It’s the season now when you are likely to invite over friends to watch soccer matches, and here are some healthier snacks for you to consider serving. Most of these combine well with beer, the traditional beverage.
Maybe our top choice is a surprise, as most people think of popcorn as unhealthy, but that is a myth. Popcorn is full of many polyphenol antioxidants (more than many fruits or vegetables), as well as fiber, and low in calories (about 30 per cup).
The problem with popcorn is when you add toppings of sugar, or too much salt or butter, that can negate the potential health benefits. If you need a topping, spray on a little olive oil and a light amount of salt. Popcorn served in theaters is generally unhealthy because of the toppings giving you excess sodium and saturated fat, and store-bough microwave popcorn is full of unhealthy additives.
If you eat lots of popcorn, you might invest in an air-popper, which results in the healthiest popcorn, and if you want to make microwave popcorn, make your own. Mix a half-cup of raw kernels with a teaspoon or so of olive or other vegetable oil (if needed), seal well in a paper bag and microwave at full power for 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful of steam when opening the bag, and don’t use plastic bags in the microwave as the heated plastic releases carcinogenic chemicals.
All nuts are healthy, and, like popcorn, are full of antioxidants and fiber, but also are a good source of protein. The only caution with nuts is that they are full of calories, so serve in smaller portions. Also, excess Brazil nuts can give you too much selenium, so stick to about 2 per day per person.
For the most cost-effective nuts, roast raw peanuts, and if you want to be fancy, you could serve pistachios. Buy them with shells since the process of shelling each one helps prevent overeating too many calories..
The seasonal favorite of the south of Brazil, you can think of pinhoes as big nuts, and likewise are full of nutritional properties including antioxidants, vitamins, and the healthy monosaturated type of fat. Just keep in mind that each pinhão may contain 20 or more calories, so consume in moderation.
4. Sliced apples and raw carrots
A nice low-calorie and filling addition to your other snacks. Buy organic apples if you can (since apples tend to have significant pesticide residue), so if you buy conventional ones, wash them well. You can find baby carrots which look great, but they are just normal carrots cut down in size, so for more economy, just cut carrots into attractive shapes.
5. Sweet potato fries
Instead of unhealthy French fries or potato chips, consider making your own sweet potato fries. The sweet potato is a wonderfully nutritious vegetable, and the healthiest way to prepare them is to slice them in long strips (leaving on the skins) and drizzle with olive or vegetable oil. Add spices such as rosemary—to minimize the salt—and bake until golden brown, then drizzle again with a little olive oil.
6. Dark chocolate
Leave your guests in a good mood with our favorite finishing snack of chocolate. Just make sure it’s the dark variety (preferably 70% or higher cacao content), otherwise the chocolate is more candy than healthy treat.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)