7 Healthy Snack Recipes to Eat Better This New Year
Vowing to stay fit and eat healthy is the most common New Year’s resolution, according to a 2015 survey by Nielsen. Thirty-seven percent of people had a better diet and more exercise in mind for the New Year, while an additional 32% vowed to lose weight. To do that, three-quarters will try to eat more fresh fruit, while half will load up on vegetables.
As far too many have discovered, however, wanting to eat healthy and actually doing it are two different things. Improving your diet can be a struggle if you don’t know what to cook or restrict your diet to a narrow array of foods, then get bored and succumb to a craving for junk.
You’ll have better luck reaching your healthy eating goals if you take the time to seek out recipes for nutritious foods that you’re also excited about eating. In other words, good-for-you snacking doesn’t have to mean only eating carrot sticks and tiny handfuls of roasted almonds. To get the New Year started off right, try these seven healthy snack recipes that are both great-tasting and good for you.
1. Clementine Sunshine Smoothie
Clementines by themselves are a perfect healthy snack; they’re easy to toss in your bag and a breeze to peel. Plus, these sweet, petite oranges are in season in the winter. Take advantage of the abundance by using a few to make this cheerful smoothie from Cookie and Kate. The citrusy flavors and bright orange color may even help ward off the mid-winter blahs.
- 4 clementines, preferably chilled
- ½ cup ice
- ¼ cup yogurt or almond milk
- Dash of sea salt
- Optional add-ins: honey, frozen banana chunks, drop of vanilla extract
Directions: Peel the clementines and separate into halves. Remove any excess pith.
Add the yogurt or almond milk, clementines, ice, and salt to a blender. If you like, add any of the additional ingredients at this stage. Blend until the clementines are fully juiced and the ice chunks have disappeared. If you want a perfectly smooth drink with no remaining bits of pith, strain the smoothie. Otherwise, serve at once.
2. Winter Turkey Wrap
Hitting the gym to sweat off those extra holiday pounds? You’ll get more out of your workout if you feed your body the right foods afterward. Featuring lots of muscle-building protein, this tasty turkey wrap with feta cheese, pear, arugula, and cranberries is the perfect thing to munch on after an intense weight-training session. Recipe from Pop Sugar.
- ½ cup arugula
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla
- ¼ teaspoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon feta cheese
- 3 slices roast turkey
- ¼ pear, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried cranberries
Directions: Toss the arugula with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the tortilla, then sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.
Lay the roast turkey on the tortilla, then top with the sliced pear. Cover with the dressed arugula, sprinkle with cranberries, and roll into a wrap. Secure with a toothpick, slice in half, then serve.
3. Pomegranate Guacamole
Pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin C, high in antioxidants, and may help boost your heart health. Avocadoes, though high in fat and calories, are a good source of potassium, folate, and lutein, among other vitamins and minerals. Bring them together, as in this creamy, spicy dip from Joy of Kosher, and you have one super-powered (and super-tasty) snack.
- 2 large ripe avocados
- ½ large onion, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 fresh Serrano chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 fresh-squeezed lime
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
- 3 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
Directions: Combine the onion, garlic, Serrano pepper, and cilantro in a bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, then set aside.
Peel and pit the avocados. Transfer the flesh to the bowl and mash with a fork while slowly pouring in the pomegranate juice. Add onion and garlic mixture and mix together to combine, then gently fold in pomegranate seeds. Serve with chips.
4. Turnip Chips
Turnips may not be the showiest of vegetables, but these humble roots (which are part of the same family as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower) are good source of vitamin C and in-season during the winter months. Thinly sliced and then fried and seasoned, as in this recipe from Predominantly Paleo, they’re a healthier alternative to a bag of store-bought potato chips.
- 1 large turnip,
- Garlic sea salt, Cajun seasoning, or other seasoning of your choice
- Avocado oil for frying
Directions: Clean and peel the turnip. Use a mandoline or knife to slice into very thin rounds.
Add the avocado oil to a pan and heat over medium-high. Once oil is hot, add the turnip slices and fry until browned on one side. Flip once and continue to cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels. While chips are still warm, sprinkle on the seasoning. Serve.
5. Apple and Almond Butter Bites
Simple, classic snacks are sometimes the most satisfying, like this recipe for apple slices and almond butter from Paleo Leap. Topping the slices with garnishes like pecans, coconut, dried cranberries, or dark chocolate makes it a little more special. Best of all, you can prep this filling treat in a matter of minutes.
- 1 apple
- Almond butter (or another nut butter, if you prefer)
- Pecans, chopped
- Almonds, sliced
- Roasted coconut shreds
- Dark chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries
Directions: Core the apple, then slice into rounds. Lightly spread each slice with almond butter. Top with your choice of pecans, almonds, coconut shreds, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries. Serve.
6. Cottage Cheese Fruit Spread
Protein-rich cottage cheese, blueberries (which are high in fiber and antioxidants), and banana are blended with honey to make a sweet spread that’s perfect for toast or as a dip for vegetables. Recipe from Martha Stewart.
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup coarsely chopped banana
- 1 teaspoon honey
Directions: Puree cottage cheese, blueberries, banana, and honey in a food processor. Serve immediately.
7. Cheese, Vegetable, and Egg Muffins
At just 100 calories each, these bite-sized muffins are the ideal grab-and-go snack. It’s also a versatile recipe; the version below (from Averie Cooks) calls for shredded carrots, bell peppers, peas, and corn, but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Once cooked, the muffins will keep for about a week in the fridge.
- 1½ cups shredded carrots
- ½ cup small diced orange bell peppers
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 8 large eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 tablespoons shredded cheese, like mozzarella or Cheddar
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly coat a 12-cup regular muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (if you miss spots, the egg will stick and the muffins will be difficult to remove). Set aside.
Combine the carrots, peppers, peas, and corn in a large bowl (or use whatever vegetable you have on hand). Toss to combine.
Spoon roughly 3 tablespoons of the mixed vegetables into each muffin cup (each cavity should be about ⅔ full).
Crack the eggs into a measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Whisk lightly, then add the salt and pepper and continue whisking to combine.
Pour between 2 and 3 tablespoons of beaten eggs into each muffin cup. Top each with about 1 tablespoon of cheese. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the eggs are set and the muffin tops are slightly golden. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan by running a knife around the edge of each muffin. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Muffins can be reheated in the microwave or served cold.
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