Sunday, May 5, 2013

What does 100 calories look like?

I love 100 calorie snacks. Be a virtuous snackist and have your fun, too. Not only that, but the marketers of these reduced packages have convinced us to pay more for the privilege.  But of course the foot pundits must spoil our fun. They may be 100 calories, but are they good calories? Being a type-2 diabetic complicates things further. I am also supposed to make sure it is balanced. I am to pack in a carbohydrate, a protein, and roughage in to that teeny tiny bundle. There are days, well, the thinking needed to put together the perfect little snack, while my body rages to be fed, is more than I can handle. On days like that, I throw the marketing model in to my lunch bag.

I got to thinking, what's stopping me from putting together my own 100 calorie wonders? I document the creations as I go, and I never have to measure a second time. A happy by-product of this exercise is I got a better picture of what a hundred calories looks like. It's little.

One Wasa rye cracker, 2 tablespoons hummus, sliced bell pepper, and five Wasabi peas (hot!)

One Kavli cracker, 1/4 pepperoni stick, two skinny cow (lite) wedges, and carrot peels.

A great bedtime snack, shared by a type-1 buddy, is half a protein bar with 125 ml of (1%) milk. This tides over to breakfast very nicely.  It comes out to about 200 calories.

An egg is fifty calories. I paired it with half a crusty bun and a little ketchup. Salsa or fresh tomato would look better. I really wanted to show off my microwave egg cooker. One minute and fifteen seconds!
Two measly dates, stuffed with Laughing Cow cream cheese. Yum, tasty; a calorie punch in a tiny package.

Ten peanuts, count them and weep. Maybe measure with a tablespoon, no cheating!

Edamame, 1/2 cup. Now this is more satisfying! Break open one end and suck the seeds out. Try with parmesan cheese or a little hot sauce.
Half an energy, protein or health bar. Taste of Nature; nuts and agave nectar. Another favorite of mine is The Simply bar, carb-free and fiber-full. These bars are handy portable snacks, but typically about 180 calories each. Cut them in half for a home-made hundred calorie treat.

Chickpeas, 1.2 cup. High in fiber and protein, low in fat. So satisfying! Roast them, munch on them like nuts. I buy dried and reconstitute them overnight in water. Here's a fabulous oven-roasted recipe by Chris Rochelle.

Bad news, cheese-lovers. Due to its high fat content, cheese is a very dense calorie choice. This is Armstrong Extra Old low fat cheese, 3 cm, 80 calories. I fleshed it out with two croutons. Cheese is still great for its protein content, and it is so beautifully portable. And tasty. To keep from over-eating, I precut my block in to squares, line five cubes along a strip of plastic wrap, and wrap them tightly. I store them all in a Ziploc in the freezer, and take out a few at a time. If I am using a previously frozen cube in baking, it crumbles rather than shreds.

Four walnuts, or eight halves.

Under 50 calories:

I will post more.