Sunday Snack Attack – Ryvita and cream cheese

Since everybody’s getting on the recession bandwagon lately, I thought I’d add a new feature to Shoestring Montreal. Sundays will now bring you the Sunday Snack Attack, offering various ideas for cheap and healthy snacks that you can either make at home or buy at the closest grocery store, depanneur or pharmacy (since we tend to have tons of these sprinkled around Montreal) when you’re out and about.

The first thing I’d like to recommend is something I’ve concocted as part of a new low-carb diet. I know, I know: carbs are awesome! They taste great and fill you up! True, but eating too many carbs can quickly add on the pounds, make you feel super sleepy in the afternoons (ever have that 2 or 3 PM crash?), and may actually lead to nasty things like type 2 diabetes (because starches quickly become sugars in your bloodstream, and perpetually processing too much glucose may cause the body to malfunction) and celiac disease (a problem with the body’s ability to process wheat proteins).

ryvitaSince I like carbs and enjoy snacking, I asked my husband what would be a good wheat-alternative to eat during the day. He recommended Ryvita, a rye-based cracker, which you can top with lots of different things. They also come in a variety of types, from the Dark Rye crispbread to the new Sunflower Seeds & Oats, Multi-Grain, Pumpkin Seeds & Oats, and Muesli Crunch. My personal preference is to dip my Rye & Oat Bran crackers in cream cheese, as I’m a fan of Philadelphia’s Herb & Garlic flavoured cream cheese.

If you choose the Dark Rye Ryvita, they offer a serving size of 3 pieces with the following nutritional information:

  • 120 calories
  • no trans fat, 0.5 g. total fat
  • no cholesterol
  • 100 mg. of sodium
  • 25 g. of carbohydrates
  • 5 g. of fibre
  • 1 g. of sugar
  • 3 g. protein

They’re also vegan/vegetarian as well as kosher, and are great for anyone avoiding MSG, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, yeast, and genetically modified foods. Pretty great, right?

As for the cream cheese, here’s the nutritional info per one tablespoon:

  • 40 calories
  • 0.1 g. trans fat (not so awesome, but according to Health Canada, your daily intake of trans fats should be less than 1%, so this could be considered acceptable), 4 g. total fat
  • 10 mg. cholesterol
  • 80 mg. sodium
  • 10 mg. carbohydrates
  • no fibre
  • 1 g. sugar
  • 1 g. protein

Granted, I’m definitely using more than one tablespoon per serving (I suspect I use about one tablespoon per crispbread, for a total of 3 tablespoons), but if you aren’t eating the whole tub in one sitting, then I would say this makes for a pretty healthy snack.

What about you? Do you have any favourites for healthy snacking? Let me know in the comments below!

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