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Be Smart About Snacking

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Snackin' Pumpkin Hummus
Crunchy Dark Cherry Raisinets Granola
Strawberry Swirl Smoothie

(Family Features) - Mid-morning munchies? An afternoon snack attack? Or a late-night nosh? No matter what time of day, sometimes the body just seems to be calling out for something to nibble on. But snacking doesn't have to be a bad thing - if you know how to do it right.

Snacking with wellness in mind can help curb your appetite and keep you from overeating at meal times. Here are some tips, ideas and recipes to help you out.

Plan Ahead. We all need a little pick-me-up during the day. So rather than hitting the vending machine at work or the fast food place when you're out, pack wholesome snacks such as apples or almonds to have on hand when the munchies hit. With nutritious snacks at the ready, snacker's remorse is sure to be a thing of the past.

Practice Portion Control. Snack time should be enjoyable, but it's important not to overindulge. A portion-controlled snack such as Lean Cuisine® Spring Rolls makes it easy to snack deliciously while enjoying a balanced treat. Packed with 100 percent white meat chicken, melted cheeses, crisp vegetables and flavorful sauces, these tasty spring rolls are 200 calories per serving and they're ready in just minutes. Find out more at www.LeanCuisine.com.

Pay Attention to What You Eat. Mindless eating leads to overeating. Instead of munching while you work or sneaking a snack during your favorite television show, eat only to satiate hunger. Being aware of the foods you consume and why you are consuming them will help you better manage calorie intake and avoid eating when you're not hungry.

For more recipe ideas and nutritional information, visit www.Meals.com.

Snacking Solutions

Fruits and Veggies. Pack some grab-and-go produce to help you feel full. Produce not only contains fewer calories, but offers a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Did you know that two tangerines have fewer calories than an 8-ounce glass of orange juice? And they contain more fiber, helping you feel satisfied.

  • Pack an assortment of colorful veggies for work. Try strips of red and yellow peppers, baby carrots and celery. Paired with a nutritious dipping sauce, these delightful veggies are sure to please.

Whole Grains. Whole grains provide many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins, and minerals like iron, magnesium and selenium. So skip the bag of greasy chips and go for some whole grain crackers or pretzels instead. Try them with a low-fat dip or a little bit of flavorful cheese.

Protein. Give your body a longer lasting energy boost with protein-packed snacks.

  • Hummus is low in calories and fat, and is loaded with protein, fiber and flavor.
     
  • A hard-cooked egg has fewer than 100 calories and can help bridge the hunger gap between meals.

Low-Fat Dairy. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are satisfying sources of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. But make sure you check the labels - some yogurts have a lot of added sugar, so when you look for low-fat, make sure you also look for low calorie.

Snackin' Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation
    1. PLACE chickpeas, pumpkin, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt and pepper into food processor; cover. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Additional water, a teaspoon at a time, can be added if a smoother consistency is desired. Stir in parsley. Serve immediately or refrigerate in tightly covered container for up to 4 days. Makes about 2 cups.
    2. SERVE along with pita triangles or raw vegetables.

Serves
Makes 16 servings (2 tablespoons each)

Crunchy Dark Cherry Raisinets Granola

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups total of mixed nuts and seeds (chopped pecans, chopped almonds and shelled sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (4 ounces) Nestlé Raisinets Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries or chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

Preparation
    1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Combine syrup and butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds or until bubbly.
    2. COMBINE oats, nuts and seeds and salt in large bowl. Drizzle with syrup mixture; stir to coat. Spoon mixture onto jelly-roll pan or rimmed baking sheet.
    3. BAKE, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on wire rack. Add Cherry Raisinets and dried cranberries. Store in sealed container for up to 3 weeks.

Serves
Makes 25 servings (1/4 cup each)

Strawberry Swirl Smoothie

Ingredients
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk, chilled
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole strawberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 container (6 ounces) light strawberry yogurt

Preparation
    1. PLACE evaporated milk, strawberries and yogurt in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Serves
Makes 4 servings (8 ounces each)

SOURCE: Lean Cuisine



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