Tuesday, April 16, 2019

10 snack ideas under 5 points on Weight Watchers Freestyle


It can be easy to get into a food rut and fall off the wagon when doing the Weight Watchers program. For me, having options is key to consistency! To help you mix it up, here are 10 of ideas for snacks, all under 5 points.

1) Low Fat Mozzarella string cheese

Sometimes we just need a little something to make it until dinner. Grab a stick of low-fat string cheese to tide you over. Most brands are only 1 point per stick but scan the specific one you buy to make sure.

Total: 1 point for 1 stick

2) Cheese and pretzels slims

Take 1 wedge of light cheese, such as light laughing cow, and spread it on 32 pretzel crisps. You will probably not have enough cheese for all of them but the extras make a good snack on their own. Sometimes I also have this for breakfast (more breakfast ideas can be found here).

Total: 3 points


3) Fruit or vegetables with powdered peanut butter

Honestly, this stuff helped me eat more celery than I ever thought was possible. My favorite kind is PBfit but I have tried a bunch of different kinds. Use 2 Tb of whatever kind you like and have it with your celery, apple or banana.

Total: 1 point

4) Low calorie popcorn

Does anyone else find the nutrition labels for microwave popcorn to be really confusing? It's impossible to figure out what a serving size is. Now, I just buy the pre-popped bags of light popcorn and keep it simple. There are a bunch of different brands so you will need to scan the ones offered at your grocery store and make sure you buy the light popcorn. The light is usually 3-4 points for a serving of a couple of cups.

For example the Trader Joe's popcorn with olive oil is 4pts for 1oz and Aldi's simply nature lightly salted popcorn is 4pts for 3.5 cups.

Total: 3-4pt/serving, depending on brand

5) Goldfish crackers

You can eat 52 of these for only 4pts! You can adjust the serving size to be fewer points also if you like, usually I only have 3pts worth. It's nice when you have a lot of "units" in your snack.

Total: 4 points

6) Toast with powdered peanut butter

Toast one piece of 1pt bread such as Aldi's light and fit 45 calorie per slice bread and mix up 2 Tb of powdered peanut butter to go on top. Add some banana slices or cinnamon if you like. I also like to add a little salt to my PB powder when I mix it up.

Total: 2 points

7) Kind Mini Bars

Are you as surprised as I was how high in points granola bars are? Like aren't they supposed to be healthy? Well if you need a little treat for a few points, Kind Bars makes mini versions. The sea salt caramel one is only 4 points and like a little dessert in the afternoon. You can get them on Amazon or at Costco.

Total: 4 points

8) Black bean brownies

When you do your weekend prep, think about making a pan of black bean peanut butter brownies. The recipe is here with directions for a 1pt and 2pt version and I prefer a little more sugar. It makes a good chocolate fix in the afternoon. I also really like that this recipe doesn't have any artificial sugar in it and uses the real deal.

Total: 1-2 points
Fluffy black bean brownies


9) Pretzel sticks

It seems odd that pretzels (something salty and crunchy!) would be low in in points but they are! A serving of 53 pieces of Rold Gold pretzel sticks is only 3 points! Check the brand you buy as some are a little higher. Happy crunching!

Total: 3 points

10) Frozen grapes

Have you tried freezing grapes yet? If not you should give it a whirl. Pretend you are eating a Popsicle and enjoy for zero points!

Total: 0 points

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Zero point Weight Watchers yogurt in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot makes fantastic yogurt! It's thick, creamy and much less tart than store bought plain yogurt but there is a lot of confusion on how to make this delicious breakfast in a way that is zero points on Weight Watchers Freestyle.

After you have a bunch of yogurt you can make so many things! Such as:
First, you have to think about this process in a slightly different way than most "recipes". Plain, nonfat yogurt would have points if you calculated the nutritional value, as would all food. This food is zero points by magical Weight Watchers decree. So for your yogurt that you make in your Instant Pot to also be zero points, you need to make plain, fat free yogurt. Unlike most recipes, the milk you use will not be zero points if you enter its nutrition, look it up or scan it. It isn't a zero point food until it becomes yogurt. It's magically transformed when it becomes plan, fat free yogurt.

To make your yogurt magic you need:
  1. Fat Free Milk
  2. Fat free yogurt with live and active cultures to use as starter
I make the cold start, no boil Greek yogurt. It is really easy to make! Follow my directions below for zero point yogurt!
I use this milk.
Ingredients:
52 ounces Fairlife Fat Free Milk (or other ultra pasteurized fat free milk) 
2 Tb of nonfat, plain Greek Yogurt with live and active cultures as a starter or whey saved from your last batch of yogurt

Equipment:
Instant Pot Duo or other model with a yogurt button
Fine mesh strainer, or other straining method
Instant Pot Duo working it's magic!
Directions:
Clean and sanitize your instant pot (I run the sterilize cycle). Pour the milk in your inner pot and whisk in the yogurt. Cover the pot with an instant pot glass lid or other lid (I use one from my pan set that fits my IP). Press the "yogurt" button your pot and set the timer for 8 hours. When the cooking cycle finishes, the milk should now be a thick yogurt. There will be some thin liquid on the top and sides, this is the whey. To have a nice thick Greek style yogurt, you need to strain the whey from the yogurt. 
Straining out the whey to get a thick creamy yogurt.
Using your fine mesh strainer and a large bowl, strain the whey from the yogurt. I strain my yogurt about 2 hours to have a nice thick Greek yogurt. Refrigerate your delicious yogurt! It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I add 1 tsp of maple syrup or agave and some fruit for a great 1 point breakfast on the Weight Watchers Freestyle program. 

Notes on yogurt starters and whey:
You can use a little of your previous batch of yogurt as the starter for your next batch. You can also keep some of the whey from your batch, freeze it and use it as your starter! I will usually use half a cup of whey as my starter. If you look up whey in the Weight Watchers app, it is 3pt/serving. However, if it's from a zero point yogurt batch and I use it as starter, I still count my yogurt as zero points. Now, if I use the whey in anything else, I count those 3 points. Is it logical? Maybe not but to me, when the items in the pot become nonfat plain yogurt they are magically transformed into a zero point food.

So what else can you do with your whey? Well you can use it as a liquid in smoothies, it has a ton of protein but I personally think it makes my smoothie taste funny. You can make bread with it, instead of water but you know, bread... I usually freeze mine for the next batch of yogurt or, I'm ashamed to say, throw it away. If you have any other whey uses, please share in the comments!

This blog is not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way. This post may contain affiliate links, if you make a purchase using one of these links this blog may receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.