Image source: Spinach Dip
So, it’s well past lunch time but your stomach is growling and your dinner plans seem to be light-years away. What to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Sit back, relax, and read all about 5 healthy snack ideas for when hunger strikes!
Snacks can be part of a nutritious diet if you keep a few considerations in mind. First of all, choose nutrient-rich foods. If you’re hungry between meals, why munch on unnecessary and empty calories when you could be reaping an array of healthy benefits? By sticking to nutrient-rich snacks, you can supply your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Second, know when you’re actually hungry versus “bored hungry” or “stressed hungry.” This may be hard to do but listen to your body and make sure you stay hydrated! Did you know that your body can mistake thirst for hunger? Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid confusing your system. Third, keep portion control in mind. Think of snacks as mini-meals. When snacking, chose something that will keep you satisfied enough to hold you over until your next actual meal. Snacks are also great for boosting energy! Next time you begin to slouch in your chair at work try whipping out a healthy snack instead of grabbing that cup of coffee– your body might just be craving some nourishment rather than a caffeine jolt. Last but not least, try to prepare healthy snacks ahead of time or always have some on hand (how about a bag of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit?). By planning ahead you won’t be lost when you feel that hunger-induced daze coming on. Also, you’ll be able better equipped to fight off unhealthy temptations! Yes, you, step away from the potato chips.
It’s exciting to find more and more grocery stores stocking up on vegan goodies but, when the all the aisles have you spinning, it’s great to make your own healthy snacks! Here are 5 delicious recipes.
1. Fresh cut veggies or homemade crackers with dip or spread
Carrots and hummus, pita and spinach dip, sliced pepper and salsa, flax crackers and guac, you name your craving and there’s a recipe out there to satisfy it. Or, just take a look and see what you already have on hand. The options are endless so start experimenting! Who doesn’t love hummus? This recipe for Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus is sure to win over your heart. What’s great about snacking on hummus is that the smooth creamy dip packs a nutritional punch of protein from the chickpeas and healthy fats from the tahini. This recipe adds in the extra bonus of vitamin A from the sweet potato! All these nutrients paired with the fiber from carrots or other vegetable dipper help to keep you feeling light but full until your next meal! If you’re feeling more of a cracker day than a veggie day, check out this awesome homemade cracker recipe for optimal hummus experience.
Image Source: Muhammara Spread
2. Granola or trail mix
Store bought granola and trail mix can have sneaky added oil and refined sugar so if you can, it’s more healthy to make your own! What’s great about granola and trail mix is that you can’t go wrong. Just throw what you have together and viola! you have yourself a nice, portable nutritious snack. If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, this recipe for Chocolate Chip Granola Bites is perfect. Enjoy protein from the quinoa and healthy fats from the flax and almond butter to keep you going until mealtime.
Image Source: Seeds and Goji Berry Granola
3. Fruit with nut butter
Fresh juicy fruit makes the perfect snack all by itself but, why not pair it with rich creamy nut butter? Now that’s a delicious combo with nutrients to boot. Classic pairs such as banana and peanut butter or apple and almond butter are tasty as always. However, if you want to get a little fancy and try something crazy like sliced peach with cashew butter, go for it! If you want to get really fancy check out this recipe for Raw Apple Sandwiches with Date Caramel + Almond Butter! Nothing like a mini sandwich break between meals.
Image Source: Raw Apple Sandwiches with Date Caramel
Air-popped popcorn is always a fun snack, with or without a movie playing. This low calorie and low fat snack is now gaining even more fame in the munching world after word of its antioxidant content! Check out this One Green Planet article to learn more. And, believe it or not, popcorn is also very versatile! Essentially you can mix in any spice but some favorites are nutritional yeast, cocoa powder, garlic powder, or paprika for a little kick. This snack can even turn into a dessert with a sweet (and slightly boozy) recipe like Bourbon Caramel Popcorn.
Image Source: Bourbon Caramel Popcorn
5. Baked kale chips
Warning: kale chips are highly addicting, consume at your own risk. If you’re already at addict status, don’t worry; these chips are nutrient-dense, high fiber and low calorie! Not to mention kale is packed with antioxidants full of cancer-fighting properties. With all the health benefits of kale, different brands and flavors of these chips are popping up like weeds in grocery stores! Don’t be afraid to make them homemade either though. If you’re new to the kale scene, try this simple and easy recipe first. Once you’re more daring, step outside the box with recipes like Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips. Who needs potato chips now?
Image Source: Health Benefits of Kale Chips