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Snack Smart with these Creative, Filling Snacks

by Staci Amend
October 8, 2014

It may seem counter-intuitive, but occasional snacking is actual critical to a healthy weight loss program. How? Studies suggest that giving your body small amounts of fuel at regular intervals helps to keep the metabolism fired up and working efficiently. And of course, snacking can tamp down serious hunger, so you’re not starving—and more likely to overeat—when it’s time for an actual meal. As a general rule, your snacks should be high in protein or fiber, low in sugar and salt, and around 200 calories. Most Jenny Craig snacks meet these criteria, so they’re always a great option if you’re on the run. But if you’re feeling creative, here are four more that fit the bill.

1. Frozen grapes
These bite-sized fruits are sweet by nature, and the simple act of freezing brings out a decadent creamy texture you’d never imagine they had! For the easiest, healthiest sweet snack ever, simply remove a bunch of grapes from the stem, rinse, and spread over a cookie sheet. Freeze overnight, and enjoy!

When they’re this chilly and delicious, it’s easier to eat them slowly—and not eat too many.

2. Homemade apple chips
If you’re craving the crunch of a chip AND want a little something sweet, this snack is for you! Using a mandolin or sharp knife, carefully slice two large apples crosswise in 1/8-inch thick layers. Arrange slices in a single layer on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with stevia and cinnamon, and bake for two hours at 200 degrees. Remove from oven and let chips cool completely before enjoying!

3. Portobello pizzas
At just 100 calories each, these ultra-easy snacks are filling and meaty-tasting without having any actual meat. Fill two smallish Portobello mushroom caps (about ¼ cup each)—with canned, diced fire-roasted tomatoes these are typically lower in sodium and have an earthier flavor than regular marinara sauce. Then top with one ounce of fresh mozzarella cheese (either sliced or grated). Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve with a knife and fork.

4. Tzatziki with veggies
This creamy cucumber yogurt dip is an ultra-healthy staple of the Greek diet, and only takes about five minutes to make! Start with one small container of 2% Greek yogurt, and add two tablespoons chopped fresh mint, two teaspoons minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper and one finely chopped seedless cucumber (squeezed dry). Mix thoroughly, let sit overnight for flavors to meld, and serve with your favorite free veggies! It’s especially delicious with carrots or red and yellow peppers.

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