Finding healthy snacks can be difficult, especially amidst a sea of more unhealthy than healthy options. Couple the issue of availability with the season’s change, which leaves people out of their bikinis and into layered clothes, and we’re all of the sudden far less aware of what we’re putting into our bodies.
But if healthy snacking is important to you like we think it is, take heart and fight developing that unwanted “winter layer.” Try these six healthy do-it-yourself fall snacks from fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up With Steph, Stephanie Mansour.
Pumpkin seeds – You can buy store bought pumpkin seeds or you can roast pumpkin seeds yourself! After carving pumpkins collect all of the seeds, give them a rinse, and spread them out onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Then, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes. Making your own pumpkin seeds is a cheap and simple way to create your own nutritious fall snack.
Homemade apple cider – Apples are great as is, but they’re even more delicious as homemade apple cider. After rinsing, core and peel apples then slice into quarters and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth; the finer the pulp, the more juice you’ll be able to extract. Next, spread a length of cheesecloth over a pitcher and pour the pulp on top. You can then add different spices to boost the flavor, like nutmeg, lemon peel or ginger.
Another way to enjoy apples this fall is to slice them up and dip them in a mixture of half almond butter-half caramel. The half and half creation will still have the sweetness of the caramel but added protein from the almond butter.
In addition to pumpkin seeds, try making pumpkin walnut bread. Try adding some walnuts to your bread for an extra source of protein and healthy fat. Try this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Bread for a quick and easy yet healthy fall indulgence.
For another healthy fall snack, try a cinnamon acorn squash. To prepare this simple dish, cut an acorn squash in half and place face-down in an oven-safe baking dish pan with one-half inch of water. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from squash the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, scrape out the squash, add a few teaspoons of cinnamon and enjoy your sweet, healthy snack.
Eat a healthy fruit and nut trail mix. Stephanie recommends using seasonal fruits like apples and slicing them up into little bite-sized squares. Mix in your favorite nuts and eat with your hands!
When you’re considering a snack this fall, consider its health benefits first. Is it adding nutrition to your body or doing more harm than good? Try adding these easy, homemade recipes to your snacking options and we can guarantee they’ll taste better and be healthier than any store bought or quick option you might find.
Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known health and fitness expert and body image and confidence coach. She’s a reality TV trainer on “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,” helping her client lose 80-plus lbs in 12 weeks. She combines yoga, Pilates, personal training, and body image coaching for a holistic approach to health and fitness, and her no diets/no guilt mentality is changing the way women everywhere view food and exercise.