium, protein and healthy fat that will help you stay full until your next meal. Also available almost everywhere now is powdered peanut butter. This substitution for regular peanut butter can cut the calories in half, and it is just as tasty! However, if you are a peanut butter-holic and you can’t fathom the swap, stick with your typical peanut butter.

Ingredients: 

- 1 cup of grapes
- 1/4 cup of natural peanut butter 

Directions: 

Dip the grapes into peanut butter and enjoy! 

 

My love for greek yogurt runs deep and I am always trying to think of new ways to incorporate yogurt into things. From using it in baked goods, to making a yogurt parfait, it is honestly hard to make things taste bad with yogurt! One unusual snack that has become a typical go-to is yogurt and protein powder. Use about one scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder and mix it right in to the yogurt! Not only does it give a plain old boring yogurt some life, but it makes it taste like chocolate…and WHO doesn’t love chocolate?!

Protein Greek Yogurt:

-1 vanilla  greek yogurt of choice
-1 tablespoon protein powder

Directions: 

Stir in the protein powder into your greek yogurt until well combine and enjoy! Also feel free to add in fun stuff like a splash of maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, berries, etc. 

 

Speaking of chocolate, it is one of my biggest weaknesses…almost in any form.  But how can one make a chocolate dessert somewhat healthy?! Our chocolate avocado mousse is the solution for fellow chocolate lovers. This chocolate avocado mousse is as luscious and creamy as any decadent mousse. The avocado provides the creamy texture, but the chocolate is what you taste. Avocados are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to boost up the nutrient content of this recipe. Not to mention our mousse is lower in sugar and a dairy-free alternative that makes it a great choice to indulge any time of the day.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

-2 avocados
-3 tbs coco powder
-2 tbs honey or maple syrup
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbs almond milk

Optional toppings: 

- Dairy free whipped cream
- Sprinkles
- Chocolate chips
- Coconut flakes

Directions: 

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combine and enjoy! We topped ours off with dairy free whipped cream, berries and sprinkles but topping options are endless so feel free to get creative! 
 

Is it just us or is edamame a must order when dining at a Japanese restaurant? We cannot get enough of this little ingredient, packed with protein, fiber and a ton of nutrients. Of course, everyone is well versed in all things hummus, which comes in a variety of flavors everywhere you look. Anywhere from black bean, carrot, or white bean hummus, but WHERE is the edamame hummus? Do not fret, our recipe is bringing edamame hummus to your kitchen. One reason this dish is amazing (besides the taste) is edamame is lower in calories and higher protein than the typical garbanzo bean, which is used to make traditional hummus. Edamame hummus also has more of a prominent flavor, which is definitely okay with us because flavorless foods is a sad, sad thing.

 Edamame hummus:

- 2 cups shelled edamame
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 

Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until well blended, place in a bowl and enjoy with fun dipping items like vegetables and nut thins! 

We hope that these delicious, yet unusual snacks have sparked your inner foodie enough to give them a try! We know that sometimes people are skeptical, especially if one encountered a bad experience in the past but be courageous people… its 2018! Our taste buds are constantly adapting and changing as we age and encounter new foods. Are you brave enough to try these delicious unusual snacks?

 

-Article by: Sarah Gifford, BP food contributor