Healthy Snacks and “Skinny” Desserts
A few months ago, I started making my own healthy grab-and-go snacks. I’m a big fruit eater, but I wanted a different take on my go-to snacks.
Greek Yogurt Covered Blueberries
These can be made with nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, or nonfat plain Greek yogurt with some honey. You must use Greek yogurt because it is thicker and it freezes well. Regular yogurt will produce terrible results.
Spear a blueberry with a toothpick, dip it in the yogurt, and use another toothpick to push it onto a cookie sheet. Repeat the process until the cookie sheet is filled with blueberries. Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour. Then, pop the blueberries off the cookie sheet, bag them, and return them to the freezer.
I like to separate these and all of my snacks into individual portions immediately. I even separate my fresh berries and grapes into portioned sandwich bags right after washing.
Granny Smith apples work really well for making apple chips, and they also happen to be my favorite apples.
Apple chips are so easy to make. Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Slice the your apples as thin as possible, and place the slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Add a bit of cinnamon and sugar, if you want. The sourness with a hint of sweetness is a perfect combination. Depending on how thin the apple slices are, they should be ready in a couple of hours. My apples were a bit too thick, so I left them in a couple of hours longer. You want the apples to be dry and crunchy like chips.
Let them cool and bag them, or put them in storage containers. I keep mine in the fridge so they’ll last about a week, as opposed to a few days.
OK. So, this one was a bit of a fail. I blame Pinterest, and its proliferation of recipes that don’t produce the results they claim. I have tried countless recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest and have had very mixed results.
I saw this pin and immediately wanted to try my hand at making dried fruit (As you can see, I re-pinned it with a note of warning to others).
The picture from the site looks so appetizing and inviting, but the recipe does not produce those results.
The recipe tells you to cut the strawberries up, and dry them in the oven for 3 hours at 210˚F.
I cut many of the strawberries into sixths, after realizing that quarters wasn’t enough. I also had to flatten the strawberries, a bit at a time, to rid them of their juices.
I’m always on the lookout for somewhat “skinny” dessert options that don’t make me feel like I’m missing out. Here are a few things that I’ve made recently.
I made this using blueberries, raspberries, a bit of light cranberry raspberry juice, and ginger ale. I also found a tip online about adding a hint of alcohol to the sorbet to keep it from getting grainy in the freezer, so I added some rum. My mint plant was thriving around this time, so I added a bit of mint to the mixture (I know, it sounds weird, but it made the sorbet extra refreshing). I put everything in the food processor until it reached the consistency I wanted. Then, I put it in an airtight container and popped it in the freezer.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Nutella
I had never had Nutella until a few months ago. Now, I’m a bit obsessed.
One day, I wanted to have some dessert, and I didn’t have much of anything in the house. I made some peanut butter oatmeal cookies, but I was really craving some chocolate. I didn’t have any chocolate chips, but I added a dollop of Nutella to the middle of each cookie. Problem solved!
I cannot figure out what recipe I used to make these. I think I may have followed this recipe, loosely. I do know that I used honey instead of sugar and light butter in the place of margarine.
I know that these pictures are horrible, but these were really yummy. My husband even liked them.
Nutella Cheesecake Desserts
I spotted these mini Nutella cheesecake desserts on Pinterest while in the midst of my Nutella obsession.
The original recipe for these could not be more simple. Combine 2/3 cup Nutella with an 8 oz package of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Make the crust with 12 crushed Oreos and 3 tablespoons of butter.
To make the recipe light, I chose to use low-fat cream cheese and substituted some nonfat Greek yogurt for half of the cream cheese (mostly because I didn’t have enough cream cheese). I still used Oreos for the crust, but I used fewer Oreos and light butter. For the topping, I used fat-free whipped cream and a few chocolate chips.
I made them a second time with only nonfat Greek yogurt (no cream cheese), and they were just as good. Also, the nonfat Greek yogurt was vanilla flavored, so I just omitted the vanilla extract.
I calculated the calories in these desserts with the light ingredients. There are less than 200 calories in each of these, and they taste divine! Those little dessert bowls were a thrift store find. I believe they were $0.50 each. I only have two, but I’m sure I’ll find more one day. They are the same as some dessert cups that I saw in an antique store, and they were asking more than $10/cup.
Not Really Cookie Dough, Cookie Dough Bites
I wasn’t too hopeful about this one, but I saw it on Pinterest and had to try.
Here are the ingredients from the recipe: “2/3 c raw cashews, 1/3 c oats, 2 Tbsp Agave, 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (Omit and use Agave to preserve true Raw Status if you care), 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract, 1/4 c Chocolate Chips.” The first time I made these I used some maple syrup and some honey. The second time, I used only honey for sweetener.
To make the cookie dough bites, blend the oats and cashews into a flour. Add the sweetener(s) and vanilla extract. Blend again, and mix in the chocolate chips. Form the dough into little balls, and put them in an airtight container in the freezer.
These provide all the fun of raw cookie dough, without the problems that consuming raw cookie dough presents. As an added bonus for me, these are a great post-workout snack. They have a lot of protein in them.
What are your favorite snacks and/or desserts to make? Have you tried any recipes from Pinterest that left you less than enthused?