100-calorie snacks: You can make them too!

Grazing might be healthy, because eating more frequently can lower blood cholesterol levels, according to recent research. Here, some low-calorie snack ideas

100-calorie snacks: You can make them too!

Source: Recipes adapted from Low Calorie Cookbook, Reader’s Digest

A balanced diet of healthy foods helps you to look good and feel great. So there is no need to feel guilty when sampling the odd snack.

In the past, the emphasis was often placed on the "healthy" foods and their nutritional properties. The current trend, however, is shifting towards the size of the portions we consume. According to The National Institute of Nutrition’s most recent report, the majority of Canadians have been on a slow and steady road to improving their lifestyle by increasing their intake of "nutritious" foods and reducing their intake of fat.

In response, the food industry has inundated the market with 100-calorie snack items, in a bid to satisfy our cravings without sabotaging our healthy eating plans. (This, of course, has given rise to debate over the cost versus value of the pre-packaged items.)

In an effort to provide you with some low-calorie, low-cost snack ideas, we’ve put together five of our favourite, make-at-home treats.

Ginger Nut Cookies

Here’s a healthier, less-fatty version of a traditional favourite cookie. Bake simple round cookies, or use fancy cutters and encourage children to stamp out gingerbread figures and shapes. Whatever the shape, these spicy, crunchy cookies taste terrific.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes
Makes 12 cookies
Calories per cookie: 90

Apple and Muesli Rock Cakes

A small amount of diced apple makes these low-calorie snacks moist and fruity, and a perfect replacement for store-bought cookies. Easy to prepare, these cookies are ideal to make with children, who will enjoy making these nutritious treats as much as eating them.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 24 cakes
Calories per cake: 90

Sesame Cheese Twists

These crisp cheese sticks are delicious served fresh from the oven. Enriched with egg yolks and flavored with Parmesan cheese, they are made with a combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, so they are substantial without being at all heavy.

Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 40 sticks
Calories per stick: 32


The Provençal relative of Italian pizza, Pissaladière has a thick bread base, enriched with olive oil, topped with a tomato and onion mixture, then finished with a lattice of anchovies and olives. Serve warm or cool for a snack high on flavor, but low in calories.

Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 1 hour rising
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 64 bite-sized squares
Calories per square: 44

Tuscan Bean Crostini

Here’s an appetizing, low-calorie snack to be enjoyed hot or cold’toasted slices of baguette topped with a creamy white-bean puree flavored with garlic and thyme, and finished with tomato slices and arugula leaves. These are ideal to serve with pre-dinner drinks.

Preparation and cooking time: about 25 minutes
Makes 22 crostini
Calories per crostini: 62

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