After working hard all year to lose weight, the holiday season can feel like the final hurdle to cross. Unhealthy treats, such as cookies and candies, are easily accessible at all times. While balance is key, be mindful that your munching doesn’t hinder your weight-loss goals. Here are a few healthy snacks that will keep you satiated without breaking your diet.
1. Roasted Spicy Chickpeas
Skip the potato chips for this crispy, savory snack. To make roasted chickpeas:
- Drain and rinse two 15-ounce cans of low-sodium chickpeas.
- Add chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a spice blend of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix together to incorporate spices.
- Roast chickpeas at 425°F for 35 minutes or until crispy.
Chickpeas are a wonderful source of dietary fiber. Just one cup of cooked chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of fiber. That’s half of a woman’s daily-recommended intake of fiber and one-third of a man’s recommended intake.
2. Warm Baked Cinnamon Apples
This snack is easy to prepare and the perfect warm bite for a cold day. Here’s how to make it:
- Cut off the tops of your apples. Set aside the tops.
- Use a paring knife to core the apples. Fill the cavities with a mixture of cranberries, cinnamon and chopped nuts of your choice. Drizzle honey inside and place the apple top back on.
- Place apples in a baking dish with 1/4 inch of water and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for a final 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.
Apples are a rich source of phytochemicals, which can reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. Apples can also aid weight loss by keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
3. Christmas Tree Veggie Tray
This festive vegetable tray makes eating vegetables fun. Here’s how to assemble your tree:
- Lay down a base of fresh broccoli florets to form the tree’s shape.
- For ornaments, place cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices or any preferred vegetables on the broccoli base.
- Use celery or carrot sticks to form a trunk.
- Use a small cookie cutter to cut out the shape of a star out of a yellow bell pepper skin.
- Serve with a side of a yogurt-based vegetable dipping sauce.
Vegetables are low-calorie and provide essential nutrients to help you avoid seasonal sickness. Only one cup of uncooked broccoli has approximately 90% of the recommended daily value amount of vitamin C.
* Recipes courtesy of the American Heart Association.