Bulletin #4174, Vegetable Snacks
Vegetables and Fruits for Health
Revised and updated by Assistant Extension Professor Nadine Reimer
Originally developed by Extension Nutrition Specialist Nellie Hedstrom
Colorful, crunchy vegetables make excellent low-calorie, low-fat snacks. Cut the following raw vegetables into bite-size portions. Serve plain or with low-fat dip (see our recipes below) or cottage cheese.
To avoid the danger of choking, steam or microwave any hard vegetables you plan to feed to toddlers, and then cut them into small pieces. (Pieces should be smaller than a grape.) When serving vegetables to anyone who has trouble chewing, it is a good idea to steam or microwave them first until tender. Vegetables that are best prepared this way include broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, turnips, and winter squash.
Creative Ideas for Using Vegetables
Ants on a Log: celery stuffed with peanut butter and topped with raisins.
Hawaiian Delight: celery stuffed with part-skim ricotta cheese which has been mixed with unsweetened crushed pineapple.
Skewer cut-up pieces of fresh vegetables on a long toothpick. Good choices include whole mushrooms, carrot slices, cucumber rings, green pepper slices, and cherry tomatoes. (Plastic straws or plastic coffee stirrers might make good skewers for children.)
Stuff cold, leftover vegetables in a pita pocket and add a small amount of low-fat salad dressing.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Place cleaned seeds on a shallow pan. Toast at 350°F for 20 minutes. Cool and enjoy immediately or store in a closed container.
Hummus (Chickpea Dip)
A great no-cholesterol dip.
Serves 12 (1/4-cup servings)
20 ounces cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon peanut butter OR 1/3 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2–3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1–2 tablespoons oil
Place first 6 ingredients in a blender. Blend until mixture is a smooth paste. While mixture is blending, slowly add oil. Chill. Pour into bowl. Serve with vegetables.
Dilled Low-Fat Yogurt Dressing or Dip
A creamy, low-fat, low-calorie dressing.
Serves 6 (1/4-cup servings)
1 cup low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dill seeds or dill weed
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours to let flavors blend. Serve as a dressing on a salad, or serve as a dip with raw vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli flowerets, celery and carrot sticks, whole snap peas, cucumber and tomato wedges, sliced summer squash, and sweet pepper slices.
Originally adapted with permission from materials developed by the University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension Nutrition, Diet and Health Committee.
Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
Published and distributed in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the USDA provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.
Call 800.287.0274 or TDD 800.287.8957 (in Maine), or 207.581.3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit extension.umaine.edu.
The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.