Specific healthy snacking suggestions?
March 6, 2009 4:23 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend snacks that are: 1. low fat 2. low carb 3. crunchy 4. somewhat rich in protein 5. low in lactose

Recently I discovered dry roasted edamame, which meets all these conditions. It's been great to add to the snacking toolbox, along with fruit, breakfast bars etc. However variety would be nice, so I'm looking for things to switch it out with.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
With a little kelp from my friends, they're full with tangy, crunchy goodness.
posted by watercarrier at 4:27 AM on March 6, 2009 [3 favorites]

Holy cow, watercarrier, those things look crazy. I'll have to order a few.

And to address Brandon, you might enjoy freeze-dried fruits and vegetables.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:10 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, but neither have much protein, so while nice, they're not in edamame's league.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on March 6, 2009

Both sunflower seeds and peanuts are nice crunchy snacks, although they're fairly high in fats. On the other hand, this helps make them fairly satisfying.

I tend to enjoy Nature Valley granola bars, which are particularly dry and crunchy. They have a fair bit of carbs in them though, so that may put you off. Also in the moderate-carb area, wasabi peas. Crunchy and tangy, and they are naturally punishing to those who try to eat too many too fast.

I'm also a strong advocate of beef jerky. Not Slim Jims or Jack Link, real beef jerky. Dry and tough as tree bark beef jerky. Not so much crunchy, but there's a definite satisfying texture to it, ripping and tearing. From what I see, you live in a part of the country where you should be able to find at least something that isn't water infused mass-market beef jerky. If not, or if you just want better selection, check these guys out. They know what they're doing, and they do it well. Robertson's and Hardtimes are common in convenience stores around here, but they'll easily be able to direct you to other varieties depending on your taste and texture desire. Again, the best stuff for healthy snacking is very dry. You don't so much take a bite off of it rather than bite down and tear a piece off with the grain.
posted by Saydur at 5:55 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Beef Jerky? Not entirely crunchy, but it ticks all of the other boxes.
posted by Wild_Eep at 5:59 AM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: On the other hand, I thought I would LOVE beef jerky because I'm a fan of high-protein salty snacks and I just couldn't do it. It felt like eating super-chewy skin.

Roasted Chickpeas (you can either buy them or make them) are a great edamame alternative. I also love Smoked Salmon which is definitely not crunchy but is very high in protein, nicely salty, and low-calorie. It's great wrapped around cucumbers as well, for added crunch and bulk.
posted by kate blank at 6:04 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by sunshinesky at 6:05 AM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: These nori crackers meet the protein requirement with low-fat dip, salsa, some greens and there you have it.
posted by watercarrier at 6:24 AM on March 6, 2009

lol Faint, yeah - they're perky.
posted by watercarrier at 6:25 AM on March 6, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, but could we try and stick to things that meet the 5 requirements, please?

Salmon is awesome, love it, but it ain't crunchy. Almonds are awesome, but like most nuts, loaded with fat.

Roasted chickpeas and the nori crackers are excellent suggestions though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on March 6, 2009

Pumpkin seeds.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:00 AM on March 6, 2009

Yah, I was going to say roasted chickpeas, too. Darnit beat to the punch. Make 'em yourself for added goodness. Also, soy chips are pretty fantastic. I also like to use a high fiber Wasa cracker (crunchy!) spread with laughing cow light and layered with turkey pepperoni. Nicely low-cal/low-fat and the pepperoni puts it up there with protein.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:09 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Those little dried fish or squid that you see in Asian markets (these are full of salt and MSG if that is a problem). I've also seen other dry roasted legumes - peas and lentils - in Indian markets.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:12 AM on March 6, 2009

Crap. missed the lactose requirement. Sorry. Still, Wasa crackers with some kind of low-fat lunchmeat would still be tasty.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:17 AM on March 6, 2009

Biltong is an alternative to jerky.
posted by edd at 7:17 AM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: Do you have Asian immigrants where you live? If you do, they most certainly have specialty stores where you can probably find a whole aisle of amazing snacks to browse.
posted by melissam at 7:22 AM on March 6, 2009

Response by poster: (these are full of salt and MSG if that is a problem)

Yeah, I'm black and though I've had amazingly good blood pressure over the years, watching the salt intake is a good idea. This limits the beef jerky/dried meats ideas.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 AM on March 6, 2009

Ak Mak 100% whole wheat crackers (5 cracker serving has 117 cals, 4.5 g protein, 19 g carb, 3.5 fiber). I have them with lunch meat and/cheese, or with peanut butter to up the protein.

Hummus, eaten with carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, or jicama!
posted by peep at 8:40 AM on March 6, 2009

If you can get your hands on some dried fish, it might be something to add to your collection. It doesn't meet all the criteria, but it doesn't defy them either--it's pretty much 90% protein, limited amounts of fat, next to no carbs and a bit of salt.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 8:50 AM on March 6, 2009

But almonds have good fats!!
posted by sunshinesky at 8:57 AM on March 6, 2009

Best answer: I don't know what you are considering low (or high) for any of these requirements, but I like these Snap Pea Crisps
posted by deebs at 10:34 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sunshinesky, "good fats" are still to be avoided if you're on a low-fat diet. "Good fat" for some of us is like "clean coal." Not good, just fat. Not clean, just coal.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:40 AM on March 6, 2009

Homemade popcorn with nutritional yeast, spices (cumin, paprika and/or chili), flaky kelp. I like those Eden shakers but you might not like the fat from the sesame seeds. You can base a recipe off this.
posted by barnone at 10:56 AM on March 6, 2009

1 cup broccoli has something like 3-4 grams of protein. A dab of hummus would up it without too many calories, especially if you make it yourself. You can also make tons of "bean spreads" - white bean, black bean, mixed bean - to use as high-protein additions to crunch foods like Wasa crackers.

1 cup chopped kale has 2 grams of protein. But I can eat 2 cups of roast kale, no problem, in one sitting. Delicious.
posted by barnone at 11:05 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

barnone, without butter, how do you get everything to stick to the popcorn and not drop to the bottom of the bowl?
posted by small_ruminant at 11:23 AM on March 6, 2009

I sometimes use a touch of olive oil or Earth Balance spread. Some people have been known to use that spray stuff.
posted by barnone at 12:31 PM on March 6, 2009

Forgot to mention - 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast has 1g fat, 50 calories, 8g protein. It's salty but has other good amino acids, etc.
posted by barnone at 12:36 PM on March 6, 2009

These are awesome! They are nut and fruit blends that have wonderfully balanced flavors and textures. We buy them through the supplier that serves the local Whole Foods markets. These are great and very satiating. A small handful does the trick.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 12:44 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

To make stuff stick to popcorn, you can put some soy sauce in a spray bottle and squirt away. (For true nutcase cred, put Bragg Aminos in the spray bottle and then sprinkle the popcorn with nutritional yeast.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:09 PM on March 6, 2009

I second Snapea Crisps, they're delicious -- I probably go through 3 or 4 bags of the stuff a week. In fact, all of Calbee's snacks that I've tried are pretty good, and most are baked, so they meet the low-fat criteria. I recently discovered a little Japanese Market around here, and they stock lots of options that will fit the bill, including those Shrimp flavored chips and seaweed-based snacks.
posted by spiderskull at 2:25 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

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