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Ideas to dress up celery as a minimal-calorie snack?

I have munchies episodes (naturally, I assure you) that hit when I'm stressed or reading Chowhound, and need some ideas of things I can munch on that have minimal calories. The only thing I can think of are celery bits, but there must be more than just mustard and salsa that can flavor them up. Having just read the weird combos thread, there must be someone out there with some tasty idea I would never have thought of.

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  1. Add a little bit of miso paste.

    1. Homemade shrimp cocktail sauce, heavy on the horseradish. Together with the celery, it satisfies the cravings for crunchy, spicy and salty that I, for one, get more often than those for sweets.

      Give me texture and savoury over sweet and gooey any day!

      And the bonus with the cocktail sauce is that it's fat-free and healthy.

      1. Roasted red pepper hummus is lovely on celery...just had some for lunch a moment ago!

        1. Make a dip with fat free yogurt. There are a myriad of options for the dip ingredients. One I make at home often for veggies has a touch of ketchup, sriracha sauce, a little fresh cracked pepper and a twist of lemon.

          4 Replies
          1. re: pescatarian

            Cover it with foie gras! (Just kidding.) I second the yogurt, but put onions and spices in it, a la tzaktziki or raita.

            1. re: pescatarian

              WOW, I can't even imagine what that would taste like. But as a diehard ketchup and sriracha fan, I can't imagine it wouldn't been good.

              1. re: janethepain

                I know it sounds odd, but it tastes yummy. Just think in terms of other types of dips/dressings where ketchup is added - thousand island dressing for example. It might seem strange, but it tastes good and the non-fat yogurt is a healthier base than mayo and it adds a nice tangy note.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  Kind of like an edible bloody mary without the vodka.

            2. fat free cream cheese and a bit of paprika on it

              1. Peanut butter is always good on celery. So is Laughing Cow cheese - the spreadable wedges. Ever had it? The stuff is light and to die for. I've een eating it with celery all week!

                2 Replies
                1. re: MaggieB

                  I love those wedges! So much flavor for so few calories.

                  1. re: janethepain

                    In fact, I'm eating them right now. GOd this is so good.

                2. so I assume you're looking for low-cal?

                  I like to dip celery in celery salt or smoked salt.

                  or I whip of some of that celery salad that was posted here . . . and eat with a spoon while I surf

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: orangewasabi

                    I have made that celery salad twice now since learning of it here, delicious! It does make a great snack and I even ate some with my leftovers breakfast the other day. So, so good.

                  2. horse radish or forty spices hummus.

                    1. Is there much nutritional value in celery?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: alliebear

                        Not much nutritional value, but negative calories.

                        1. re: alliebear

                          Celery is high in Vitamin A and C, a good source of dietary fiber and folate and (folic acid), and calcium. I think that is also a mild diuretic and therefore good for urinary tract health (like cranberry juice).

                          1. re: bolivianita

                            I stand corrected. I've always thought of celery as a "nothing" vegetable.

                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                              So did I, which is why I asked. But maybe I'll have to start incorporating it into my diet more often.

                        2. I like a VERY good soy sauce.

                          1. i had to do a low-cal thing after the holidays so i made that knorr spinach dip recipe (on the back of knorr vegetable soup mix) sans the mayo and with plain yogurt instead of sour cream. it was a little bland though, so i had to add a little garlic salt and lemon pepper.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: soypower

                              Next time, try it with some "fresh cheese" or "fromage frais." Here in Canada, it's made by Liberty and is called Quark. It's very thick, quite creamy, and is closer in taste to sour cream than is yogourt. And the butterfat content is only 0.25%

                            2. Wow. Only one vote for peanut butter so far. Classic. One of my favorite snacks.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: uptown jimmy

                                It's 'cause the OP asked for low-calorie ideas, which PB is definitely not.

                                I suggest salsa or roasted garlic purée.

                                1. re: piccola

                                  It is, however, very healthy (if you eat organic, no-hydrogenated-oils-p.b., that is).

                                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                                    organic, no-hydrogenated-oils-p.b. is the best built in portion control food ever

                                    1. re: orangewasabi

                                      Kind of true, actually. I don't think I've ever sat down with a jar of ORGANIC peanut butter and a spoon. But I just can't bring myself to buy the non-organic stuff anymore. I do miss the good old hydrogenated p.b, though.

                                    2. re: FlavoursGal

                                      and the more beanut butter you eat, the healthier you get? As long as it's organic and all that?

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        Did I say that? Does anyone ELSE think that I said that?

                                        I was responding to piccola's remark that no, PB is not low-calorie, but it IS healthy. And, yes, I do believe it is healthy only if one eats organic (non-organic peanuts are said to be full of pesticides and fungi) peanut butter that does not contain hydrogenated oils.

                                        "and the more beanut butter you eat, the healthier you get?"

                                        Peanut butter, eaten in moderation, is healthy.

                                        1. re: FlavoursGal

                                          I agree that non-hydrogenate, no sugar/salt added, peanut butter is healthy in moderation. However, an even better nutritional option is ground almond butter. Make sure it's the kind that's not roasted - roasting kills most of the nutrient value out of the almonds. Again, like most things, moderation is key, but it is very good for you.

                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                            Good point. Almonds are a healthier option than peanuts.

                                          2. re: FlavoursGal

                                            It's totally healthy, I agree. But sadly not low-cal.
                                            I guess if the OP can portion out the PB in tiny quantities, it could work - but I know I'd have a hard time not scooping it out.

                                            1. re: piccola

                                              sorry, my smallest unit of measurement seems to be "jar"...

                                  2. I like celery with hummus. I buy the spicy hummus, so I don't eat to much of it--just a little goes a long way.

                                    1. I dip celery in salsa, hummus, low-fat ranch or cottage cheese (which I sometimes mix with a little cumin for flavor).

                                      1. Thanks guys! These are great. THe reason I ask for really low-calorie ideas is because I'm a mindless eater - so maybe I should be cutting the habit, but it's easier to start by minimizing the calories. I can eat in massive quantities, so hummus and nut butters are out of the question (sighhhh). But the yogurt and cottage cheese mixes are intriguing, I will definitely check those out. I just bought some Trader Joe's Italian Tomato Sauce Base, so maybe I'll do something with that too. Keep 'em coming!!!!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: janethepain

                                          I know it sounds a little gross, but sometimes I dip carrot sticks in tomato sauce....

                                          1. re: janethepain

                                            Oh, mindless eating. I can identify. I do that sometime when I get edgy. And since I work out of my home, the fridge can sing that siren song.
                                            I have to substitute one habit for another. Smoking is out. I fill a large glass with ice chips and water. Chewing the ice is bad for teeth but I can suck on them. Takes up a lot more time than eating. No calories. Lots healthier. Still get my oral gratification. Skin looks better. Cheap.

                                          2. Try jicama, radishes, cucumber (a natural diuretic, as is asparagus) and raw mushrooms as well...

                                            Do a cabbage slaw (shredded cabbage) with a vinegar mixture topping, as often gets served with Teriyaki bowls.

                                            Mix Lipton's soup mix w/ fat free yogurt or sour cream for a dip, or mix ranch dip mix with those fat free options. Personally, I love Kraft fat free mayo because I like the sweetness.

                                            Also, consider taking a head of garlic, slice off the top, sprinkle over some water or broth (instead of oil), then bake in a 400 degree oven until cloves are soft and spreadable.

                                            I know you're interested in mindless chewing, but also consider making a large pot of veggie soup w/ no starchy veggies because the broth will fill you up as well... I start with a mix of veggie broth and water, then add onions and carrots and sometimes garlic cloves, and allow these to cook up a bit to flavor the broth. Then I add the other low cal suspects like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, cabbage, squash, and sometimes oddly eggplant if I have it on hand.

                                            1. I love it with Maries Blue Cheese dressing, low cal or not. As a matter of fact that was lunch today.

                                              1. Maybe it doesn't have to be just celery. Have you seen this? 200 calories of kiwi is a huge amount!


                                                endive is a great munchie and pretty darn calorie free too - I find it has a bit more taste than celery so doesn't need a topper. Same with radishes

                                                1. I like to make a spicy egg-white salad for dipping celery and other scoopie vegetables (bok choy is another good one). Just:

                                                  Hard boil some eggs
                                                  Extract the yolk (and save or give to dog, or whatever. In moderation, egg yolks is good for you... but not in this applications.)

                                                  Chop up the whites and mix with a bit of low-fat plain yogurt, minced cucumber and onion, then add to taste any mix of the following:

                                                  Curry Paste
                                                  Anchovie Paste
                                                  Roasted Garlic Paste (w/o sugar... check this)
                                                  Miso Paste
                                                  Ground Black Pepper
                                                  Sea Salt
                                                  Olive Oil
                                                  Truffle Oil
                                                  Sesame Oil

                                                  And... don't try all of them at once... I shudder to think what might happen. ;)
                                                  (Editted to add: I usually mix the pastes with a bit of oil before mixing into the salad to get them mobile).