The Spring Snacks We Can't Get Enough Of

Winter is the perfect excuse to stock your fridge and pantry with warm comfort foods that make battling polar-vortex temps bearable. But, now that spring is finally here (it is, right?), we’re all about cleaning things out. And, we don't just mean upgrading our wardrobes and freshening up our apartments. It's also time to unclutter our diets.
Because, as much as we want to look good when we start peeling off our layers of sweaters, we also want to feel good and actually enjoy the nicer weather without being weighed down by the heavy foods of winter.
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Plus, this is the easiest time of year to go au natural when it comes to eating — there are countless budding fruits and veggies that are as light and healthy as they are delicious. We tapped Dr. Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian and author of The SuperfoodsRx Diet, for simple, seasonal snack suggestions that will keep you energized and feeling full even when you're on the go. Go ahead, indulge — you'll feel better!
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Asparagus is one of the first blooms of spring. It's also an excellent source of vitamin K and full of beta-carotene, says Dr. Bazilian. "Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which we need for healthy skin," she explains. "As we head into the sunnier season, we need it to keep our skin vital." Eat it raw, or boil it for a minute and run it through a cold bath. Dip it into hummus for a crispy snack.
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"Strawberries provide an excellent source of immune-boosting and skin-healthy vitamin C — one serving has more than an orange," says Dr. Bazilian. They're also naturally low in sugar, with two grams of fiber in one 50-calorie cup. "They're fun by themselves, go beautifully in salads or with yogurt and ice cream, and, of course, are delicious dipped in chocolate," she adds.
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Spring is one of four peak seasons for avocados, which are packed with 20 vitamins and minerals. "Even though they're high in monounsaturated fat, they help you stay full longer," says Dr. Bazilian. They're also a great recipient for other foods. So, whether you mash the avocado and put it on toast, use it as a dip, or eat it on its own, try sprinkling some crushed red pepper on it — the pepper will rev your metabolism.
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— SPONSORED —

When we’re running out the door, we’ll grab whatever snack is in reach. So, we make our lives easier by stocking up on grab-and-go treats like Chobani’s Simply 100™ Greek Yogurt. Everything in it is natural, including the sweeteners — plus, it’s packed with protein for a midday energy boost. Healthy and delicious? Win-win.

Find Chobani near you at Chobani.com.
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Granola or fruit bars are an obvious on-the-go choice. What makes KIND bars stand out is the fact that each one uses recognizable ingredients you could actually buy yourself in a health store. "KIND bars are usually under 180 calories," says Dr. Bazilian. "You should never be eating a bar that's over 200 unless it's supplementing a meal." Bonus points: They come with dark chocolate, sugar, and other ingredients that still fit the bill for a treat.
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Your rule of thumb for chips: Baked is good, fried is not. "Bean flour and lentil chips are really healthy," says Dr. Bazilian. "They fulfill that need for crunchy, savory, but the amount of salt isn’t too high, and they’ve got good fiber in them."
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DIY popcorn is way better for you than any pre-made or packaged kind — try air-popping whole grain kernels. "You can spritz it with olive oil and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese, or different spices, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, and it’s a great, great snack," says Dr. Bazilian.To sweeten things up, add sugar and oil for homemade kettle corn.
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Maybe it's the whole spirit of springtime rebirth, but eggs seem like the perfect snack this time of year. But, don't skip the yolk! "The yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eye health, and choline, which is important for brain and heart health," explains Dr. Bazilian. "People tend to worry about the saturated fat and cholesterol in the yolk, but recent research has not supported the theory that the whole egg increases your risk of heart disease."
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"Ricotta is a surprising snack choice — you can get a cheesy, creamy protein that you can spread on toast or that you can dip apples into," says Dr. Bazilian. When you're shopping, make sure to choose part-skim. "It has six to seven grams of protein in 70 calories, and it can go savory or sweet." Try mixing in lemon and honey for a treat.
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Chop off the ends, and you get a whole bunch of ready-made scoops. "Use them to scoop up bean dip or nut butter," suggests Dr. Bazilian. "They have varying levels of bite, but they’re something fun and unexpected to snack on."
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Almonds are the go-tos of the nut family, but walnuts have about four grams of protein per ounce, two grams of fiber, and the highest amount of plant-based omega-3s, says Dr. Bazilian. "They are also one of the few sources of melatonin — the other source is tart cherries." Melatonin helps you sleep better, which we all need with shorter nights this time of year.
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The bulb of a fennel plant is mostly used in cooking, but you can munch on it raw, too. "It has a licorice-y taste, which is unexpected and fun... You can cut that raw, and a lot of people find it so refreshing.”