Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Healthy Snacking, Plus Flash Fertility Recipes for Hummus and Guacamole

A friend reported she was having such strong sugar cravings, she almost ate a packet of ketchup. I feel for her. During the first couple of weeks or so, until the cravings subside and eating habits change, it can be hard.  Having alternative healthy snacks around the house at all times helps.

Here’s a short list of quick and handy snacks (all organic, please!):
  • Celery sticks – already cut up and ready to grab and munch
  • Baby carrots
  • Lightly steamed (3 minutes) veggies, such as green beans or broccoli - great to munch on
  • Apples and other handy, easy to eat fruit
  • A mix of raw almonds and raisins (refrain from eating a bucketful, though; stick to a quarter cup or less for the day)
  • Non-wheat crackers or rice cakes – here are some brands I like: Mary’s Gone Crackers, brown rice crackers (many varieties; make sure all ingredients are healthy), Lundberg Rice Cakes
  • Hummus – dip crackers or celery in this! I also spread it on non-wheat toast, which makes for a great, protein-rich snack. Make sure all ingredients are organic, pure and healthy, though. See below for the Flash Recipe. Keep in mind the beans used in hummus are not only highly nutritious, but contain a high percentage of folate which boosts fertility in both men and women.
  • Guacamole – or dip crackers in this! You can also spread it over an omelet or on toast (well, I do that).  The avocados in guacamole are a great source of monounsaturated fats (one of the “good” fats).
  • Baked apple with honey – for your sweet tooth, make this dessert with just these two ingredients
All organic ingredients, always. Throw in the blender two 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas),the liquid content of one of those cans, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of tahini paste, 2 garlic cloves, a dash of salt and juice of a lemon. Blend up to desired consistency. Voila! Yummy hummus.

Smash a ripe avocado or two in with some lemon juice, sliced tomatoes and diced onions. Add salt and pepper, and if you like, a dash of cayenne pepper. Voila!  Fresh and healthy guacamole!

One last item. For sugar, Stevia makes a wonderful, easy substitute. Small amounts of natural, minimally processed honey will also do the trick. For the salty, crunchy munchers like me, the above listed non-wheat crackers dipped in hummus or guacamole are the best.

Happy snacking and happy holidays.