Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Alternative Salty/Crunchy Snack!

Sometimes nothing seems to hit the spot but a little bit of salty and a little bit of crunchy.  For those of us who are watching calories and fat intake, we want an alternative to reaching towards chips, right?

Enter a snack we first encountered at a legendary Italian restaurant and bar, Lucca Grill in Bloomington, Illinois years ago--a plate of simple olives and celery sticks.  We wish it was still part of their appetizer menu.  At 4-8 calories, each olive delivers a whollop of salt in a tiny package.  A couple of these may deliver 10-15% of the recommended amount of sodium you need each day, but that might be enough to satisfy a craving for salt.

Celery gives you the crunch, and at one calorie per "stick," according to, you can eat a full cup of celery slices and take in only 17 calories.  Seventeen!

Lucca Grill, Bloomington, Illinois
(Lucca Grill photos by Brian Brakebill)
In contrast, tortilla chips deliver many more calories, and it is easier to eat QUITE a bit more than one standard "serving," right?  A serving of potato chips is 16 chips according to  (when's the last time you ate just 16?!?) and delivers 157 calories.

So here's a tip: when you're eating out, read the entire menu before ordering.  You may be surprised by what you find...there may be some good options there for new dining or snacking alternatives!

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