healthy holiday snacking

How Not to Go Overboard on Holiday Snacking

It’s the holiday season and, with everything from parties to bowl games, there are multiple opportunities to nosh on delicious, festive fare. By planning ahead, you can still enjoy some tasty bites without sacrificing your waistline. Try these lighter snack recipes from the American Heart Association.

Almond Snack Mix

This sweet and crunchy snack boasts plenty of fiber and heart-healthy fat. Once it’s cooled, package it in single-serving bags. Serving size: ½ cup.

1/3 cup whole unsalted almonds
2/3 cup multi-bran or whole grain cereal squares
½ cup low-fat granola (without raisins)
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries

Be sure the almonds are completely cooled when you add them to the mix; otherwise, they will make it soggy.

Ranch-Chive Popcorn

All the herby dill and garlic flavors of a Ranch dressing, just in popcorn form, are in this recipe. (Hint: Stovetop popcorn only takes a few minutes and yet is both healthier and cheaper than microwave popcorn.)

4 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil (divided)
¾ cup popcorn kernels
1-1/2 Tbsp. dried chives
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried dill
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

  • Keep it Healthy: Oils like canola, safflower, or olive oil are a heart-healthier alternative to drizzle over popcorn in place of butter.
  • Cooking Tip: The common 3-ounce microwave popcorn will yield a little more than the 10 cups of popcorn in this recipe. Continue to follow the directions for the Ranch-Chive oil and drizzle over the microwave popcorn.
  • Tip: If going the microwave popcorn route, make sure to choose the 94 percent fat-free variety. Also, compare the sodium content, aiming for bags with 30 to 40 milligrams of sodium per serving.