Making Low-Glycemic Snacks at Home: Recipes for Success

Although store-bought snacks are handy to have on hand, you can actually prepare many low-glycemic snacks in the comfort of your home. The following recipes are some great ones to make for your family or to bring with you for munching at work.

Yummiest, Ugliest Black Bean Dip

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes

Refrigeration time: 3 hours

Yield: 16 servings

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon canola oil

Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Juice of 1 whole lime

2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup medium salsa

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the garlic, green and red bell peppers, and onion in the canola oil over moderately low heat, stirring continually, until the onion is translucent. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.

  2. In a food processor, blend the black beans, lime juice, spices, and water until smooth, adding up to 2 tablespoons more water if necessary to reach your desired consistency.

  3. Add in the onion mixture and salsa, and blend until smooth.

  4. Cover the dip and chill it for 3 hours. Serve with baked tortilla chips or raw veggies.

Per serving: Calories 38 (From Fat 5); Glycemic Load 2 (Low); Fat 1g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 149mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 2g.

To simultaneously pretty up your dip and add some more veggies, add chopped tomatoes to the top of it before serving.

Don’t let the color of this recipe scare you. Even though this black bean dip turns out a strange gray color, it tastes fantastic. Great for the family, you may not want to serve this dip at a party without warning your guests about the color (unless maybe you’re hosting a Halloween party, then it’s perfect!).

Grilled Zucchini Mini Pizzas

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10–15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 small zucchini

Seasoning salt to taste

4 ounces parmesan cheese

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

  1. Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

  2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 2 pieces. Then slice across in half to make four 4-inch pieces.

  3. Sprinkle with the seasoning salt to taste.

  4. Sprinkle about 1/2 ounce of the parmesan cheese on each 4-inch slice. Top with the olives.

  5. Wrap the zucchini pizzas loosely in aluminum foil (so that the cheese doesn’t stick when heated) and grill them (with the bottom of the zucchini facing down) over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is softened but still slightly firm. Then eat up!

Per serving: Calories 170 (From Fat 105); Glycemic Load 0 (Low); Fat 0g (Saturated 12g); Cholesterol 22mg; Sodium 872mg; Carbohydrate 5g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 13g.

Dislike black olives? Go ahead and add your favorite vegetables (such as chopped tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, or any other creative concoction you can come up with) to the top of your Grilled Zucchini Mini Pizzas.

Veggies are great snack foods, and you can prepare them in a variety of ways. This recipe is quick and easy to fix, and it gives you a twist on just eating raw veggie sticks.

Traditional Hummus

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

3 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt

One 16- to 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons reserved liquid from the canned chickpeas

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth and well mixed.

  2. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Per serving: Calories 112 (From Fat 71); Glycemic Load 4 (Low); Fat 8g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 73mg; Carbohydrate 8g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 3g.

Hummus is a staple because it has so many uses. It makes a great low-calorie and low-glycemic snack option, and it keeps you from getting bored with veggies, whole-wheat pita bread, and sliced apples.

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