I love fresh fruits and veggies but if I’m hungry and noshy spending time to cut up an apple or carrot into sticks seems like such a hassle. I want a snack now! And before the comments come flooding in, I don’t like baby carrots or stuff that’s already been cut. They just don’t taste the same to me. And protein like chicken or yogurt doesn’t always fit the bill, I’m looking for crunch, like potato chips without the gazillion calories and fat.
So I was having coffee with a friend last week (If my friend Lisa is reading this right now, her jaw just dropped because as long as she’s known me, I don’t “do” coffee) and we were discussing running, training, healthy eating, etc. and she shared what she does for snacks and it was one of those “why aren’t I doing that moment”. Every day she cuts up a big batch of fruits and veggies and leaves them in a bowl to snack on all day. Yep. That’s it.
Duh! So simple yet so smart! To get extra bang for your fruit or veggie buck (because let’s be honest, sometimes an apple is NOT what you feel like eating) here are some creative ways to jazz up your fruit or veggie-based snacks.
Dip your cut up veggies into hummus, salsa, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt mixed with ranch dressing mix.
Cut up apples and pears are yummy dipped into a golfball size blob of peanut butter or a small dish of Greek yogurt with cinnamon or a drizzle of honey. Kiwi (my new favorite fruit) are tasty mixed with blackberries and topped with vanilla yogurt or with a squeeze of orange juice and sprinkled with slivered nuts. And mandarin orange slices are out of this world eaten with a small piece of dark chocolate.
Delish! But I know what you’re thinking.
“Keli, I am very BUSY, I don’t have time to do all of this prep work!” Ok, I hear you. But if I told you that it took about 3 minutes to cut up a batch of veggies, toss them in a bowl with a smidge of water and stick them in the fridge would you try it?
“Keli, apples get brown if they’re cut”. Agreed. But try tossing them with a squeeze of lemon and dust with cinnamon. They are so good this way and no browning.
Spending a few minutes a day to ensure that you’re grabbing healthy snacks is well worth the investment. And if you are having a hard time giving up the processed snacks start by pairing chips or crackers with some fruit or veggies.
A recent study showed that 6 baby carrots paired with 6 cheetos was as satisfying to subjects as just cheetos alone. Something to think about.
Now go run!