The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways, some of them detrimental to our health. According to the According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), snacking has dramatically increased. Nearly 1 in 6 adults obtain over 40 percent of their total daily calories from snacks. That many calories can lead to weight gain.
If you are in the habit of snacking, here are a few tips you can follow:
- Hunger – If you are hungry between meals, eating different combinations of foods in snacks such as a mashed avocado with salsa and low-fat cheese on a whole grain tortilla can be satisfying and may help curb hunger.
- Location – Plan your snacks ahead of time and portion them out so you don’t grab the closest thing that comes to hand, which may be high-calorie processed foods.
- Mindless eating – You may not be hungry but may eat because you are bored, stressed or tired. To avoid this emotional eating, rate your hunger level before reaching for a snack. And if you really must eat something, try one of these healthy snacks in the article below, or the healthy tostones with avocado recipe. It’s egg-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and soy-free and deliver under 200 calories per serving (3 tostones).
Avocado Topped Tostones
Ingredients For Tostones:
- 2 large green (unripe) plantains
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil of choice, divided
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder (optional)
- 1/2 ripe, fresh avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and mashed
- 2 Tbsp. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup black beans
- Peel the plantains: Slice off each end of the plantain. Use a knife to carefully cut through the skin from top to bottom lengthwise. Then remove the peel and slice the plantain into one-inch thick slices (approximately 9 slices per plantain).
- In a small bowl, toss with oil and arrange slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly brown on the bottom. Remove from oven. Using the bottom of a glass or plate, gently smash and flatten each.
- Re-spray the baking sheet, flip the plantains brown side up, and lightly re-spray the tops. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder, if using.
- For Topping:
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the fresh avocado to desired consistency. Stir in the Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- For Assembly:
- Arrange the tostones on a plate or serving platter. Top each slice with 1 Tbsp. of the avocado mixture and 1 Tsp. each of the black beans and diced tomato. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.