Choose your snacks wisely

Published 4:15 pm Friday, March 5, 2021

It is time to make some savory treats that are not loaded with empty calories but are packed with healthy nutrition.  One of my favorite ideas is to keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or table. Purchasing mixed bags of frozen berries is a great treat served frozen in small bowls with a spoon. We are forced to eat them slowly one berry at a time.  Furthermore, to encourage your family to eat more vegetables go ahead and prep snack bag size portions of cut up, fresh veggies.  Here are two yummy snacks you will want to prepare for your family:

Kale Chips

(Photo submitted by Louise Hinsley)

You can buy kale chips already made in some specialty shops – they come in small bags with a big price tag. Or you can make a large pile of these delicious healthy chips at home. I have experimented with multiple ways of making these. This technique is super easy and nets a great bowl of chips. Serves 4, Serving Size: about 1 cup, Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 15-20 minutes and Total Time: 40 minutes


1 bunch kale, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
  • Wash and dry kale.
  • Remove thick stems.
  • Tear into “chip” size pieces.
  • Place torn kale in a large bowl and add olive oil.
  • Using well washed hands, massage the oil into the kale. You want to get a thin coating of oil on each surface of the kale. You will see it change colors slightly, this is ok. Keep working it until the oil is well distributed.
  • Place kale chips in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake until completely toasted. You want all the moisture removed.
  • Note: If you are not eating immediately, store open on the counter. You can re-crisp if needed in a warm oven.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Serving Size: ¼ recipe or about 1 cup of chips, Vegetables: ½ cup, Fruits: 0 cups, Calories: 93 calories, Carbohydrates: 6 grams, Fiber:  1 gram, Protein: 3 grams, Fat: 7 grams and Sodium: 304 mg

Rosemary Chili Almonds

(Photo submitted by Louise Hinsley)

This is an easy way to add extra flavor to your daily snack. Change it up by choosing a different type of nut or herb combination. Tip: Make a large batch with your favorite nuts and herbs for a great grab-and-go snack throughout the week.  Serves 8, Serving Size: ¼ cup, Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes and Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½  pound (approximately 2 cups) almonds or walnuts, 3 (3-inch) sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped (use 1 tablespoon dried if you don’t have fresh), 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes (use more or less depending on your desired level of heat), ½ teaspoon salt


  • Use a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil and add the almonds. Stir to coat the walnuts.
  • Add the rosemary leaves, crushed chili flakes, and salt. Toss to coat the almonds.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring almost constantly for 15 minutes. Do not allow the almonds to get too brown.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Serving Size: ¼ cup, Vegetables: 0 cups, Fruits: 0 cups, Calories: 200 calories, Carbohydrates: 17 grams, Fiber: 4 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 14 grams and Sodium: 313 mg

Sources for this article NC Extension Food and Nutrition. For more information about the Foods and Nutrition please contact Louise L. Hinsley, Extension Agent, Family Consumer Science at the Beaufort County Center of NC Cooperative Extension, 155 Airport Road, Washington,  252-946-0111.