The Veggie Table: Simple Snacks That Satisfy

By: Janel Ovrut Funk
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When the New Year rolls around, I don’t typically jump on the resolution bandwagon; instead, I try to keep myself in check as much as possible every day, but this year is different for me.

I’m scheduled for sports-related hip surgery this month and the road to recovery includes six weeks on crutches with zero activity. Zilch. My gym membership has been put on hold and the yoga mat rolled up and stored away until spring. With this lack of regular physical activity, I know I’m going to have to keep an eye on my eating habits.

Snacking is my weakness, but now I’ll need to snack especially sensibly. Here are some veg-friendly, comforting snacks I have planned to satisfy me during my recovery stint.  You too can enjoy them as nutritious treats to help you keep your healthy resolutions.

Crunch & Munch

When I get the urge to munch, nothing satisfies me more than some homemade popcorn. Even though I have two popcorn makers at home (it’s true!), my favorite popcorn making method is stove top. I simply heat some oil in a large pot and drop in three kernels. Once those pop, the pan is at the right temperature to pour in the rest of the popcorn kernels. I cover the pot tightly with a lid and watch as my big batch of popcorn grows. When I’m craving something sweet, I sprinkle on cinnamon and a dash of sugar. For savory popcorn, I add a pinch of sea salt, and for popcorn with a kick, I use a dash of chipotle powder.

Very Veggie

Veggies and hummus are snacking staples to hold me over between meals. Crudités, such as sugar snap peas, baby carrots and string beans, don’t even need to be cut up before eating, making this snack a simple one. I keep my hummus serving size to the standard two tablespoons to avoid overdoing it.

A cup of soup is a classic winter warmer, and I usually turn to the veggie stuff, which is low cal and won't help pack on any pounds. For a simple soup that’s less than 100 calories, heat a cup of vegetable broth and add in a cup of frozen mixed veggies. To make it more of a meal, I add cooked beans and some brown rice.

Sweet Treats

I know I’ll crave sweets to soothe me so I’ve armed myself with delicious dessert ideas. Baked apples with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar taste decadent and count as a serving of fruit in disguise. 

Just because its winter doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a bountiful of berries! I love a scoop of frozen blueberries defrosted and topped with a dash of cinnamon for a sweet treat that reminds me of summer.

Speaking of warmer weather, I always seem to long for ice cream even though the temps are below freezing outside. This is when I’ll make banana “ice cream” by simply blending a couple frozen bananas until they’re smooth. No other ingredients are required to have a frozen treat that tastes just like creamy banana ice cream. 

With all these delicious snack options, maybe watching my snack attacks in the New Year won’t be so hard after all!

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Dine Dish Delish, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel. Catch up on her previous posts here.

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