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Four Healthy Pre-Workout Snacks

By: Snap Fitness

Part of having a good workout comes before you even step foot in the gym. Your body needs energy to perform well during your sweat session and nutrients to help your muscles recover after. Skipping meals is a no-no, but it might be hard to know what to eat depending on the time of day you work out.

 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! The following four snacks are perfect for any time of day and will provide you with sufficient energy to power through your training. Enjoy any of these options an hour before your workout!

 

Bananas: One of the world’s healthiest foods! They are rich in fast-acting carbohydrates, which serve as fuel for your workout. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and b-vitamins – all great for lowering blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar, and aid digestion.

 

Oats: A ½ cup of cooked steel-cut oats is 150 calories, 5 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber. This snack provides a steady release of carbohydrates into your muscles, therefore a steady energy supply throughout your workout. Add some protein powder to your portion for an added kick!

 

Dried fruit: Need a quick energy boost? Simple carbs will give you that instant boost you need. Dried cranberries, pineapple, and bananas are our favorites. All you need is ¼ of a cup or a handful before your workout.

 

Greek yogurt: Yogurt is a solid option that’s light on your stomach but gives you the energy you need. One serving contains almost double the protein as normal yogurt but about half as much raw sugar as regular yogurt. We call that a win-win! You can also add your dried fruit to your yogurt for a pre-workout parfait.

Carrot Cake Protein Bites

By: Snap Fitness

A single serving of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is not only loaded with sugar but can contain more than 800 calories. We’ve got a much healthier option with all-natural ingredients that will curb your sweet tooth cravings while giving you a healthy dose of protein!

 

Servings: 12

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Fridge time: 30 Minutes

 

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup plums

½ cup dried apricots

½ cup unsweetened pineapple puree

¼ cup vanilla protein powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cloves

2 medium carrots, finely grated

½ cup nuts finely chopped (pecans, walnuts, almonds, or a mix)

½ cup raisins

1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

 

Instructions

Pulse cashews, oats, plums, apricots, pineapple, protein powder, and spices in a food processor for 1-2 minutes until a sticky dough forms.

 

In a medium bowl, mix the dough, carrots, nuts, and raisins together. Place the coconut shreds in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into balls (slightly wet palms work best), roll each ball in the coconut, and place on a sheet pan.

 

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

By: Snap Fitness

Celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly day with this tasty treat. A lunchtime favorite, the PB&J can easily be whipped into a smoothie - perfect for breakfast or a post-workout snack!

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup berry-flavored Greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla or berry protein powder

1 cup fresh or frozen berries

1 ½ Tbsp smooth nut butter (Try peanut, almond or cashew butter!)

¾ cup skim or almond milk

3-4 ice cubes

 

Directions

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

No-Bake Energy Bars

By: Snap Fitness

Energy bars are a convenient, on-the-go snack to toss in your gym bag. Store-bought bars can be pricey and full of added sugar or other not-so-desirable ingredients. Instead, fuel your fitness routine with this great-tasting homemade energy bar recipe. They are perfect for your pre or post-workout routine. Keep them refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze your homemade creations for later.

 

Ingredients

2 ½ cups granola

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled – option to use almond milk instead of water.

1 cup chopped raw almonds

½ cup chopped dates or prunes

½ cup ground flaxseed

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup honey

¼ cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup nut butter or almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup mini dark chocolate chips

 

 

Instructions

1.  Combine granola, quinoa, almonds, dates, flaxseed, and salt in a large bowl. Gently mix in dark chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

2. Combine honey, coconut oil, nut butter, and vanilla in a small bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds. Cool slightly.

3. Pour honey mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix until moistened. If the mixture seems dry, add additional honey, one tablespoon at a time.

4. Line a 9x9 dish with parchment paper and firmly press the mixture evenly into the pan as tightly as possible. Refrigerate for at least an hour. When firm, flip the dish onto a cutting board. Cut into desired size bars or bites.

5. Enjoy immediately or save for later!

 

Servings: 12

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Fridge time: 1 Hour

 

Stephanie

10 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

By: Snap Fitness

Eating healthy means eating lots of fresh produce. Sadly fresh veggies and fruit don’t stay fresh for very long. Here are some easy tricks to give your groceries some extra shelf life.

 

1. Store delicate herbs like flowers.

Put them in a jar with water, cover them with plastic, secure it with a rubberband, and refrigerate. This keeps delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

 

2. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.

Mix together one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Soak the berries in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

 

3. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.

It’s not just an old wives’ tale. When apples begin to decay, they emit ethelyne gas. If the rotting apple is mixed in with the good, the good apples start to absorb the gas and rot.

 

4. Don’t store onions with potatoes.

They spoil faster together. Instead store separate in a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.

 

5. Store potatoes with apples.

The ethelyne gas produced by apples prevents potatoes from sprouting.

 

6. Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between each onion.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

  

7. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.

They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.

 

8. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.

It’ll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.

 

9. Mason jars are your friend.

Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar. Mason jars also provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. 

 

10. Clean your fridge.

Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind mold that's ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge, it’ll make everything last longer.

 

What's your favorite trick that helps your groceries last longer? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Maple & Almond Granola

By: Snap Fitness

Granola has a healthy reputation, but most of the time, it’s filled with sugar! This version uses a small amount of maple syrup and protein-rich almond butter and almonds for a filling, low-sugar breakfast. Serve with greek yogurt and fresh fruit for a complete meal.

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup almond butter

2 cups oats

3/4 cup chopped almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together maple syrup and almond butter.

Combine remaining dry ingredients in small bowl.

Add syrup and almond butter to dry ingredients and stir until combined, mixture should be chunky.

Spread out on baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown, stirring after 10 minutes.

Let cool before serving. Store in an airtight container. 

 

Nutrition: (6 servings, 1/2 cup each)

220 calories, 13 grams of fat, 22 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 6 grams protein

 

Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

By: Snap Fitness

Looking for a healthier holiday treat to bring to your next party or family gathering? Try these Gingerbread Cookies! This recipe is gluten-free and doesn’t contain eggs or dairy. Grab your favorite cookie cutters and get to baking!

 

Ingredients

4 cups gluten-free, dairy-free shortbread cookie mix

1/3 cup packed-light brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup molasses

6 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup water

 

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Put cookie mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix together with a fork.

-Add molasses and canola oil to bowl and blend together with fork.

-Add water and mix with fork until content forms a dough.

-Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out ¼-inch thick.

-Refrigerate 10 minutes.

-Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough.

-Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes.

-Let cookies cool and decorate as needed!

Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

By: Snap Fitness

With holiday breaks coming up, you might be logging a lot of hours driving or flying to see loved ones. When you’re traveling, healthy dining options can be limited. Fast food restaurants and cheap snacks at gas stations may be convenient, but they are not the best choices – especially if you’re stopping at them throughout your trip!

 

Just like packing your clothes, take a little time and try to plan out what you’ll be eating during your travels beforehand. Not only will it save you money, it’ll help you avoid unhealthy choices like French fries, greasy double cheeseburgers, and more.

 

Here are some easy tips to follow when it comes to eating while traveling:

 

Pack snacks. This is a great way to avoid grabbing candy or chips at the airport or gas station. Pick foods that are nutrient-dense and good sources of protein; they’ll help you stay full longer. Granola bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are solid snack options. Keep portion control in mind so you aren’t eating several servings in one sitting.

 

Drink more water. There are countless benefits to drinking water: flushes out toxins, boosts your immune system, improves skin complexion, and more. If you have the choice between water and soda, water’s always the clear winner.

 

Don’t skip breakfast. You need a morning meal to get your metabolism going. The longer you go without eating a meal, the hungrier you’ll be and in turn, more likely to over-eat. Start your day with a serving of oatmeal and a banana to get some energy!

 

Download a nutrition app. There are plenty of them available on your smart phone or tablet, like MyFitnessPal, Calorie Counter Pro, and more. If you’re ever unsure of the nutritional content in a meal or food item, simply scan the bar code or look it up by name.

Healthy Tailgate Snacks

By: Snap Fitness

Football season is back! You know what that means – going to games or yelling at your TV watching your favorite college and professional teams. Didn’t you miss the emotional roller coaster than comes with being a football fan?

 

One of the best fall pastimes is tailgating before a football game. If you’re at the stadium or your living room, having the right food is a must. Brats, burgers, and beer quickly come to mind. They may be the easy choices, but if you’re trying to keep a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym, they’re not doing you any favors.

 

Here are some healthy and delicious alternatives that’ll fuel you up and give you energy for the big games:

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: Who needs chicken wings when you can sauce up veggies? Take one head of cauliflower and chop it into bite-size pieces. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup water, pinch of garlic powder, and pinch of salt thoroughly with a whisk in a small bowl. Dip cauliflower in the batter then place them on a greased, non-stick baking sheet. Bake for until the batter hardens (about 10 minutes), then flip with a spatula and bake for another five minutes. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and 1 tsp. butter together. When the cauliflower bites are done, brush each piece with the hot sauce mixture. Put the cauliflower back in the oven again until the pieces are crispy.

 

Black Bean Hummus and Veggies: Great substitute for chips and dip, not to mention a lot less sodium. Black beans are filled with fiber, protein, and iron. Carrots and celery sticks are perfect for dipping! All you need is one can of black beans, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1 minced garlic clove. Blend everything together in a food processor and you’re good to go!

 

Sweet Potato Fries: The perfect comfort food, minus all the guilt! Peel and slice five sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch long slices and 1/4-inch long strips. Toss sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, paprika). Spread potatoes out on a cooking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn potatoes occasionally, until golden brown in color. Let cool and enjoy!  

 

What’s your favorite healthy tailgate snack? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Back to School Snacks

By: Snap Fitness

It’s Back to School time! Start the kids’ day off right with a fun and healthy breakfast that also doubles as an after-school snack. Pack the lunchbox with a rainbow-inspired lunch of hummus and veggies, some berries, and a delicious grain-free cucumber sub sandwich.

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies are packed with protein and fiber. Made with healthy fats, they will help keep your kids fueled until lunch. Serve with dairy-free yogurt or a glass of almond milk and some fruit.

 

Beans may not be exciting to all kids, but when blended with flavorful ingredients, garbanzo beans become a healthful and tasty dip. Perfect as a sandwich spread, rolled in a wrap or used as dip, hummus is very versatile. Stir in different flavor components to change up the flavor to suit your children's taste. When dipping, serve with your favorite whole grain or seed gluten free crackers or serve with any vegetable.

 

Trying to serve up more veggies and not sure where to start? Try making a fun sub sandwich using cucumber for the bun. Cucumber’s mild, juicy flavor is a hit with most kids. When topped with their favorite sandwich toppings, a cucumber sub is a delicious way to nibble more veggies.

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

Makes 10

 

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, divided

1/3 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1 and 1/4 cup unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds

1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chopped dates or raisins

1/4 cup gluten and dairy free chocolate chips

1/3 cup coconut oil or olive oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut sugar or packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

 

In a food processor, grind 3/4 cup of the oatmeal with the coconut until finely grounded.

 

Add the nuts to the processor and pulse until nuts are chopped, but not grounded into a powder. Put oat mixture into a bowl with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dates and chocolate chips.

 

Whisk oil, maple syrup, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt together until well combined. Pour over dry ingredient. Mix well until everything is well coated.

 

Using a 1/3 cup scoop, scoop batter onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Lightly pat each mound into a circle about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Moisten

fingers if needed if batter is sticky.

 

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Halfway through baking time, rotate pan(s).

 

Allow cookies to completely cool completely before removing from parchment. Keep in an airtight container for up to one week or wrap individually and freeze.

 

 

Hummus

Serves 6

 

1 - 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup tahini

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, optional

2 tablespoons minced parsley, optional

 

Directions:

Place beans, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, black pepper and red chili into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth.

 

Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. If the mixture is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, during blending. Stir in dill and parsley.

 

Serve immediately or refrigerate, tightly covered.

 

Variations:

Beet Hummus: Blend 1/4 to 1/3 cup cubed cooked beets with garbanzo beans until smooth.

 

Italian Hummus: Replace cumin with Italian seasoning and cilantro with minced basil. Stir in 1/4 cup minced sun dried tomatoes after hummus is smooth.

 

Guaca-Hummus: Blend one peeled and pitted, ripe avocado with chickpeas until smooth. Replace lemon juice with lime juice.

 

Olive Hummus: To basic hummus, stir in 1/3 cup diced green olives and 1/3 cup black olives.

 

 

Cucumber Sub “Sandwich”

 

1 medium cucumber

Favorite sandwich fillings. (Pictured: Dairy free cream cheese alternative,

turkey and ham)

 

Directions:

Trim cucumber ends. If the skin of the cucumber seems a bit thick, peel strips of the peel to make it easier for biting.

 

Slice cucumber in half the long way. Scoop out the seeded center of the cucumber halves.

 

Fill bottom half with you favorite sandwich toppings, mounding slightly.

 

Add top cucumber half to enclose filling and finish sandwich.

 

Posts 1 - 10 of 27