Winter is here, and with it comes all of the cozy-weather treats that make the season; from caramel apples to hot chocolate to apple pie, there’s no shortage of excuses for indulging in autumnal comfort foods. For those who are hoping to stick to their health and fitness goals however, the culture of sweet treats and decadent meals can be detrimental. We’ve rounded up some of the best snacking replacements for your fall movie nights, so you can enjoy the season without sacrificing your health goals.
It may seem like a simple answer, but popcorn is an excellent low-calorie snacking alternative to chips or other salty treats. One cup of air-popped popcorn rings in at only 31 calories, and research has shown that 15 calories worth of popcorn is as filling as 150 calories worth of chips—making it a satisfying and tasty alternative. Store bought brands of bagged popcorn come in flavours like kettle corn and salt and vinegar, adding more options for your snacking with a much lower caloric intake.
#2 Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
Save the seeds from your thanksgiving prep! Roasting these turns them into a crunchy, tasty snack for movie nights, and also a great prep food for salads and bowls. Roast the seeds at 325 degrees fahrenheit for 15 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and sprinkle a bit of salt and other seasonings of choice on top. These are satisfying snacks that are full of protein to fill you up, so you’ll be less likely to eat them mindlessly.
#3 Veggie Chips
Autumn is pretty much synonymous with root vegetables, so we would be remiss not to mention the bounty available for snacking. Toss a few thinly sliced sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts into the air fryer and top with salt for a delicious, crunchy alternative to chips. Want something a bit lighter? Roast a bunch of kale in bite sized pieces in the oven with a bit of olive oil, and top with seasonings of your choice for another crunchy option.
#4 Baked Apple Slices
In the mood for something sweet? Rather than reaching for the chocolates, try making baked apple slices. The recipe is simple enough: slice a large fuji apple, toss in a tablespoon of butter and cinnamon, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes. This makes a great alternative to high-sugar snacks, and curbs your sweet tooth in a healthier way.
#5 Everything in Moderation
Sometimes the best snack is just the one you want. Rather than restricting yourself to an unsatisfying alternative, indulge in a small portion of what you’re craving to prevent overeating when willpower fails. Eating mindfully and intuitively is a great way to maintain your health goals without sacrificing your favourite snacks.