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Healthy Spring Snacks With Extra Flavor

Healthy Spring Snacks With Extra Flavor

Add Flavor, Not Calories, to Healthy Spring Snacks

Snacking has a bad reputation, but eating between meals can play an important role in our overall nutrition plan. When you select healthy snacks, they give you energy to fuel your day and can even help you avoid overeating at mealtimes. Choosing healthy spring snacks is important to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for activities as the days grow longer.

But healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. Some ways to add flavor to food with fewer calories include:

Lemon juice — This tasty addition is a good way to add some zest to cut vegetables or fruit, salad, or avocado mash, brightening up your snack with a fresh flavor.

Hot sauce — If you like spicy foods, this is a low-calorie way to make just about any snack more exciting! Bonus: you can find hot sauce in a variety of flavors and intensities.

Soy sauce — Add a rich umami (savory) twist to your vegetables, nuts, and dipping sauces. If you are watching your sodium intake, consider coconut aminos instead. Tamari is another option similar in taste but made without wheat and often gluten free.

Fresh herbs and salt-free seasoning blends — sprinkle these on your avocado toast, vegetables, popcorn, or just about anything else to bring new and exciting flavors to your foods without raising the calorie count.

Garlic — this allium can be added to nearly any food and brings a bright, delightful flavor with nearly no calories added. Try garlic powder, if you need to watch your salt intake, and use fresh minced garlic in your hummus and guacamole.

Snack Away

For the smartest snacking options, focus on foods that are satisfying as well as fun to make and eat. Snacking shouldn’t be a chore! We have some great suggestions for foods that fill you up and are full of flavor.

Get your crunchy snack fix with fresh fruit and vegetables. Apple slices, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower are just a few options. You can enjoy them alone or add a low-calorie dip option such as peanut butter or hummus to make your snack even more filling.

Popcorn counts as a whole grain, and when you’re careful to choose low-sodium options you can add all kinds of flavors — ranch, garlic, parmesan, and more.

Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and protein, leaving you full and energized while avoiding that mid-afternoon slump feeling.

Frozen grapes, blueberries, or bananas — alone or in a smoothie— can provide flavor and nutrients while satisfying your sweet tooth. Bonus: add some Greek yogurt, peanut butter, or protein powder to your smoothie for a good energy boost.

Spring Is Here

When the weather begins to warm, we all start thinking about getting together with friends and loved ones — and serving top-tier snacks is usually key to a good spring party! Here are two great healthy snack ideas to bring to your next spring gathering:

Avocado deviled eggs — Avocados are a good source of healthy fat, and in this recipe they replace half the egg yolks. The fresh flavor of the lime juice and garlic makes it perfect for spring.

Ingredients: 6 hard-boiled eggs, 1 ripe peeled and pitted avocado, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper, 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped parsley.

Instructions: Cut eggs in half and remove yolks, setting aside half and discarding half. Combine yolks, avocado, lime juice, mayonnaise, spices, and half the parsley in a bowl. Spoon mixture back into egg halves and garnish with remaining parsley.

Roasted red pepper hummus — Chickpeas are a rich source of fiber, and red peppers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Hummus is a great snack to serve with crunchy vegetables like broccoli and celery.

Ingredients: 2 cups rinsed and drained canned chickpeas, 1 cup roasted red bell pepper slices, 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve with sliced vegetables or crackers.

Talk to your primary care provider about the best healthy snacking choices for you. Don’t have a primary care provider? Find one today: