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Healthy Munchies

Is there such a thing? Yes! In honor of the rapidly changing marijuana laws (and snackers everywhere) here are some ways to munch and not end up feeling like crap. Oh and these make excellent snacks for anyone, anytime, not just Coloradans.

1. Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

Frozen greek yogurt bars are not only yummy and creamy but they’re low-fat, have protein and just taste delicious. My favorite brand is Yasso which makes flavors like Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Coconut, Vanilla Bean and Mango. But check out this taste test to find your own favorite brand: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-reviews/research-institute/greek-yogurt-bars?click=main_sr

2. Chia Pudding

Ok it sounds weird but its kinda good. Made with coconut milk and Chia seeds these ‘pods’ have about 140 calories, fiber, Omega-3’s, antioxidants and a little protein making it the perfect snack. The Chia Co. makes Chia Pod flavors like vanilla bean (my fav), banana, blueberry and mango. Or you can be incredibly ambitious like my roommate and make your own Chia pudding: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/chia-pudding

3. Popcorn

Seems obvious but air popped or light popcorn is insanely low calorie. Spruce it up with cinnamon & a little sugar or Splenda/Stevia), parmesan, truffle oil, spices, the sky is the limit! Either go for a light brand like Bearitos No Oil, Newmans 94% Fat Free or other low-oil variety OR make your own! Its easier than it sounds: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/

4. Frozen Grapes

Easy to make, delicious, crisp, sweet, refreshing, frozen grapes are a perfect snack. I prefer red grapes but try both kinds to find your favorite. Simply buy, wash, stick in freezer overnight (or a few hours if your in a rush to eat ‘em).

5. Baby Ice Creams

Dig in to a (quarter) pint without worrying about eating it all because you can! Ben and Jerry’s, Haagen-Daz, Cia Bella and a variety of other ice cream/sorbet brands make these baby pints. Perfect for an ice cream fix!

6. Peas Not Potato Chips

Snapea Crisps (the most popular but not only) brand of potato chip like peas are amazing. They’ve got the salty, oily taste of potato chips with many less calories and the goodness of peas to boot.

7. Italian Ice

Ok by far the most sugary of options thus far but Italian Ice cups are pretty low in calories and incredibly refreshing. Luigi’s (pictured here) makes a slew of flavors like Mango, Strawberry, Lemon, Cherry. And other good brands include Lindy’s or Marinos. Make sure they are less than 150 cals per cup tho!

8. Crunchy Veggies

Duh you’re thinking. A stretch for hungry munchers but if you can veggies are obviously one of the healthiest snacks and you can basically eat as many as you like! Baby carrots, snap peas, green beans, sliced red peppers, celery, all are crunchy, juicy and delicious. Baby carrots or snap peas come in convenient bags or buy and cut your own. Don’t knock it before you try it.

9. Fro Yo

As long as it is low-fat and not super high in sugar Fro Yo is a relatively healthy and incredibly satisfying snack. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Pinkberry done but if not a small or medium of other brands with healthy toppings like fruit, nuts, cereal or dark chocolate chips isn’t bad. Get it while your out and keep in your freezer for later.

10. Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Another don’t knock it ‘till you try it Roasted Seaweed has hit the market and its not bad. The crunchy, salty snack is surprisingly satisfying. Try brands like Annie Chun’s with flavors like Sea Salt & Brown Sugar, Seasme, Wasabi or SeaFarm with flavors like Olive Oil (amazing) or Wasabi. The only drawback is a high price for relatively small snack but nonetheless a healthy option.

11. Frozen Blueberries

My entire family considers themselves frozen blueberry addicts. They are so good eaten right out of the bag or with modifications. My mom’s favorite? Pour frozen blueberries in a bowl, cover with choice of milk (skim, Almond or her choice Fat Free Half & Half), sprinkle 1-2 packets of artificial sweetener over it, let sit for a minute in freezer and its a delicious, soupy, ice cream-like treat.

12. Sabra Hummus Cups

With a perfectly portioned amount of Hummus and pretzels Sabra hummus cups are a no brainer. Crunchy, creamy and not bad for you to boot.

13. Dried Fruit

Another one that may seem obvious- go for freeze-dried fruit, apple chips or a brand like Just Fruit that keeps its dried fruit sugar-free and crispy. The denser dried fruits like dried Apricots are higher calorie and have a lot of natural sugar. If it seems light and crispy its probably lower calorie.

14. Peanut Butter Puffs

If you just must have something sweet and peanut buttery don’t reach for peanut butter or Reese’s- try a peanut butter inspired cereal like Barbra’s Puffins or EnviroKids Peanut Butter Panda Puffs.

15. Edamame

Roasted soybeans can be bought from most sushi restaurants/grocery stores with a sushi section and are now even sold in frozen microwavable bags. Eaten warm with a little salt these are a very satisfying and healthy snack with fiber and protein to boot.

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