Vegetable snacks are very much similar to fruits in that they are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibers. The difference between vegetables and fruits are that the water content of fruits is much higher than vegetables while there are more insoluble fibers in vegetables than fruits.
Vegetables also contain a lot fewer sugars than fruits and thus are of lower calories. In fact, vegetables have the lowest calories among the 10 healthy snack food groups on my list. If you love to snack and yet are concerned about your weight, go for the veggie! Due to their low sugar content, vegetable snacks are also an ideal choice for those who have to control their blood sugar levels.
Vegetables can be prepared as healthy snack food in a large variety of ways. Here I have listed down some easy ways to snack on the vegetable. If you are in a hurry, get those that are ready to eat, such as:
- Canned vegetables
- Dehydrated vegetable
- Vegetable salad
- Frozen vegetables with or without a dip
- Vegetable juices with or without pulp
- Canned vegetables (store bought or home canned)
- Vegetable soups (canned or fresh)
- Steamed or blanched vegetables
- Stir-fry Vegetables
Has your mom said to you, “Eat more vegetables”? Though mom may not know the science behind her own wisdom and provided you with a satisfactory explanation, mom’s old time wisdom is logical and scientific! Therefore, take heed and eat more vegetables!
Eating more vegetable snacks are not only good for weight loss, they also have stronger therapeutic values than fruits. However, some may find it hard to chew vegetables especially raw ones due to their high fibre content.
You may steam or blanch your vegetables lightly to soften them. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and corn taste sweeter when they are slightly cooked. Chopping them up into tiny pieces will make them easier to eat.
Since vegetables are not as sweet as fruits, some may find that they need a dip or a dressing to spice up their flavors. For the purpose of snacking, it is advisable for those who need to watch their weight use a low-fat or fat-free dip or dressing to avoid adding too many calories to your daily energy intake. Having two to three types of vegetables to munch on is sufficient. One is actually best for most people.
Please keep in mind that a healthy snack should be something easy to prepare and eaten in simpler forms and smaller portions. If you are preparing a vegetable snack for someone who is harder to satisfy, try a small, dainty salad topped with some chopped nuts and dried fruit.
In general, a green leafy vegetable juice mixed with carrot juice makes a good detoxifying juice. Don’t drink the juice of a green leafy vegetable alone. The taste is usually too strong. It has to be sweetened with carrot juice. The juice of cabbage would neutralize the acidity of the gastric juice while many people use the juice of bitter gourd to lower their blood pressure. Add a little bit of honey if you find it too bitter. Even if you don’t have any specific health condition that requires the medicinal values of vegetables, add them to your list of snack foods, you’ll have cleaner blood, a better complexion, and a lighter body!
Many people enjoy stir fried vegetables. To obtain the maximal benefit from a healthy snack, be sparing on the oil! Avoid overheating the oil. What I do is to heat my frying pan lightly, pour in the oil carefully and add some chopped garlic or onion or ginger right away. Brown them lightly before tossing in the vegetables. Adding some warm or hot water during stir-frying will help reduce the need for more oil. Most vegetables can be eaten raw. Therefore, you may cook them as little as possible according to taste.
If you prefer softer vegetables, or if you’re cooking for the elderly, it is alright to cook them longer. But make sure you don’t overcook them. If your vegetables look yellowish, the chances are they are overcooked; many of the nutrients have been destroyed.