(Family Features) Next time you reach for a snack, go for a great-tasting option that delivers on both flavor and nutrition. Sensible snacks can be surprisingly delicious when you choose ingredients wisely.
One pop-ular choice: popcorn. Ideal for between-meal snacking since it satisfies but doesn’t spoil the appetite, popcorn is also the perfect addition to treats such as snack bars and trail mix. The key to smart snacking is finding good-for-you ingredients that make your body healthy and your taste buds happy.
With no artificial additives or preservatives, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. The whole grain provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates and contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
Find more healthy snack solutions at popcorn.org.
There’s nothing like the taste of freshly popped popcorn and nothing like the disappointment of burnt popcorn. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect popcorn every time.
- Whether on the stove or in the microwave, popcorn will begin popping in a few minutes.
- When the popping begins to slow, listen until you can count two seconds between pops. Remove the pan from heat or bag from microwave.
- Remember to lift the lid or open the bag away from your face to prevent steam burns.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Corn
Yield: 10 cups
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup crunchy granola
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnut halves
- In bowl, toss popcorn with melted butter.
- Combine sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss with granola, raisins and walnuts until combined.
Crispy Crunchy Apple Popcorn
Yield: 7 cups
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups dried apple chips
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- Line 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil; butter foil. Spread popcorn in pan and drizzle with melted butter; toss popcorn. Sprinkle popcorn with sugar and cinnamon, and toss again.
- Bake 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle apple chips over popcorn and heat an additional 3 minutes.
- Serve warm, or cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts (or other nuts)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir together popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool.
- Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Popcorn Granola Snack Bars
Yield: 16 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup granola cereal
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- Line 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In large saucepan, heat honey until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.
Yummy Yogurt Popcorn
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
- 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- In large bowl, keep popped popcorn warm.
- In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, combine yogurt, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat to hard ball stage (250° F on candy thermometer).
- Pour over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.
Source: The Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Whether you’re a competitive sprinter chasing a new record or an everyday gym hound looking to get the most from your workout, seafood is among the best foods to support an athletic lifestyle. It not only delivers great-tasting nutrition, but also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits.
The combination of lean protein, anti-inflammatory omega-3s and muscle-building nutrients found in Alaska seafood are why it’s a staple for athletes like Ryan and Sara Hall.
“We like to incorporate Alaska seafood in our daily diet because it’s a really high-quality protein that helps to repair our muscles on a daily basis,” said Ryan Hall, a two-time Olympian and holder of the U.S. half-marathon record.
After a run, Sara Hall – a 3,000-meter steeplechase and marathon runner, U.S. national champion and World Team member – relies on seafood as a go-to for low-fat meals with protein and simple-to-digest carbs.
Sample these dishes straight from the Hall kitchen, and find more recipes and nutritional values for your favorite seafood at wildalaskaseafood.com.
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cedar planks with enough surface area for salmon
- 4 Alaska salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, thawed or frozen
- olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) dill, thyme or rosemary
- salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 4 large sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into wedges
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- Soak cedar planks for 1-2 hours (or overnight) submerged in water. Remove and pat dry.
- Heat grill to medium heat (400° F). If frozen, rinse ice from salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Spray cedar planks and salmon with olive oil spray. Place salmon on planks; sprinkle with herb, salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes in bowl; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to coat.
- Place cedar planks and potato wedges on grill. Cover and cook about 3-4 minutes; turn wedges over and continue cooking until potatoes are soft and cooked. Keep warm. Cook salmon 12-15 minutes, until fish is opaque throughout.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 11 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 27% calories from fat; 91 mg cholesterol; 33 g protein; 33 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 277 mg sodium; 36 mg calcium; 1,700 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Pan-Seared Cod over Minted Pea Puree
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pounds frozen or fresh peas, blanched
- 1 package (0.6-0.7 ounces) fresh mint, leaves only
- salt, to taste
- 4 Alaska cod fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, frozen or thawed
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- Add water, peas and mint to blender or food processor; season with salt. Puree until almost smooth. Cover and keep warm.
- If frozen, rinse ice glaze from cod under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat heavy, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of fillets with olive oil.
- In heated skillet, cook cod, uncovered, about 3-4 minutes, until browned. Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking. Turn cod over and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6-9 minutes for frozen cod or 3-4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish. Cook until fish is opaque throughout.
- To serve, spoon pea puree onto 4 plates. Top each with cod fillet and serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 319 calories; 5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 13% calories from fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 37 g protein; 34 g carbohydrate; 12 g fiber; 393 mg sodium; 101 mg calcium; 28 IU vitamin D; 200 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Miso Halibut with Soba Noodle Stir-Fry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 package (12 ounces) prepared soba noodles (or noodle of choice)
- 4 Alaska halibut fillets (4-6 ounces each), fresh, thawed or frozen
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 cups roughly chopped bok choy
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup miso
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- Prepare noodles according to package directions; set aside.
- If frozen, rinse ice glaze from halibut under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Heat large, nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of halibut with half of the sesame oil.
- In heated skillet, cook fish, uncovered, about 3-4 minutes, until browned.
- Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking. Turn halibut over; reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes for frozen halibut or 2-3 minutes for fresh/thawed fish, cooking until fish is opaque throughout. Transfer fillets to plate; cover to keep warm.
- Wipe out skillet/wok with paper towel. Add remaining sesame oil. Heat to medium-high then add and stir-fry bok choy, snap peas, mushrooms and green onions. Stir in noodles; turn off heat. Cover and keep warm.
- In saucepan, blend miso, water and teriyaki sauce. Bring mixture to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Stir sauce into warm noodle-vegetable mixture. To serve, divide and portion mixture into 4 bowls or plates. Top each with halibut fillet.
Nutrition information per serving: 571 calories; 15 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 22% calories from fat; 56 mg cholesterol; 38 g protein; 71 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 1,643 mg sodium; 77 mg calcium; 219 IU vitamin D; 350 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
- 2 firm ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 cup red grapes (about 16)
- 1/2 cup green grapes (about 16)
- 8 10-inch wooden skewers
- 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Place in small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.
- Skewer fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana, and place fruit skewers onto lined tray.
- Place chocolate in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt chocolate.
- Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate onto fruit skewers.
- Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.
These delightful frozen treats are healthy, too.
Makes 4 servings