Finding a quick, healthy, and delicious snack option can be challenging. Most on-the-go snack foods are highly processed, filled with artificial colorings, chemicals, preservatives, and gums.
Eating processed snacks, especially those high in added sugars, can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leaving you feeling exhausted. Not to mention hungry.
The good news, though, is that nutritious, delicious, easy-to-make snacks do exist. And well-balanced snacks help keep blood sugar levels stable, increase energy, satisfy cravings, and keep you from feeling ravenous before going into the next meal.
Check out seven of my favorite quick and healthy snack recipes below.
Chia seed pudding
I personally love chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond or coconut milk and topped with berries, bananas, and coconut flakes. It’s a delicious snack that’s just as easy to prepare.
Fiber-rich chia seeds are also an excellent source of many nutrients, including:
- omega-3 fatty acids
Moreover, chia seeds absorb liquid and expand in your stomach, which helps keep you fuller for longer.
- 3 tbsp. chia seeds (white or black)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (can also thicken it up by adding coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- drop of vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1–2 tbsp. rolled oats
- coconut shreds
- stewed fruit
- coconut seared banana coins
- chopped dates
- almond butter
- fresh berries
- blood orange slices
- hemp hearts
- Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake, shake, shake!
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (overnight is ideal).
- Add desired toppings when ready to eat.
Chickpeas make a great, satiating snack since they’re high in both protein and fiber. The combination of the two help slow down the rate of digestion, which can help stave off hunger.
Packed with vitamins and minerals, chickpeas are a great source of:
- vitamin K
- vitamin B-6
They’re also known to lower LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol, which is linked to cardiovascular diseases.
Try these yummy roasted chickpeas for a great crunchy snack on the go.
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- cayenne pepper to taste
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pat dry.
- Mix chickpeas with oil, spices, and salt and pepper. If you’re using coconut oil, make sure the oil is completely melted before trying to cover the chickpeas. (You can melt it in the microwave if necessary.)
- Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 40 minutes until crispy. While the chickpeas are in the oven, shake the pan or mix them every 10–15 minutes to avoid burning.
Popcorn is a whole-grain food high in fiber and a great low-cal snack. Making your own popcorn is simple and quick. Not to mention, it cuts out many harmful ingredients often found in many microwavable or prepackaged popcorn, such as trans fats and artificial flavorings and chemicals.
Whether you’re snuggled up on the couch watching your favorite movie or in need of a quick, midafternoon snack, this popcorn is great for just about every occasion.
- 2–3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- sea salt to taste
- nutritional yeast to taste
- Heat 2–3 tbsp. of coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add 3 kernels and wait for them to pop (about 2 minutes).
- Once they’ve popped, add the kernels and remove pot from heat.
- Wait 30 seconds, and then place pot back on heat until popcorn starts to pop.
- Remove from heat once popping slows to about 1 second between pops. This should be about 30 seconds from the time the kernels start to pop.
- Add sea salt and nutritional yeast to your liking.
Note: The timing may be a little different depending on your stove and the size of the pot you use. It’s important to pay attention to the popping so you don’t burn the popcorn, too!
Healthy trail mix
Prepackaged trail mix often contains high amounts of sugar and sodium. For a healthier option, create your own with ingredients like unsalted mixed nuts and goji berries. This version offers healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and protein.
Make a mix of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts, or any combo you like. And if you’re in the mood for something a bit more fancy, you can always throw coconut flakes and cacao nibs in there, too.
- 1.5 cups walnut pieces (or whatever nut you like)
- 1 cup goji berries
- 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- a few dashes of ground cinnamon
- a few dashes of nutmeg
- a few sprinkles of dried rosemary
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325ºF (163ºC).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss walnuts with maple syrup, spices, and salt. Mix well to make sure all the walnuts are coated with maple syrup.
- Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Fat (coconut and nut) balls
Fat used to get a bad rep, but it’s essential to incorporate healthy fats in our diet. As a matter of fact, naturally occurring fats, like those found in nuts, will give you energy.
Both polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are found in nuts and seeds and help reduce LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol, or the “good,” protective cholesterol. Even certain saturated fats, like the kind found in coconut oil, have been linked to higher levels of HDL cholesterol.
These “fat balls” can be made many ways, but I love combining nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and dates to make them. Make a big batch, freeze them, and grab one or two of these bite-sized, power-packed energizing snacks for your day. (Just don’t forget to let them thaw first!)
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 4 medjool dates
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor. You can also use a blender, but keep in mind that you may need to add a splash of almond milk so the mixture blends well.
- Roll “dough” into balls and place in a freezer-safe container.
- Freeze for at least 5–10 minutes until they solidify.
- Thaw for 5–10 minutes when ready to eat and enjoy! The balls will remain good in the freezer for 1–2 weeks.
Sweet apple chips
For a fun and delicious spin on your typical apple, these sweet apple chips are a great grab-and-go snack.
Apples are highly nutritious and help keep your gut happy and healthy. They’re high in antioxidants and have been found to help protect the lungs and benefit people living with asthma. Apples can also help with weight management due to their high fiber and water content while still being low in calories.
- organic apples, thinly sliced (I usually bake about 4–5 apples at a time)​
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 170ºF (77ºC).
- Thinly slice apples and toss with rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt.
- Place apple slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 6 1/2 hours or until dry and crispy.
- Enjoy fresh out of the oven and store leftovers in an airtight container.
Dip is a great way to eat this vegetable, not to mention beets are high in fiber, folate, vitamin C, and excellent for digestive health. And if you combine this beet dip with flax crackers or crudités, you’ve got yourself a well-rounded, delicious snack!
- 3 medium beets
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
- Cut beets into thin slices. You can leave skin on or remove. Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 hour, then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Place beets and all additional ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine.
- Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt, crackers, and crudités.
You can find these recipes and more here.
Additional research, writing, and editing contributed by Sarah Wenig.