Summer time is the time for picnics, dinner guests, meals on the back deck, and get togethers of every kind. So be prepared for those events with these smart pre-meal pairings for your upcoming events.
We’re all guilty of opting for a bag of chips from the office vending machine, when we could have planned ahead with more nutritious snacks. While the occasional splurge won’t hurt you too much, we should be wary of how to handle that 3 p.m. urge for calories. Maybe consider some different kinds of vegetable snacks to satisfy your hunger, while keeping your health in mind.
Junk food takes an enormous toll on our bodies, from promoting obesity to increasing blood pressure levels. In fact, 13.5 million children worldwide now have an impaired glucose tolerance, which is a precursor to diabetes.
Our solution to combat cravings is to replace unhealthy snacks with healthy alternatives. Here is a list of delicious vegetable snacks for those who are on the go!
1. Kale Chips
No one ever said you had to do away with your favorite salty treat altogether at all. Kale chips are the perfect replacement for regular potato chips. They are flavorful, easy to make, and have under half the calories of their fried alternatives.
To make your own kale chips, start with some basic prep work. Remove the stem, wash your kale, and preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, tear your kale into roughly 4-inch pieces. Then wash your kale with a colander.
Place the drained and dried kale onto a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the top. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the “chips” and bake for 5 minutes. Voila!
2. Hummus Toast
Here’s a spin on a modern brunch classic. Hummus is a vegetarian friendly spread made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and spices. It is a great source of protein, iron and fiber. Fiber tends to expand in your stomach, making you feel full longer.
Making hummus toast is simple. Lather some toast with your favorite hummus. Get your veggie fill by adding in some fun ingredients, like cucumbers, peppers and/or tomatoes. Here are some ideas to get you started!
If hummus isn’t your thing, avocado will certainly do.
3. Stuffed Peppers
These spicy meat-filled snackers aren’t usually associated with being healthy. But they are delicious. You can certainly make your own small tweaks to this classic appetizer and make it more nutritious.
Fill a large peppadew with chopped meat such as bacon or salami along with some parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Alternatively — if you can handle the spice – try stuffing a slice of Coastal cheddar inside a Jalapeno pepper.
Some healthy options might include substituting the bacon or salami with lean, seasoned ground beef. Seasoned rice and/or beans can also make for a healthy alternative filling.
4. Beet Hummus
Beet hummus contains all of the basic ingredients as regular hummus, along with the addition of one large beet.
Roast a large beet then blend it with a food processor. Add in chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon, paprika, and cumin.
Beets are a great source of fiber, folate and vitamin c. They are also thought to help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance among other potential benefits.
Get the full recipe here.
5. Veggies and Peanut Butter
What seems like just a way to get kids to eat their green turns out to be a great quick energy snack!
Take your favorite veggie. Dip it or slather it in some peanut butter and you have a delicious, fresh, protein packed snack! Carrots and celery are maybe the most common vegetable used with peanut butter, but nothing is stopping you from experimenting with peppers, cauliflower or even broccoli.
“Ants On a Log” is a a fun treat for kids and adults alike . Simply take some celery stalks, fill the gap with peanut butter, then line the peanut butter with raisins. This is a fun recipe that kids can easily take part in preparing.
6. Cucumbers and Hummus
While we are on the subject of dipping veggies, let’s take a good look at cucumbers and hummus! Cucumbers have a natural, refreshing quality that balances well with the fibrous, protein laden texture of hummus.
Serve this snack with a dollop of hummus on each slice, or as a plate of cucumber slices with a side of hummus. Mix it up with other dipping options like bell peppers, carrots or celery.
7. Cauliflower Pizza Dough
There are so many fun and amazing ways to substitute popular dishes with vegetable variations. More and more people are becoming aware of gluten intolerance which can take away their favorite dishes.
Thankfully there are crafty people out there who are mixing things up a bit to solve this problem. In the process everyone seems to win, as new healthy options are being developed all the time!
Cauliflower pizza dough is one such creation. Pick yours up today at your local Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce.
8. Avocado Everything Toast
While it’s fair to say that avocados are more of a meal than a snack, you know we couldn’t finish the list without at least one avocado recipe. Try this snack option on either a piece of toast or spread out to multiple crackers.
For our snacking purposes we will choose some Wasa light rye flatbread. Rye actually helps you feel full, while the flatbread is a great light alternative to thick slices of toast. Slice and spread your avocado as you see fit. On top of the avocado, sprinkle some homemade Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.
Local Produce for Your Vegetable Snacks
Getting into healthier eating habits doesn’t have to be too difficult. It also doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg.
You can find all the produce you need for your vegetable snacks right here at Tacoma Boys! Plus, we also offer a number of things you won’t find at your regular grocery store. Curious as to what we’re talking about?