Friday, February 27, 2009

Healthy Snack Food

What would you say if I told you that one of America's most beloved party foods is actually healthy. This food is one that is gobbled up by both my little cousins and drunken male friends at the same lightning speed. If I told them that it was healthy, would it change their mind about this addicting snack? What if I told you, would it change your mind? I think that part of what makes "snack foods" fun to some people (especially kids and intoxicated men) is that it is not good for them and therefore satisfying. It is rare that you will find either of these groups of people reaching for an apple when they are trying to have a good time.

Are you ready for me to reveal the healthy snack?

It's Salsa! Salsa is a low-fat, nutrient-packed snack with only 10-15 calories per ounce (2 Tbsp)!! That means that if you eat an entire 16 oz. jar you would only consume 160-240 calories (although I don't recommend this).

Spicy, regular salsas are great, but sometimes I prefer sweeter ones like the one above with mango & peach (these are the ones that usually have more calories, but still nothing major)

I guess the problem with salsa is it's common sidekick- the fried tortilla chip. Dun, dun, dun...

Tortilla chips are fine in moderation, as is anything else. However, I do not think that our aforementioned friends--the kids and the drunk men-- practice the art of moderation. A lot of sober adults don't even practice this skill, including me sometimes!

Some lighter, yet still delicious, ways to enjoy salsa are:
  • On a baked potato- you can even add black beans, cheese, and a touch of sour cream

  • With baked tortilla chips- you might not know they exist if you have your blinders on at the grocery, but they're there

  • With baked pita chips- be careful, these can be addicting...

  • Make-your-own tortilla or pita chips- I like to take a whole wheat soft tortilla and stick it in the oven for a few minutes to crisp (keep a close eye so it doesn't burn). To make your own pita chips, cut into wedges, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and bake.
  • On an omelet or scrambled eggs- I used to cringe at the thought of this, until I went to FirstWatch for breakfast and tried it- Delicious!
  • On grilled chicken breast or your preferred protein, such as fish, beans (oooh, I love it with refried), beef, etc.

Don't be afraid to get creative with salsa. I can always find at least one brand on sale. With it's affordability, zesty flavor, and nutritional value, I think I'll dare to say that salsa may just be the perfect food. Now if I could only find the perfect guy...


  1. salsa is pretty much the ultimate food accesory. lately when it comes to snacking ive been eating cherry tomatoes with mozzarella balls. so good. however, to add some white trashiness to that, ive also been eating an excessive amount of blueberry poptarts. so good. so good.