Summertime is here and the snacking is easy. This is the season when the fruits and vegetables are just rolling into markets so healthy choices are both cost effective and delicious.
The best snacks for summer are simple: watermelon, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, etc. -- just munch on them!
The 10 recipes below are for those of you who want to dress your summer fruits and vegetables up a bit. A few added ingredients, maybe a little heat, and you have healthy food that is tasty.
1. Salad Stick Recipe
(makes 12 skewers)
1 pkg white whole mushrooms
1 medium red onion
1 green bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Wet a paper towel and clean mushroom caps. Remove stems from mushrooms. Cut onion in half and then cut 4 pieces of each half. Clean and cut bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces.
Peel zucchini and slice into 1 inch pieces. Place ingredients onto skewers. Heat grill and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes per side until vegetables are your desired doneness. Enjoy!
These can be made ahead and reheated on the grill or in the oven.
16 calories, 0.2 g fat, 3.5 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g protein, 1.0 g fiber, 5 mg sodium
2. Cucumber Orange Water Recipe
6 cups water
Cut orange in half then thinly slice into half circles. Thinly slice 1/2 cucumber. Add cucumber and orange to a pitcher. Add 6 cups water to pitcher. Chill in refrigerator and drink within 2 days.
0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 0 mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: Squeeze the oranges into the water and add 27 calories per serving.
3. Bacon-Cantaloupe Bites Recipe
1 slice bacon
Cook bacon in pan or microwave (using paper towels). Cut bacon and cantaloupe into 10 small pieces. Spear bacon and cantaloupe with toothpick.
115 calories, 8.0 g fat, 3.1 g carbohydrates, 7.3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 444 mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: You could also use lean ham!
4. Watermelon Feta Salad Recipe
2 cups watermelon diced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped dill (optional)
Mix feta, watermelon, and dill in a small bowl. Eat immediately or else the watermelon becomes soggy.
For one serving: 95 calories, 4.2 g fat, 12.2 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g protein, 0.6 g fiber, 211 mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: Serve on skewers for a fun presentation!
5. Caprese Salad
1 ounce fresh mozzarella
5 basil leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Slice tomato with a serrated knife into thin slices. Slice mozzarella into thin slices. Alternate tomato, mozzarella, and basil onto plate. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
132 calories, 10.3 g fat, 2.4 g carbohydrates, 7.7 g protein, 0 g fiber, 151 mg sodium
6. Chile Lime Corn Recipe
4 ears corn
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chile powder
Put a large pot of water on to boil. Shuck corn. When water is boiling add corn and cook for 4 minutes. Remove and place on plate Slice lime into 4 quarters and mix salt and chile powder in a small bowl. Dip lime into chile-salt mixture. Squeeze lime onto cooked corn and enjoy!
63 calories, 0.9 g fat, 13.9 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 592mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: Add one teaspoon grated Parmesan for a total of 71 calories! We love to grill the corn, too, for added flavor.
7. Banana Split Makeover Recipe
1 cup fresh strawberries
8 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream
Slice strawberries and banana. Put in a bowl and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!
207 calories, 4.8 g fat, 38 g carbohydrates, 2.2 g protein, 5.9 g fiber, 3 mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: Don't stop with strawberries and bananas. Add your favorite fruit!
8. Green Smoothie Recipe
1 cup fresh mixed berries
1 cup kale
1/2 cup water
5 ice cubes
Tear kale leaves off of stems and tear into small shapes. Pulse ice in blender until crushed. Put berries, kale, 1/2 banana, and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
132 calories, 1.1 g fat, 31.2 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g protein, 5.8 g fiber, 31 mg sodium
9. Grilled Dessert Recipe
(makes 7 sticks)
1 20-ounce can Pineapple Chunks in Pineapple Juice
Drain pineapple and slice bananas into small pieces (the same size as the pineapple). Stick pieces onto skewers and place on a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the sticks, cover, and store in refrigerator until ready to grill.
Grill at medium heat, turning every 2 minutes until slightly charred (5-7 minutes). Dust with cinnamon and enjoy! Can be served hot or room temperature.
For one skewer: 85 calories, 0.2 g fat, 22.2 g carbohydrates, 0.6 g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 7 mg sodium
10. Snap Peas and Warm Goat Cheese Recipe
10 snap peas
1 ounce goat cheese
Melt goat cheese in microwave for 10 seconds. Be careful not to overheat because the cheese will separate. Dip snap peas in goat cheese one at a time and enjoy!
94 calories, 6 g fat, 3.6 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 0.9 g fiber, 45 mg sodium
SparkPeople Tip: We love this warm dip with celery, carrots, and pretty much any veggie imaginable!
About the author: Lisa Cain, Ph.D. writes about healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com. She is a published author, mother of two, and avid snacker.
For more healthy snack recipes visit Snack-Girl.com.
What is your favorite summertime snack using the season's freshest produce?
More From SparkPeople