Raw vegetables are a great way to increase the nutrition in your diet. Plus, vegetables are the perfect snack for anyone trying to control their weight. Not only are they full of vitamins, minerals, and important phytochemicals, they’re also very low in calories. However, you have to be careful, because a low-calorie snack can very easily turn into a high-calorie snack with additions of things like peanut butter, hummus, or other dips.
So the next time you reach for the dip to go with your bell pepper slices, put the dip back and try one of these options instead:
Vinegars like Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar can pack in the flavor for zero or next-to-none calories. Try a little balsamic drizzled on fresh cucumber slices, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.
Lemon or Lime Juice
Like vinegar, these citrus fruits have a lot of flavor and nutrition with minimal calorie impact. Squeeze a small wedge of lemon or lime over some dark leafy greens and tomatoes for an impromptu salad.
Fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, oregano, and many more can lend a subtle flavor to your snack for no extra calories. Try some fresh basil or rosemary, diced up on top of freshly sliced tomatoes.
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pepper is another great flavor booster for zero calories. Try on carrots, cucumber, broccoli, or in combination with a vinegar or citrus juice above.
If you like to keep things spicy, cayenne is for you. Try it on some baby carrots or celery. Bonus? This spicy pepper can increase your metabolism.
Curry Powder, Cumin, and Garam Masala
These spices are great if you love Middle Eastern flavors. Try sprinkled on fresh cauliflower or broccoli.
While this isn’t calorie-free, nutritional yeast is low in calories and high in protein, fiber, and vitamin B12. Just two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contain 45 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Plus, it has a fun cheesy flavor that would go great in combination with some garlic powder and black pepper. Try it on some broccoli for a “cheesy” afternoon snack.
garlic lovers everywhere, rejoice! Garlic has a fun, savory flavor that can quickly spice up some plain vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, tomato slices, and more.
Whether you use grated, fresh ginger or a ground, dried ginger, ginger adds a spicy flair to your vegetables that can also help if you’re experiencing any nausea and gastrointestinal upset. Try it on carrots or bell pepper slices.
Find what flavors you enjoy, and use liberally. You can create your own special seasoning blend with your favorite flavors, or even find a pre-made seasoning blend at the store. As long as there’s no added salt, you’re good to go! Find what you enjoy best and employ into your weekly afternoon snack rotation.