Written by Erin Passaro
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014
You’re probably sitting at your computer, looking at the clock and debating if you should read this blog post. However, despite how much time you have, in the hustle and bustle of this hectic American lifestyle, eating happens. Judging from the 2/3 of Americans that are overweight, this eating is not usually healthful. A lot of unhealthful eating is snacking which happens due to lack of time, resources, and/or ingredients. Traditionally, we think of snacks as being highly-processed junk food items however if you’re in a pinch, vegetable- and fruit-based snacks are the way to go. They are a delicious way to provide more nutrient-dense energy for your body, to get you through those long days while not making you feel bad about snacking. Here is a quick and very simple recipe I threw together this past weekend:
Edamame, Cranberry, & Feta Salad
- 1 12oz bag frozen, shelled edamame
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup low-fat crumbled feta cheese
- Splash of olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Bring water to a boil and add the edamame beans, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Drain beans, toss with olive oil and add in remaining ingredients. Divide into snack-sized portions.
Edamame is composed of soy, so it provides a lot of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals with low caloric and fat values. Research shows that diets composed of vegetable proteins like soy are associated with lower cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. Despite all the health benefits, this snack still packs a lot of flavor, with the cranberries and feta cheese creating a mouthwatering combination of sweet and salty. The edamame, cranberry, and feta salad encompasses enjoyment of eating right, for the everyday, on-the-go American.
What kind of nutritious snacks do you indulge in on those busy days? Feel free to share your favorite snack recipes here for other readers!
Friedman, M., & Brandon, D. L. (2001). Nutritional and health benefits of soy proteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(3), 1069-1086. doi:10.1021/jf0009246