What are healthy substitutes for sinful snacks?
Everyone snacks, may it be in the morning, afternoon, at home, or at work. Even catering in Manila offers different snacks that guests at certain events can munch on while a speaker talk or as the birthday celebrant opens their gifts. Unfortunately, snacking is not a healthy habit, especially if the food that you choose to chew on have high amounts of sugar, calories, and fatty acids. If you’re not sure which you should avoid, here is a list of snack items and their substitutes that won’t weigh on your conscience too much:
Plenty of people love to snack on potato chips; but do you know that most of these products contain different kinds of fat and sodium? Moreover, it has low nutritional value even if you’ll get a whole lot of satisfaction at every crunch.
If you want to snack on something equally tasty, but healthier, then you should try making some kale chips. This substitute does not contain excess fat and sodium, but keeps all that crunchy goodness. To start making this, first take some fresh kale and cut the leaves from the thick stems. Lay them out on a pan that is lined with parchment paper and start drizzling olive oil on the leaves. Sprinkle some salt and pepper before placing the pan in an oven that is preheated at 170 degrees C. Take them out 10-15 minutes later or when the edges of the leaves are brown but not burnt.
Now you have a serving of chips that have a good amount of carbohydrates and dietary fiber without all those calories. Plus, you’ll get a large amount of potassium, iron, and Vitamin A from every serving too.
Sweet potato fries are a substitute for one of the most popular side dishes on history – French Fries. Do you want to prepare this healthier alternative? Basically, you’ll just replace the potato with a sweet potato and, instead of deep frying this delicious vegetable, you need to use an oven. Preheat the oven at 230 degrees Celsius; then, take your sweet potato and slice them about ¼ in. Place them in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil as well as seasoning such as salt, pepper, and paprika. Toss the ingredients around until the sweet potatoes are coated evenly. Lay out the fries evenly in a pan lined with parchment and bake for 20 minutes.
For an even finish, make sure to turn the fries occasionally. This alternative provides you with more dietary fiber, potassium, and Vitamin A. Also, the fact that an oven was used lets you control the amount of fat per serving.
Mashed potato is sometimes perceived as a staple side dish; but did you know that by substituting potatoes for cauliflower, you can make a side dish that is lower in carbs and fat? Mashed cauliflower is not just a healthier alternative, it can also go with any kind of meat.
To make this, first steam the cauliflower heads until they are tender; then, take a skillet and cook minced garlic with olive oil. Finally, take a food processor, or a blender, and blend the cauliflower with the garlic, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp of cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Be careful when adding the ingredients and make sure that the cauliflower is added one head at a time and not all at once.
Chicharon is an old Filipino favorite. This is traditionally made with pork, but to make it healthier, you can try switching the staple of this dish to Oyster Mushrooms. It is very easy to get Oyster Mushrooms as you can find them in your local market, either fresh or canned; however, it would be better to grab a fresh pack of mushrooms and wash them instead.
Cover the mushrooms with flour, salt, and pepper evenly. Heat up olive oil in a wok and start drying the mushrooms until they are golden brown. Pat down all the excess oil and serve them with vinegar. Now you can enjoy all that crunch and flavor without all the fat and extra calories.
Candy is always one of the most popular snacks among children and adults alike; however, it is not a snack that you could not count on to give you some health benefits. For a healthier and sweet choice of snack, you can go for a bag of chocolate trail mix. Trail mixes are a combination of nuts and dried fruits that are not only delicious, but are also healthy as well. With chocolate in the mix, you get some added sweetness that kids will enjoy. Along with great taste, your body also receives high-quality carbs.
Yogurt is another popular dessert and snack that has a variety of flavors and can also be mixed with different ingredients. Not many people know about its healthier alternative, which is Greek Yogurt. Like regular yogurt, Greek Yogurt also gives you delicious flavor, while being thicker, having more protein, which gives your body that energy boost. Adding berries to the yogurt will give it some sweetness and extra nutrition that would benefit you in the long run.
People know that chocolate is a well-beloved sweet snack that can also be added to various desserts and pastries. Despite how delicious a bar of chocolate may be, it is a snack that should be taken in moderation, as it is not a healthy snack.
The healthy alternative to chocolate is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a purer version of chocolate, which means it won’t have the sweetness of your normal chocolate. Despite that, dark chocolate contains flavonols, which is good for your heart, and also keeps your skin hydrated and your brain sharp. It’s best to look for cocoa products that contain 70% cacao and less added sugar to give you a healthy experience.
Snacking doesn’t have to be sinful or bad and now you can make delicious snacks in the comfort of your own home. Say goodbye to all the guilt that you feel every time you munch on something now that you have these alternatives; you can go back on the couch and watch your favorite TV series with your new favorite snacks!
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