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Take an International Spin on Quick Snacks  
Add a spark to snack time with some fast, simple, and healthy snack alternatives for your family.

 

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Oh, what to eat, what to eat! As if deciding and preparing daily meals for your family wasn't challenging enough, with children around (and the young-at-heart) there's always a call for snack time around the house. Whether it's an after-school treat to fill the void before dinner, an urgently needed fuel break during playtime, or a little snack while the family relaxes with a movie or game, a little something to much on is just the answer. And when it comes to snacking, thinking out of the box and being creative can help break snack time monotony and put a healthy, multicultural twist on treats for your family.

Sure, it's easy to open a bag of potato chips or pop a frozen pizza into the oven in a desperate attempt to quiet the family hunger pangs. But with a little extra effort and planning at the supermarket, you can throw a little variety into the mix and, hopefully, find a few new family favorites to add to your "munchies" repertoire. When the urge for something new strikes, try one of the following choices:

Salsa and Chips Fresh Salsa and chips

  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Core tomatoes and dice. Cut jalapeno in half and remove seeds and white membrane. Finely dice jalapeno. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips.

QuesadillasQuesadillas

  • Flour tortillas (2 per quesadilla)
  • Grated cheese (mild or sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • Optional:
  • Cooked chicken (shredded or diced)
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced black olives
  • Diced green pepper
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Diced fresh tomato
  • Sliced mushrooms

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. For each quesadilla: Place one tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese over the tortilla. At this point, add your favorite toppings from the list above or improvise with your family's favorite toppings (make certain any meat products are fully cooked prior to adding to the quesadilla as the cooking time will not be sufficient to thoroughly cook meat). Cover the toppings with a second tortilla. Cover the skillet with a lid and reduce the heat to low. After one minute, check to see if the cheese has melted. If not, cover and cook for an additional minute. When the cheese has melted, use a spatula to flip the quesadilla. Cook the other side until lightly browned. Remove the quesadilla from the skillet and cut it into wedges. Serve each quesadilla with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Hummus and PitaHummus

  • 1-14 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place all in ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend or process until smooth. Place in a bowl and serve with pita bread for dipping.

Prepared hummus is also available in most supermarkets and comes in a variety of flavors.

EdamameEdamame

More commonly referred to as a soybean, Edamame is a great source of protein. This Asian snack is simple and delicious. Soybeans are readily available in your grocer's frozen food section and are often found with other frozen vegetables. Boil the pods in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain the pods and allow them to cool slightly. To serve, gently squeeze the beans out of the pod and pop them into your mouth.

So the next time it comes to preparing a snack, put an ethnic twist on things and introduce your family to a new taste sensation!

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.



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