3 Nutritional Powerhouses That Make Snacks Better

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While labeling certain foods as “superfoods” is still up for debate, there’s no denying that there are some that pack in more nutrients gram for gram. Different types of leafy greens, berries, and beans are great sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and all the good things you need as part of a healthy diet to fuel those long workout sessions.

In fact, studies indicate that an antioxidant-enriched diet could possibly improve recovery for endurance athletes. We’ve picked a few of our favorites based on their health benefits, versatility, and how well they play with other healthy ingredients to give you some tasty ways to enjoy these nutritional powerhouses. Check out these three foods and a few easy recipes to make your snack options better.

Blueberries

Blueberries

Bursting with flavor, these superstar berries are one of the most popular antioxidant-rich fruits around. What you may not know is that they can perk up both savory and sweet snacks, including dips and sauces.

Blueberry Smoothie
Move over, green smoothies! This blueberry-blend from MyFitnessPal includes coconut for an unexpected twist and texture that makes it a filling snack. Get the recipe here

Blueberry Lime Salsa
A tangy, delicious dip for chips, this blueberry-lime salsa gets a vitamin C boost, which is linked to lowering cardiac risk. 

Recipe

  • 2 cups chopped fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, making sure to mix well, and serve with tortilla chips.

Blueberry Energy Bites
Need a bite-sized snack that will give you an energy boost on the go? These blueberry and nut bites from Simply Taylor include cashews, for heart-healthy triglycerides. Get the recipe here

Kale

Kale

Not only is kale higher in antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables you’ll find in your fridge, it’s also packed with fiber and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a surprisingly satisfying ingredient in chips and dips, so give it a try and you may find yourself a kale convert.

Kale Dip
This low-calorie cheesy dip from Popsugar delivers the creamy goodness you look for in a good dip with a healthy helping of vitamins A and E. Get the recipe here.

Kale Chips
Satisfy your craving for some crunch while getting your vitamin K dose (for strong bones) with these easy kale chips.

Recipe

  • 1 bunch kale (curly makes a more textured chip)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt, to taste

Preheat your oven to 375°F/180°C. Wash and dry your kale, and then rip the leaves into large pieces and coat them in olive oil (massage the leaves a bit as you go). Sprinkle them evenly with the cheese and the salt. Lay them out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

Kale Flatbread
If you’re a fan of pizza, but are looking for a lighter option, try this flatbread recipe from The Telegraph topped with kale, ricotta cheese and chili pepper. Hint: you can use store bought pizza dough (no judgement). Get the recipe here.

Beans

Red beans
Filling and nutritious, beans boast a powerful combination of B vitamins, calcium, and potassium. They come in many different varieties and make a great base for simple dips as well as for indulgent treats.

Black Bean Guacamole
This guacamole from MyFitnessPal is made with fiber-rich black beans, protein yogurt, and avocados. Get the recipe here.

Bean Salad
Canned black beans are the base of this quick and simple salad, which when topped with watercress, packs a big nutritional punch!

Recipe (adapted from Food Network)

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 can of black beans

  • 1 1/2 cups diced cucumber

  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

  • 3-4 chopped scallions

  • 1 lime

  • 1 tablespoon chopped watercress
  • olive oil
  • salt (to taste)

Cook the garlic cloves, jalapeno and cumin seeds in a skillet with olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Toss the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mash the hot garlic mixture and add to the bowl. Season with salt and toss with watercress.

Bean Brownies
When you think of healthy foods, you probably (and logically) don’t think of brownies, but this gluten-free version from BBC food get major brownie points for the black beans and chili that make them more nutritious and exciting than your typical chocolate cake. They’re not light on calories, but a little goes a long way to satisfy a chocolate craving. Get the recipe here.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Let us know in the comments!

Free your endorphins!

The Endomondo Team

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