6 Healthy Winter Snacks to Warm You Up
by Cheryl S. Grant
When the weather turns cold, it may be tempting to turn to salty, rich foods as we mourn the loss of sunlight. The lower temperatures and reduced daylight hours can make us to want to hibernate all season and snack on comfort foods. On top of that, it can be difficult to find the motivation to hit the gym when it's five degrees below zero outside!
While it's definitely OK to treat yourself to something sweet or savory in moderation, there are a number of healthy, delicious winter snacks that can satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. The next time you feel like snacking, try opting for one of these six easy-to-make treats!
1. Veggie Chips
For those who want to have a little crunch and some vitamin A, C, and fiber, these are definitely worth a try. To begin, use a mandoline to make thin slices of carrots, beets, and parsnips. Toss them with a little olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne if you like some spice. Next, place them on a baking sheet that's been coated with cooking spray and cook them in the oven until they reach the desired crispness. For a change of pace, consider using a hearty apple, like a gala or a granny smith!
2. Chai Tea
The American version of chai tends to combine black tea with seasonings like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. It smells delicious and is a near-perfect winter snack because black tea is packed with antioxidants like catechins and theaflavins, which can promote overall health. All you need to do is brew your chai and add a tablespoon or two of milk (or an alternative).
For an easy-to-make snack that's packed with fiber, lycopene, and vitamin C, try crostini! Simply toast thick slices from a loaf of whole-grain bread or a baguette. Brush each piece with a little olive oil and top them with diced tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chopped chickpeas.
Most Americans are not getting the fiber they need. To buck this trend, increase your intake of fiber by eating a filling bowl of oatmeal. Even better, you can top that with a sliced banana and a little nut butter for a great mix of fiber, carbs, and protein! This is the gold standard of winter snacks because it pulls a double duty: It's delicious, and the potassium in the bananas can help prevent muscle cramps.
Chickpeas are an excellent choice for a warm winter snack because they contain fiber, vitamin A, folate, and magnesium. All you need is a can of garbanzo beans! First, drain and rinse the beans and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Coat them with a tablespoon of olive oil and season them with cumin, salt, and pepper. Lastly, place the beans on a baking sheet and cook them in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes — and enjoy.
6. White bean hummus
You can take advantage of the metabolic health benefits of capsaicin (which is found in spicy foods) with this snack. Simply rinse, drain and blend a can of cannellini (or navy) beans with a teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 a clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon each of crushed peppers, chipotle chili powder, sea salt, and a little black pepper. Serve with vegetable chips, carrots, or celery sticks.