I love any excuse to have some friends and family over, hover around the television and host a potluck or a party – so obviously I am planning something fun for Sunday’s Oscars! But snacking doesn’t have to be mindless, and it doesn’t have to break your calorie bank, either! These suggestions below are what I will be having at my Academy Awards party – and I promise they are winners!
These peanut butter balls taste like a rich dessert, but offer up filling fiber and protein, with minimal sugar! Also, they only take about 10 minutes to make from start to finish (plus some time to chill in the fridge). I love to keep these around and throw them in a bag for the day or snack on them at night when I want something sweet, and they stay in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for longer.
10 large, dried medjool dates, pitted
1/2 C natural peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and a small amount of salt!)
1/4 C rolled oats
1/2 C unsweetened, dark chocolate chips
*Makes 15-18, 1″ balls
1. Soak oats in hot water for a few minutes (so that they soften)
2. Chop dates into small pieces and place in food processor or blender (I used my Magic Bullet).
3. Add peanut butter and oats. Blend until batter is course and ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Take a small spoon and scoop small portions of batter into your hands, forming small balls that measure approximately 1″ in diameter. Place each peanut butter ball on baking sheet and form rows of 3 or 4. Place baking sheet in fridge or freezer.*If you don’t want to make these chocolate covered, you are done after this step! I like to make about half chocolate covered and leave half plain, so continue if you plan to dip these in chocolate!
5. Melt chocolate chips. I prefer to use a double boiler (bring a small amount of water to a boil in a pot and cover with a large bowl. Add chocolate to bowl once water is boiling and allow the steam from the boiling water to melt the chocolate, stirring until chocolate is smooth). You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, but this often results in burnt patches. Place the chocolate in the microwave for short time segments if you prefer this method, and stir the chocolate often.
6. Take peanut butter balls from the fridge (they should be somewhat cool and solidified) and, using one at a time, roll each ball in the chocolate mixture, using a small spoon. Scoop ball up with spoon after it is coated and place back on baking sheet. Repeat for as many as you’d like dipped in chocolate!
7. Place in refrigerator to cool. They can be kept there overnight (or longer) or you can make these about an hour or two before your guests arrive (or you want to start eating them!) and take them out to serve once they are cooled. Enjoy!
Nutrient Breakdown for 1 ball (assuming recipe yields 16 servings): Calories 110 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 26 mg, Calcium 3 mg
Sweet and Salty Popcorn
This popcorn is the easiest recipe you will ever make, and it is such a hit at parties! Also, popcorn is a whole grain and is a great, whole-food choice over snacks like cookies and chips!
2 1/2 C popcorn (*Note: Find a brand that simply uses popcorn, with perhaps some oil or salt – do not use buttered popcorn for this recipe! It should be simple, air-popped popcorn or very similar.)
1/4 C unsweetened, dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn)
*Makes 5 half-cup servings
1. Microwave popcorn according to directions on box or bag. Remove popcorn from microwave and open bag to let steam escape and popcorn cool. place popcorn in large bowl.
2. Melt chocolate chips using double boiler method (listed above in step 4 of ‘No Bake Peanut Butter Balls’ recipe). Drizzle chocolate over popcorn by dipping a spoon or knife into the melted chocolate and gently flicking it over the popcorn.
3. If using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn, top with salt. Set aside (or place in fridge for about 15-20 minutes), until chocolate has solidified and cooled. Serve at room temperature.
Nutrient Breakdown for 1/2 C popcorn: Calories 71 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 233 mg, Calcium 0 mg
Popcorn on Fire
This savory popcorn is a good alternative to sweets – and you can snack on handfuls for minimal calories and fat!
2 1/2 C popcorn (*Note: Same rules as above recipe – air-popped and unbuttered!)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (only if using unsalted or very lightly salted popcorn)
*Makes 5 half-cup servings
1. Combine all spices in small bowl and mix well.
2. Microwave popcorn according to directions on box or bag.
3. Once popcorn is all popped (and while it is still hot) open the bag drizzle oil over popcorn and mix with a spoon.
4. Slowly pour spices over the popcorn so that spices are evenly distributed. Mix well with spoon. Serve hot or at room temperature!
Nutrient breakdown for 1/2 C popcorn: Calories 65 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 234 mg, Calcium 1 mg
If you wanted other savory ideas, my dips are also great for entertaining! Find my buffalo-style cauliflower dip recipe HERE, my skinny spinach artichoke dip recipe HERE, and my guacamole recipe HERE! Also, veggies and pita with hummus is always a crowd-pleaser. Still craving something sweet? A fruit platter may just do the trick, without too much prep time (and without busting through the calorie budget)!
Looking forward to a night of fun, family, friends and food and fashion!