By: Jae Curtis, Lifestyle Expert
You’re trying to eat right and exercise, but let’s face it: your same old snack choices are hardly inspiring you to stay on track. While you nosh on the same old veggies and hummus, you might find yourself dreaming of less-than-healthy options in your quest for flavor. Sick of your healthy go-tos? Try some of these healthy spring snacks on for size and it might be what keeps your motivation strong enough to reach your goals.
They’re not just for breakfast anymore: overnight oats are a great snack anytime. Loaded with fiber, they’ll help keep you full so you’re not as tempted to overeat. Keep some in your fridge for quick access and use your favorite spring flavors. We love vanilla and honey, or raspberries and dark chocolate for a quick sweet tooth fix.
Craving something more substantial? Whip a batch of mini egg cups and keep them in your freezer for when hunger strikes. Mix up eggs, milk, peppers, onions, and turkey bacon and pour them into a greased mini-muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and you’ll have perfectly portioned cups. Add a little salsa for dipping and increasing your protein intake becomes a no-brainer.
If you’re mourning the loss of potato chips, you need something crunchy to keep your cravings at bay. Try roasting up some spicy chickpeas to keep your hand out of the chip bag. Loading up on protein and fiber will keep you full. Simply mix chickpeas with a mixture of olive oil and your favorite spices, link cumin and chili powder. Roast in a single layer in a 400-degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes and cool completely. You can store your crispy chickpeas in an airtight container and take them for on-the-go snacking.
You might find yourself craving something fresh with the onset of spring. Cucumber gives a zesty bite to your favorite sandwich fillings, and it’s low calorie and low carb. Try cutting a cucumber in half length-wise and scooping out about two-thirds of the flesh and seeds. Fill your “sandwich” with lean deli meat or shredded rotisserie chicken and your favorite condiments and you’ll have a light but healthy and filling lunch.
We’ll admit that there’s no substitute for a good, gooey pizza, but a fresh take on a spring pie is a close second. You can use whatever produce is in season (roasted asparagus is especially good) and make mini versions of pizza with refrigerated dough. Try using a thin layer of ricotta cheese mixed with a squeeze of lemon as a “sauce” and then layer on veggies and herbs for a brighter, lighter version of your standard pizza.
Spring means new beginnings, so it’s the perfect time to recommit to your healthy eating plan. By thinking up a few new meal and snack ideas, you’ll have the push you need to get back on track without giving in to all of those cravings. Hey, summer is closer than you think, so plan ahead and make sure you snack smart to reach your warm weather goals.