Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snacks: Celery

It's only 10 calories per large stalk and it's got such an amazing crunch. Of course, alone, it tastes gross. Pair it up with a low-cal topping, and it's much better.
The standard topping is Peanut Butter and craisins, Ants-on-a-Log-style. The problem with PB, even the delicious organic kind that we usually buy, is that it's got 200 calories packed into only two tablespoons. So yes, it's good for you, but only in moderation.

Here's some lower-calorie topping alternatives:

Spinach & Artichoke Hummus
120 calories in 4 tablespoons

No recipe here. This version of hummus has less calories than any other variety I've found. Maybe because the veggies replace some of the oil? Not exactly sure, I didn't read much into it. The one I bought was store-brand and it was delish! Just check the labels for something around 60 calories per 2tbs.

Cottage Cheese & Salsa
75 calories in 6 tablespoons (varies depending on salsa)

This one is courtesy of my hubby. Sounds and looks gross (hence the lack of photos here), but tastes AMAZING. Use any variety of salsa that you like. I used a spicy peach salsa that had 25 calories per 2 tbs. The cottage cheese used was the standard 2%, small curd (100 calories per 1/2 cup).

This can also be eaten without the celery, by the spoonful.

4tbs cottage cheese (about 1/4 cup)
2tbs salsa

1. Mix cottage cheese and salsa.

2. Enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Onion and Garlic Topping
40 calories in 4 tablespoons

This one can also be used as a low-cal dip. I love using Greek Yogurt. To me, it tastes like a sweeter sour cream, but not quite as sweet as yogurt. It's an amazing substitute for creams in many recipes.

1 tbs roasted garlic (recipe below)
2 green onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup greek yogurt
fresh cracked pepper
pinch salt

1. Mix all ingredients. Allow to sit in refrigerator overnight to help flavors make their way into the yogurt.

2. Enjoy!

Note - If you don't want to roast garlic, use garlic powder to taste.

Roasting Garlic Without Oil

1 full bulb of garlic
1/4 cup veggie or chicken broth, or water

1. Peel outer layer off bulb of garlic (not off the individual cloves).

2. Trim the tops so that the meat of the garlic shows.

3. Put bulb in a ramekin or muffin tin and pour broth over top. Cover with tin foil.

4. Roast in oven at 400 degrees F, for about 30 minutes.

5. Carefully remove tin foil (watch out for steam) and put back into oven for another 10 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

7. Garlic cloves should be soft enough to be squeezed right out of their shells. Smash and...

8. Enjoy!

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