30 Guilt-Free Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Cravings
Snackaholics, rejoice! Beat between-meal blahs with a month’s worth of tasty and creative healthy snacks for adults.
Snacking should be as mandatory as breakfast
Dietitian Rachel Beller, a nutritionist on The Biggest Loser, told Redbook magazine that grazing during the day has a big impact. If you get too hungry between meals, that can deplete your willpower and make you consume more calories overall. The trick to healthy snacking? Choose nutrient-rich healthy snacks and filling combos of protein and fibre, like these popular picks from top dietitians and weight-loss bloggers. Here are 14 healthy foods this dietitian always keeps in her fridge.
Baked sweet potato fries
This vitamin A-rich snack is a healthy-kid favourite, but there’s no reason you can’t also enjoy this Parenting recipe that swaps bad carbs for good ones: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut four sweet potatoes into 1-inch-wide wedges, place flesh-side down on a roasting pan, then brush with a mixture of 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, turning once, for 20-25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
More of a pancakes kind of person? Try this gluten-free sweet potato pancake recipe.
Crispy kale chips
This unbelievable source of vitamins K, A, and C may become one of your new go-to late-afternoon healthy snacks. From Self: Place 1 large bunch of raw kale leaves, stems removed, on a cookie sheet, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook at 350 degrees F until crispy (about 10 to 12 minutes). Find out the 17 healthy foods that are dangerous to overeat.
Popcorn with a kick
A favourite, family-friendly snack for dietitian and Real Mom Nutrition blogger Sally Kuzemchak is popcorn—a surprising source of fibre and antioxidants. Among her favourite toppings: garlic, parmesan cheese, and sugar/salt. Check out these surprising health benefits of popcorn.
Homemade kettle corn
DIY kettle corn can eliminate some of the artificial chemicals from processed versions. Greatist recommends tossing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of Stevia with 2 cups of freshly popped popcorn. Shake in a paper bag for even distribution. (You can swap the Stevia for 1 teaspoon of honey plus 1 teaspoon of water, and microwave for 20 seconds to thin it out.) Find out why this nutritionist believes eating is all about moderation.
Though she admits that she’s not a big snacker—“I really like to be hungry for meals”—Cara Eisenpress of Big Girls Small Kitchen says her favourite snack is healthier nachos: 3 to 4 Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips, a few pinches of cheddar, a zap in the microwave, and a dollop of guacamole or sprinkle of scallions.
These appetizers will be the perfect start to your next summer gathering.
Low-carb turkey wrap
Make a snack out of a turkey wrap, which is one of Dr. Oz’s top snacks—and only 75 calories. Spread 2 teaspoons of honey mustard on 3 thin slices of turkey; top with 1/4 cup sliced apple and wrap in lettuce. Here are 7 healthy eating tips for super busy people.
Cinnamon-spiced baked apples
These are quick, healthy snack foods and a favourite of Diane Carbonell, founder of the Fit to the Finish blog. Core a crisp apple (such as Granny Smith or Fuji) and put the wedges in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, then toss to cover. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on high. Carbonell will sometimes add raisins or a dollop of nut butter after the apples cook. The apple is less than 90 calories and provides 3 grams of filling fibre; raisins also add more iron, vitamin C, and fibre. Don’t miss the surprising health benefits of apples.
Chocolate-drizzled fruit kebobs
Try Health magazine’s fruity skewers: 1 strawberry, 2 blueberries, 1 piece each kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, and then drizzling with 1 teaspoon Hershey’s chocolate syrup for a filling, fruit dessert that quenches a chocolate craving too.
Craving a snack bar? These energy-boosting chocolate quinoa bars are a snack made in heaven.
Try Prevention’s easy way to sweeten up strawberries: Drip 10 medium strawberries into 1 fat-free pudding cup for a light and healthy filler. Since this combo is a proven aphrodisiac, it’s best eaten with your significant other. If you want to clean up your diet, follow these 4 simple healthy eating rules.
Goat cheese bruschetta
Try one of Real Simple‘s healthy snacks: Top 5 halved cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese, then sprinkle with chopped herbs (chives, basil, or parsley) that you can grow right in your home garden. These healthy eating tricks may just change your life.
Gouda-topped apple slices
Thinly slice 1 ounce of smoked Gouda cheese on honey crisp apple slices for an ideal balance of protein, carbs, and fat, recommends Christine Avanti, chef, nutritionist, and author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food. For a more crunchy snack, gives this kale chip recipe a try.
Give boring nuts a healthy boost with Sweetish Nuts from nutritionist Brooke Alpert, which are sugar-free but still manage a natural sweetness from the spices. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive in a large bowl. Add 4 ounces shelled raw walnut halves, 4 ounces shelled raw pecan halves, and 4 ounces raw cashews. Massage in the spices well, then place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container once cooled. Read up on the best summer snack bars to give you energy.
Bagel with ricotta and strawberries
Sink your teeth into Real Simple’s tasty take on bagels for healthy snacks: Spread half of a small toasted whole grain “flat” bagel with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta, then top with 1/3 cup sliced strawberries (Check out the surprising health benefits of this beloved fruit.) and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar.
Oatmeal, with its whole grains, fibre, and protein, is a perfect all-day healthy snack food. Glamour recommends mixing one packet of the plain, instant kind with 6 crushed almonds, then sprinkling with cinnamon.
Always on-the-go in the mornings? Try our 5-minute breakfast shake.
From theKitchn: A half-cup of boiled or steamed shelled young soybeans are rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants—and are only 100 calories, making it a great choice for healthy snacking. Splitting the pods open to nibble on the beans helps you eat more mindfully, which can reduce overall calorie consumption. Here are 20 foods that are never worth the calories.
Ginger-tossed cole slaw
For her favourite snack, Keri Glassman RD, and author of The New You and Improved Diet, tosses pre-sliced cabbage and carrots with a ginger dressing and wraps the salad in a sheet of seaweed (nori). Read up on how mindful eating can help you lose weight.
Tuna seaweed wrap
Nutritionist Rachel Beller loves nori too, telling Glamour that it’s “chock-full of folate, iron, calcium, and potassium.” Talk about healthy snacks! She recommends rolling it around salmon or tuna salad for an omega-3-rich snack. For a midday snack, try making this super easy prune trail mix.
Banana oatmeal walnut cookies
Gina Homolka, of Skinny Taste, makes three-ingredient “guiltless healthy cookies” that are a great source of heart-healthy whole grains, good fats, and potassium. Combine 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed, 1 cup uncooked quick oats in a bowl, then fold in ¼ cup crushed walnuts. Place tablespoon-sized scoops on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. These 10 foods are higher in potassium than a banana.
Chia seeds, a great source of omega-3s and fibre, are in this tasty tapioca-like pudding from NYC nutritionist Brooke Alpert’s new book The Sugar Detox. Place 2 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, until it has a pudding-like consistency. If you’re looking for new ways to stay hydrated tis season, try this very berry chia pudding recipe.
Always have avocado around to add a healthy fat for a filling snack, recommends Annabel Adams from Feed Me, I’m Cranky. They’re a good source of heart-healthy and belly fat-blasting monounsaturated fat. Adams loves mixing blackened tempeh—a good source of protein and probiotics—with the green flesh. Find out how this creamy fruit can benefit your health.
Avocado rice cakes
Avocados also make for a great rice cake topper, says Greatist. Top an unsalted brown rice cake with 1/4 of an avocado, mashed, then sprinkle with black pepper and paprika. (Start your day off right with this delicious high-protein breakfast.)
Blogger Caffeinated Chronicles of a Supermom uses a toothpick to dunk individual blueberries one at a time into a container of Greek yogurt; a second toothpick helps push the berry off onto a baking sheet. Freeze for one hour, and store any leftovers in the freezer. Here are 5 health benefits of blueberries you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Pumpkin spice yogurt
Perk up your go-to yogurt with this version from Greatist: Combine 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree (a low-fat way to boost fibre and flavour). Sweeten with Stevia, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pumpkin pie spice blend or cinnamon. These pumpkin spice bars are as comforting as they are healthy.
Nutty watermelon fruit cup
This Real Simple salad refreshes: Toss 2 cups of watermelon cubes with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and ½ teaspoon grated lime zest, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons chopped unsalted roasted pistachios.
From registered dietitian Cynthia Sass’s new book S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Fold whole corn tortillas with organic strawberries, edamame, ripe avocado, cilantro, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. (Or bring some heat to the dinner table with this Chili Shrimp Taco recipe.)
Raspberry banana bites
Satisfy a sweet tooth with Health magazine’s treat: top three, 1-inch banana slices with ¼ teaspoon Nutella and 1 raspberry. That combo also makes a deliciously healthy fruit smoothie. Here are 12 amazing smoothie recipes under 150 calories.
Hummus among us
When Rebecca Regnier of Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? is hankering for something savoury, she goes for a mini pepper sliced with a little hummus. Find out which foods will help to detox your body naturally.
Stuff mini whole wheat pitas (about 2 inches in diameter) with different tastes, such as salsa; cashew butter; low-fat cheese; or hummus with cucumber and tomato, recommends Samantha Heller, RD, clinical nutrition coordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. Next, don’t miss these eating-out habits of healthy foodies.
Originally published as 30 Healthy Snacks No Adult Has to Feel Guilty About Eating.