CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - When you're hungry and in a hurry you might just reach for one of those quick and easy snacks, but they may not always be the best for you! Nutritionist Dr. Laura Hutchinson showed us which foods you should choose when grabbing a healthy snack on-the-go!
Eat This, Not That Snacks
Look for grain products: 2g of fiber or more in 100 Calories
Protein sources: Try and pack in at least 10g protein per snack
Avoid the sugar:
Go for natural sugar found in fruits and veggies. If you see a sugar in the ingredients list it means added sugar. It is recommended we consume no more than 25g added sugar per day. The average person consumes 4 times that. One 20 ounce soda gives you 2.5 times your daily allowance for added sugar.
Watch the saturated fat intake:
Veggies are awesome, but when they are dipped in 1/4 cup ranch dressing you add over 30g fat and close to 400 Calories
Steer clear of artificial sweeteners....people think 0 Calories means "I can eat as much as I want" but diet sodas and "sugar free" snacks can really cause dips in blood sugar, making your body to crave more sweets later! Limit your intake of aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda), and saccharin (Sweet'N Low)
EAT THIS - Plain yogurt with fruit
NOT THAT - Sugar added yogurt or "light" yogurt with artificial sweeteners
EAT THIS - Veggies with hummus
NOT THAT - Veggies with ranch dressing
EAT THIS - Tortilla chips with salsa
NOT THAT - Pretzels
EAT THIS - Fiber 1 bar, Larabar
NOT THAT - Chewy granola bar
EVEN BETTER Make your own!--see attached recipe
Chewy Granola Bars
- 1 ½ cups Sliced Almonds
- 2 cups finely Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
- 1/3 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
- 1/3 cup Raw Pepitas (Shelled Pumpkin Seeds)
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sesame Seeds
- ½ cup Blanched Almond Flour
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened, natural Almond Butter
- ¼ cup Honey
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal
- 1½ Tbsp water
- ¾ cup Mini Chocolate Chips or your favorite chopped dried fruit (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan with coconut oil.
2. Mix ground flax seed with water and let sit for 3-4 minutes.
3. Pulse pepitas in a food processor a couple of times to break up to the size of sunflower seeds.
4. Add coconut oil, almond butter, honey and vanilla to flax goop and mix well.
5. Add almond flour and baking soda and stir to combine.
6. Add slivered almonds, shredded coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chocolate chips or dried fruit. Stir to combine.
7. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan. Spread out and flatten well with your hand or the back of a spatula.
8. Bake for 22-23 minutes, until golden brown. They will puff up slightly while baking, so immediately after removing from the oven, flatten the bars with the back of a spatula (or something else heat resistant and flat).
9. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into bars (I actually like to refrigerate before cutting). Cut into bars (I usually get 18-20) and wrap individual bars in plastic wrap for easy travel (optional). I prefer to store these in the refrigerator.