Re-thinking Healthy Snacks: Crunchy & Salty

Re-thinking Healthy Snacks: Crunchy & Salty

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good Morning! I woke up this morning on a mission to tackle a snack project and I’m dying to tell you about some changes going on in our household. A few months ago we had an annual physical and our doctor challenged us to eat EVEN healthier??? How could that be? Doesn’t he know we have lost over 215 pounds as a couple! Well let me explain…

First let’s clarify what the word healthy means to my doctor & now to us. “Healthy” is a buzz word all over the place and means something totally different based on the source, which I find totally annoying. In making our food healthier we are referring to increasing its nutritional muscle: i.e. nutrients, protein, fiber, and healthy oils. In addition we are also factoring in how processed the item is, are the ingredients recognizable, is it packed full of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Of course as we are also in the process of losing weight so I am considering how these snacks will impact our weight loss and measure up to the Weight Watchers program.

We are probably just like you; we get in a rut, and can eat the same things over and over again. Our snacks had fallen into this rut and really weren’t satisfying our cravings either! SO a reformation is in motion. Here are a few snacks we HAD been eating frequently.  Keep in mind these are still great tasting and great options for weight loss.

Pre-reformation Healthy Snacks

Pre-reformation Healthy Snacks

Popcorn Indiana Chipins (white cheddar, sea salt, jalapeno ranch & other varieties)

Fat 4g, Carbs 21 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 2g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 3

*gluten free, non-gmo, no preservatives

 

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Whole Grain Cheddar

Fat 5g, Carbs 19g, Fiber 2g, Protein 4g – WWP+ per 30g serving = 4

 

Honey Maid Low Fat Honey Grahams

Fat 2g, Carbs 28g, Fiber 2g, Protein 2g – WWP+ per 35g (8 crackers) serving = 4

Next we have our go to snacks that we absolutely aren’t willing to compromise on! It is not a secret that the Pina family loves popcorn, kettle corn, & caramel corn! Here are 3 of our very favorites!

Must Have Popcorn!!!

Must Have Popcorn!!!

 

Popcorn Indiana Popcorn (movie theater, white cheddar, & other varieties)

Fat 12g, Carbs 13g, Fiber 3g, Protein 2g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 4

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

 

Colby’s Kettle Corn (salty sweet addiction, butter salt craving, cinnamon sugar sensation)

Fat 7g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 2g, Protein 2g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 3

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

 

Angie’s Delightfully Different (salted caramel & other varieties)

Fat 8g, Carbs 19g, Fiber 2g, Protein 1g  – WWP+ per 28g serving = 4

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

Snack bags, digital food scale, & bulk healthy snacks. Preparation IS everything!

Snack bags, digital food scale, & bulk healthy snacks. Preparation IS everything!

Branching out, being adventurous & trying lots of new things REQUIRES thinking outside the box and sometimes the continent! Some of my Asian friends introduced me to Edamame years ago but it never found its way into our regular routine…..until now! I dare you to spontaneously stop & ask me at ANY given moment and I’m very likely to be carrying a snack pack of Edamame (unless the bad is already empty;). Dry roasted Edamame is a crunchy & salty treat that packs a big nutritional punch. The 3 grams of fiber & 10 grams of protein keep me full longer. The large quantity you get with 28 grams keeps my hands busy and emotionally satisfied! I am absolutely in love.

Roasted peas, roasted corn original & chili lime, edamame, sunflower seeds & almonds! Yumminess!

Roasted peas, roasted corn original & chili lime, edamame, sunflower seeds & almonds! Yumminess!

Let’s face it; eating healthy does take work & creativity. We are always on the go and need our snacks to be convenient, portable, and not overly expensive. Plus they need to be pleasing to our taste buds, which is of course the ultimate test. Buying in bulk keeps the cost down and I can separate them into portion sizes that are suitable and ready to go when we need them. Here are some terrific options we have fallen in love with recently. We buy these in bulk at the local Sprouts Farmers Market but if you don’t live in the area and have access you can check any grocery store. I have even found several of these items at Big Lots!

Colorful snacks packing a large nutritional punch that are ready to go when we are!

Colorful snacks packing a large nutritional punch that are ready to go when we are!

 

Edamame- dry roasted & salted

Fat 4g, Carbs 10g, Fiber 3g, Protein 10g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 3

*two ingredients: soy bean & salt

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

 

Green Peas – dry roasted & salted

Fat 4g, Carbs 17g, Fiber 5g, Protein 8g – WWP+ per 34g serving = 3

*gluten free, no preservatives

 

Almonds (raw, roasted with cinnamon & sugar)

Fat 14g, Carbs 6g, Fiber 3g, Protein 6g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 5

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

Here is a wonderful & easy link to my favorite recipe for DIY Cinnamon & Sugar Roasted Almonds. *Note I cut the sugar back to 1/4 cup of each.

 

Pumpkins Seeds – salted in shell *nutritional facts for kernels only*

Fat 9g, Carbs 3g, Fiber 1g, Protein 6g – WWP+ per 19g/56 kernels serving = 3

*two ingredients: pumpkin seeds & salt

*gluten free, non-gmo, all natural ingredients, no preservatives

 

Toasted Corn (original, bbq, chili lime)

Fat 5g, Carbs 21g, Fiber 1g, Protein 2g – WWP+ per 28g serving = 3

*gluten free, *orginal has 2 ingredients and is non-gmo, all natural, no preservatives

*I’ll admit this one doesn’t have quite the nutritional impact of the above….but man are they good & a MUCH better alternative to fill the craving for tortilla chips, fritos, or doritos 😉

Now I’m all set and our snacks are ready to go for at least a month or more. It took me about 30 minutes to weigh & bag all those snacks. That was a 30 minutes well worth it let me tell you! Now when we are packing lunches, planning a day away from home, or even just craving crunchy & salty we are all set & ready to go! I hope you try & enjoy these healthy alternatives as much as we do!

Storage is a snap!

Storage is a snap!

***Please NOTE: All nutrutional information is based on the packaging we have in our home on this date. Please make sure to ALWAYS refer to the packages on the products you buy before consumption. If you are a Weight Watcher please ALWAYS calculate Pointsplus values based on the nutritional info on your packages. I have listed this information as a point of reference and discussion only.***

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Re-thinking Healthy Snacks: Crunchy & Salty

  1. Enid Jones says:

    Good stuff! Do you have any ideas for less carb snacks? On top of counting calories I also have to keep the carbs low. 🙂

    • jenniferlpina says:

      Thanks so much Enid! Coming soon (hopefully this week) I’m going to cover dips & other creamy & savory snacks that will definately fall into the lower carb category. We eat alot of different snacks and this post was just a start 🙂 Love you!

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