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What is your favorite healthy snack?

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I'm always looking for snack ideas - and also I'm wondering if Chow readers care about calories.

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  1. Popcorn. I pop it in a brown paper bag with a little bit of oil in the microwave. I top with pecorino and fine salt.

    3 Replies
    1. re: KTinNYC

      Popcorn is my favorite diet snack, too. Although, I use a bit of spicy sesame oil in my popcorn popper.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        i make it in the brown paper bag in the microwave, too, but i don't use any oil.
        after it's popped i drizzle a little melted butter over it and salt.

        when i'm being UNHEALTHY, i make a microwaved warm slurry of peanut butter and melted chocolate and dip the popped kernels in this stuff.

        1. re: westsidegal

          I make the slurry and skip the popped corn. ;-) I consider PB and dark chocolate to be health foods, not just for breakfast any more!

      2. Mix of raisins and peanuts

        1. pickles, pickled veggies, http://www.foodshouldtastegood.com/#/... and these chips satisfy my snack cravings.

          1. Pickles, soynuts, low fat cottage cheese, yogurt cheese, fiber crackers and dip (usually ajvar or baba ghannouj). Holiday season often gets me calorie counting when I start to feel celebratory meals piling on around the midsection, so I try to keep my snacks healthy but satisfying with some crunch.

            1. Easy answer. Almonds. Preferably dark roasted with minimal salt.

              1. Edamame, with or without chili salt. Foie gras. (Just kidding, but in my dreams...)

                1. chex mix (made with margerine or EEVO) and very little salt.
                  cut up veggie.
                  Bake wasabi chick peas
                  toasted almonds (my favorite). Nothing on it.

                  1. I also love almonds (lightly salted)...edamame...watermelon...hint of salt Trisuits usually WITH a little goat cheese...oh, popcorn, too--apples.

                    1. honey crisp apple
                      If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, you're not hungry

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: laliz

                        So true! Love that :)

                        1. re: laliz

                          laliz- my mom ALWAYS told us that when we were kids. And it is so very true that I still use it today as a self-test to determine if I'm actually hungry or just munchy.

                          Of course, mom was referring to the month old mealy Red Delicious that always sat on the kitchen counter, so you really had to be hungry to suffer through one of those flavorless dry hunks. These days, there is always a Fuji in my fridge, and this year I discovered that I love honeycrisp so I'm enjoying those while their short season lasts.

                        2. Cucumbers in a lemon vinaigrette.

                          1. a granny smith apple with extra crunchy peanut butter. yummy!!!

                            1. -Edamame
                              -Apple with a piece of cheese
                              -Celery sticks, apple, or banana with peanut butter
                              -Plain yogurt with a little honey or agave
                              -Fruited yogurt or a light fruit smoothie with almond butter mixed in
                              -A small piece of dark chocolate or a few baking chips
                              -Wheat bread with a piece of string cheese melted on

                              1. What's healthy for you depends on what your body needs, no?

                                I really like roasted nuts, whole milk yogurt, tea eggs, marinated eggs, cheese and fruit, brown rice cakes with almond or cashew butter or cheese meat, soup of any sort, especially rasam or tomato, vegetarian futomaki, fresh silken tofu with soy sauce, chives and toasted sesame oil, flavored nori seaweed, rice crackers, etc...

                                If you prefer low fat foods, roasted chestnuts and seasonal fruit are great if you're hungry, KTinNYC's popcorn idea can't be beat if you just have the munchees. If I'm hungry, I also occasionally munch on a baked potato or baked sweet potato with salt and spices or low fat dressing and cereal (Chex and Nature Valley amaranth flakes are my favorites at the moment), green papaya salad (easy to make a big batch; it keeps for a while).

                                I don't know if they're entirely healthy, but I have a major fixation with soy chips. There's a brand that adds calcium to some flavors, so I delude myself into thinking it's healthy. The are pretty high in protein and low fat (but high in sodium).

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: cimui

                                  Roasted chestnuts, man I haven't thought about that in years. I remember my grandmother buying me chess nuts from a street vendor when I maybe 5 (nope, wasn't in this country). Still remember them taking news paper and rolling it into a cone and scooping hot chestnut into it. I still remember the smell of roasted chess nuts against news print.

                                  1. re: Soup

                                    Aw that's a great memory! I am thinking of the smell, now...

                                    My first memory of Chestnuts was eating them at my piano teacher's house. Her husband would score an X in each nut and it would take me ten minutes to get my short, piano-playing length nails under the peel enough to peel it.

                                    In Manhattan, especially in midtown, a lot of vendors sell roasted chestnuts in the winter. Most of them don't roast on location, though, and sell pre-roasted ones, which don't smell quite as nice... and you don't get to hold them, hot.

                                    Did you spend your childhood in London or elsewhere in the UK?

                                  2. re: cimui

                                    "What's healthy for you depends on what your body needs, no?"

                                    YES!!!! I'm so tired of people equating low-calorie with healthy, or essentially treating food as if it were poison.

                                    So to me, healthy means it contains actual nutrients (protein, vitamins, etc.) and isn't overly processed. Cheetos -- not healthy. Peanutbutter and sliced apples, not exactly low cal, but healthy.

                                    Most foods that aren't overly processed won't contain many of the things people often think of as unhealthy (HFCS, excessive amounts of sodium, transfats, etc.). I don't consider naturally occurring fats *in moderation* to be unhealthy. Too much of anything, of course, can be unhealthy.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      I lost a butt load of weight by cutting out processed food, except for a low fat eggo waffle for breakfast. I still eat lots of avacados and peanuts, not low fat but good for you in other ways, plus I have not been to a fast food place in two years.

                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                        Did you mean cutting out processed food? Because of course I agree. Actually, almost any eating philosophy where you have to pay attention to what you eat and make conscious choices will result in, shall we say, weight optimization. One of the real causes of the "obesity epidemic" is that fact that people are surrounded by heavily marketed food and don't even realize what they're consuming half the time.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          I just re-read and edited my post. Yes, I did away with processed food, except for my lo fat eggo waffle in the morning. It's just too quick and easy, plus it is five fifteen in the morning.

                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                            Yes, you deserve a dispensation for anything eaten at that hour!

                                    2. re: cimui

                                      What are tea eggs?

                                    3. hummus with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or cucumber slices.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: dagwood

                                        yeah, I forgot to say hummus...have been making my own pretty much non-stop for months and then if I don't make it, I miss it!!! (does that mean I'm hooked???) Love it with cucumber/parsley/any bitter greens/red pepper strips.

                                        1. re: dagwood

                                          jicama is probably the perfect vegetable dipper. With daikon a close second.

                                          1. re: dagwood

                                            +1 on hummus with veggies. apple with or w/o peanut butter. unsalted almonds. tomatoes.
                                            ezekial bread with sliced cukes and shaved hard cheese. plain yogurt and fresh berries. kashi cocoa beach granola. low sodium v8 w/ fresh lemon or lime.

                                          2. Whole wheat pita w/ nutella & sliced banana. The nutella is for my mental health.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Rmis32

                                              OH MY GOD YUM. I am thoroughly addicted to nutella/peanut butter and banana. Although I try and limit myself in the condiment department as in excess...well...sadly not so good for you. But still, if abandoned on an island, I would die without nutella and bananas. It's also good when everyone else is having tacos, I can seem like I'm having a taco but really it's a tortilla with nutella or peanut butter and banana. (I don't eat meat anymore.) I like my burrito better anyway. :o)

                                            2. im very simple...

                                              roasted carrots with salt
                                              persimmon - cut and fresh!
                                              steamed veggies with salt... preferably cauliflower, broccoli
                                              hearts of palm
                                              cut honeydew
                                              hard-boiled egg whites

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Emme

                                                in Costa Rica, if i wanted a quick healthy snack I'd grab a small can of hearts of palm and just sit there and eat them straight out of the can. man those bring back some memories. I find they're nowhere near as good here, but I still get them

                                              2. A baked sweet potato right out of the oven and a glass of milk.

                                                1. Nature Valley Fruit and Nut bar. Just enough chew and flavor and fiber to be enough.

                                                  1. Baby carrots and ranch dressing. Or any veggie and hummus. Apple and peanut butter.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: KristieB

                                                      good baby carrots (my fave is bolthouse farms) with hummus, usually a roasted garlic one or a spicy one.

                                                    2. Wow, these are all so amazing! making me very hungry - Thanks!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: SnackGirl

                                                        -Granny Smith Apple with nuts
                                                        -Any fruit with nuts
                                                        -crispbread and cottage cheese
                                                        -crispbread and peanut butter
                                                        -yogurt
                                                        -Eggs(omelette)

                                                      2. Seeds, nuts and dried fruits of all kinds
                                                        Wholemeal pitta with hummus
                                                        rice cakes
                                                        low fat Greek yogurt

                                                        1. Nuts, cheese, sugar snap peas. Always have a bag of Trader Joe's red label roasted, unsalted almonds in my car.

                                                          1. Grapes. I saw some on sale today and put back the candy I was planning to buy.

                                                            1. quaker maple brown sugar (lower sugar kind) oatmeal

                                                              1. 1. Salsa with some small, firm pretzels.
                                                                2. Warm corn tortilla with a little bean action and a few dashes of hot sauce.
                                                                3. Salted peanuts or BBQ almonds
                                                                4. Grape tomatoes and raw broccoli.

                                                                Regarding your other question:
                                                                I like to eat foods that feel right for me and my activity level regardless of the calories in the grub.
                                                                Some times you feel like a nut, sometimes you won't......
                                                                care if the pickles or rice are fried.

                                                                1. any tip of seasonal fruits, clementines are still juicy at this time, roasted chestnuts, low fat yogurt sprinkled with raisin. i start to feel hungry now. And when on-the-go i definitely grab a gogo squeez apple pouch :D

                                                                  What is your favorite snack for on-the go ?

                                                                  Laurent • community manager | Materne
                                                                  http://www.materne.us/blog

                                                                  1. Not California, or Chilean, but Mexican avacados.

                                                                    1. Carrots, although I eat so many that I am visibly orangish.

                                                                      Everyone always asks me how I got so tanned in the dead of winter. I got referred to an endocrinologist because my doctor was sure I had some liver issue.

                                                                      But hey, carrots are cheap, delicious, healthy and versatile. Can't go wrong.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                                                        I agree, carrots are really fab...LOVE them roasted in the oven with turnips and beets and rosemary...ahhh! By the, way do you only eat organic carrots? They are one of the vegetables with high pesticide residues, so organic would be best if you eat THAT much! Here's a link if you are interested...scroll down to "concerns":
                                                                        http://www.worldshealthiestfoods.com/...

                                                                        1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                                                          *hangs head in shame*

                                                                          me too. my tan is definitely orange/yellowy. i surf and run, so i'm outside a lot, which helps with the tan, but the tone? that's all carrots... i was recently told my teeth are too white for my tan... oh well. i don't know what the solution is because i love my steamed or roasted carrots with kosher salt... Vitamin A is fat-soluble, but i don't think just eating more fat will solve the issue...

                                                                        2. Edamame w/sea salt; hummus; a perfect peach. After that, my favorite snacks tend to run in the high-calorie crowd.

                                                                          1. I really love making a big batch of caponata on the weekend and snacking on it throughout the week. The multi-dimensional flavor seems to feed any craving i have at the moment.

                                                                            1. Sort of healthy: peanut butter on an apple (crunchy, non-starchy pbj), mustard on an apple, scoop of vanilla ice cream in the scooped out center of half a canteloupe (the only way I like canteloupe).

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                                                Mustard on an apple, really? How did you come to try that? I'm now tentatively curious.

                                                                              2. Oh, I have tonnes:
                                                                                edamame (preferably with gomasio)
                                                                                popcorn
                                                                                frozen fruit chunks (mangoes, bananas, and berries are all extra good)
                                                                                roasted chickpeas
                                                                                raw veggies (especially baby carrots) with salsa
                                                                                plain Greek yogurt or lowfat cottage cheese
                                                                                grapes
                                                                                mini babybel with v8
                                                                                roasted chestnuts
                                                                                dates stuffed with almonds (I can only have one or two, they're so sweet)

                                                                                1. I bought 5 Liberte Mediterrranee 6 oz. cups of coconut yogurt and placed them inside our electric ice cream maker (Krups) and let the yogurt start to whirl for about 30 mins. then added dried coconut flakes and diced dried pineapple to the mixture until the whole batch was the consistency of frozen yogurt. Pour into my ice cream mold and about an hour later enjoyed the most delicious "semi-homemade" coconut & pineapple yogurt! Snack time!

                                                                                  eta: If you have a food dryer, this crazy delicious snack is so simple; my daughter pulled together in a few mins following this recipe:
                                                                                  Cacao Walnut Macaroons http://www.rawmazing.com/recipes/caca...

                                                                                  1. 1. low-fat string cheese! This is not fancy stuff, but it's portion-controlled, tasty, and satisfying. It's also easy to take with you in your bag or pocket.

                                                                                    2. My family is Greek, and a common snack I had growing up was cucumbers cut into sticks or rounds and sprinkled with salt and pepper, maybe with a bit of feta and lemon juice.

                                                                                    3. Natural peanut butter or almond butter smeared on fruit, veggie sticks, or stone-ground wheat crackers.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: scarletcerise

                                                                                      when i was a kid and my mom was making salad, she would always peel extra cucumber, and slice it into sticks, then sprinkle with a generous dose of salt. always tasty and hits the spot in simplicity.

                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                        That reminds me...I love dipping slices of green mango in a mixture of salt and cayenne. Really delicious.

                                                                                        1. re: soypower

                                                                                          See, I do ripe mango with lime juice, salt and cayenne.

                                                                                    2. Soft boiled egg, and toast soldiers with butter and a sprinkle of salt. Mmmmmmm.

                                                                                      1. Others:

                                                                                        Blackberries, homemade yogurt, honey
                                                                                        Chilled, seeded mandarin segments or chilled cubed fresh pineapple and cut up banana
                                                                                        Saltines, queso campesino, quick passion fruit sauce

                                                                                        1. My new favorite snack is kale chips, which I read about in a health magazine. I can't believe I've lived without these all these years.

                                                                                          Coarse chop kale into large, potato-chip sized pieces. Lay on cookie sheet. Mix up olive oil, salt and pepper, use a basting brush to brush onto the tops of the kale. Bake at 400 degrees - in about 10 minutes, they are super crispy and delicious. They're even good cold. I suppose you could add some spice to them if you want, but I don't find it necessary, I like them plain with just the salt and pepper. We make them in 2 cookie sheet batches now as they are so good.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                            http://meghantelpnerblog.com/2009/04/...
                                                                                            Oh yes, kale chips! And this video shows you how very quickly. I prefer a pizza pan with wholes over a flat sheet but like rockandroller1, kale chips are so easy and delicious to snack on.

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              What a hoot, thanks for the pointer, even I had to try them. I sprinkled a little sugar on them, but they still taste green, I'm afraid.

                                                                                              Can the same be done with other greens, like spinach or escarole?

                                                                                              An interesting recipe, for sure.

                                                                                              1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                                                I think escarole could work, but probably not spinach -- it's too delicate. Sturdier greens work best.

                                                                                            2. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                              Kale chips, exactly! They are so good, and good for you, that I have been making them for all my friends. I make a tahini sauce with lemon and garlic, toss the kale in that, then cook them in my dehydrator at 110 degrees so that all of the enzymes and other nutrients are still intact. This may be the most nutritious food on earth. It is certainly one of the most delicious.

                                                                                            3. A beer w/ a raw egg and a can of Snappy Tom in it.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                what is snappy Tom?

                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                  A chile pepper tomato juice concoction frequently sold at bars in the southwest.

                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                    So would this beer-egg-Snappy Tom combo be otherwise known as a hangover cure?

                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                      We thought of it more as dinner. Also called a red beer.

                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                        Never had it with the egg before.

                                                                                              2. perfectly ripe honeydew or cantelopue. i really love wrapping the most perfect slice of prosciutto around it

                                                                                                1. Beer & peanuts.

                                                                                                  1. i definitely care about calories.
                                                                                                    i always have a large bowl of israeli salad in my fridge:
                                                                                                    it is mainly chopped persian cucumbers, with some
                                                                                                    chopped tomatoes, diced onions, lemon juice, salt, pepper.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                      Although I don't care about calories, now and then I have a bowl of pan-Muslim salad in my fridge. It is mainly diced Middle Eastern cucumbers, with some diced tomatoes, diced red onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a bit of oil. Very common in the western Asian republics of the ex-Soviet Union.

                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                        Well at least the Israelis & Muslims agree on something.

                                                                                                      2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                        I made that very salad tonight! Am waiting for the flavors to meld a little before I attack it.

                                                                                                      3. Depends on how you define healthy and it might not be what I find healthy for me.

                                                                                                        1. frozen grapes (just freeze and eat)

                                                                                                          fruit salad (chop up an apple, a banana, strawberries, etc in a bowl and eat)

                                                                                                          vegetable plate (chop up vegetables, put on plate to make you feel like it was a pre-prepped snack)

                                                                                                          yogurt with muesli (less calories than granola, plus easy to make your own mix)

                                                                                                          banana soft serve (peel, slice and freeze bananas, then whip in food processor until ice creamy, about 4 minutes, scrape sides)

                                                                                                          smoothie (use frozen banana slices, frozen berries, maybe a few greens to make it even more healthy, and water)

                                                                                                          1. My new favorite snack are pickled green beans. I discovered them while trying out all the bloody mary's in my area. Speaking of which, bloody mary's aren't very high in calories either..

                                                                                                            1. roasted chick peas with some olive oil/salt/whatever else...really tasty and filling!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Fromageball

                                                                                                                i did a smattering of flavors for a bridal shower recently, and people liked em... i did rosemary; cumin, coriander and onion powder; and cayenne.

                                                                                                              2. As to your query about worrying about calories, personally I don't, due to a freakish metabolism combined with a small appetite and persnickety stomach (when I get full it's not unusual for fullness to somehow get interpreted as mild nausea. This may explain the small appetite in the first place).

                                                                                                                As to the snacks themselves, a good apple with peanutbutter (haven't tried a honecrisp yet, but so far I LOOOOOVE jazz apples)
                                                                                                                string cheese
                                                                                                                salsa (with or without chips)
                                                                                                                not sure if this constitutes a snack, or necessarily healthy (though I don't exactly think it's UNhealthy either), but I like to get stir fry beef, or skirt steak, or some other small bits of raw beef and season them with a little honey, seasoned salt, and soy or worchestershire sauce (even just raw dipped in seasoned salt works)
                                                                                                                pretzels with peanutbutter

                                                                                                                1. apples, and yogurt or dried cranberries and banana chips
                                                                                                                  Cabbage slaw