I don’t know about you, but cold weather always makes me crave hot chocolate, warm cookies, and other goodies that aren’t exactly what I’d call healthy. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to these sugary snacks that delicious, easy, nutritious, and perfect for this cold weather.
- Peppermint chocolate tea: While this may sound odd, it’s actually delicious, warming, and refreshing all at the same time. It is also a healthy alternative to rich hot chocolate, which can weigh you down. You can even add a little cocoa powder to increase the chocolaty flavor, which never hurts. If you aren’t a fan of tea, Swiss Miss makes sugar free, fat free, and reduced fat hot chocolate mixes that are less heavy than hot cocoa made with milk but still delicious.
- Whole Foods honey roasted peanut butter: This is literally the best peanut butter I have ever had (every one of my friends knows it’s my obsession). You can grind it yourself at almost any Whole Foods location and it’s amazing on warm wheat toast on a cold day. It’s all natural and doesn’t have the additives and preservatives found in regular packaged peanut butter. It’s also great on honey wheat pretzels, bananas, or just about anything you put it on.
- Make your own trail mix: Instead of buying trail mix and picking out the things you like, make your own mix with all your favorite sweet and savory ingredients. My favorite creation is cinnamon Cheerios, roasted almonds, raisins, and dried apple rings. Just throw your favorite cereal, dried fruits, and nuts into a bag and chances are it’ll taste good! Mini packs of kettle corn and mixed nuts are also great when mixed together.
- Hummus: Hummus is a great snack because it comes in such a variety of flavors and is great on different types of foods. It’s also hearty and full of protein, so it’ll keep you full on those days when you’re trekking to class in the snow. Roasted red pepper and edamame hummus are my personal favorites and they’re great with cucumber, carrots, and pretzel crisps.
- Instant oatmeal with banana: Sorry if you don’t like oatmeal, but it’s a great winter snack that’s easy to make in a dorm room. Banana adds to nutritional value and also makes your bowl fuller! Most flavors go well with banana, but I found that maple brown sugar, banana bread (obviously), and cinnamon oatmeal are great with a mashed up banana mixed in. Adding some cinnamon makes it even better. This is great for a hearty breakfast too.
- Greek yogurt with cocoa and honey: Plain Greek yogurt can be bland, but my suitemate always pumps it up with some dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder and honey, or any type of sweetener, such as Stevia in the Raw. This snack has lots of protein and definitely satisfies a sweet tooth.
- Microwaved Fiber One cookies/brownies: Fiber One makes 90-calorie cookies and brownies that are good on their own, but they taste just like fresh baked cookies if you throw them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. They get all melty and delicious, but without the guilt!
Image courtesy of Health.com