Two Quick and Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on April 7, 2011

I often get asked questions about what I eat day-to-day, and what kinds of things I like to snack on. Snacking is totally essential to my life – I’m the type of person who gets hungry more than 3 times a day, and if I don’t snack in-between meals I become – what the husband calls – “hangry.” Basically hungry + angry, the side effects of which are usually taken out on him. I don’t like snacking on packaged foods – because most packaged foods will just cause a spike in your blood sugar, which eventually results in a blood sugar crash (and then you’re back to being hangry).

My criteria for putting together healthy snacks include:

  • The snack should have a good combination of fiber and protein, so it’s both filling and nutritious – and of course – tastes delicious. A great example of this is carrot sticks and hummus, or high fiber crackers and laughing cow cheese (or low fat string cheese).
  • The snack shouldn’t have more than 200 calories, because then it’s encroaching on meal territory which you don’t want
  • Avoid pre-packaged snacks if possible (e.g. chips, granola bars, protein bars, etc.) Although – there are healthy packaged options of all these things which work well if you’re on the go.

Today – I thought I’d share two of my favorite healthy snacks. Each snack has only 2 ingredients, is less than 200 calories, and only takes 2 minutes to make! Don’t you love the running theme here? 🙂

Snack #1: Fresh blueberries and Low Fat Cottage Cheese

I love how filling this snack is – and the creaminess of the cottage cheese goes great with the sweet/tart flavor of the blueberries. I go for low fat (vs. non fat) cottage cheese because it still retains the great creamy texture but is only ~100 calories per 1/2 cup serving and has about 15g protein. The blueberries add a good amount of fiber (3-4g per 3/4 cup) and are about 60 calories for 3/4 cup.

Mixing the two together gives you a great snack for only about 160 calories! And trust me, this will keep you full for a good amount of time – it’s one of my “go-tos” between lunch and dinner. And it helps that the blue and white looks so pretty and fresh together in the bowl – I always eat with my eyes before I eat with my mouth.

Snack #2: Brown Rice Cakes and Almond Butter

I love all nut butters. Peanut, Almond, Cashew, Sunflower Seed, etc – the list goes on and on. I especially love this Almond Butter with roasted flaxseeds from Trader Joe’s – it gives you a nice serving of omega 3s and increases the fiber/protein in this nutty spread. 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter has only 100 calories, and has about 4g protein and 2g fiber. The brown rice cakes give you a ton of volume (one cake is huge!) for only 60 calories and 1g fiber.

I love how creamy this nut butter is – it’s definitely one of my favorites. Putting the two together gives you about a 160 calorie, filling, deliciously creamy snack. For some extra fun, you can add a drizzle of honey (1 tsp has about 20 calories), or a few raisins on top.

Try out these perfect pairings and let me know what you think. Both should keep you feeling full (but not heavy) and energetic (but not on a sugar high) for the time in between meals. And they definitely keep me from becoming hangry.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny April 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I love having cottage cheese as a night time snack with fruits and nut butter. The perfect snack that’s filling and packed with protein 😀

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Britne @ Shabbott's Habits April 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Oh I love the Lundberg rice cakes. They are so much heartier than that “other” popular brand. And I too am OBSESSED with nut butters. Any kind works for me, although I haven’t seen that TJ’s almond butter with flax yet. 🙂

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Spice Sherpa April 8, 2011 at 3:51 am

I’m always on the prowl for new snack ideas. Like you I get hungry more than 3x a day. The problem is I like my main meals to be small and prefer solid snacks. The rest of my family is the opposite–they want a big dinner. I’d just as soon have dinner at 3:30 or 4:00 then eat one of your options at the dinner hour. But with your suggestions maybe I can successfully do the inverse. Hummus on celery or pita chips is another tasty combination.

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TheNoviceNosher April 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

I should try the blueberries/cottage cheese combo – I love both, I have no idea why I haven’t eaten them together before! Glad you posted this!

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Rena April 10, 2011 at 5:04 am

I loved your recipe for red pasta, and I love your healthy recipes. Excited I found your site

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The Duo Dishes-Chrystal April 11, 2011 at 9:25 am

People do swear by TJ’s almond butter. Gotta give it a try!

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The Picky Eater April 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

You’ll love it – it’s awesome! 🙂

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Visda April 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Gorgeous post. These two snacks are so filling and delicious. I especially love anything with rice cakes and your combinations are inspiring.

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Lady Kay's Kitchen April 12, 2011 at 8:50 am

Hi, I just found your blog! I am also a very picky eater 🙂 Personally I love fresh blueberries with homemade whipped cream!

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The Picky Eater April 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hello – nice to meet you! 🙂 And totally agree – homemade whipped cream is the best!!

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EA-The Spicy RD April 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

I’m also a big fan of getting a balance of nutrients in my snacks. Love both your easy snack ideas. Have you tried “Yumnuts” yet? They are delicious, and make a great snack paired with a piece of fruit.

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Holly May 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hi Anjali,

Love your blog and great healthy recipes! Both of these snacks are tasty but I thought I would mention that rice cakes are actually not considered healthy snacks. Because they are popped, they are extreamly high on the glycemic index and therefore readily converted to simple sugars (I think they are like an 85 – yikes!) The larger the molecule the healthier…hence whole grain is better as the body doesn’t break it down as much. You would think that because they are brown rice they are healthy but once popped the nutrition goes out the window.

Kind regards,

Holly

Holly

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hi Holly! Thank you for your kind words and for pointing that out! You are right that rice cakes have a high glycemic index. The thing is – what matters more than glycemic index is glycemic load when paired with other foods (because you rarely eat certain foods by themselves). The glycemic load is a classification of different carbohydrates that measures their impact on the body and blood sugar. It details the amount of carbohydrates a food contains and its glycemic index (which is a measurement of its impact on blood sugar). By this measure, rice cakes have a medium glycemic load (on the same level as brown rice and whole wheat bread) – which can be lowered further if you eat them with lower glycemic index foods. Let me know if that makes sense!

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