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Healthy Snacks to Eat When Junk Food Cravings Hit

When you're on a diet, there's nothing worse than getting struck with a craving. Satiate your stomach with these healthy snacks instead.

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Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas

Looking for a lighter snack that’s still a crowd-pleaser? You’ve found it! This zesty, crunchy chickpea recipe will have everyone happily munching. —Julie Ruble, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Chocolate Hummus

This chocolate hummus is a sweet twist on the traditional recipe. Plus, it's so easy to make with just a handful of healthy ingredients. I like to serve it with berries and pretzels for a quick snack. –Catherine Ward, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

I can never get enough of these air-fryer sweet potato fries! Even though my grocery store sells them in the frozen foods section, I still love to pull sweet potatoes out of my garden and chop them up fresh! —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Key Lime Coconut Smoothie Bowl Exps Tohjj20 242694 E02 06 3b 4

Lime Coconut Smoothie Bowl

This Key lime and coconut smoothie bowl is the most refreshing thing on the planet! —Madeline Butler, Denver, Colorado
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Dried Fruit Energy Bars

These dried fruit energy bars are the perfect breakfast option for busy people. They're easy to make ahead and jam-packed with ingredients like chia seeds, quinoa and oats that will keep you fueled throughout the day. — Andrea Potischman, Menlo Park, California
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Roasted Curry Chickpeas

We coated chickpeas with simple seasonings to make a low-fat snacking sensation. This chickpea recipe rivals calorie-laden varieties sold in stores. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Skinny Quinoa Veggie Dip

Don’t let the name fool you. This good-for-you recipe may appeal to an athlete in training, but it has plenty of flavor to satisfy everyone. We use crunchy cucumber slices for dippers. —Jennifer Gizzi, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Hard-Boiled Eggs

In the kitchen, it's important to start with something simple, like how to cook hard-boiled eggs. Use this egg recipe in plenty of dishes, or eat them plain for a quick protein fix. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cucumbers with Dill

Sprinkling cucumber slices with salt and letting them stand in a colander draws out excess water so they stay crisp when set on a barbecue buffet. Try this cucumber dill salad alongside any grilled entree. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

Only four ingredients and one bowl are needed for these healthy peanut butter cookies. If you want to make this recipe gluten free, make sure the oat bran was made in a certified gluten-free facility. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Sesame Garlic Pumpkin Seeds Exps Pcbbz19 179413 E09 21 4b

Sesame-Garlic Pumpkin Seeds

This "everything" mix of pumpkin seeds with other seeds and seasoning is a fun treat—a lively way to use the seeds left over from your Halloween jack-o’-lantern! —Danielle Lee, West Palm Beach, Florida.
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Three-Pepper Guacamole

If you're serious about guacamole, use a molcajete. The lava stone makes a big difference on the pepper paste and is fun for guests. — Laura Levy, Lyons, Colorado
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Confetti Quinoa

If you have never tried quinoa, start with my easy side, brimming with colorful veggies. I serve it with orange-glazed chicken. —Kim Ciepluch, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bars

These peanut butter energy bars are made with natural ingredients, and there's no baking required! You can substitute sunflower seeds for the walnuts. Want more fiber? Add a little wheat germ. —Amy Crane, Richland, Michigan
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Garbanzo Stuffed Mini Peppers Exps164629 Sd132779c06 13 6bc Rms

Garbanzo-Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini peppers are so colorful and are the perfect size for a two-bite appetizer. They have all the crunch of pita chips but without the extra calories. —Christine Hanover, Lewiston, California
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Watermelon Cups

This lovely appetizer is almost too pretty to eat! Sweet watermelon cubes hold a refreshing topping that showcases cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on the menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
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Lime-Honey Fruit Salad

Nothing is more refreshing to me than a seasonal fruit salad enhanced with this simple honey-lime dressing. —Victoria Shevlin, Cape Coral, Florida
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Cashew Cheese

Spread this vegan cashew cheese on crackers, layer it on a toasted bagel or serve it with fresh vegetables. It also makes a delicious, out-of-the-ordinary sandwich spread! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Stuffed Asiago-Basil Mushrooms

Even if you don't like mushrooms, you will have to try them again with these pretty appetizers, which taste divine. For a main dish, double the filling and use large portobellos. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Quinoa With Peas And Onion Exps Sdam19 46330 E12 04 10b 4

Quinoa with Peas and Onion

Even picky eaters will love this protein-packed dish. If you have freshly shelled peas on hand, substitute them for the frozen. —Lori Panarella, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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Garlic Garbanzo Bean Spread

My friends and family always ask me to make it. I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe. —Lisa Moore, North Syracuse, New York
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Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Marinated Shrimp

My husband's aunt shared this recipe with me ages ago. Not only is it a Christmas Eve tradition in my home, but in the homes of our grown children as well. —Delores Hill, Helena, Montana
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Vegetable And Barley Pilaf Exps Lsbz18 149600 D01 19 6b 3

Vegetable and Barley Pilaf

Hearty, colorful, easy and fast were the reviews we gave this good-for-you dish. Barley has a healthy amount of soluble fiber, which aids digestion. And it can help to lower cholesterol, too! You can easily substitute other fresh veggies you have on hand. —Jesse Klausmeier, Burbank, California
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Ginger Beets and Carrots

I love fresh garden foods, especially ones as hearty as beets and carrots. This is a great way to enjoy the end-of-the-garden harvest. Plus, the ginger adds great flavor and health benefits. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Simple Guacamole

Because avocados can brown quickly, it’s best to make this guacamole just before serving. If you have to make it a little in advance, place the avocado pit in the guacamole until ready to serve. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, AK
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Baked Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

Twisting these wonton wrappers like little candies makes them fuss-free, and the dipping sauce is packed with sweet heat. —Taylor Marsh, Algona, Iowa
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Roasted Peppers and Cauliflower

Caramelization really enhances the flavors in this easy side dish. The seasoned, roasted peppers and cauliflower are just right with nearly any main course. —Cheryl Wilt, Eglon, West Virginia
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Really Good Snack Mix

I grew tired of my family picking through a snack mix for their favorite ingredients and leaving the rest. So I experimented using only their most-loved mix-ins and came up with this recipe. Now there's never any left! —Lori Genske, Waldo, Wisconsin
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Roasted Eggplant Spread Exps Hcka19 33070 C05 11 4b 3

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Black pepper and garlic perk up this out-of-the-ordinary spread that hits the spot on a crisp cracker or toasted bread slice. —Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania.
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Caprese Salad Kabobs Exps Hcka19 123345 C05 11 1b 6

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Mini Zucchini Pizzas Exps Sdas17 205463 D04 04 06 2b 2

Mini Zucchini Pizzas

Looking for low carb? This simple snack recipe is a fantastic way to satisfy your pizza cravings while skipping the usual carb-filled crust. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Light Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Exps Hcka19 34298 C05 11 2b 3

Light Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Try this zippy twist on a favorite Halloween tradition. These amped-up pumpkin seeds have just enough heat to take the chill off autumn afternoons! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Black-Eyed Pea Tomato Salad

Spending time in the kitchen with my late aunt was so much fun because she was an amazing cook and teacher. This black-eyed pea salad was one of her specialties. It's easy to make and is a nice alternative to pasta or potato salad. Add cooked cubed chicken breast to make it a meal on its own. —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
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Makeover Deviled Eggs

This updated version of a classic appetizer uses only half the egg yolks of the original recipe and calls for soft bread crumbs to help firm up the filling. We replaced the mayo with fat-free mayonnaise and reduced-fat sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Tangy Texas Salsa

I'm a "transplant" from Wisconsin currently living in Texas. Even after 20 years, I can't get enough of our wonderful local citrus. This is one way to work it into a main dish. The combination of tangy fruit, spicy jalapeno and distinctive cilantro is perfect over any meat, poultry or fish. We also dip into it with chips. —Lois Kildahl, McAllen, Texas
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Polenta Mushroom Appetizers

Simple ingredients—in fact you probably have most if not all in your kitchen— are used to create a fantastic, but different appetizer.—Meta West, Abilene, Kansas
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Zucchini & Cheese Roulades

My husband enjoys this recipe so much that he even helps me roll up the roulades! You can change the filling any way you like—I have used feta instead of Parmesan, or sun-dried tomatoes in the place of the olives. —April McKinney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Peach Bruschetta

As a starter or light snack, this bruschetta is a wonderful way to savor the season with just a bite of fresh peach amid a medley of lively flavors. —Nikiko Masumoto, Del Ray, California
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Shrimp Salad Appetizers

This refreshing hors d'oeuvre has gained a big following since a friend shared her family recipe with me. My son says it best: The celery and shrimp are so good together. —Solie Kimble, Kanata, Ontario
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Green & Gold Salsa

Edamame and corn give this unique salsa its unmistakable team colors. You can add a little salt if you like, too. A healthy alternative to creamy dips, it’s good for the extra point. —Maggie Lovat, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Garlic Pumpkin Seeds Exps Pcbbz19 40746 E09 21 6b

Garlic Pumpkin Seeds

Wondering what to do with all those pumpkin seeds guests will be scooping out at your pumpkin-carving party? This yummy, microwave-easy recipe is the answer! Save some for yourself before they're gone! —Iola Egle, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Pressure-Cooker Asian Wraps

This recipe is similar to other Asian wraps but packed with even more deliciously healthy flavor. Instead of ordering Chinese, why not try making these yourself? —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chipotle Berry Fruit Salsa

Not too hot, but with a bit of a kick, this salsa is a perfect topping for grilled fish or chicken. It’s also a delectable chip dip—just double the recipe and watch it disappear. The spice is quite mild, but cut down on (or increase!) the chipotle peppers to suit your taste. If you like, add lime zest for an added twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Edamame Hummus Exps Tham19 173829 B11 15 9b 5

Edamame Hummus

We love hummus at our house. This recipe is a scrumptious and refreshing twist on an old favorite, and it's a wonderful way to incorporate healthy soy into our diets. —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Homemade Peanut Butter

We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. My homemade version is easier on my wallet, and I know what ingredients are in it. It's also a lot tastier! —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska
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Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks Exps Thcoms17 207460 B09 08 3b 9

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

These grain-free, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks are made with vegetables instead of flour. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Crab Phyllo Cups

I always like a dot of chili sauce on top of these easy snacks. If you're out of crab, try them with water-packed tuna. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

When entertaining, I often rely on my pepper tapenade recipe because it takes only 15 minutes to whip up and pop in the fridge. Sometimes I swap out the almonds for walnuts or pecans. —Donna Magliaro, Denville, New Jersey
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Roasted Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

I learned how to roast pumpkin seeds from my mother, who learned it from her mother. Keep an eye on the seeds so they don’t scorch. —Margaret Drye, Plainfield, New Hampshire
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Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Eat these roasted veggies with a crunchy baguette or a couple of cheeses. You can also double, or triple, the amounts and have leftovers to toss with spaghetti the next day. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California
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Spicy Shrimp Salsa

Radishes add a wonderful crunch to this colorful salsa that is also superb over grilled fish. There's just enough jalapeno to give flavor without much of the heat. —Mary Beth Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Spicy Mixed Nuts

Cumin and chili powder give extra oomph to the classic homemade nut mix. It's a smart solution for holiday snacking and gift giving. —Delores Hill, Helena, Montana
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Fire and Ice Tomatoes

You won't miss the salt in this refreshing tomato salad! It's well-seasoned with cayenne pepper, mustard seed and vinegar but not the least bit spicy. This dish is always a hit at potlucks. —Nan Rickey, Yuma, Arizona
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Fast Fruit Salsa

We like this refreshing and colorful salsa served with tortilla chips or spooned over grilled chicken. For another fruity option, try stirring in some diced cantaloupe or peaches when they're in season. —Eileen Miller, Woodridge, Illinois
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Tomato Artichoke Bruschetta Exps109162 Hc143213c12 11 3bc Rms 1

Tomato & Artichoke Bruschetta

A healthy and refreshing appetizer, I enjoy bruschetta anytime of year. For serving guests, I like to slice the garlic instead of chopping it for both beauty and flavor infusion. This is also a simple make-ahead dish: You can mix it up, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.—Gina Bergamino, Chanhassen, Minnesota
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Mango Avocado Spring Rolls

As a fan of mangoes and avocados, I love these wraps. You can substitute tortillas for rice paper wrappers, and lettuce or spinach for sprouts. —Gena Stout, Ravenden, Arkansas
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York
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Grilled Veggies with Mustard Vinaigrette

I make this healthy and inviting side dish whenever friends come over for a cookout. The honeyed vinaigrette lets the veggies shine. —Shelly Graver, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
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Thyme-Sea Salt Crackers

These homemade crackers are decidedly light and crispy. An addictive snack on their own, they also pair well with a sharp white cheddar. —Jessica Wirth, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Orange Shrimp Mojo Exps Tham18 47078 B10 10 5b 3

Orange Shrimp Mojo

With jalapeno, orange and avocado, every bite of this enticing entree is spicy, tangy and fresh. The sauce beautifully glazes the shrimp. —Don Thompson, Houston, Ohio
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Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa

I love veggies and fresh ingredients this time of year. I make big bowls of this salsa, which we eat with pretty much everything in the summer when tomatoes are bountiful. My kids love it, though I leave out the jalapeno when making it for them. —Amy Gattuso, Madison Heights, Michigan
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Greek Veggie Tartlets

The mixture in this recipe was originally a salad I made after a trip to Greece. When my husband suggested I serve it in phyllo cups, it became my most-requested appetizer!—Radelle Knappenberger, Oviedo, Florida
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Citrus Spiced Olives Exps48216 Hc143213d05 14 1bc Rms 6

Citrus Spiced Olives

Lemon, lime and orange bring a burst of sunny citrus flavor to marinated olives that are great for nibbling on at holiday buffets. You can even blend the olives and spread the mixture onto baguette slices.—Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Mango Barley Salad

I made this fresh, colorful mango salad on the fly and it was a big hit! The bright flavor is perfect for a spring or summer picnic, served right away or chilled. —Dan Wellberg, Elk River, Minnesota
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Garlic Bean Dip

There isn't a bean that my family does not like. In fact, I serve one kind or another almost every day. This dip is one of our favorite ways to eat them. —Nancy Testin, Harrington, Delaware
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Yogurt & Honey Fruit Cups

This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast from your breakfast table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grilled Zucchini With Onions

Grilled Zucchini with Onions

Wondering what to do with all of your garden-grown zucchini in the summer? Give it a sizzle and a little heat with this healthy side. It’s also an easy recipe to double or triple for summer cookouts. —Alia Shuttleworth, Auburn, California
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Cucumber Fruit Salsa

Our garden always gives us way more cucumbers and tomatoes than we know what to do with. But we’ve learned how to handle the unexpected with a surprise of our own. This is our pretty, fresh way to use up the bounty. —Anna Davis, Springfield, Missouri
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Mocha Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a classic fall snack. Kick them up a notch with instant coffee and cocoa powder for a mix that’s mocha genius at any time of year. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
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Baked Parmesan Breaded Squash

Baked yellow squash is beautifully crispy. You don’t have to turn the pieces, but do keep an eye on them. — Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
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Layered Hummus Dip

My love for Greece inspired this fast, easy Mediterranean dip. It is fabulous for parties and a delicious way to include garden-fresh veggies on your menu. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds Exps Lsbz18 104123 D01 19 5b 2

Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds

I created this recipe with what I had on hand one night, and now it’s one of my husband’s favorites! The bacon-wrapped shrimp, garlicky sauce and burst of cool cuke flavor make this a crowd pleaser. —Shannon Rose Trelease, East Hampton, New York

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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