We're all about eating between meals, which every nutritionist and study assures us is a good thing. The key is come 4 p.m., choosing something that's both healthy and satisfying. These fresh ideas will do just that on the hottest days. By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK.
Chocolate fudge popsChocolate fudge pops
If you're craving something sweet, cocoa-filled, and a bit better for you than a chocolate éclair, try Relish author and The Chew co-host Daphne Oz's chocolate fudge pops. To make six, blend 13 ounces of lite coconut milk, five tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, two tablespoons of raw honey, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and one-quarter teaspoon of salt, then pour into ice-pop molds and freeze for at least two hours.
Mango and avocado yogurt
At Chobani's New York store, members of the 4 o'clock rush are wild for this seasonal, salsa-esque concoction, which you can easily recreate at home. Top a half-cup of 0% Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon each of mango and avocado, a half-teaspoon of jalapeños, a pinch of salt, a pinch of fresh cilantro, and a spritz of live juice. Then, scoop it all up with eight blue corn tortilla chips.
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Chia gel iced tea
Iced tea is a summer staple for good reason. This year, enhance yours with the hottest additive out there, chia seeds. "Bypass the stuff at the grocery story, which is loaded with sugar, and make your own," says Rachel Beller, author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win. Just mix one tablespoon of white chia seeds into a glass of unsweetened peach of raspberry iced tea, and add a few drops of stevia or a teaspoon of honey for sweetness. "Chia expands greatly in the body, and is full of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber," says Beller. Pair with a piece of fruit to stay full until dinner.
Those honey-roasted peanuts you find at your local ballpark always hit the spot, but in that case, you can have too much of a good thing. That's not the case with The 100 author Jorge Cruise's nutty, portable snack. Lightly coat cashew nuts in coconut oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in the oven for six minutes. "They're a crunchy, filling treat with a dessert-like quality, and there are lots of good fats and protein in cashews," says Cruise.
Don't relegate soup to the appetizer portion of your meal. A vegetable-based one makes an excellent snack, and with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, Oz's packs a particularly satisfying crunch.
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars
Sometimes, a woman needs her ice cream, and nothing else will do. When it happens to you, try Skinny Cow's Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars. The trendily-flavored treat is crunchy, creamy, sweet and genuinely hard to distinguish from the real thing.
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Ginger cilantro green shake
"Ginger is anti-inflammatory and helps digestion, cilantro is a superfood, and pineapple contains bromelain, which also improves digestion," says Elana Amsterdam, author of Paleo Cooking. To get these benefits, combine one bunch cilantro, one cubed, unpeeled cucumber, the juice of one lime, one-half finger-length of ginger, and five small pieces of pineapple in a high-power blender. For optimal digestion, Amsterdam advises slipping the shake slowly, as you would wine.
Flip fro yo
By time you get off the Yogurtland line, you may very well have served yourself a heaping portion of yogurt and candy. Save calories by reversing - or flipping - your frozen yogurt. "Start at the topping bar," says Beller. "Load up on antioxidant-rich fruit as your base, then swirl the frozen yogurt as a topping." Now, enjoy over girl-talk.
"I often make a big batch of smoothie only to realize I can't drink it all," says Oz. Instead of wasting the extra, she makes smoothie pops. It's as simple as blending a half-cup of lemon or lime juice, a cup of the fresh fruit of your choice, and a half-cup of plain yogurt, then pouring the mixture into four-ounce popsicle molds and freezing.
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Sundried Tomato, Basil and Feta Hummus Crisps
Yes, now that you ask, we could do with a bruschetta right about now. Since whipping one up in your office kitchen is unlikely to happen, target the same taste with Kashi's new Tomato, Basil and Feta Hummus Crisps. One serving of the multigrain, salty-sweet chips provides four grams each of fiber and protein.
Think of this smoothie-like concoction as the lighter, but equally delicious version of bananas dipped in melted chocolate. Combine one cup of unsweetened chocolate soy milk, a chopped frozen banana, a little stevia or honey, and blend until medium-thick, says Beller.
Greek salad on Wasa toast
Is it a salad? A sandwich? Answer: A little of both. Oz suggests brushing olive oil onto one Wasa crispbread, and covering with dried oregano and a thin layer of feta cheese. These act as a binding for shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and any other veggies of your choice. "I slice cucumbers into planks and use that as the top of the sandwich to hold everything together," says Oz.
Frozen red grapes
Unlike fresh fruit, which can unfortunately be difficult to find and expensive to buy, the frozen stuff is readily available almost everywhere. Sucking on grapes, which are super-high in natural sugars, satisfies a sweet tooth - including your kids'. "For more antioxidant value, I buy the dark-skinned kind," says Beller. Those with seeds are more nutritious as they're rich in vitamin E, flavonoids, and polyphenols - the same good stuff you find in red wine.
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