Snacks are not a subject we take lightly at POPSUGAR HQ. After a year of toying around with new recipes, here are the best healthy snacks from 2013 that we found delicious and totally worth the prep time. Whether you're looking to curb a salty or sweet craving or fuel up before a tough workout, there's at least one pick on this list for you.
Breakouts are the worst, and if it seems like a constant battle between you and your face, it's time to feed your skin from the inside out.
This creamy smoothie recipe is made from Vitamin E-rich spinach and avocado and sweetened with grapes that contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants. You'll love the taste of the strawberries that also help fight free-radical damage, giving skin a more radiant glow. Almond butter offers the minerals zinc and selenium, both essential for healthy skin, and a sprinkle of flaxmeal contains omega-3s that help reduce inflammation.
Keep reading for this simple 309-calorie smoothie recipe.
Versatile and nutrient-rich spaghetti squash lays the base to this recipe, while broccoli adds even more vitamin A to this Fall recipe. The best part of all? The mix of lower-fat cheeses that results in a dreamy, rich-tasting sauce you can enjoy sans guilt. Keep reading to get this delicious, comforting recipe.
Sure, you know lentils as the protein-rich legume that helps lower cholesterol. But you also probably know it as a boring bean. We're here to tell you to forget that last part! Ahead, check out six healthy but flavorful recipes you'll crave all year round.
Red Lentil Tomato Soup
Red lentils are a special kind — high in fiber, they keep you feeling fuller longer. That's why we love this healthy spin on classic tomato soup. Special ingredients like Italian parsley and red wine round out the light dinner that still satisfies.
Lentil and Red Pepper Bake
Looking for a quick meal? Here you go! The red bell peppers — high in vitamins and fiber — perfectly complement protein-rich lentils in this low-calorie recipe. What's even better, you'll be surprised at how large a 250-calorie portion of this cheesy bake really is.
Millet, Lentil, and Pomegranate Salad
Lentils star in this genius recipe from POPSUGAR Food, along with other nutritious ingredients. The millet — a healthy, often-overlooked grain — and ruby-red pomegranate seeds are so tasty: all you need is some lemon, parsley, and green onion for a star-studded salad you won't soon forget.
Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
Considered a weight-loss superfood, lentils make for warming soups that you'll reach for time and time again this Winter. This incredibly simple recipe is packed with flavor, thanks to cumin and turmeric, the bright yellow spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties. To make the soup even more seasonal, add some butternut squash.
French Lentils With Potatoes
For a great protein-packed meal, look no further than this easy Winter salad from POPSUGAR Food. The mix of classic French flavors like onions, carrots, parsley, and French lentils just can't be beat. You'll see that it calls for steamed potatoes to vary the texture, but this part is definitely optional.
Cumin-Spiced Lentils With Quinoa
A perfect option for vegans who are also gluten-free, this savory lentil stew is comfort food at its finest. Consider it a creamy dish full of protein, fiber, and flavor, all less than 400 calories.
Celebrate National Brownie Day with a slimmed-down recipe that doesn't disappoint. My standard recipe is similar to most; it contains a whole stick of butter, a couple of eggs, and a cup-and-a-half of sugar. That is until I found this recipe in Shape; compared to my go-to, the final calorie count per brownie dropped by 170 calories!
For a lightened-up recipe, these brownies were rich and tasty. To keep the flavor quality prime, be sure to use high-quality cocoa and chocolate chips. Keep reading to see this slimmed-down recipe.
Pudding made in a blender? You better believe it. Here's a milk-chocolate pudding recipe from chef Matthew Kenny that is raw, easy to make, and full of healthy fats. And it is so very tasty! How does he make this dish so flavorful without dairy, eggs, or cooking? Watch this video to learn his secrets, and then whip up your own batch at home.
If you're one of those eat-peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar people, get your spoon ready for this recipe. While peanut butter is quite possibly one of the most perfect foods, even die-hard fans can get a little bored of the same old spread. Surprise your whole wheat toast and apple slices by spreading this mixed nut butter instead.
This homemade version will really rock your PB-loving world because it actually contains no peanuts at all. It's made with almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, creating a taste so fresh and unique that you'll never buy another jar from the store again. But it doesn't stop here — since there are so many different nuts and seeds to choose from, the possibilities of mixed nut butter creations are as wild as your imagination.
Keep reading for this simple 94-calorie recipe.
Let's face it — kale may be a nutritious powerhouse, but its flavor is anything but timid. If you're tried of making soups, smoothies, and salads from the dark green roughage, baby kale makes an excellent alternative. The little leaves are tender, mild in flavor, and don't require the prep (chopping and massaging) required for their more mature counterparts, but it still contains the disease-fighting nutrients you need.
Baby kale is often sold in ready-to-eat packages either as a mix with other types of greens or kale varieties. I chose a baby kale, spinach, and chard mix for this sesame chicken salad; feel free to experiment with your favorite flavor combinations. This recipe makes four servings. Pack each component separate in your fridge until the day you need it if you are planning to take this as your lunch for the next few days.
The holidays are the perfect excuse for socializing and often with snacks. Chips and dip are often the high-calorie culprit, but we have recipes low in calories but full of flavor. From vegan bites to protein-packed dips, these appetizers make it easy to create a satisfying menu minus the guilt. With a few simple swaps — like opting to bake (not fry) — you will be the healthiest hostess this season!
You can have decadent holiday dessert that is also healthy and low in calories! This poached pear recipe proves it. Plus, this tasty and lovely-to-look-at dessert, created exclusively for us by the "farm to table" catering company Savour This Moment, is Paleo. Watch this video to learn just how easy this dish is to prepare, and then celebrate by making your own. Cheers!