Calorie counters know that the best food options are generally perishable. But what can you do in situations where you can’t stop for fresh foods? Or what if you do not have access to refrigeration? Below are some of my favorite goodies that keep me from breaking the caloric bank.
1. Popcorn Air-popped popcorn is a mere 31 calories per cup. If you do not feel like popping your own, SkinnyPop Popcorn is a great alternative. The original and the black pepper flavors are only 39 calories per cup.
2. Rice Cakes I often see large rice cakes in the 35-50 calorie range, so read the labels! I really enjoy the Quaker caramel corn rice cakes, which are 50 calories each. The Quaker Popped mini rice cakes (under 150 calories per serving) are available in delicious flavors such as chocolate, ranch, and cheddar cheese.
3. Pretzels Pretzels are often available in 100-calorie individual snack packets. If you cannot find these, you can purchase a large bag of pretzels, along with some snack baggies, and package your own portions. Trader Joes everything pretzel slims are a favorite pretzel of mine, and clock in at 110 calories per serving.
4. Freeze-dried Fruits I have noticed freeze-dried fruits in most of the major grocery stores in my area recently, often packaged in 30-150 calorie portions. Freeze-dried fruit tends to be a better health option than dehydrated fruits. The dehydrated fruits sometimes have added sweeteners, and are typically much higher in calories.
5. Kale Chips Kale chips are usually only available in health food stores and supermarkets with a large natural foods section. They tend to be expensive, so I would recommend making your own if you are on a tight budget. My favorite kale chip is Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale: Vampire Killer (garlic) flavor, and it is 121 calories per serving.
6. 100-ish Calorie Fiber Bars Many snack bars are high in calorie, so read your labels carefully. Fiber One 90-calorie bars and Luna Fiber bars are delicious, and they are only 90-120 calories each.
7. 100-Calorie Almond Packs Almonds are full of good fats, but the portion size is very small. Luckily, many stores are now selling almonds in individually-portioned packaging. My personal favorite is the Emerald Dark Chocolate Cocoa Roast almonds.
8. Wasabi Peas Flavored dried peas are one of my top car snacks. My preferred brand is World Peas, especially the Santa Barbara Ranch and the Hungarian Garlic flavors. I love that they are only 105 calories per serving.
9. Meringue Cookies Craving a cookie, but not the calories? Look for meringue cookies in the bakery section. My family thinks that they taste like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal. They run in the 100-150 calorie range for 3-4 large cookies.
10. Dried Turkey Snack Sticks For quick protein on the road, try the Wellshire Farms Turkey Tom Tom Snack Sticks. They are only 80 calories each.
Bonus! Clementine Oranges Though not technically non-perishable, clementine oranges will last a very long time without refrigeration. They are typically 35-40 calories a piece.