December 29, 2017

Snack Break!

By Heather Kearney, RDN, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietician
(563) 324-9948
hkearney@hy-vee.com

You may have seen them on display in your local Hy-Vee. They’re the cookie dough-shaped balls that look too good to be healthy. So, what are they, and should you be eating them? Here’s a few things to help you decide.

1. They might taste like peanut butter cookie dough, but they’re loaded with nutrition from whole grain oats, chia, flax, and coconut. Plus a few mini chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet tooth.

2. Each one provides at least 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber—two nutrients that help you feel full.

3. Compared to a chocolate chip cookie, they have fewer calories and two-thirds less sugar.

4. At around 130 calories a pop, they provide quick yet sustainable energy for pre- and post-workouts.

Healthy snacks between meals can prevent you from over-eating. They can also help you stabilize your blood sugar and stave off a snarly mood that might come from hunger. But the trick to building the perfect healthy snack is to combine carbohydrates with protein and a little bit of fat. This combination is ideal for feeling full and satisfied, so you’re less likely to dip into the office candy bowl. Try spending one to two minutes every night packing healthy snacks for the next day. Here’s a few simple ideas:

Cucumber Roll Ups—Thinly slice a cucumber into horizontal strips. Spread a thin layer of light cream cheese or light Laughing Cow cheese spread on the cucumber slice and roll. Repeat to use the remaining cucumber strips.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon—Pick up thinly sliced prosciutto in the meat department or at the charcuterie counter. Wrap the prosciutto around a slice of cantaloupe for a sweet and savory snack.

Peanut Butter Banana & Berry Bites—Trim the top of a strawberry and spread a small amount of peanut butter on the top. Place a slice of banana on top of the peanut butter and skewer with a toothpick. Three or four of these berry bites is the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack.

For more dietitian tips and recipes, please visit
Hy-Vee.com/recipes-ideas.

Apricot-Almond Health Balls

Similar to the Hy-Vee Dietitian Energy Bites, these no-bake snacks provide healthy carbohydrates and protein for sustained energy.

Makes 20 Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Hy-Vee old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c. whole grain brown crisp rice cereal
  • 1 (2-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee sliced almonds
  • ½ c. chopped Hy-Vee dried apricots
  • ¼ c ground flaxseed meal
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Hy-Vee mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ tsp. Hy-Vee salt   1 c. unsalted almond butter
  • ¼ c. agave nectar   1 tsp. Hy-Vee vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, cereal, almonds, apricots, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, chocolate chips and salt.

2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine almond butter, agave nectar and vanilla; stir until well mixed. Add to oat mixture; beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed until well-mixed.

3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place balls in a baking pan. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Nutrition facts per ball: 150 calories, 10g fat, 1g saturated fat, 65mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein

Heather Kearney, RDN, LD is a registered dietician at Hy-Vee. She can be reached at (563) 324-9948 or at hkearney@hy-vee.com.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness