Yep, it’s time to feed the refrigerator again. I love to go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings because I’m more relaxed and I’m able to beat the crowds, which means I can take my time to go down every aisle without interruptions. I know it’s sad that I would much rather spend hours searching for new ingredients and recipe ideas instead of going to church every Sunday, but this is a spiritual time for me. Shouldn’t that count for something? While on my spiritual journey, I’m always on the lookout for new, all natural, cheap, and healthy snacks. My favorite aisle to explore would have to be the International one because of the variety and the excitement of not knowing how in the heck to use most of the ingredients. Exciting!!! Just another reason to throw down in the kitchen and pretend that I know what I’m doing. (Thank you, Bobby Flay and Nigella Lawson!) Besides, adding exotic flavors and textures to your meals is a great way to add more nutritional value and to step outside of your culinary comfort zone.
I’ve been sitting on this idea for a long time and thought it would be a great idea to try different products, give you the low down about them hoping that you will give them a try and LOVE them. Some of the snacks that I personally like are not necessarily nutritious or may not fit your dietary needs, which is why I chose to give you three low cal- options (200 calories or less per serving). I do realize that some of you may not be able to find some of these products in your local grocery stores, but you may have the option of ordering them online or finding something similar. Oh, yeah, just as I’ve aimed to keep the calorie count low, I’m choosing to do the same as far as price goes.
People, today is officially the first day of “SNACK ATTACK SUNDAYS.” So what’s on the menu for today?
SNACK # 1:
Berries & Cherries CRUNCH (Fiber Enriched)
manufactured by American Bounty Foods
Calories: 150 per serving (6 pcs.), 2 servings per bag
Fat: 10 g per serving (1g saturated, 0g trans)
Taste: Crunchy, Salty, and Sweet
Flavors/Ingredients: Variety of dried roasted nuts, evaporated cane juice, sweetened cranberries, dried sweetened red cherries
Health Features: Gluten free, GMO (Genetically Modified ) free, Vegan, 100% Natural
Purchased at: Dollar Tree Stores
My Observation: Great on-the-go snack. Would pair well with cereal, over yogurt, or with a piece of fruit. Don’t go overboard with this snack because it does contain a good amount of fat even if it is considered to be the good kind.
SNACK # 2
LEAN CUISINE Garden vegetable dip with pita bread
manufactured by Lean Cuisine
Calories: 190 per serving (1 pita pocket and 1 dip), 2 servings per box
Fat: 5 g per serving (2.5g saturated, 0g trans, 1g polyunsaturated, 1g monounsaturated)
Taste: Cheesy, Slightly Salty, and Creamy
Flavors/Ingredients: Spinach, julienne carrots and broccoli in a creamy asiago cheese and basil sauce with pita bread
Health Features: Low calorie snack/meal option, worth 5 points on the Points Plus Weight Watchers Plan
Purchased at: Most grocery stores
My Observation: Very convenient and not your typical snack. Can be used as a mini meal option when paired with grilled chicken and steam vegetables. Watch out for the sodium (440 mg per serving), potassium (300 mg per serving), and carbs (29g per serving) if you are trying to cut back.
SNACK # 3
Annie Chun’s Roasted Seaweed snacks
manufactured by Annie Chun’s All Natural Asian Cusine
Calories: 30 per serving (10 sheets), 2 servings per package
Fat: 2.5g per serving
Taste: Airy, Crunchy, Fishy (I know it sounds horrible, but you may just like the flavor)
Flavors/Ingredients: Available in Sesame and Wasabi; Seaweed, Canola oil, Sesame Oil, Salt
Health Features: Full of vitamins and minerals, No preservatives, No MSG, Dairy Free, All Natural
Cost: $1.49 (sale), $3.50 (regular)
Purchased at: Harris Teeter, most health food stores
My Observation: Has a very distinct fish flavor, but I really liked it. Just because you love sushi does not mean you will like this one, but the sesame oil gives it a great smoky finish. I loved the texture and found it a great substitute for greasy potato chips. If nothing else, at least you can say you tried it and either loved it or hated it. I purchased it because it was different and on sale. I would not purchase it at the retail price.