20 Brain Foods
THAT DON’T BREAK THE CALORIE BANK
When you’re feeling a little snacky and start thinking about a trip to the kitchen, what is it you most crave? If your choice is high in carbohydrates, welcome to the crowd, especially if you choose refined carbs combined with a high concentration of fat (if you are a chip monster) or fat and sugar (if you are a cookie monster).
But carbs aren’t all bad.
They are, after all, your body’s primary fuel source. Simple carbs offer a burst of energy, while complex carbs provide bulk and fiber to help you feel full and protect you from cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
There is no need to eradicate carbs from your snack list, but on their own (i.e., a handful of crackers or a piece of fruit), carbs can derail your snack plan because you are likely to feel hungry again in 15-20 minutes.
When you pair healthy carbs with a balance of healthy fats and proteins, the combination of the three macronutrients will keep you feeling full and satiated. And that’s the recipe for winning the snack battle.
Here are 20 great snack ideas that offer the right combination of healthy carbs, healthy fat, and protein. But be sure to get out a small bowl or plate to help you maintain portion control.
- A handful of whole-grain crackers dipped in 1 to 1½ tablespoons of hummus.
- A handful of whole-grain crackers and 1 ounce of string cheese or ½ cup cottage cheese.
- Carrots, bell peppers, or celery dipped in 1 to 1½ tablespoons of hummus.
- Plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup berries and a sprinkle of slivered almonds.
- Figs stuffed with 1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta and sprinkled with cinnamon.
- A handful of blueberries sprinkled with slivered almonds.
- Apple slices with nut butter and raisins.
- Apple slices and 1 ounce of string cheese.
- One hard-boiled egg plus veggies like bell pepper strips, steamed green beans, or asparagus.
- One hard-boiled egg, sliced and served with diced tomatoes or salsa.
- A lettuce wrap with 1 tablespoon hummus and raw vegetables inside.
- A slice of roast turkey wrapped around 1⁄4 of an avocado.
- Bell pepper slices or asparagus stalks wrapped with turkey slices.
- Celery Sticks with 1 to 1½ tablespoons of almond butter or natural crunchy peanut butter.
- Bell peppers, sliced, with 2 triangles of Laughing Cow or other soft cheese smeared inside.
- One cup sugar snap peas with 1 ounce Jarlsberg light cheese.
- One to 2 tablespoons ricotta or feta with celery sticks or bell peppers.
- One cup cottage cheese with cut tomatoes, steamed green beans, or other veggies.
- One half cup cottage cheese with ½ cup berries, kiwi, or cantaloupe.
When hunger creeps up, eat this Easy Homemade Hummus! This dip is so creamy, rich, and nutty, you might want to eat it with a spoon instead of whole-grain crackers. It’s cheaper to make at home, and it’s simpler than you might think. This no-fail recipe is perfect to make ahead and pull out when a snack attack hits and a bag of Doritos sounds sooo good.
Easy Homemade Hummus
1 (15.5 oz) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 C of tahini
1/4 C of ice water
3 Tbsp of lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Place chickpeas in a food processor mixing until a thick dough is created.
With the processor still on, add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1⁄2 tsp of salt.
Add the ice water very slowly, until it reaches a very smooth and creamy texture.