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Bananas in a Bag: Freeze-Dried Crispy Fruit

9 Dec

Bananas in a Bag: Freeze-Dried Crispy Fruit

Fiber fans know, fruit is a great go-to snack. Whole, intact fruit is a nice option for naturally occurring fiber packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

But when plain old fresh fruit won’t duo, there’s a whole slew of packaged and processed fruit snacks available to today’s consumer. The problem is, most fruit snacks are packed with added sugar, stripped of fiber, and in their finished form they end up hardly resembling anything even remotely close to fruit.

But there’s a better fruit snack out there: Crispy Fruit from Crispy Green. Thanks to samples provided by Crispy Fruit’s PR company, I was recently able to try the freeze dried crispy bananas.

Crispy bananas have one ingredient: bananas. And not surprisingly, they taste like…bananas. If you’ve ever had astronaut ice cream, the crispy fruit has a similar texture. It’s a tad on the chalky side, but that’s what you get when you remove all of the water from a high water-content food group like fruit.

For the ultimate in taste-tester feedback, I tried the crispy bananas out on my one-year-old daughter, aka the Banana Bandit.

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This girl can put down a whole banana in no time flat, so I appreciated that the crispy bananas kept her entertained for a bit longer than the full fruit. She can’t talk yet, but I’m pretty sure she liked those crispy bananas, since she polished off the whole bag….and tried to eat the bag too.

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The crispy bananas come packaged with 6 individual serving bags, which would make a great addition for school lunch or snacks on the go. Each individual serving bag contains 1/2 cup of bananas (about 1/2 of a whole medium-sized banana), as well as:

  • 55 calories
  • 13 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g dietary fiber
  • 1 g protein

There’s no added preservatives and (as one would hope if just eating bananas) the snacks are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, peanut and tree-nut free and kosher. They are also non-GMO project verified.

Crispy Green’s 7 Crispy Fruit flavors have all undergone a freeze-drying process to remove water and sterilize the product:

 

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You can pick up crispy fruit at your local retailer (store finder here) or purchase online directly from Crispy Green.

Disclosure: I was provided with free samples of Crispy Fruit for this post; thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not otherwise compensated for this post.

Turn Your Tailgate UP

28 Oct

Turn Your Tailgate UP

Disclosure: I have a professional relationship with Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds and KIND Snacks; however, this post is not sponsored by them.

Football season is in full swing – and that means tailgating food is in high demand.

According to one survey, when it comes to tailgating food:

  • 42% of tailgaters spend more than $500 a season on food and supplies
  • 95% of tailgaters prepare their food at the stadium
  • And good old-fashioned math tells us that a 13-ounce bag of Doritos has 1,820 calories

If you’re hosting a parking lot party or just game-watching at home, chances are you are filling up on not-so-good-for-you foods.

But I have 2 top picks this season to help fix your football food fails!

KIND Bars

KIND

  • I love working with KIND snacks because their products include real ingredients like premium nuts, whole grains and seeds
  • The KIND Nuts & Spices line has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar
  • Whereas your typical slab bar can have 20-30 g sugar per bar, KIND Nuts & Spices has just 5-6 grams per bar
  • There are no artificial sweeteners and the sugar in these bars comes from dried fruit and honey

Check out KIND’s Nuts & Spices and all of their bars at the KIND online store.

Pistachios

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  • Pistachios make a great go-to snack for any football watching party. They’re a good source of protein and fiber and come packed with good fats. In fact, almost 90% of the fats in pistachios are the healthy, unsaturated type.
  • I love pistachios because they are one of the lowest-fat, lowest-calorie snack nuts. In-shell pistachios can keep your hands busy during those nerve-wracking parts of the game – and the leftover shells provide a visual due for portion sizing.
  • Pistachios are delicious on their own, roasted and salted – or try them in other delectable flavors like sweet chili and salt and pepper.
  • A serving size of pistachios is 49 pistachios, which provides 160 calories and 3 grams of fiber; 49 pistachios works out to 1/2 cup of pistachios in shell or 1/4 cup shelled

You can learn more at getcrackin.com.

For more healthier twists on football tailgating, check out my segment on KRON4 San Francisco this week.

Clean Fuel for Your Workout

3 Aug

Clean Fuel for Your Workout

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to represent the brands featured in the blog post and the associated TV segment.

We are less than 2 weeks away from the 38th running of the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. Over 8,000 runners are getting geared up to complete the scenic 13.1 mile course throughout San Diego.

If you’re training for the AFC half – or any distance athletic event – you need to fuel your workout and recovery properly. Here are a few of my tips for filling up with clean fuel:

Pre-Workout Routine with Carb & Protein

  • The key to fueling your pre-workout meals and snacks is to combine carbohydrate for fuel with a little protein for your endurance
  • I love combining a banana and LARABAR as a great pre workout snack. LARABARs are a convenient and simple fuel perfect for any lifestyle: they’re gluten-free, paleo, vegan, non-GMO, whole…you name it!
  • LARA fruit and nut bars come in 20 flavors, all of which have 9 ingredients or less. My personal favorite is the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor which has just 3 ingredients: dates, peanuts, and sea salt – that’s it
  • You can pick up LARABARS at most health-minded retailers, or from their online store at larabar.com.

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Hydrating the Healthy Way

  • We can’t talk about summer running without mentioning hydration. I’m not a huge fan of straight water all the time, so I’m always on the lookout for tasty, healthier sports drinks
  • BODYARMOR is one of my current favorites – it’s a new, natural sports drink that has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins than any other sports drink; plus it contains coconut water for an added kick
  • There’s no artificial ingredients in BODYARMOR, which makes it a great option for younger athletes who don’t need all of the extra sodium and artificial ingredients found in other sports drink
  • You can find BODYARMOR in 7 delicious flavors at local retailers or online at shop.drinkbodyarmor.com

 

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DIY Recovery Smoothie

  • For recovery, timing is key. You want to get your body refueled ASAP to help replenish vital nutrients and energy lost during your workout. A good goal is to aim to consume at least 300 calories within 30 minutes of completing your run
  • Another rule of thumb is to combine carbohydrate (for glycogen replenishment) with protein (for muscle repair) in a 4:1 ratio for your recovery snack
  • I love to make my own recovery smoothie – check out this easy recipe that fits the 300 calorie, 4:1 ratio

DIY Berry Banana Recovery Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 oz nonfat berry-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 frozen banana

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until desired consistency

Nutrition Information

  • 290 calories
  • 60 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 grams protein
  • 1 g fat
  • 6.5 g dietary fiber
  • 135 mg sodium

For more information on clean fuel for your workout, check out my segment on San Diego Living today.

Nutrient Boosting the Way Better Way

5 May

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am compensated for my work as a nutrition ambassador with Way Better Snacks; thoughts contained in this post are my own.

When it comes to nutrient packed snacks, Way Better is doing it way better!

As a nutrition ambassador for Way Better Snacks, I was delighted to receive a recent sample package of their new line of sprouted barley crackers.

 

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Barley is unbeatable when it comes to whole grain fiber finds. Barley helps promote satiety, and in some studies it has been shown to aid in blood glucose management and blood pressure control.

The Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers all have 2-3 grams of fiber per serving and some very unique flavor combinations. My personal favorite was the mustard & cheddar variety. I’m a huge fan of Indian and Nepalese food (where mustard seeds and mustard oil are abundant) and you don’t usually find this nutrition powerhouse in domestic snack products.

There are 4 flavors of Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers available:

  • Mustard & Cheddar Way Better
  • Back in Black Bean & Salsa
  • Beyond the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Rosemarry Me & Olive Oil

So, now, why would you want your crackers to be sprouted?

Sprouting is a nutrient boosting process that increases the bioavailability of the nutrients and makes them easier for your body to absorb. Some research even suggests that sprouting can increase the fiber content of whole grains and make them less allergenic.

If you’re looking for a nutrient boost, I’m definitely a fiber fan of the Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers. They make the grade when it comes to nutrient profile and flavor combinations: fiber friendly and tasty to boot!

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

14 Apr

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

More than half of all Americans now snack 3 or more times per day. And about 25% of our daily calories are now coming from snacks instead of meals.

But is your snack making you fat? Here are 3 snack hacks to help you avoid the fat trap!

Thin is In!

Have you noticed the proliferation of thinned-out foods? There’s thin bagels, thin breads and now even thin crackers.

While the ship has sailed on the paltry 100-calorie packs, I recently sampled Nonni’s Mango Coconut Almond Thins. Their generous serving of seriously delicious real fruit and California almond-laden crackers comes in individual serving sizes which are great for snacking on the go.

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Get Serious About Seaweed

The tide is turning in snack foods and seaweed is rising to the top!

Annie Chun’s makes a delicious roasted seaweed snack that comes in 4 great flavors. At just 50 calories per package and 25% of your daily value of vitamin C, these seaweed snacks go a long way to fueling you between meals!

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Make a Mini Meal

Snacks don’t have to be elaborate undertakings. In fact, some of the best snacks are just mini meals.

I’m a big fan of KIND Healthy Snacks and love their KIND Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. Pair this gluten free, hearty granola (packing 4 grams of fiber) with some nonfat plain, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, and you’re good to go on the mini meal fiber front.

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For more tips on hacking your snacks, check out my segment on NBC 7 San Diego Mid Day.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.