Packing our coolers with cold sodas, grabbing a bag of chips, and picking out a new candy is generally the typical pre-beach or pool ritual. The problem is these snacks are often high in calories and low in nutrients. But with a little planning you can have balanced yet delectable snacks to allow for mindful munching during your long summer days.
Remember, the snacks you choose can make a difference in emotional health, appetite, and fullness. So, check out the healthy summertime snack lineup below to control your hunger, improve your mood, and keep you feeling full and satisfied!
Boardwalk Banana Chips
These chips are not just for the little ones, kids and adults alike will love the sweet taste of a homemade banana chip. To avoid traditionally deep-fried chips or banana chips, try dehydrating your own by baking the chips in the oven. Keep your banana chips plain or feel free to add extra seasonings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, turmeric, or paprika.
- 2 bananas
- Juice from 1/4 lemon
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease. Slice two bananas into 1/8-inch rounds. Be sure to evenly slice each round, either with a knife or mandolin, to ensure even baking. Place banana slices on parchment paper. Lightly brush lemon juice on banana slices to reduce browning. Bake in oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let crisp at room temperature.
Beach Ball Melon Skewers
Using a melon baller is an easy way to make fruit snacking as easy as possible, no forks required pool or beach side. Melons and cucumbers are some of the most water-rich foods, plus they are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. You can pop these refreshing skewers right out of the cooler to help you stay hydrated under the sun.
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 mini watermelon
- 1 cantaloupe
- 2 cucumbers
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, and sea salt. Using a melon baller, scoop the watermelon and cantaloupe into balls, placing each in the lime and honey mixture. Thinly slice the cucumbers and place into bowl with melons and lime/honey mixture. Occasionally stir the bowl as you ball and slice ingredients to coat the fruit. Slide the watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber slices, and basil leaves onto skewers. Refrigerate or keep in cooler until ready to serve.
Snacks are often carbohydrate and sugar heavy, making it easy to forget about protein at snack time. These savory energy Pebble Bites deliver a nutritious snack from plant protein sources. They are easy for little hands to grab out of the cooler to help balance refreshment at the beach or pool.
- 1/4 cup everything bagel seasoning to coat
- 1 can cannelloni beans
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 cloves garlic
Pour everything bagel seasoning into shallow dish and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except everything bagel seasoning, in food processor and blend until combined, occasionally stopping to scrape down sides. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, or two spoons, scoop out bean mixture and roll into balls with hands. Roll each ball in everything bagel seasoning to coat. Store in refrigerator.
Sea Turtle Sweet Bars
With the flavor of turtle candy, these no-bake Sea Turtle Sweet Bars are a sweet treat that serve up fiber, whole grains, healthy fat, and antioxidants!
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup pure cacao chips, such as Pascha Brand
In a large pot, warm cashew butter and honey over low heat, stirring to combine. Once warm, remove from heat and stir in all ingredients in order. Pour into a lined and greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Press the mixture evenly into the lined baking dish. Place parchment paper on top of mixture and pack mixture down tightly. Refrigerate until cool. Cut into bars and serve.
Nguyen, V., Cooper, L., Lowndes, J., Melanson, K., Angelopoulos, T. J., Rippe, J. M., & Reimers, K. (2012). Popcorn is more satiating than potato chips in normal-weight adults. Nutrition journal, 11, 71. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-71
Ortinau, L. C., Hoertel, H. A., Douglas, S. M., & Leidy, H. J. (2014). Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. Nutrition journal, 13, 97. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-97
Smith, A. P., & Rogers, R. (2014). Positive effects of a healthy snack (fruit) versus an unhealthy snack (chocolate/crisps) on subjective reports of mental and physical health: a preliminary intervention study. Frontiers in nutrition, 1, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2014.00010
Wansink, B., Shimizu, M., & Brumberg, A. (2013). Association of nutrient-dense snack combinations with calories and vegetable intake. Pediatrics, 131(1), 22–29. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-3895
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