Five fabulous spreads that will blow your mind – not your diet.
Each of the spreads/sauces below has four things in common: lots of flavor, very few calories, even fewer carbs, and the ability to turn even the most bland and watery raw veggies into a snack you crave. They’re excellent for cutting cravings in half, guiltless movie munchies, midnight snacks…you get the picture.
1) Newman’s Own Lighten Up Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing
This tangy sauce is full of flavor but amazingly low in everything else. Goes well on almost any salad. Even works as a glaze on meats, or drizzled across crudites. Word of warning: a little goes a long way with this one, so use sparingly.
Plays well with Trader Joe’s Organic Broccoli Slaw, pecans, and a sprinkle of crumbled feta; cucumber sticks; salads containing fruit.
2) Zacusca / Ajvar / Ljutenica / Pindjur
A traditionally eastern European spread of roasted red bell pepper, eggplant, varying degrees of chili pepper, and sometimes onion, garlic, and carrots. Full-on flavor. Light on calories and carbs.
Nutrition Information (for Va-Va Home Made Zacusca)
Serving Size 1.8 oz (50 g)
Calories per serving 33 (Fat cal) 2
Total Fat 1.3 g
Total Carbs 6 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 0 g
Protein 2.3 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 14% Calcium 4% Iron 6%
Plays well with cucumber, carrot, celery sticks, or kohlrabi slices; whole grain crackers, pita chips, or french bread toast.
3) Sabra Classic Hummus Singles
An old favorite, hummus has a few more calories than the other items on this list, but when enjoyed in the correct proportions, this hearty snack will tide you over, while giving you something fresh to smack your lips on. Sabra’s singles are exactly the right size for a mid-afternoon snack – 150 calories per single-serving pack.
Plays well with cucumber, celery, and carrot sticks, or bell pepper and kohlrabi slices.
4) Smuckers Simply Fruit (esp. Apricot!)
Don’t get this spread just because it only contains 40 cal & 10 carbs per tbsp. Get it because it’s the best one out there!
NONE of the gelatinous chunks that won’t spread into your bread; none of the overpowering sweetness that drowns out the natural fruit flavor; none of the chemicals you can’t pronounce; none of the added sugars that will pad your behind. It’s pure fruit, sweetened with fruit juices (fructose = lowest glycemic index out there!).
Plays well with plain Greek- or regular-style yogurt; 2% cottage cheese; or natural chunky peanut butter.
5) Cottage Cheese
Most people think of cottage cheeses as a “main event,” and not a topping, but I’m here to tell you that it goes both ways. Where else can you eat 1/2 a cup of something called “cheese” and only count in 100 calories? However, not all cottage cheeses are created equal: I prefer Breakstone’s. In it’s 2% variety, it’s creamy and mild, while others I’ve tried get tangy, etc. Fine if you like that, but the mildness helps it go with a greater variety of items.
Plays well with cucumber or carrot sticks, and bell pepper or kohlrabi slices; strawberries or blueberries; peach, apple, or pear slices; multigrain crackers or french bread toast.