I’ve lost 100 pounds, dropped eight sizes. As summer picnic season nears, I’m considering eating plans to maintain weight loss. Open houses, summer picnics, Memorial Day holiday cookouts, 4th of July BBQs, backyard grilling all make dieting difficult. Here are diet appetizers and low-calorie snack recipes and light summer picnic food swaps. These salty snacks are loaded with antioxidants and fat burning fiber.
* Kale chips. This salty snack is virtually calorie free. To make, preheat oven to 350. Tear kale leaves from stems. Rinse, pat dry, arrange in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Spritz with zero-calorie cooking spray. Season with cracked pepper, garlic and sea salt. Bake 12-15 minutes till browned and crispy.
* Crudites. Nix starchy gluten snacks made with corn, wheat in favor of fiber-filled raw vegetables. Enjoy cucumber and pepper slices, broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot and zucchini spears, grape and cherry tomatoes, mushrooms.
* Fat-burning yogurt dip and dressing. Blend non-fat Greek yogurt, avocado, cracked pepper, sea salt, celery seed, dried onion, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, garlic, dill. For dressing add unsweetened almond milk and a dash of lemon juice.
* Polish roses. Spread lowfat, low-sodium ham or turkey lunchmeat with light cream cheese (Laughing Cow wedges are lowfat). Place a scallion in the center and roll up. Wrap around celery, green pepper and cucumber spears too.
* Hummus and pita chips. For hummus, blend garbanzo beans, tahini, Mediterranean za’atar spice, garlic, and lemon juice. Omit olive oil to cut calories. Garnish with sumac. Make light pita chips by cutting pita pocket bread in wedges and toasting.
* Nuts and seeds</b>. Dr. Oz touts these as fat-burners. Nuts and seeds are high fiber and full of omega fatty acids. Munch on almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, peanuts.
* Devilishly Good Eggs. I love deviled eggs. Here’s a lowfat workaround. Hard boil eggs. Slice, scoop out yolk. Mix with Greek yogurt, spicy mustard, apple cider vinegar, dill, celery seed, garlic and onion. Refill yolk cavity and dash with paprika.
* Relish tray. Nibble Spanish and black olives, dill pickles, pickled peppers. Olives and vinegar are on Dr. Oz’s belly-flattening foods list.
* Pickled salad and sauerkraut. Fermented foods literally blast fat. Heap your plate with this 30-calorie-per-serving diet appetizer. Shred or slice carrots, cucumbers, celery, onions, green and red bell peppers. Toss with apple cider vinegar, apple juice, a little olive oil, celery seed, sea salt. To sweeten, use Splenda.
* Berry blast. As dessert or appetizer, berries are a great fat burner, antioxidant, system cleanse. And they’re delish! Mix blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and sliced strawberries. Very patriotic and perfect for Memorial Day picnics!
Bring one of these appetizers to your next summer picnic. No one will believe they’re diet friendly! To follow how I lost 100 pounds, visit my blog My Diet Digest. For more of my recipes, visit Great Food 4u.