Day 101-103 Get More Out of Your Snacks – WEEKEND – May 6-8, 2016 – I have always been a fan of eating snacks, especially before bedtime. I have mentioned in previous posts that when I eat a meal, I try to eat foods that will keep me full for at least four hours. Nevertheless, there are times when I need a snack to tide me over during the daytime or to keep me satisfied so I can get to sleep at night.
It’s never good if I go to bed and toss and turn because I am hungry. Hunger and sleep are not a good mix for me. I try to eat my last snack of the day no less than 1 1/2 hours before bedtime.
As of late, I have been trying to make my snacks do double duty. I want a snack to be satisfying but I also want it to calm any sugar cravings and help me with my weight loss goals.
When I think about having a snack, I look for snacks that offer:
- low(er) sugar
- high fiber
Cereal Snack Mix
This past week, I made my high-fiber, low-sugar cereal snack mix. I started with a high fiber bran flake with the lowest sugar content I could find, added unsalted slivered almonds (high fiber) and dried blueberries (high fiber). While I know that dried fruit can be very sweet, I didn’t anticipate how sweet dried blueberries could actually taste. A few go a long way when it comes to sweetness.
In a small, pint size container, I layered 1/4 cup of bran flake cereal, then 1/4 cup of slivered almonds, then 1 Tablespoon of dried blueberries. For my evening snack, I enjoy about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup. Snacking on the variety of textures has been very satisfying and eating it piece by piece makes me feel like I’m eating a larger snack.
Recently, I came across a recipe to make homemade sorbet with only two ingredients AND without using anything except my food processor. The two ingredients are: 3 cups of frozen fruit and 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk.
I realize that sweetened condensed milk is not a low-sugar ingredient so I made my own so that I could try to make it a little healthier. I started with 1 can of coconut milk, added 1 cup of sugar and cooked it in a pan on medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickened. I let it cool down at room temperature for an hour and then chilled it in the fridge. It was a thick syrup when I removed it from the stove and it became thicker after it was chilled.
The key to this recipe is frozen fruit. This makes the fruit, along with the condensed milk to turn “icy” in the food processor. After mixing, freeze for four hours. It will be really hard when removing from the freezer. You can let it set for a few minutes or microwave for a minute to soften slightly.
It is absolutely delicious. It tastes so fresh. I made strawberry banana (3 cups of fruit combined – I sliced the banana and froze it – it gets a little brown – no worry) and I made chocolate banana by using 3-cups of frozen banana slices along with 1/3 cup of baking cocoa. Both recipes included 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk.
Individual Microwave Cheesecake
This recipe makes four, individual mini-cheesecake servings and takes only five minutes to bake in the microwave!
I start with four small, ramekins. I spray each with non-stick spray.
In a bowl, I blend the following ingredients together until smooth, using an electric mixer:
- one 8-ounce package of cream cheese (regular or low-fat)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Pour the cheesecake mixture equally between the four, individual ramekins. Microwave for 1-minute, rotate the ramekins 1/4 turn and microwave in 30-second bursts, turning the ramekins each time a 1/4 turn. When the cheesecake starts to pull away a little from the sides and the center is soft-set, remove the ramekins from the microwave. It shouldn’t take more than five (5) minutes to microwave your mini cheesecakes. Cool at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (or eat warm). Top each with a tablespoon of your favorite fruit spread. Fruit spread has lower grams of sugar compared to most other fruit toppings. My favorite is strawberry. Enjoy!
I love my frozen grapes. My husband, is surprised too as to how great frozen grapes taste! As soon as you bring them home from the store, pull the grapes from the stems, wash them and pat them dry thoroughly. Place them in a zip-lock bag and if possible, lay the bag flat on a small cookie sheet or tray. Place it in the freezer for several hours. When the grapes are frozen, you can remove the tray.
Frozen grapes are so refreshing and they literally melt in your mouth in seconds. I’ve tried both green and purple grapes and love them both. I admit that I now try to taste at least one grape from the stem before I buy them. I want sweet grapes, not sour. Of course, your taste might be different and you may like sour or tart grapes.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Small curd cottage cheese and peaches is another favorite of mine. I do use fruit cups because they are convenient. To control portions, I put the peaches into a small bowl first, then add a couple of tablespoons of cottage cheese on top.
Day 101-103 Get More Out of Your Snacks
I hope you will enjoy trying and making these snacks. While not sugar-free, they are fairly low in sugar (and low or no sodium) and offer a great mix of fiber, protein and healthy fruits.
For me, I want a snack to fill me up and satisfy my taste buds without triggering a sugar craving.
What are your go to snacks? How can you get more out of your snacks?
Facing MY FAT,
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms & Daughters