Dr. Heather’s Top 5 Summer Snacks

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I talk diet a lot during my days and I’m often getting asked about what I eat and what I feed my family. I have studied and worked in the field of nutrition for some time now, and I make an effort to eat and feed my family according to what I recommend clinically. I adhere to a whole foods diet abundant in: veggies, fruits, fermented foods, proteins, and a reasonable amount of wiggle room. I believe that it’s what you eat MOST of the time that matters.

I’m going to break down my 5 favorite snacks. They are relatively easy to prepare, are super yummy, and nutritionally dense. Food is medicine and snack time is a perfect opportunity to get those nutrients in.

1. Smoothies

Smoothies are the best summer snack!  The fruit is going off this time of year - add an avocado and a handful of greens and you’re good to go. I have been inspired by Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s micronutrient smoothie recipe and I have not been shy in recommending this to my patients. It does take some effort, but it’s worth it! I make a big mason jar’s worth, bring it to work with me, and I stay fed with a NUTRIENT PACKED snack all day.
 

  • 6 leaves of greens: kale, chard, spinach, and/or lettuce
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 generous cup of blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • Blend with 6 cups of liquid in a high powered blender and enjoy.

Of course smoothies don’t need so many ingredients. Try a banana, cup of blueberries, and a handful of spinach topped with water for an on-the-go version.

2. Ants on a log

We all remember this classic snack of peanut butter on a stalk of celery, topped with raisins. I like to sub out the peanut butter for alternative nut/seed butter such as almond, macadamia, sunflower, etc. Don’t limit yourself to raisins, my friends. Top this log with chopped figs, apricots, or dates. Celery is high in antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins while the nut butters provide good fat and proteins. Dried fruits are an excellent source of fiber.

3. Chia seed pudding

Talk about yummy!  My baby loves this stuff and I love her eating it!  Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and proteins (1). The hardest thing about this snack is the waiting period.
2 cups of coconut milk (or any milk alternative)
½ cup of chia seeds
1 cup of fruit
Blend the ingredients together, pour in a glass jar, and set it in the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

4. Nori wrapped avocado and cucumber with Himalayan salt

Edible seaweeds collect iodine from the seawater and are, therefore, a good dietary source of iodine. Seaweeds also are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (2). Avocados are also rich in nutrients with studies supporting cardiovascular health (3). Place the ingredients on one end of the nori sheet and roll. Dab the end with water to help the nori stick.

5. Roasted kale

For those who know me, know this is true. I’ve definitely gone through periods of eating a head of kale a day. This stuff is so good. The kale comes out oily and salty and delicious. Kale is no doubt a fibrous super food rich in vitamins A, K, C, folate, and in minerals potassium, calcium, and magnesium (4). Set your oven to 400 degrees, wash, dry, and devein the kale, add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and salt to taste. Place in the oven for 2 minutes. Take it out and evenly coat the melted oil on the kale, and place back into the oven, about 10 minutes. I like the leaves to be just a bit crispy. If you have some nutritional yeast, sprinkle it on for added flavor and B vitamins (5).

There you have it, my five favorite snacks. I would like to point out that every single ingredient, save the salt, is from a plant. The more plants we eat, the more nutrients we are getting. I hope this offers some inspiration in getting more plants in that beautiful body of yours.

References:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949814000155
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23638933
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4663599/
5. https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/nutritional-yeast/