It’s healthy to eat in between meals in order to keep your blood sugar stable, energy levels up and keep your metabolism going during the day. However, it’s important to choose the right kinds of snacks that will nourish your body without packing too many calories. Below is a list of some healthy snacks that I enjoy and try to incorporate into my diet as often as possible. Honestly, when I cook I like to eyeball ingredients and switch things up; some days I might prefer lots of salt and spices, while other days I would rather gabs more mellow flavors, so all the measurements I’ve provided are negotiable. The snacks I’ve listed are pretty easy to put together- don’t be afraid to play with your food and experiment with different ingredients! Also, feel free to write any of your favorite recipes or snacks in the comments below.
Home-made popcorn is a great healthy snack. Corn is a whole grain, and contains lots of fiber as well as magnesium and vitamin C. You can buy organic popping corn in bulk (available at most health food stores) and pop it on the stove rather than buying the microwaveable kind, which will cost more and is likely loaded with sodium, artificial flavors and chemicals. Popcorn can be topped with nutritional yeast for a cheesy (slightly addictive!) flavor and a boost of B vitamins, sea salt, organic butter or even drizzled with some melted dark chocolate.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, fiber and B vitamins, as well as being lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes. Cut your sweet potato into cubes or long strips and season to taste with paprika, black pepper, turmeric, cumin and sea salt or your seasoning of choice. If you hate peeling potatoes as much as I do, take heart: the skin contains vitamins and minerals too, so leaving the skin on is actually beneficial. Once you’re done dicing and seasoning your sweet potatoes, simply place on parchment paper or grease a baking sheet with coconut oil and bake at 350°C for 35 min to an hour ( leave in longer if you prefer crispier fries). Wait until they cool down and store in a Tupperware or glass container if you’re taking them to go.
Chocolate chia pudding ( for those with a sweet tooth)
This is one of my favorites! It tastes so much like real pudding it’s hard to believe that a cup of this snack packs a ton of protein, complex carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids, and calcium. Fill a small mason jar half full with chia seeds, then add a teaspoon of cacao powder, honey to taste and almond milk. Stir it all together and let it chill covered in the fridge for a few hours until the chia seeds have softened and expanded and voila! Add fresh fruit and garnish with some fancy coconut and chocolate shavings or just dig right in.
When I make hummus, I like to add lots of garlic and lemon for a punch of flavor that you just can’t get from the store bought stuff. All you need is:
- One can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- A clove of fresh garlic (you can sauté your garlic if you prefer, but I like to use raw garlic to ensure that it retains all it’s immune-boosting allicins. It will taste amazing either way!)
- Fresh squeezed juice of half a lemon
- Two tablespoons of tahini sauce
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pulse everything together in your blender or food processor until it’s smooth and fluffy, but not mushy. Garnish with some fresh ground pepper, paprika or a drizzle of olive oil if you like. Serve with fresh cut carrots and celery or whole wheat crackers for a nutrient, fiber and protein packed snack that will keep you full all afternoon. Store the hummus in mason jars and refrigerate for tomorrow’s afternoon snack. Hummus is also great for if you’re entertaining people, as it’s relatively cheap,quick and easy to make while being filling and nutritious.
Avocado matcha smoothie
- One ripe avocado
- half a cup of plain Greek yogurt or a dairy-free alternative of your choice (such as coconut yogurt)
- one banana
- Two cups of almond milk
- A heaping tablespoon of pure matcha powder
- Honey to taste (optional)
Simply blend until smooth for a filling, protein and antioxidant rich breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. The matcha has just enough caffeine to give you a little kick, while the L-theanine it contains will help you stay focused and avoid a caffeine-crash.
This one takes a bit of prep work, but is so good! You will need to soak your cashews (about a cup or more if you will be serving others) for a few hours or overnight. Strain off the excess water, toss in a blender with garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. You can also add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. This dip can be enjoyed with crackers or veggies. Cashews are rich in antioxidant vitamin E, as well as B vitamins, magnesium, and protein. Like hummus, cashew dip can be stored in mason jars for a grab-and-go snack.
Most people think of seafood as more of a main course. However, certain kinds of fish can be great to snack on also. Take shrimp for example. What I love about shrimp, besides the taste, is that they’re low in calories and contain omega 3 fatty acids as well as being high in calcium and protein. They’re also relatively easy to prepare; you can even buy them pre-cooked and frozen, so all you have to do is thaw them and use some garlic butter or marinara sauce for dipping. They can also be added to stir fries and pasta dishes for an extra bit of protein and flavor.
Smoked salmon is great on Ezekial bread with some avocado and capers. Candied salmon is also a good, healthy, quick seafood snack. It’s basically salmon that has been smoked until it’s got almost a jerky-like texture and is usually cured with salt, maple syrup and/or molasses. I buy it from my local grocery store- chains like Whole Foods and Choices carry it too. Canned tuna is also a quick and nutrient packed snack, but I would advise looking for reduced sodium cans, as it can be quite high in sodium.
Of course, there is some concern about mercury levels in seafood, so as with anything else I would say that it’s best to use moderation. Personally, I try to embrace variety in my diet, and I think that as long as you aren’t vegan or vegetarian or have any seafood allergies, these foods are a great addition to any diet.
I hope this list has given you some ideas as to healthy snacks that you can take to work, school or keep at home. I find that a little bit of preparation in the morning or the evening before can help keep me from grabbing fast food while I’m out. Please share your favourite healthy snacks and recipes in the comments below ❤