When we think of snack foods, we don’t automatically think of the word “healthy”. Words that come to mind when we think of snack foods are usually “fried,” “greasy,” “saucy,” and of course “fattening.” Wings, chips and dip, and any breaded bite-size morsels are usually what we think of when it comes to snacks and appetizers. We mindlessly consume snacks because we think that since they are petite portions, we are not taking in as much as we would during a full meal. Unfortunately at times, we end up consuming MORE while we are snacking then we do during a regular meal!
If we can’t help our mindless snacking habits, we can at least control WHAT our snacking consists of. Yes, there are healthy, easy to make and TASTY snacks that make great alternatives to your average, fattening snack foods. If you fall in love with anything you make, next time make a huge batch so that you wont have to make them as often, and you’ll have healthy snacks on hand.
Spiced Chickpea Snack Mix
- 2 15-oz cans drained chickpeas
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 1/2 TBS sugar or sweetener
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp each cayenne and black pepper
Bake at 425°F for 22-24 minutes.
- 1 head cauliflower, cleaned and cut info bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk (it has less fat than whole milk)
- 1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1 TBS unsalted butter, melted
- Dash of salt and pepper
Whisk together milk, flour and spices until smooth. Gently toss cauliflower in mixture. Bake cauliflower at 450°F for 15 minutes. Combine butter and buffalo sauce in bowl. Pour over cauliflower, coating as best as you can. Bake for additional 5 minutes and serve.
Roasted Eggplant Dip
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup canned, drained petite diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes chopped)
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 TBS each chopped fresh parsley and chopped fresh basil
- 2 TBS grated Parmesan
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, cutting through stem. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Brush the insides with lemon juice, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Finely chop eggplant pulp. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pulp, onion, bell peppers and jalapeño. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and crushed red pepper. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes; sauté for 5 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in vinegar, parsley, basil and Parmesan. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. (Dip can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve with variety of chopped veggies (red pepper strips, cucumber slices, etc.)