A few decades ago, snacking in between meals used to be frowned upon, however, now we hear about all the benefits of eating in between meals. This is one question that many people ask me about. Some of the benefits snacks provide include help stabilizing blood sugar and preventing us from being too hungry and overeating at mealtime. Snacks may also give a slight boost to metabolism. However, if you eat a snack when you aren’t hungry or if you add the snacks without trimming a few calories from meals this can actually add additional calories to the diet and can lead to weight gain. This is one reason why snacks should be as healthy and satisfying as possible to fill you up but not make you go over your daily calorie needs. Some good snack options include:
-Whole Wheat Crackers and Peanut Butter (try some locally made Roots and Branches Crackers )
-Popcorn (this is especially good with some fresh grated Parmesan)
-Whole Grain Snack Bars
-Mini Pitas with Hummus, I love locally made Roots Hummus
-Vegetables with Dip
I want to share with you a different take on a some vegetable snack ideas using vegetables that are plentiful in the summer. With a focus on farmers’ markets and home gardens, the fresh, local produce is the main ingredients for this week’s snack ideas.
Cucumber and Summer Squash Bites Topped with Goat Cheese
Makes 32 sandwiches. Each serving is 5 servings each.
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons your choice of finely chopped fresh herbs
1 tablespoon milk, for thinning cheese
1 teaspoon garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium cucumber and 1 medium summer, both thinly sliced
In a small bowl, add softened goat cheese, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix well. Place sliced vegetables on serving plate and add a thin smear of herb cream cheese. For a more elegant look, use a decorating bag with a textured tip and add a dollop of cheese to the veggies and top with a piece of fresh herbs.
If you would like a dairy free version, you can take the same cucumber or squash and add hummus instead of cheese. I topped these with a little slice of tomato and served with a few Greek olives.
Not only do these fresh, tasty ingredients make great snacks, they would also make some delicious lunch recipes.
These snack ideas each contain several food groups with vegetables as the main ingredient. I hope that you enjoy giving them a try for one of your daily snacks. It will give you a boost of energy in the middle of the afternoon to help you get through the end of your work day. Pack the ingredients separately and put it together when it is snack time if you don’t want it sitting in a container all day. I hope that this will be one snack that you will look forward to eating!
Stay tuned for more Grown Up Back to School Snacks. Your kids may want to pack them too!
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that you find a lot of tasty recipes that you will enjoy! In addition, I have some delicious recipes under Vine Ripe’s Recipe tab. Check it out here Vine Ripe Nutrition Recipes