I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions because they’re easy to make but also so easy to break. However, I do think that the New Year is a great time to start developing healthier eating habits, especially after overindulging during the holidays. But rather than setting unreasonable goals for yourself (and invariably ending up disappointed), why not try making small but significant changes to your diet and lifestyle? Changes that will positively impact your health and put you on the road to success for the whole year.
A few weeks ago I wrote about getting my family into the habit of eating a nutritious breakfast on a more regular basis. Along those same lines, focusing on healthy snacks is also a great and easy way to improve the quality of your diet. Snacking isn’t a bad thing. Eating frequent meals and snacks throughout the day is actually a great way to keep your energy and blood sugar levels steady which helps prevent binge eating. The problem is that we often reach for the wrong types of snacks when hunger strikes.
I was asked to create a healthy snack recipe incorporating Sunsweet® prunes. As a busy working mom who usually works 12-hour shifts in the hospital, I definitely understand the importance of nutritious snacks to give me long-lasting energy. Sunsweet® prunes are a naturally low calorie snack that have no added sugar or preservatives. They’re packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining good digestive health. A diet high in fiber also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels and promote heart health. In addition, prunes are rich in several other nutrients like potassium, Vitamin K and copper, which in combination have many benefits including promoting bone health.
I’ve been a fan of Sunsweet® prunes ever since our pediatrician recommended them for my daughter when she was having problems with constipation. We especially love the Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes, which are conveniently diced into small pieces. They’re perfect for tossing into oatmeal, yogurt, granola, salads or just about anything else you can think of. My daughter loves to gobble them up by the handful!
My Amazin’ Tropical Trail Mix has a well-balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and some healthy fat. It’s the perfect snack to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Pack some of this trail mix in a bag and take it with you when you’re heading out for the day. It will help you resist the temptation of the vending machine and will give you a boost of energy to get you through the day.
My trail mix has a nice balance of flavors (salty and sweet) as well as textures (crunchy and chewy). Although popcorn may not be a traditional ingredient in trail mix, it’s a healthy and affordable whole grain that’s packed with nutrients. Be careful though as many brands of microwave popcorn are loaded with partially hydrogenated oils and sodium. The healthiest way to make popcorn is with an air popper. Then you can spray it lightly with olive oil and add your own flavorings. The Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes add a bright pop of flavor that nicely complement the other ingredients.
Amazin’ Tropical Trail Mix
Makes 6 servings
4 cups air popped popcorn
Olive oil (use an oil sprayer)
1 cup mixed roasted nuts (like almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and pecans)
½ cup banana chips
1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Place the popcorn in a large bowl and spray the kernels with olive oil until lightly coated. Season with salt to taste. Add the nuts, prunes, banana chips and coconut flakes and toss to combine.Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.