Low-Calorie Snacks

Snacks and dieting…dieting and snacks. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, these are two things that don’t go well together.

In my pre-diet days, I loved the oh-so-easy snacks. I’d just grab something from the fridge or cupboard that would quickly satisfy my carb or salt cravings.

Snacks on a diet don’t have that happy-go-lucky quality. For me, snacks now require careful planning from the grocery store right up to the finished product. Even a simple nosh like an apple requires making sure I always have apples in the house.

But this post isn’t about the simple snacks. I don’t know about you, but sometimes an apple, a handful of carrots, or a bowl of popcorn (how to make your own in the microwave, oil-free) just won’t cut it. I want a snack more interesting in taste and texture that is also

  • Low in calories, i.e., has little or no fat. (Sugar isn’t a problem for me; I use artificial sweetener.)
  • Healthful because it has nutritious ingredients.
  • Filling so that I don’t get hungry again so quickly.
  • 2 Weight Watcher (WW) points or less so it doesn’t overwhelm my daily count. (Roughly 100 calories.)

To that end, I am now experimenting with snack recipes, mine and others’, with the express purpose of keeping the calorie count down. As part of this effort, I decided to compile a list of all my low-calorie recipes to better understand how to replace empty calories with good ones. I thought you’d find this list helpful.

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Coconut Mango Bread or Squares

Do you love coconut?  And sweet, moist, rich squares?  And goodies you can eat without destroying your diet?  Voilà!  These squares fit the bill perfectly.

I’ve made this recipe both as a bread and squares but, following my desire for small portions, I think I’ll keep to squares.  I know, I know…I could cut a bread slice in half and get the same caloric intake, but not the same mental satisfaction.  The other half of the bread slice would sit there, just begging to be consumed.  A square, on the other hand, is an entity unto itself, happily eaten as a stand-alone.  (Such are the mental gymnastics of the dieter.)

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 8 bread slices or 16 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour
  • ½ cup sweetener (Note: Weight Watcher point values are based on the use of artificial sugar.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut, sweetened
  • 1 cup puréed mango (approximately 1 large or 2 small)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flours, sugar, spices, xanthan gum, and salt.
  2. Add coconut to dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: mango, egg, vanilla, applesauce, and oil.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. (Final batter will be thick but will pour well.  I found this batter to be more liquid than many others that I make with gluten-free flours.)
  5. Spray 9″ x 9″ baking pan or 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.
  6. Pour in batter and bake in 350º F oven, 25-30 minutes for squares or 55-60 minutes for bread, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For Weight Watchers:

  • Squares: 1 square of 16 squares is 1.5 points on the Points plan and 1.75 points on the PointsPlus plan.
  • Bread: 1 slice of 8 slices is 3 points on the Points plan and 3.5 points on the PointsPlus plan.

(Altered from “Mango Coconut Bread” at http://www.briarrosebb.com/r/mango-coconut-bread.html)