Delight Your Palate with Healthy Snacks

The foundation of a healthy diet may include nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but equally important are the snacks in between. Regardless of when or where you snack, foster healthier eating habits with nutritious snacks that help you get through the day.

According to an online survey conducted among 1,000 Americans aged 18 and over across the US by Wakefield Research on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board, Americans love snacks, and they turn to them an average of three times a day. However, where and when these snacks are consumed can vary from being on-the-go or on the couch, from dawn till bedtime.

Nearly a third (30%) of respondents snack while in bed, considering it their favorite snacking spot. However, only 35% of their snack choices are considered healthy.

Nourishing yourself during busy days can be easy with an option like nuts. According to the survey, 66% of snack consumers enjoy nuts by themselves, and 58% eat them as part of a nut mix.

If you’re among the 50% seeking a late afternoon snack, you can turn to nutritious and satisfying solutions to satisfy afternoon cravings without feeling guilty.

With a satisfying crunch, comforting creaminess, and satisfying chew, nuts are the dried fruit that can give your routine a boost with delicious flavor and plant-based nutrition.

Just a handful of nuts – around 19 pieces – provides a good source of fiber, thiamine, and zinc, and an excellent source of copper and manganese, an essential mineral for metabolism and bone health. They also provide a mix of protein and good fats – 18 grams of unsaturated fat, including oleic acid, and only 2 grams of saturated fat – to help keep you satisfied and energized throughout the day.

As an added bonus, their versatility and easy pairing profile make them a perfect ingredient in recipes you can whip up in no time.

These chickpea and nut cookie dough bites are perfect for a snack and packed with flavor, as they swap flour and sugar for a mix of nuts, chickpeas, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt, with dark chocolate chips as a finishing touch.

Or you can simply toss warm nuts with olive oil and sea salt in this recipe for roasted nuts for an on-the-go snack that can be prepared in advance without worrying about them spoiling.

Another advantage of nuts: they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to nine months or frozen for up to two years, giving them a longer shelf life than many pantry favorites. Plus, they can be thawed and refrozen without losing flavor or texture.



Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 8

• 2 1/4 cups raw pecan halves

• 2 teaspoons olive oil or pecan oil

• 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

2. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

3. In a heatproof bowl, toss the warm pecans with the olive oil and sea salt, crushing any larger salt grains with your fingers as you sprinkle them.

4. Spread the pecans back out on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and dry. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.

Looking for healthy snacks? This recipe courtesy of Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Servings: 24

• 1 cup raw nut pieces

• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. In a blender or food processor, blend nut pieces, chickpeas, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally, until smooth and creamy.

2. Stir in dark chocolate chips.

3. Form 24 cookie dough balls. Enjoy as is; no baking necessary.

Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

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