Best Healthy Winter Snacks
Healthy Cold Weather Snacks
You would probably agree that when you finally make it indoors after braving cold weather, all you want is something warm to thaw you to the core. On the other hand, many might also agree that it’s not always easy reaching for healthy options when you want something warm. Comfort food doesn’t always have to be bad for you! This list of healthy winter snacks will be your new best friend. Let’s get to the belly warming!
Matcha Green Tea
This is what tea is all about. Matcha is a super powerful green tea that provides a nice energy boost along with superb warming. It’s packed with antioxidants and helps to boost your metabolism. To make it a little more comforting, you can add steamed almond milk or whole milk.
Yes bone broth and it has been getting some serious love from the health world lately. It really is amazing that such a simple concept can provide so many health benefits. It’s rich in magnesium, which benefits your muscles, helps you sleep, and soothes stomach issues. It’s also loaded with collagen, certainly boosts the appearance of your skin and promotes healthy muscles and joints.
Kelp noodle soup
Cold days were made for slurping noodles out of soup while being curled up in a blanket on the couch. #hygge. However, the usual chicken noodle soup noodles are packed with sugar and offer little benefit to your health. So, swap the sugary noodles with kelp noodles and the processed chicken with lean, free range chicken breast. Kelp noodles add extra calcium and iron to your soup.
We said we’d warm you up, right? A little jalapeño heat will warm you up from the inside out. Jalapeños contain antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, as wells as capsaicin, which helps protect your body from damaging free-radicals. Moreover, you’ll also get fiber from the whole-grain breadcrumbs and protein from the Greek yogurt, he says.
Recipe: Coat 8 halved and seeded jalapeños with a mixture of 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt, ½ cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, 1/8 tsp of paprika, and ½ tsp of garlic powder. Sprinkle with whole-grain breadcrumbs. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Coat 8 halved and seeded jalapeños with a mixture of 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt, ½ cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, 1/8 tsp of paprika, and ½ tsp of garlic powder. Sprinkle with whole-grain breadcrumbs. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Coconut cinnamon cocoa
We know, hot cocoa gives us a warm fuzzy feeling inside too and makes us think of playing in the snow, but it can often be loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. Don’t worry, we are here to give cocoa a twist with coconut milk and cinnamon.
Recipe from Katie Cavuto, M.S., R.D.:
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsps coconut cream
1-2 tsp real maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsweetened, dark cocoa powder
A pinch sea salt for taste
Combine all of the ingredients, heat, and serve.
Chunky, spicy chili is heaven when it’s below freezing outside. Chili isn’t just perfect for warming up, it also aids in shedding fat like a pro. Fiber-rich beans help stabilize blood sugar and keep you feeling full. Not to mention, it is full of veggies and good meat with little sugar, if it’s made right. Make your chili with lean turkey or chicken, both of which contribute muscle-building protein while staying low in saturated fat. Avoid the packaged or store bought chili due to the fact that there are often unhealthy things added like sugar and extra salt.
Peanut butter oatmeal
Oatmeal in the morning, or at any time of day for that matter, is what really makes cold days a little warmer. Try adding ½ a mashed banana and 1 Tbsp of natural peanut butter to your bowl. Also, go for the steel cut oats.
Oats are high in soluble fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Add to the protein from the peanut butter by making your oats with milk or cottage cheese.
Store-bought soup is pretty appealing when you don’t have time to make it on your own. When you are cold you want instant relief! So try buying bean-based soup instead of processed soups with funky chicken or noodles. But how do you pick one that’s truly healthy? Compare brands, and go with the one with the least sodium (ideally less than 400 mg) and the highest protein (about 5 g or more). Beans are a good source of protein and fiber, so you’ll feel satisfied until your next meal. Yum!
If you’re looking for a high-protein plant-based snack, edamame is your new fave. Most grocery stores carry packages of frozen edamame that you can just throw in the microwave for a few minutes to steam. Plus, when they are frozen, the nutrients are preserved a little better. After steaming, sprinkle some coarse salt on it and dig in.
Your ½ cup edamame snack packs 8 grams of fiber into only about 100 calories. Whoa. Plus, edamame is also a great source of folate, vitamin K, and iron.
Curried Leek Veggie Soup
Making soup seems like a daunting process, but a quick recipe is an easy way to beat a busy and gloomy day. Who wouldn’t love the anti-inflammatory spices and antioxidant-rich veggies of this curried variety?
3 cups of water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 medium leek, chopped (green and white parts)
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium zucchinis, sliced
2 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
2 Tbsps fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
Pinch kosher salt for taste
Place all ingredients together into a large pot. Stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender (replace any water that’s lost due to evaporation).