You can snack well even while dieting

Staff - suntimes.com - 01/23/2012
Food Knowledge

W e had a good time since October, didn’t we? There was candy corn and Christmas cookies, stuffing and champagne, pecan pie and peppermint. We enjoyed big honking holiday meals interspersed with office parties, cookie exchanges, cocktail get-togethers and general frivolity that involved food and drink.

And now it’s January, the universal time to shape up or spend the rest of the year sucking it in.

It’s difficult to go cold turkey after all these months of pleasure. Transitioning from the endless buffet to three low-cal squares a day has been a cruel shock to the system. Can’t we at least have a snack?

Sure, as long as it’s very low in calories and has nutritional value. That cuts out half a Twinkie (75 calories) and 30 M&M’s (102 calories). We’re searching for something complex, something to tie us over to dinner and a boneless, skinless chicken breast with steamed broccoli.

The following 25 snacks have 100 calories each or less. Think about it: In just more than eight months, the candy corn will be back.

† Half an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter

† 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt mixed with a half cup blueberries. Add an artificial sweetener or stevia if you miss the sugar.

† 4 mini rice cakes with

2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese

† 1/2 cup cooked grits mixed with 1 teaspoon maple syrup

† 5 cups light microwave popcorn

† 1 small baked potato with a half cup salsa and a quarter cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

† Chocolate and Nut Butter Bites. To make, top 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate square with a half teaspoon of almond, cashew or pistachio butter and then top with another chocolate square.

† 1 sliced medium kiwi and a half cup diced cantaloupe with 1 tablespoon granola

† 2 ounces lean roast beef wrapped in lettuce leaves with a bit of spicy mustard

† 1/4 avocado smashed with salsa and sliced jicama for dipping

† 20 frozen grapes

† Half a finger of string cheese and half a medium pear

† Hard-boiled egg with 3 saltine crackers

† 2 graham-cracker squares with 1 teaspoon peanut butter

† 1/4 cup tuna mixed with lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil over a green salad with sliced cucumbers and green peppers

† 1/2 cup fat-free green goddess or ranch dressing with carrot and celery sticks

† 4 ounces hot cocoa mixed with water and 4 dried apricot halves

† 2 thick tomato slices with 1 ounce crumbled

feta cheese and 1 teaspoon olive oil

† 15 small baked tortilla chips with salsa

† 4 large pretzel twists with two tablespoons fat-free cream cheese mixed with some dried Italian herbs

† Half a mango with a schmear of goat cheese

† 1/2 cup cherries and 1/2 cup fat-free, sugar-free yogurt

† 2 tablespoons carob chips and 1 fresh apricot

† 1 cup strawberries topped with 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream and 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or more of a brown-sugar substitute)

† 1/2 red bell pepper dipped in 3 tablespoons hummus

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