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Low Calorie Snacks

I am looking for some low calorie snack ideas for predinner snacking. I don't get home from work until 6:30 and my husband doesn't get home until 8. Plenty of time to make an awesome dinner, if I'm not so hungry that I just start eating anything I can get my hands on. Right now I have some Dolma in the fridge. I don't tend to like carrots and celery as snacks. Any other creative ideas of something I can snack on so I don't ruin my dinner? I'm not afraid of difficulty, foreign cuisines, or allergic to anything (the carrots and celery aversion is actually that I'm bored with them). Thanks in advance!

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  1. Malin, I feel your pain. Same thing used to happen to me. I usually wound up eating two dinners, one while waiting for my husband, and one with him. I have just lost 15 pounds and here are a couple of my favorite ways to fill me up so I can wait to eat dinner later:

    Snack on an apple and a bag of 100 calorie natural almonds (Diamond makes them), spearate or together. Fills you up.

    Not exactly a snack, but a cup (75 calories) or two of the following chili goes a long way to satisfy hunger:

    10 oz. extra-lean ground turkey breast
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 (28oz) cans diced tomatoes
    I bag (1lb.) frozen sliced aucchini
    1 (15oz.0 can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (32oz.) box of fat-free beef broth (or equivalent)
    4 celery stalks, diced
    2 green peppers, diced
    1 (1 1/4oz) package dry chili seasoning.

    Spray a large pan with Pam and set over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and onion and saute until browned, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer the mixture to a large soup pot, add the other ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Brend lightly with a stick blender until it is chunky. (This recipe is adapted from one in the Jan. 2002 issue of Weight Watchers magazine.) If you freeze this in one or two cup quantities, you can pull some out every day and have a cup before dinner. Very filling.

    I also trained my husband to sometimes not expect me to eat dinner with him. I will sit at the table, converse and eat a salad, but not the main dish, since I already ate. Good luck!

    1. You don't mention HOW low the calories should be...but how about 1 apple? Or half an apple cut into slices with a dab of natural peanut butter? Also, almonds are very good--14 whole almonds would be about 85 calories (I buy lightly salted)...a glass of skim or 1% milk...a cup of yogurt. Spiced pecans might be nice, too, very easy to make and there are a million recipes for them. Edamame is excellent also to snack on.

      1. i find that snacking on brothy soups doesn't ruin my appetite for dinner and also doesn't cost me a lot of calories...some of my favorites are:

        egg flower soup
        hot & sour soup
        radish soup
        bean sprout soup
        pork and napa cabbage soup
        chicken and watercress soup

        1. I love the little individual Baby Bel light cheeses. They are 50 calories each. That with an apple would be about 130-150 calories as a pre-dinner snack to cut the hunger pangs. It'll prevent you from overeating too.

          Or, how about 1 cup of strawberries-50 calories.

          Take a can of black beans, rinse, drain, and then puree to make a dip. Add salsa, cilantro, red onion, a little lime juice, garlic. Eat 1/4 C. of it with crudite before dinner. If you don't like carrots, celery, how about different veggies to use as a dipper: endive leaves...fresh jicima, snap peas, red/yellow/orange peppers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: synergy

            Yes! Recently discovered how good snap peas are dipped in hummus...brocolli (stalks, too...not just florets)and cauliflower are very good as a raw munchie, too!

            1. re: Val

              Really any leftover cooked veggie can help with this. I like lightly steamed broccoli and almost anything grilled. Red/yellow/orange peppers are good raw, too.

              I also nuke a handful of edamame or have a piece of fruit. Plain yogurt w/ just a splash of maple syrup or brown sugar is also good.

          2. My latest snacks include:
            * Pickled cabbage (it's surprising how long a cup can hold me)
            * Chopped broccoli, cauliflower and carrots w/ or w/o hummus
            * Roasted chickpeas

            * Pumpkin yogurt (mix Greek yogurt w/ canned pumpkin, add pumpkin pie spices and the sweetener of your choice); alternatively, try mixing applesauce with yogurt, orange zest and Grand Marnier; eat w/ orange slices
            * Fruit
            * Weetabix biscuits w/ yogurt or fruit
            * Barbara's puffins

            3 Replies
            1. re: jeni1002

              DH and I just went on a diet AGAIN. It's a good idea to plan your snacks and have them ready when your energy level is low and your hunger level high. When you have time you can roast a bunch of vegetables and keep them in the refrigerator for snacking. Make plain yogurt parfaits with blueberries and granola. Grape tomatoes are sweet and almost zero calories. Some high fiber low sugar cereals make a nice trail mix when you throw it together with some nuts and dried fruit. a glass of diet soda like Canfield's chocolate fudge mixed with milk is filling and tastes like a dessert.
              Good luck and kudos on realizing the potential for disaster:)

              1. re: jeni1002

                Your suggestion of pickled cabbage reminded me of the pickled beets (Aunt Nellie's brand) we've been enjoying lately...1 serving of 2 pickled beets is 20 calories according to the nutrition label on the jar!

                1. re: jeni1002

                  Puffins, nothing better. good luck opening a box of the honey rice for me and not finishing the freaking thing though. defeats the purpose. oh well.

                2. I used to keep a big jar of pepperoncini's in the fridge, usually embellished with some extra garlic cloves. I used to eat these as I was prepping dinner. I did this often enough that I actually get a Pavlov's Dog response when I think of pepperoncini's still today, even though I haven't had this pattern for years. I used to be driving home and think of dinner plans, then think of the peppers in my fridge, and I started salivating like mad. Too much information perhaps...

                  Other ideas, almonds? Sugar free jello squares? (Super low in calories) How about a cup of chicken broth?

                  1. I asked a similar question about a year ago. Even though the ideas aren't as fresh, this thread might still be helpful to you. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40639... Good luck!


                    1. One of the veggie companies (Green Giant I think) now sells single serve frozen veggies. I am partial to the broccoli with cheese sauce. Also for low cal snacks I enjoy:
                      -2% Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar 1 oz sticks (I need single serve packaging for portion control, but it would be a lot cheaper to buy a bar and cut it up)
                      -TLC granola bars
                      -Light yogurt
                      -Single serving bags of Light microwave popcorn
                      -Pineapple (fresh or canned in juice with no sugar added)
                      -Special K Protein Plus or Fiber One
                      -Hard boiled egg

                      A nice cup of homemade soup or a yogurt parfait is wonderful when I have a day that I can make several ahead of time. Otherwise, I come home from work lazy and my best intentions go out the window.

                      1. Julie Van Rosendaal is a local(Calgary) author who's done two books: Grazing, which is all about portable, low-fat snacks and One Smart Cookie, all about lower-fat cookies etc. Check out dinnerwithjulie.com, there are quite a few recipes on her site for appetizers and snacks that I think would work for you. One of my faves is her Romesco dip. Bonus: Julie is inspirational; she's the poster girl for low fat cooking, Julie has dropped an amazing 165lbs!

                        1. I also suggest raw or gently pickled cabbage. I make a couple kinds of mayo-less coleslaw and eat them as salads with dinner or a snack to tide me over.

                          Asian: a few drops of sesame oil, garlic, sriracha, cilantro, scallions, rice wine vinegar
                          Mexican: chili powder, chipotles in adobo (or jalapeno), onions, lemon juice, sometimes raisins or NF farmer's cheese
                          American: a little carrot, a little NF yogurt, worcestershire sauce

                          You get the point. Raw cabbage is ultra low cal, super good for you, and it is surprisingly filling. I snack on it plain too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Super Salad

                            Or the lazy version - coleslaw mix with some store bought light asian sesame dressing. Not as tasty for sure, but quick.

                            Corn is a higher in cals than most veggies, but since summer is coming - leftover corn on the cob sliced off and tossed with apple cider vinegar, red onion, a few drops of olive oil, S&P and basil

                          2. I love a big fresh kosher pickle... very low cal.

                            A small salad dressed with just some vinegar and salt and pepper and any spices or herbs is quite low cal. Or sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and basil (add fresh mozarella if you dont mind upping the cals a bit)

                            I also do soups made from just homemade broth with some very low cal veggies thrown in.

                            Often I find that when I think I'm hungry, I'm actually thirsty. I enjoy a warm cup of coffee or diet soda mixed with a splash of fruit juice.
                            I make a frozen blended coffee concoction out of milk, splenda (or sweetner of choice), ice, and instant coffee granules blended until thick and smooth in the blender. It actually tastes a lot like Starbucks, a little less sweet. For variety, I add in a bit of cocoa powder or vanilla extract or sugarfree hazelnut syrup (or the sweetened splenda packs that are flavored like hazelnut). The calorie count is roughly 130 cals for the cup of 2% milk I use, and plus all the ice it adds up to being about 14- 16 oz in size.

                            You could also do smoothies with frozen strawberries or bananas with milk, etc. The cals would be a bit higher of course.

                            1. A cup of hot broth works well, but since I need to watch sodium, my current favorite is a glass of low-sodium tomato juice with a wedge of lemon. Easy to sip while I'm fixing dinner.

                              1. Laughing Cow herbed cheese on melba toast crackers (3 crackers with cheese is only 2 points on WW). I've also been overdosing on tangelos - they take a few minutes to peel and they are sooooo frigin juicy right now (I think only 1 point per). Those new All Brand crackers are delish and maybe 2 points for 18 crackers. Dip in salsa, many are 0 points. I make my own pita chips with Weight watchers pita bread - very low.

                                I run into issues with carrots and celery too because I want to dip them too much.

                                1. If you are craving something sweet - Faye 0% yougurt, mix in some splenda and cinnamon, add berries..... Awesome as a dessert too. Yum, I want some now!

                                  1. I don't know about dieting or low fat, but I like to snack on edamame and I believe it is very good for you with soy protein. If you buy the frozen packages you just need to boil them in water. Then you can eat them warm or cold with some salt. I will add pepper sometimes if I want a kick.

                                    1. Asian slaws are great to eat to tide over hunger- I like to add a few dashes of fish sauce to mine. For tomato juice, my favorite dash-in is a few drops of Worcestershire and some hot sauce.

                                      Another suggestion is quick pickles- sliced cucumbers soaked in mild vinegar, a tiny bit of sugar, salt, pepper and chopped dill. Minced chilies if you're in the mood. If you love garlic as much as I do, you'll add some sliced garlic cloves and snack on those too! :)

                                      1. Another idea would be to try Gnu Bars, sold at most Whole Foods type stores and online at gnufoods.com. They are really tasty and have a lot of fiber in them to keep you full until dinner. I keep them at work for my morning snack.

                                        1. sorry if i'm repeating any suggestions that have already been posted:

                                          hummus with crudités or a few baked pita chips
                                          light string cheese [TJ's has a good one] with a piece of fruit or a few high-fiber crackers
                                          a smoothie/protein shake if you want something sweet
                                          a serving of high-fiber cereal with your choice of low fat milk, milk substitute, or yogurt
                                          low fat cottage cheese in whatever sweet or savory incarnation you like
                                          a piece of whole-grain toast or half a bagel with low fat cheese or a little nut butter
                                          a cup of soup
                                          lettuce wraps with deli turkey slices, mustard, tomato, and cucumber
                                          decaf latte made with non fat milk [i've even found that simple herbal tea can help curb those munchies - the warm liquid fills you up]
                                          shirataki noodles with a little parm or nutritional yeast & pepper

                                          1. Pickles, kimchi, baby cucumbers with frank's hot sauce are quick choices in our house.
                                            For something more substantial tasting try the Weight Watchers zero point soups. There are three of them, the Asian and the Mexican flavoured ones are both great:

                                            1. most of my 'free' snacks are listed..broths, edamame, popcorn
                                              I find that drinking V8 fills the hunger gap too..

                                              1. Half a cup of Fiber One with half a cup of unsweetend vanilla Almond Breeze is filling and only 80 calories. Yum, fiber.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                  ditto with vanilla soy light. Also found a wonderful new V8 that is high enough in fiber to make it a 0 point drink and I really jazz it up like a virgin bloody mary - worestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, celery salt, etc. Yumm!

                                                2. try grilled poppadam! you can get them at any asian store. ask for papad. stick one in the microwave for less than a minute, or roast on a low flame. this is one of the lowest calorie snacks you will find, and it wil not spoil your dinner either!

                                                  1. The Vietnamese are exceptionally good at huge flavor, tiny fat and calorie content.

                                                    Try fresh spring rolls!
                                                    Any combination of:
                                                    Shrimp/Tofu/Sliced Pork
                                                    Carrots/Cukes/Shredded Lettuce
                                                    Mint/Culantro/Green Onion/Thai Basil

                                                    Rice verm. optional, and to drop the calorie count even more, wrap it in a lettuce leaf instead of rice paper. Nuoc Cham for dipping, and it's ready.

                                                    Soooo good, and totally guilt-free!