This 3-minute snack hack is the easiest way to enjoy munching on something during your next Netflix binge without the guilt.
Credit: Getty Images: IgorDutina

If you’re like me, catching up on missed episodes of your favorite TV show or settling in for a well-deserved movie binge requires a big bowl of something to snack on.

The problem is that mindlessly grazing while splayed across your bed or couch can turn south quickly – especially when you're plowing through salty, calorie-filled snacks while being sedentary for hours of television. One harmless single-serving bag of microwave popcorn, for example, can suddenly become four or five if I don’t catch myself. Three television episodes later, I’m regretting every bite and I’ve ruined my dietary intake for the day.

For those of you who love to eat something while binge-watching their favorite show, there’s a quick and simple way to make sure you’re not ruining your diet – and you’ll feel great knowing the salty snack you're munching on is actually harmless compared to other processed snacks.

In my house, we call this snack "popcorned tomatoes". They’re ridiculously easy to assemble, especially if you already have cherry tomatoes in your fridge.

Simply take a paper plate (paper works best, but a regular old dinner plate will work as well), and mindfully toss a tad of your favorite salty seasoning onto the plate. In a separate bowl, take a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes and submerge them in water so that they are completely saturated. Place the tomatoes onto the plate and simply toss them around the plate so they are salted evenly.

Credit: Getty Images / threeart

And that’s it! Cherry tomatoes are a great replacement for popcorn or other salted snacks as the nutritional value is much greater and the salty kick calms your craving. Cherry tomatoes are also more nutritious and satiating – so a few handfuls will leave you feeling completely satisfied.

If you’re looking for a way to add even more flavor without a whole ton of calories, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar onto your faux “popcorn.” Remember, however, that this snack becomes less diet friendly with the more salt and dressings you choose to add on.

And this quick salting method works well with a slew of vegetables in case tomatoes don’t appeal to you – cucumbers and sliced peppers are also great options. Happy snacking!