Tag Archives: Crackers

Make a Health(ier) Cheese Plate!

Last night, my husband and I wanted a slight change of pace for dinner, and we wanted something a little lighter to match the awesome spring weather we’ve been experiencing. We LOVE wine and cheese – so I thought I’d figure out a way to make the traditional cheese plate a little healthier and more of a meal for dinner. Of course – the key word is “healthier” – because it’s all relative. You can’t make a good cheese plate without GREAT cheese – which will always have a lot of fat and calories. BUT – you can make the other parts of the cheese plate healthy so that, when the cheese is eaten in moderation, you end up with a pretty good meal! Here are my tips for making a healthier cheese plate below – enjoy!

1) Great Cheese: So ok, this isn’t the healthiest option for dinner, but if you’re gonna eat cheese – do it right! Get some super high quality cheeses from your local market – Trader Joe’s actually has a great cheese selection. We opted for a good brie, a smokey cheddar, and a rosemary and olive oil infused asiago. SO GOOD!

2) ADD FRUIT! This is a great way to get a lot of fiber and a filling option to pair with the cheese. And don’t skimp on it either – we used 1 bosc pear (thinly sliced), 1 fuji apple (thinly sliced) and lots of red grapes. Between two people that is a lot of fruit and a good amount of fiber (bosc pears and apples have 4-5g of fiber each!)

3) Add Nuts! Specifically – walnuts. They taste great with cheese and are loaded with fiber and healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Yum.

4) Find Good Whole Grain, Low Calorie Crackers: A couple good options: 1) Kellogg’s All Bran Fiber Crackers (18 crackers are only 130 calories and have 5g fiber!) 2) Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Wheat Crisps (17 crackers are 140 calories and have 2g fiber).

5) Add a yummy whole fruit spread (with minimal sugar) and honey: Both pare great with cheese and are good for you!

6) Make thin crostinis out of whole wheat, freshly baked bread: Trader Joe’s has a great freshly baked Organic Whole Grain Loaf (1/9 of a HUGE loaf has 180 calories, 6g fiber and 7g protein!)

7) Drink Red Wine: If you like red wine – pick it over white wine in the grocery store. It has healthy antioxidants and tastes sooo good with cheese!

8 ) Add a light salad on the side: This is a great way to get some healthy greens, and you can pare it with your cheeses as well (e.g. arugula and Parmesan go great together).

Hope these tips are helpful – enjoy!!

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Favorite food finds – healthy crackers!

I’m a big fan of crackers. They just work well in so many snacks:

– Cheese, crackers and wine

– Crackers & peanut butter topped with raisins

– Crackers with hummus or roasted red pepper dip and carrots

– Crackers as a side instead of chips when eating a sandwich

– Crackers can also be used as breadcrumbs for lots of dishes if you grind them in the food processor

Anyway – you get the picture 🙂 Crackers are yummy! The problem is, they’re usually not very healthy. Take Ritz crackers for example – only 5 of those will run you 80 calories – 50% of which come from fat! ACK. That means if you were muching on one of those Ritz tubes you could easily rack up hundreds of calories and fat without even feeling full! You could eat an entire container of Fage 0% greek yogurt sweetened with splenda and topped with fruit for about that much – and have way more nutritional value and feel much fuller! So basically, I used to stay away from crackers. But then – I found three great cracker varieties that have some nutritional value and more importantly – much fewer calories and fat! So here we go….

1) Kellogg’s All Bran Fiber Crackers

all branThese things are great because you can eat 18 of them for only 130 calories! AND you get 5g of fiber with that serving, so they turn out to be much more satisfying than any of their counterparts! They do have 38% fat, but given the low calorie and high fiber count – that’s not so bad. And these taste GREAT with all kinds of cheeses!

 

2) Kellogg’s Special K Crackers, Multi Grain

Special_K_Crackers_-_Multi_GrainThese are also great for their low calorie count. You can eat 24 of these for only 120 calories! And only 21% of calories come from fat. That’s pretty good. They are slightly sweeter than the All Bran crackers, and are also slightly smaller. They also have less fiber than all bran – only 2g from the 24 crackers. But they are still great as a snack! 

 

 

 

3) Trader Joes Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers

gorgonzola1For anyone who likes cheese flavored crackers, these are awesome! You can eat 31 of these crackers for only 140 calories! They don’t have any fiber or other nutritional value, but are really yummy paired with a low fat cream cheese or other creamy spread. And they have a great flavor on their own – for anyone who likes a hint of gorgonzola. I’m not a fan of super strong cheese (bleu cheese for example), but I love these crackers!

Hopefully this is helpful! Happy cracker eating 🙂

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Filed under Picky Eats (Restaurants/Foods), Picky Tips (Healthy Living/Eating)