It’s crunch time!

Rise and shine, friends!

It’s time for another edition of “Sunday Snacks.” I really look forward to writing this post, in particular, each week because it means that I get to do some experimenting with food and really let my creativity flow. I also enjoy this series because it connects me with my friends. I often will consult with a friend or two about my healthy, on the go snack ideas to see what other improvisations they can think of that I can share with you all; we all have such different tastes and interests so picking the brain of those who are very different from us is usually very eye opening when playing–I mean–experimenting with food recipes.

As I mentioned last week in my post about Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins, I have been trying to incorporate more Greek yogurt into my diet. This week’s healthy snack also includes Greek yogurt and is something that I found again while surfing through Pinterest for meals that would help fuel my half marathon training: Cucumber-Feta Bites.

Cucumbers are so versatile and aren’t meant to just be a garnish in a salad. Think of a cucumber as an alternative to a cracker during snack time or even a bread alternative to your lunchtime sandwiches! Not sure what I mean? Keep reading below and you’ll see a cucumber evolve into wonderful and crunchy key part of your future healthy snacking habits!

The specific recipe I found came from MyRecipes, although I’m sure there are many alternatives and different versions out there. What I really appreciate about MyRecipes, and the reason I want to promote their interpretation of this snack, is because they are partners with the Let’s Move! initiative and are attempting to educate the public about creative, healthier alternative recipe options–all good stuff! Here’s a little snap shot of the finished product to get you excited before I share the rest of the simple steps to get you healthy snacking on the go!

After1

Depending on how you cut the cucumber, this recipe will yield 6 slices per cucumber-just the right amount to snack on throughout the day or share as an appetizer with friends/family before a meal. This is also a pretty quick snack to make and requires no baking or cooking, so prep time is just under 10 minutes, which means there’s no excuse why you can’t prep this snack very quickly before you head out the door in the morning.

Cucumber-Feta Bites Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. non-fat Greek Yogurt (you can even try Greek Yogurt with honey for extra flavor!)
  • 2 tsp. of less/low-fat cream cheese (I used chive and onion cream cheese, but flavoring is your choice, depending on other toppings)
  • 1 tbsp. feta
  • 1 cucumber (cut and seeded)
  • 2 tsp. of walnuts (or your choice of alternative toppings)

Before

Preparation Directions:

  • Wash and peel the cucumber.
  • Cut cucumber in half the long way, and then in thirds.
  • Scoop out the seeds of the cucumber with a spoon.
  • In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, cream cheese, and feta. Add in salt and pepper (or other spices), if desired.
  • Spread the mix on each cucumber evenly.
  • Add your topping of choice (in this case, walnuts and Craisins) and enjoy!

CucumberSliced

After2

One of my favorite things about this recipe is how easily you switch up the ingredients to keep it interesting or to appeal to a friend of yours with different tastebuds. You can get creative with your Greek yogurt flavoring (plain, vanilla, honey blended) and/or your cream cheese selection (plain, chive and onion, vegetable). Other ways that you can make this snack recipe your own: mixed nut alternative (almonds, cashews, etc.), any diced vegetable of your choice (think: carrots, tomatoes, etc.), an optional honey drizzle on top, as well as a variety of other spices such as garlic. What about you-any other toppings or improvisations to add? Please feel free to share your comments below–I’d love to hear your additions to this simple snack.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope your brain is running a mile/minute with creative ideas for your cucumber bites and that you’re literally running out to the grocery store to grab some ingredients to prepare your healthy snack for the week!

In the meantime, make a point to share this quick and simple healthy snack with someone that you love. Many people consider Sunday a day to get together with family to spend quality time catching up and sharing special moments over a big, hearty meal. Unfortunately not all of us (myself included) live close enough to our families to do this as often as we’d like to. For those of us who can’t be with our families, or loved ones, today I urge you to pick up the phone and give them a call–tell them you’re thinking of them and wanted to share something that’s not only good for them, but also tastes good, too!

And, even if cucumbers, Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and so on isn’t really their cup of tea, I’m sure at the very least they’ll appreciate the phone call and the quality time they got to spend talking with you…if that’s not a great way to head into the week and restore balance to the important things in your life, then I don’t know what is!

Have a great day,
-Meg

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