5 Heart Healthy Snacks
Looking for 5 heart healthy snacks? Taking care of your heart doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious snacks. Try these 5 heart-healthy snack recipes to increase your intake of fiber, potassium and other heart-healthy nutrients, while reducing your consumption of fat and cholesterol. Heart healthy snacks are generally low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. You can always search the snack aisle for things that are low in all 3 categories if you are looking for more variety. Even if you have a perfectly healthy heart, looking for heart healthy snacks can not hurt you. You should do your best to preserve that healthy heart and munch on these heart healthy snacks.
- Sweet and spicy snack mix is a heart-healthy variation of the classic Chex mix recipe. Begin by draining, rinsing and patting dry two 15-ounce cans of chick peas, which are low in fat and high in fiber. Sautée them in a pan (that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray) for about ten minutes until they are lightly browned. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until crispy, stirring frequently. Stir together two tablespoons honey, two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon garlic powder and half a teaspoon chili powder. Toss with chick peas, two cups wheat Chex cereal, one cup raisins and one cup dried pineapple chunks. Bake ten to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Apricot orange bread is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, but is still moist and flavorful. It makes a great heart-healthy snack or breakfast on the go. Combine six ounces chopped dried apricots with two cups water and simmer for about ten minutes, until the apricots are hydrated and tender. Reserve 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid and combine with 1/2 cup orange juice. Cream two tablespoons margarine with one cup sugar, then beat in one egg and one tablespoon orange zest. Combine three and a half cups flour (use a mixture of white and whole wheat), two teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gradually add the sugar mixture alternating with the orange juice mixture, then stir in apricots and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Spoon into two greased bread pans and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Chipotle hummus is a spicy variation on the classic Mediterranean chick pea dip. Combined with fresh vegetables or whole-wheat pita bread, it makes a satisfying snack, complete with heart-healthy olive oil, fiber and garlic. Heat an undrained, 20-ounce can of chickpeas until warm, then drain and reserve liquid. Combine chick peas, three cloves garlic, four to five chipotle chiles with one teaspoon of adobo sauce, the juice of 1/2 lemon, three tablespoons tahini, three tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding reserved chick pea liquid if necessary. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.
- Salsa is a low-calorie, fiber-rich snack, great for adding heart-healthy vegetables to your diet. It's also easy to make yourself, so you can easily adjust the heat and sodium levels. Combine two large, seeded and chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion, two tablespoons chopped cilantro, one diced fresh jalapeno, two teaspoons white vinegar, one clove minced garlic and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
- Vanilla yogurt dip is a great way to encourage your kids--or yourself--to consume more heart-healthy fruit. Combine one cup plain, non-fat yogurt, two tablespoons brown sugar and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Serve with sliced apples, berries and other fruit. Starting with plain yogurt allows you to reduce the amount of sugar normally found in yogurt, letting the fruit's natural sweetness come through.