Most of us lead busy lives, and when the holidays roll around it only intensifies. Being on the go lends itself to reaching for the most convenient food, which isn't always the healthiest option, unless you are prepared.
Registered Dietitian and Chef, Michelle Dudash, shares her top 10 grab and go snack ideas to keep you energized and trim enough to fit into the little black dress.
1. Eat Protein for Staying Power
While most Americans consume enough protein, she recommends spreading it throughout the day to keep you satisfied and curb hunger pangs.
Cottage cheese and fruit cup
Wasabi snack mix
Toss together a batch of sesame seed sticks, wasabi peas, peanuts, and pistachios for a savory snack with protein
Sprinkle natural microwave popcorn, which is a whole grain, with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning
Not your average cheese and crackers
Large whole grain cracker, like Doctor Kracker, spread with goat cheese or a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese
2. Get Closer to Your Daily 2-Cup Fruit Goal
The new USDA MyPlate recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables and snacks can get you to your fruit goal quickly.
Open-faced almond butter raisin sandwich
Spread almond butter on a rice cake, sprinkle with raisins, and drizzle with a few drops of honey. Dudash works closely with California Raisins and loves how just 1/4 cup of raisins counts as a quarter of the daily fruit goal for a 2,000-calorie diet. They're also packed with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
Sunflower seed nut butter wrap
For another variation that can be wrapped and saved for later, spread a 100% whole-wheat tortilla with sunflower seed butter and sprinkle with golden raisins.
Mango Oat Breakfast Bars
Take a break from your bar from the box and whip up these snacks with oats, walnuts, and mangos that will last all week long. Michelle also works with mangos http://www.mango.org and loves how they're a superfruit bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals. As a reminder, squeeze gently to judge ripeness. If the mango has a slight give, it's ripe and ready to eat. If it's too firm, let it ripen on the counter for a few days at room temperature. Don't judge a mango by its color. The red blush you'll see on some varieties is not an indication of ripeness or quality; it's simply a characteristic of the variety.
3. Get Your Veggies on the Go
Crunchy roasted edamame
Look for it in the natural foods section.
Mini bag of baby carrots and a single serving packet of hummus
Bottled tomato cocktail beverage made with 100% juice.
Each 4-ounce serving will provide a full serving of vegetables. Look for those made with lower sodium.
For more healthy eating tips, check out Michelle's nutrition blog www.michelledudash.com as well as her healthy recipe column in Friday's Health section of The Arizona Republic.
Mango Oat Breakfast Bars
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
3 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and pureed
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour (Michelle recommends using whole wheat flour )
1/4 cup oat bran
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Place pureed mango in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until excess liquid has cooked off and mixture is very thick but is still moist. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Stir together brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in flour, oat bran, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, then stir in oats. Spread into prepared pan, then spread mango mixture over top; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe courtesy of mango.org .
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