When breakfast feels like it was hours and hours ago and lunch seems forever away, we look for snacks to hold us over. Or maybe we need something to give us the energy to make it until dinner. Of course, after dinner, it’s fun to munch on something yummy while we watch our favorite TV shows. Snacks are an important part of our diets and our days. But looking for snacks in vending machines or in the snack aisle of the supermarket can lead to some bad choices.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have healthy snacks made ahead so we can just grab one when we are hungry and not turn to unhealthy, processed food in an impulsive move we will later regret. Healthy snacks don’t mean you have to go into the kitchen and prepare complicated recipes either. We can make delicious, nutritious snacks that are fast, easy and take five ingredients or less to make. Here are 10 ideas so you can get munching right away.
1. Kale Chips
Maybe you don’t think of kale as a snack but once you’ve tried kale chips, you will be hooked. Kale chips can be made with lots of different flavors and depending how many spices you use, the recipe can be 5 ingredients or less. I like mine Italian-style with salt, pepper, garlic and vegan parmesan. Get the recipe for my Baked Kale Chips here. Make these Baked Kale Chips, Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips, and Lemony Kale Chips. If you want heat, try these Spicy Kale Chips and Habanero Kale Chips. For a fun variation, use Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale. Just cut the stems off and bake the leaves whole. It’s like having a big leafy green lollipop.
Truffles are so delicious and impressive, it’s surprising how easy they are to make. All you have to do is mix chocolate or whatever ingredients and flavors you like and refrigerate them until they set. Rich and decadent, truffles can be a healthy treat when made with superfoods like cacao, maca and spirulina. Truffles can be as simple as 2 ingredients such as chocolate and coconut oil or as fancy as you want. Try these 4-Ingredient Chocolate Caramel Truffles, Raw Coconut Truffles, Whiskey Truffles with Almond Praline, and Chocolate Macadamia Nut Truffles.
3. Roasted Chickpeas
Warning: this is another addicting snack. If you make roasted chickpeas, get ready to crave them all the time! Chickpeas are magical legumes and they taste great no matter how they are prepared but roasted chickpeas are out of this world. When roasted, chickpeas become hard and crunchy like nuts. They can be flavored with your favorite herbs, spices, and sauces. Roasted chickpeas are the perfect snack or party food.
To make my Spiced Roasted Chickpeas: Set oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse 2 cans of chickpeas. Roll them around in a kitchen towel to dry them. They won’t get crunchy if they are still wet. Mix 1 Tbs. oil, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. salt and a pinch of cayenne in a bowl. Add chickpeas to the bowl and toss until well coated. Transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and put in the oven. After 15 minutes, shake the tray to toss them. Roast another 10-15 minutes until they are crisp and crunchy. Watch them at the end so they don’t burn. Serve warm or at room temperature. For more recipes, try these Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, Roasted Chickpeas with Chipotle and Lime, Ginger Garlic Chickpeas, and of course, Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas.
Making candy does not mean that you have to spend hours at the stove with candy thermometers and pots of boiling sugar. It also doesn’t take a ton of ingredients, contrary to what store-bought candy wrappers say. When you make your own candy, you can add healthy ingredients that you might not think about like quinoa. Try this 5-Ingredient Vegan Quinoa Fudge, 4-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fudge, and 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge. For a crispier chocolate treat, make this 5 Ingredient Pepita Seeds and Coconut Raw Chocolate Bark. Love peanut butter? Then you’ll flip for these Two Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and these Chocolate Almond Butter Cups.
Crackers are always a great snack whether you spread nut butters or vegan cheese on them or just munch them as is. Crackers are easy to make and when you make them yourself, they can be as simple and healthy as you want. Homemade crackers can be raw or baked, made with seeds, whole grains or vegetables, flavored with herbs and spices or even given a touch of sweetness.
Get your omega-3-fatty acids when you munch on these Flax and Chia Seed Crackers, Quinoa and Mixed Seed Crackers, Spinach and Sesame Crackers, Homemade Wheat Thins and Healthy Nut-Free Spirulina Sesame Bars. Add veggies like these Raw Carrot and Flaxseed Crackers or legumes like these Herbed Chickpea and Sesame Crackers. Tickle your taste buds with these Raw Habanero Pepper Crackers that have cashews, almonds and sunflower seeds.
6. Baked Noms
Baked goods are always favorites when looking for a sweet snack. But if the thought of baking makes you think you need a lot of ingredients, I’m here to tell you that isn’t always true. You can make delicious cookies and brownies with less than half a dozen ingredients. Just look at these 4 Ingredient Paleo Coconut Shortbreads, 5 Ingredient Fig and Banana Cookies with Cardamom, Raw Peanut Butter Cookies, Raw Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and these 5 Ingredient Ginger Brownie Bars.
Popcorn is a filling and yummy snack. Forget movie theater popcorn with all that fake butter and stay away from microwave popcorn that might have toxins in the bags. It’s easy to make your own popcorn whether you have an air popper or just a saucepan with a lid. Popcorn can be as simple as salt and vegan butter or nutritional yeast but you can also go gourmet with your popcorn. Check out these Exciting Hacks to Upgrade Your Popcorn. My favorite way to eat popcorn is Italian-style. Whenever I eat popcorn, I add garlic, red pepper flakes or hot sauce and vegan grated parmesan. It’s like making my favorite pasta dish but with popcorn.
Other popcorn varieties you definitely want to try include Curry Coconut Popcorn, Bourbon Caramel Popcorn, Vegan Caramel Popcorn, Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn with Bourbon and Peanut Butter Popcorn Fudge. For something completely different, try using cauliflower instead of corn like this Cheesy Cauliflower Popcorn.
8. Creamy Snacks
Sometimes you want crunchy snacks and sometimes you want something creamy, smooth and comforting. That’s when ice cream, sorbet, and pudding make the perfect snacks. It only takes 4 ingredients to make your own creamy yogurt like this Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt. That leaves you one ingredient to add in fruit or nuts and still keep it at five ingredients. This Life Changing Marzipan and Butterscotch Ice Cream Sundae only has 3 ingredients, this Berry Mango Sorbet with Banana and Pineapple has 5 if you don’t count the water and this Pineapple Sorbet has 4 only ingredients. For smooth puddings, try this Chocolate Chia Breakfast Pudding, Coconut Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding and Vanilla Bean and Mango Chia Seed Pudding.
9. Veggie Chips
Chips are my absolute favorite snack. I would rather have chips than any other snack ever! That’s why I learned to make my own Homemade Baked Potato Chips. I can make as few as I want and season them however I like. Less than 5 ingredients depending how many seasonings you use and they are healthier because they are not fried. You can make chips out of any kind of veggies that can be thinly sliced – beets, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes – whether you bake them or use a dehydrator.
Learn How to Make Healthy Veggie Chips of All Kinds in 4 Simple Steps and then try these Raw Vegan Nacho Cheese Zucchini Chips, Beet Chips, Corn and Black Bean Chips and these unique Lotus Chips.
10. Fruit Snacks
There are lots of ways to enjoy fruit as a snack besides just eating plain, raw fruit. These Raw Vegan Banana Hemp Seed Sushi Slices have only 3 ingredients and make an impressive treat. Bananas and chocolate are a match made in heaven when they get together in these Dark Chocolate Banana Bonbon Bites.
Veggies aren’t the only foods that can be dehydrated into snacks. Fruit gets all chewy and intense in flavor. Learn How to Make Healthy Dehydrated Fruit and find out the 10 Best Fruits to Dehydrate and How to Eat Them. Make your own fruit roll-ups with less than 5 ingredients. Try these Strawberry Peach Fruit Roll-Ups and these Chocolate Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups.
See how easy it is to make your own amazing and healthy snacks? So before you reach for the vending machine or the packaged snacks, try some of these recipes. You’ll see that snacks can be fun, good for you, and not take a lot of ingredients to get a lot of flavor.
Hungry for more? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Snacks!
Lead Image Source: Dark Chocolate Banana Bonbon Bites